Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Using Bodies of The Deceased to Advocate for The Living

May 30, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

On a trip to Spain in 2010, Aylam Orian, an actor and filmmaker from Los Angeles, stumbled upon a public spectacle that would change his life forever — a ceremony in which dozens of animal rights activists displayed the bodies of dead animals to help observers make the connection between the animals they were seeing and the food on their plates. It was an event so provocative and impactful that it inspired Mr. Orian to replicate it in the United States.

animal-rights-ceremony-spain

Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality) stages animal rights rally in Spain

Animal Rights rally in Spain

Animal rights rally in Spain

Five years later, Mr. Orian is, with the help of dozens of volunteers, producing the fifth National Animal Rights Day (NARD), with rallies in eight cities in the U.S. and Canada that are expected to attract over 1,000 participants.

2014 National Animal Rights Day

2014 National Animal Rights Day in Los Angeles

The use of animals’ bodies has its critics, but Mr. Orian asserts that the tactic helps observers connect the dots: “Most people never see farm animals in their lives; they only see their body parts on their plates. When we show them what these animals look like in the flesh, cradled in our arms like you would cradle a baby or a beloved pet, they feel something. Many stop to ask questions, and that gives us a chance to inspire them to change their lifestyle.”

National Animal Rights Day ceremony observers

National Animal Rights Day ceremony observers (photo: John Hays)

2013 National Animal Rights Day ceremony in Los Angeles (photo: Sarah Jane Hardt]

National Animal Rights Day Founder Aylam Orian in 2013 (photo: Sarah Jane Hardt]

2015 National Animal Rights Day in Toronto, Canada

2015 National Animal Rights Day in Toronto, Canada (photo: Joanne McArthur)

When people criticize the ceremony, Mr. Orian explains that the deceased animals, all of whom were donated, are treated with exceptional respect: “Instead of being ground up in a rendering plant or thrown into the garbage, we clean them, treat them with dignity and, after the ceremony, cremate them and spread their ashes. It’s the only tenderness most of these animals will ever receive.”

Animal rights activists pay their respects

Animal rights activists pay their respects at a National Animal Rights Day ceremony

2015 National Animal Rights Day in Los Angeles (photo: Carole Raphaelle Davis)

2015 National Animal Rights Day in Los Angeles (photo: Cameron Wapner)

Jane Velez-Mitchell of Jane UnChained spoke to Mr. Orian to talk about National Animal Rights Day, the controversial use of deceased animals and the impact of the rallies on the public.

The National Animal Rights Day ceremonies are produced by Mr. Orian’s newly-incorporated charity, Our Planet, Theirs Too, and are taking place on May 30th in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Colorado Springs, Seattle, Toronto and Ottowa and on June 7th in New York and Northampton (MA).

2015 National Animal Rights Day Toronto, Canada

2015 National Animal Rights Day Toronto, Canada (photo: Joanne McArthur)

National Animal Rights Day 2015

National Animal Rights Day 2015 (photo: John Hays)



Comments via Facebook

TheirTurn.net Comments

  1. Dave Harris says:

    Cows, chickens, sheep and pigs would not survive long in the wild. We provide them life and they give life to us. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.

    1. Wren Holland says:

      How is cramming them in pens with thousands of other animals, giving them barely one foot of space per creature, feeding them potentially harmful chemicals to make them gain unhealthy amounts of mass, testing drugs on them that have been deemed too dangerous to test on humans, and other horrible things “mutually beneficial”? Now I myself am not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat meat that was raised in a factory, and neither should you.

  2. Dave Harris says:

    Vegans are pussies. These animals would have eventually been killed in the wild by other animals. The animals would rip them apart and would kill them more violently than we could. Life feeds on life. GET OVER IT!

    It’s the circle of life. God clearly says in Genesis that meat eating is okay.

  3. Michael says:

    Stacy – Yes I am, and if it helps there are plenty of ice cream brands that make delicious dairy free things :). Be careful with fish and mercury and all that as well. Gardein makes really god fish filets (vegan of course). I’d be happy to aid in your transition back to vegan if you would like.

  4. Beth says:

    Stacey are you vegetarian or vegan? Vegetarians also pay for animals to be killed. Here is a page that will help explain the cruelty of dairy as one example. Using animals as resources instead of respecting their intrinsic right to their own lives is the problem. http://youtu.be/RXvzlep-JNs

    1. Stacey says:

      Beth you are 100% right. I was vegan for almost two years and still continue to use almond, rice, and soy milk for almost all of my needs. I need to go back to being a vegan because it is the right thing to do. Period.

  5. Stacey says:

    One of the prerequisites to be a animal lover and stand up for animal rights has to be that you are a vegetarian. If you spend the day demonstrating on the streets for animal rights and go home and put any form of meat on your plate, it is the biggest hypocrisy. The fight is not that the animals in the farms are treated humanely and killed humanely. The real fight is that the animals are not in those farms in the first place because killing is killing. If in the end the animal is slaughtered and put on the plate, it is only semantics to discuss how the animal got killed. Taking life is taking life. The only real solution that the animal lovers need to propogate so that real difference can be made is to promote vegetarianism. As a start every human being that claims to be an animal lover should be a vegetarian. ANYONE THAT CALLS HIMSELF AN ANIMAL LOVER BUT CONTINUES TO EAT ANY KIND OF ANIMAL LIFE IS THE BIGGEST HYPOCRITE.

    1. Michael says:

      I agree with what you said however, it goes beyond eating animals. While vegetarianism is a good stepping stone I feel the best way to really show your love for animals is to become fully vegan.

      1. Stacey says:

        Michael- I completely agree with being vegan. I am going to strive to be one again. I have been vegetarian for 5 years after being vegan for almost two years and I need to go back.

        1. Michael says:

          May I ask, what made you stop?

          1. Stacey says:

            Basically I read all the labels on everything I eat and make sure that the majority of what I am eating is vegan but I started eating eggs and will very occasionally eat fish. I don’t drink milk but I can’t say that I don’t eat ice cream made with cows milk now and then. I order most of my food without cheese and cook without cheese at home but there is no reason why I can’t go back to being vegan. I need to go back to what I know is the right thing to do. Are you vegan?

    2. Beth says:

      Stacey are you vegetarian or vegan? Vegetarians also pay for animals to be killed. Here is a page that will help explain the cruelty of dairy as one example. Using animals as resources instead of respecting their intrinsic right to their own lives is the problem. http://youtu.be/RXvzlep-JNs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *