October 2nd marked the 30th annual World Day for Farmed Animals, bringing worldwide attention to the plight of farmed animals with more than 141 observances throughout nearly three dozen U.S. states, 5 Canada provinces, and 7 countries. These events included slaughterhouse protests at 15 cities in the United States and Canada!
Activists confronted the industry head-on at slaughterhouse demonstrations in over a dozen cities in North America, but caring people around the world raised awareness in their communities in a variety of ways. Observances ranged from dramatic and attention-grabbing to traditional educational outreach. Activities included candlelight vigils, memorial services, marches, cage-ins, die-ins, information tables, exhibits, video screenings, leafleting, feed-ins and more.
Activists also distributed 20,000 copies of our new “Been Lied to” brochure, which we are now reprinting to keep up with demand. Brand new outreach materials featured powerful photos by Jo-Anne McArthur of www.weanimals.org and reflected this year’s thought-provoking theme “Hidden, Abused, Killed. Are we also being kept in the dark?” After Clear Channel rejected our billboards based on their content, we petitioned the company to stop censoring our pro-animal message. While we did not receive a response, over 3,000 people signed our Change.org petition.
On September 29, FARM staff and volunteers lined the USDA building in Washington, DC, reminding commuters of the abuse perpetrated under the USDA's supervision. Other attention-grabbing events took place throughout the country. In Seattle, FARM staff and volunteers gathered in front of American Gold Seafoods headquarters, one of the largest fish farming companies in the United States. Earlier in the day, divers inspected nets off Bainbridge Island where over 1 million salmon are killed each year -- and then dropped a banner reading "Fish Farming is Animal Abuse" from their boat.
For the third time in two years, FARM worked with Los Angeles activist Ellen Ericksen to target the notorious Farmer John slaughterhouse, drawing hundreds of activists. Protestors also targeted Quality Meat Packers in Queens, NY, where the protest coordinator, Shafali Darling, noted: “We were really excited that customers started to feel bad about what they were buying and a few turned away from buying that day, saying they were upset about the thought of eating animals."
Over a dozen universities and colleges participated with information tables, leafleting, video screenings, feed-ins and other activities on campus. The World Veg Festival Weekend in San Francisco welcomed thousands of visitors. Attractions included international vegan cuisine, food demos, renowned speakers, live entertainment, vegan athletes, vendors and more. Humane societies, animal shelters, and sanctuaries offered Veg Starter Guides and recipes to visitors. Similar festivals took place in Malaysia, Oakland, CA, and Holland.
World Day for Farmed Animals attracted media attention in several cities! Local media covered demonstrations in Milwaukee, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, DC, and Salisbury (MD). Additionally, the campaign was featured in two popular Huffington Post articles, including one written by FARM's Executive Director Michael Webermann. Other blogs, including Our Hen House, Greener Ideal, and Living Humane, covered the protests.
Internationally, Animal Liberation Victoria (Australia) organized one of the most powerful demonstrations in Federation Square, where 200 participants each held the body of an animal who was the victim of violence, neglect, or exploitation at the hands of humans. Activists organized nearly a dozen in Canada, including a protest, vigil and die-in in Toronto with Toronto Pig Save. More than seven feed-ins took place throughout Israel, and activists in Tel Aviv took to the streets with Anonymous for Animal Rights. In Asia, groups hosted observances in India and China including vigils, marches, rallies and educational events.
Thanks to compassionate people around the world, World Day for Farmed Animals observances provided a much-needed voice for the billions of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, and other sentient animals who are brutally raised and needlessly slaughtered each year.
Special thanks to the following organizations for their participation and support: A Well-Fed World, ACT Asia, Animal Equality, Animal Liberation Israel, Animal Liberation Victoria, AnimaNaturalis, Anonymous for Animal Rights, Burlington Pig Save, Chicago Coalition for Animal Rights, Citizens United for Animals, Compassion Over Killing, Farm Sanctuary, Guelph Pig Save, In Defense of Animals, Liberation BC, Mercy for Animals, Northwest Animal Rights Network, NY Farm Animal Save, PETA, Phoenix Animal Liberation Squad, The Humane League, Toronto Pig Save, Vegan Outreach, and Windsor Pig Save. Thanks also to the several individuals stepped up to organize large demonstrations: Anita Krajnc, Anita Virginillo, Carissa Stephens, Ellen Ericksen, Lee Aiken, Mary Chris Staples, Orla Bobo, Patricia Tallman, Rachel Bjork, Ronnie Steinau, Ryan Olson, Shafali Darling, and Teresa Chiletz.
Help bring Compassionate Holidays to your community! The holidays can be a challenging time of year for new vegans, as they face pressures from family and friends. Vegan events, like holiday meals and potlucks, can help bolster community and make sure new vegans know they're not alone. Stay tuned for a list of events in your community and tools to help you start your own!