March to close all slaughterhouses

This past Saturday, several cities around the world marched to close all slaughterhouses: Paris, Toulouse, London, Istanbul, Houston, San Diego, Zagreb, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Perth, Florence, and Toronto. My mom joined in the Toronto march.

vegan women

Compassionate protesters (my 61-year-old mom is on the right — her first demo!)

The Toronto march started at a city park, wove through the streets and ended at one of Toronto’s slaughterhouses (it’s not called Hogtown for nothing). I imagine emotions ran high at the site of the building where 6000 pigs die each weekday.

The march was organized with four tenets:

  • Because oppression, living conditions and slaughter cause immense suffering to animals
  • Because meat production is destroying our planet and our health
  • Because eating animal products is not necessary
  • Because sentient beings should not intentionally be mistreated or killed

The food industry is the largest contributor of animal exploitation, abuse and death but most people condone it through their dollars and their diets. The abuse goes on behind closed doors–literally. We’re not supposed to see it.

MTCAS demo

The marchers show what the meat industry tries to hide

Animals raised for food have a nightmarish existence. Confined, castrated, de-horned, debeaked, injected with hormones and antibiotics, and finally shipped to a house of horrors, where they see, hear, and smell other animals dying all around them before they too are killed.

The animal rights movement is part of a greater social justice movement. People need to speak up for injustices, and that’s exactly what they did on June 15th, all around the world. They marched to raise awareness and be a voice for the voiceless.

Robert Caine and my mom

Speaker Robert Caine and my mom met after the march

When we stop viewing animals as commodities and start seeing them as individuals with the right to live free from exploitation, it’s a no-brainer.


A memorial to slaughtered animals marked the entrance to the slaughterhouse

The best part about this cause is that the solution is right in front of us. It’s healthy and delicious and easy to do: adopt a plant-based diet.

vegan friends

The people in the march were a cross-section of society. They came from all classes, ages, genders, political leanings and beliefs. Animal abuse is something everyone can do something about.

a little protester

Compassion starts at a young age–don’t suppress it!

Each year, 60 billion land animals and 1,000 billion water animals are killed for humans. It’s staggering to think about. It’s cruel and unnecessary. By changing to a vegan diet you can save about 100 animals a year. This makes a difference. It adds up. Animals matter.

new friends

The message is simple and powerful: Go vegan!

I hope Seattle has a march next year so I can join too and speak up for those who can’t.


10 thoughts on “March to close all slaughterhouses

  1. Such a great initiative – and how cool of your mother to participate! It proves age does not matter; as long as you care for something you can start fighting for it at what age you want ^^ How unfortunate we did not have the march in Norway though (at least not as I heard of)

  2. So true. She’s been a compassionate person forever and a vegan for several years. But walking the walk (literally) is a whole different thing. It’s never too late to speak up for the animals. Seattle didn’t have a march either. It would be great for Norway (and every country) to have one.

  3. Excellent article, even though you weren’t there, you did a great job reporting it!!

    Thank you for telling me about this event; I’m so glad I went! Thanks to you I am vegan and lovin’ it because I enjoy living cruelty-free! I’m only sorry I wasn’t vegan sooner. I thought being a vegetarian was good enough, I didn’t know that dairy and egg farming are just as cruel.

    I met so many compassionate people! The organizers worked hard and all who participated did so wholeheartedly!! From big strong men, like Robert Caine to sweet little children, we joined together to be a voice for those who cannot speak. We will not be silent!!

    With compassion ❤

    • Thanks! I’m so glad you went to the event! Thanks to you (and dad), I learned compassion from a young age. You both encouraged it, instead of squashing it. I hope to meet some of those great people too. It’s wonderful that in every corner of the world, you can find people who care, standup, and make a difference.

      Never be silent.

  4. Hi Jean, your mom tells me it was you who told her about the march. I’m so glad she was able to attend. Thanks so much for writing such a lovely post, it was an incredible day. I’m one of the organizers of the event and thought I would suggest the idea of you starting one in Seattle next year. If you have a few activist friends or are involved with a local AR group you could do it! We’d be happy to supply you with any graphics for printing t-shirts, banners, signs etc. Let me know if I can help in any way. Lee

    • I did! I found out about it on FB. I’m glad she could attend too. She met all sorts of compassionate people, which is important when you feel like the only one who cares. Thanks to the march, I think she’s found a nice community and she’ll be able to make a bigger difference.

      Thank you for organizing the event and for reaching out to me. I am part of a local AR group (NARN) and I’ll reach out to them and see if they’d like to be part of next year’s event. If so, I’d love to help plan it. I’d love your help with it and I’ll email you to see how I can get involved. If Seattle doesn’t do a 2014 event, I’ll have to plan my next trip home so it coincides with the march.

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