May 14, 2006
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I came only recently to protesting. I thought just “being” vegan was enough. Not consuming any animal products was a big deal, after all, and one I devoted a considerable amount of time to. Researching products, ingredients, making sure I was spending my money on cruelty-free goods; even better when I had the option of purchasing ethical products at ethical companies.
Protesting? I thought that was for other people. Intimidated at the thought of gaining attention by The Powers That Be (TPTB), I made the decision to let other people carry the burden of protesting.
I hadn’t really changed my mind when I went to my first protest a couple months ago. Spending so much time on Vegan Freaks Forums and listening to the podcasts did make me think more about it, find more passion in the pursuit of AR. So when RMAD started a meetup group, I decided to join them at the protest. To my surprise, it was a fun and positive experience. It turned into a vegan-bonding day, and the support from the people driving by (mostly positive) was really encouraging. I liked feeling that I was doing just a bit more.
Gradually my thoughts on protesting began to change. Protesting was not difficult, after all. At least with RMAD, all you have to do is show up. They provide the signs, the pamphlets, they need only warm bodies of passionate AR activists. That I could do. And in doing, I began to see how necessary it was.
I would never have bought a fur, not when I was omni, and obviously not now. But clearly not being a consumer of fur does nothing to actually stop the trade. At least not until everyone stops buying fur. We have to educate people, we have to make it clear exactly what they would be supporting by buying a fur.
The animals being skinned don’t have a voice that is heard. Their screams of pain, rage, and agony fall on the deaf ears of the trappers and the fur farmers, who think nothing of skinning an animal alive and leaving them to die a slow painful death. There are no rules or laws to regulate the cruelty of this particular industry, but there is no conceivable law that would make this okay. Raising and murdering an animal for the very skin on their backs. It is horrifying. That people justify this is beyond my comprehension.
I want their voice to be heard. I want to be their voice, and I want you to join me. Together we can voice the rage and the pain and we will be heard. There is no excuse, no justification for cruelty such as this. We have our skins, let them keep theirs.