During the 2018 Animal Liberation Conference in Berkeley, California, over 500 animal rights activists traveled to the city of Stockton to bear witness at a chicken slaughterhouse. During the four hour vigil, which was organized by The Save Movement and Direct Action Everywhere, slaughterhouse workers brought the activists five chickens as a peace offering. A total of nine animals were saved during the course of the day.
The Save Movement is a worldwide network of Save groups bearing witness to farmed animals and promoting veganism and love-based, grassroots activism. Two local chapters of the Save Movement, Bay Area Animal Save and Stockton Animal Save, stage monthly vigils at the Stockton Poultry Market.
Over 500 activists bear witness at a slaughterhouse in Stockton, California (photos: Bay Area Animal Save)
The Save Movement aims to set up vigils at every slaughterhouse and now has over 415 groups in 50 countries worldwide.
Activists participate in slaughterhouse vigil during 2018 Animal Liberation Conference. (Bay Area Animal Save)
Jill Phipps, the British animal rights activist who was killed while blocking a trailer transporting veal calves, was remembered by animal rights activists around the world who held protests at slaughterhouses in her memory.
In New York City, activists marched through Astoria, Queens, to a slaughterhouse and staged a silent vigil at the entrance. Inside, hundreds of chickens stacked in crates were being killed, butchered and sold. With the help of a few determined activists, one chicken made it out alive and is living in peace at a sanctuary for rescued farm animals. The activists named her Jill.
Animal rights activists rescued a chicken from a slaughterhouse during a protest staged in memory of British animal rights campaigner, Jill Phipps
The life and advocacy of Jill Phipps, who died fighting for animal liberation when she was just 31 years old, is documented in the 40 minute film, Death of an Animal Activist:
While eating in a restaurant in Brooklyn, Jenny Amlen saw skinned lambs being unloaded from a nearby truck. At that moment, she made the connection between the burger on her plate and the animal who was killed for it.
“I saw almost 100 slaughtered lambs being thrown into a shopping cart in broad daylight. I saw their eyes, and it was devastating, shocking and heartbreaking. I thought then that they were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers just like us,” said Jenny Amlen. “Honestly, it reminded me of the Holocaust. It was just lambs instead of humans.”
Jenny sent the video footage to TheirTurn and said that the incident prompted her to go vegan.
Jenny Amlen saw skinned lambs being unloaded from a truck and decided to go vegan.
To order a free vegan starter kit please visit PETA
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.
Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality) stages 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 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 (photo: John Hays)
National Animal Rights Day Founder Aylam Orian in 2013 (photo: Sarah Jane Hardt]
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 at a National Animal Rights Day ceremony
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 (photo: Joanne McArthur)
National Animal Rights Day 2015 (photo: John Hays)
When Michigan native Jo Anne Normile entered a granddaughter of Secretariat into racing in 1995, she thought the “Sport of Kings” was all about custom hats, mint juleps, shiny trophies and a blanket of red roses thrown over a gleaming horse. Soon after, however, she learned the truth – that racing is $40 billion gambling industry disguised as a sport – an industry that discards spent horses the way a casino trashes a bent deck of cards.
Jo Anne with Baby at one year old
In 1991, before she became a racehorse breeder and owner, Normile was looking after a horse for a breeder. When the horse gave birth in her barn, Normile had to resuscitate the newborn, who wasn’t breathing. The life-affirming experience moved her to adopt the foal and name him Baby. A year later, Scarlett – the granddaughter of Secretariat – was born in the same barn stall. Both were sent to the track.
Three years later, after Baby shattered his leg on a racetrack due to negligence of the track owners, Normile came to a harsh realization: “When you mix animals and money, the animals will always lose.” And she asked herself, “How I can support racing? The horses spend 23 hours a day in their stalls. Injured horses are forced to run. Drugging and death are rampant. And the finish line is too often a slaughterhouse!” She immediately pulled Scarlett off the track – forever. She says that 15,000 to 20,000 Thoroughbreds are sent to slaughter every year, and many of them are loaded into trailers by kill buyers right behind the tracks.
In her book, SAVING BABY, Normile gives an uncensored account of what happens behind the scenes at the track and chronicles her journey from race to rescue. “When I learned that the abuse and neglect at my own track were endemic to the industry and watched owners sell their supposedly beloved horses for pennies on the pound, I decided to take my fight into the halls of government. After much stonewalling, I resolved to take it to the streets with this book. I want people to know the fate of the horses they watch race.”
In addition to writing SAVING BABY and lobbying government officials, Normile, as part of her about-face, founded CANTER, a rescue group that, under her leadership, collected more than 4,000 “used up” thoroughbreds at the tracks and transported them to save havens. Today, she gives speeches on the truth about racing at equine events across the country. And she co-founded a new rescue, Saving Baby Equine Charity that rescues all equines at risk.
Jo Anne and Scarlett
Now available in hardcover, Saving Baby can be purchased at bookstores and online. Readers contribute to the rescue of horses because a portion of proceeds from the sale of every book goes to her new rescue, SAVING BABY EQUINE CHARITY.
To stay apprised of efforts to expose and end horse racing in the United States, please “like” Horseracing Wrongs on Facebook.