Tag Archives: Animal Rights Movement

The Hardest Ceiling to Crack

Earlier this month when – and I still can’t believe it as I type these words – Donald Trump won the U.S. election, Hillary Clinton gave a moving concession speech the following day.  As I wrote over at my other blog, not many speeches made my politicians in my lifetime have moved me to tears but hers did. It was an emotional day.

A week later, there was a protest here in Toronto to speak out against Donald Trump and I decided to go. There’s a Trump Hotel downtown and, in what must be the shortest march ever, we walked from City Hall to the hotel (it took less than ten minutes, even with hundreds of people).  It may seem odd to march against the President of another country but Trump’s election will still affect us, as it will other countries. Plus, speaking out against his “victory” to the highest office in the land lets our Prime Minister know that we are not all onboard with Trump’s bullshit and to tread carefully when dealing with him on our behalf.

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Animal Rights Chose Me

Perhaps you’ve heard this joke before:

“How do you know someone’s a vegan?  Don’t worry – they’ll tell you.”

It’s not a badly constructed joke, although one could easily replace “vegan” with “hunter”, “bacon-lover” or “meat eater”. Obviously the joke wouldn’t land in the same way because the punchline of the original joke is based on the stereotype that vegans are militant fanatics who are constantly in-your-face. Whereas hunters, bacon-lovers, and meat eaters are the accepted norm despite the fact that some of them have no qualms about being just as in-your-face about their beliefs when it comes to animals and food.

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Crime of the Century

A friend of mine said to me recently that she believes animal rights are the fight of the 21st century; that fighting for the liberation of animals is the social justice movement taking shape in our time.  If she’s right – and I believe she is – then we have only just begun.

If you look back at any cultural shift in terms of equality, be it civil rights, women’s liberation, gay and lesbian rights – movements that are by no means over and whose struggle continues in various forms across the globe – there was one thing they all had in common, especially in the beginning: they were collectively laughed at. It was a joke to think that black people, homosexuals, women or any previously considered “less than” group of individuals could possibly warrant the same rights and privileges as their white, male, heterosexual counterparts. They weren’t seen as living beings with the same desire to live a life free from suffering, ownership or governing interference of their most basic rights. If occasionally they were seen as equals, it was only on a selective basis, when they were found to be “useful” in some way that further served the already-existing patriarchal establishment. We still do it today: women are given all the room and opportunity to voice their opinions so long as the topics are getting married, raising children, going shopping and staying thin. Continue reading

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