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National Animal Rights Day Comes To Victoria

Victoria joins 15 other cities across North America to commemorate, educate, and celebrate on National Animal Rights Day, June 4th.

While billions of animals are killed every year in North America and across the world for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment unless you are someone who frequents the pages of the communities fighting back against this merciless onslaught, you might not see much of the horrors associated with it in your daily life.  That is about to change.

National Animal Rights Day (NARD) has been taking place since 2011, starting with only one city, New York, and last year managing to increase that number to eight including Toronto and Ottawa in Canada.  This year the organization Our Planet. Theirs Too. who started NARD will see the number of cities participating in sharing their message nearly double to 15.  No small feat to organize and communicate with. Donations are still being sought at this time to help fund this massive effort as making this a unified movement across cities and countries requires a large number of shirts to be printed and materials to be distributed abroad.  You can donate here.

National Animal Rights Day

my wish is that one day, every city will have this event

Aylam Orian, who is the lead organizer and founder of the NARD movement, says that starting this was about trying to bring animal activists together to send a cohesive message.  ” I tried to do what they did in spain – get all the AR people in Madrid to come to the International AR Day and work together to present one cohesive message to the world.” While he admits not everyone agreed on the message, NARD moved ahead anyway for the animals. “It’s the main thing i do now in terms of activism, and my wish is that one day, every city will have this event, and it will be like Memorial Day for humans – it will be commemorated everywhere,until the day comes when all animals have their equal rights.”

NARD events have a history of bridging the gap of cognitive dissonance for those who proclaim loudly that they “love animals” when talking about their cats and dogs, yet eat and wear the flesh of animals with little consideration for the lives lost through their personal choices. Powerful emotive displays of silent requiem for the billions of lives lost have often featured participants holding the bodies of frozen dead animals.  Some cities also hold signs or find other creative ways to make an impact where permits or the bodies cannot be easily obtained.

While powerful imagery and silent commemoration provoke emotions, NARD should not be taken as just a visual demonstration.  Attached to its commemorative piece is also the educational aspect which is designed to engage with onlookers once participants have grabbed their audiences attention.  Awareness of the many ways animals are used and the positive changes people can make to end their participation in the systemic violence against animals is pivotal to the event being more than just a day, but a life changing moment for some.  Celebration of the positive ways we share this world with other animals and are inspired by them is also a key component of the events.

Finally, there is a reading of the Declaration of Animal Rights created by Our Planet. Theirs Too, a document created in 2011 that travels the world for people to add their signature to.  It currently has 3000 signatories on a giant scroll and organizers hope to work their way towards 50,000 by continuing to spread NARD across North America.  Eventually, the plan is to deliver the document to world leaders and organizations and call on them to recognize and take action to protect the interests and bodily integrity of non-human animals.

National Animal Rights Day

While NARD events are generally organized to land on June 5th, this year the event will take place on June 4th in cities across Canada including Victoria and June 5th in the U.S. cities.  An organizing meeting for Victoria’s first National Animal Rights Day will be held this week, Tuesday April 19th from 6-8pm at Green Cuisine in Market Square. Those interested in being a part of the ceremony are encouraged to attend.  Organizers have not released the location of this year NARD in Victoria yet, but will be providing more information closer to the date.

Jordan Reichert

Victoria Animal News

Header Photo by JoAnne McArthur of NARD Toronto.

About Jordan Reichert

Jordan Reichert is the Editor-In-Chief of the Victoria Animal News. Originally starting out as The Raging Kucing, and then The Critical Cat, Victoria Animal News continues to deliver content by animal activists and advocates for animal activists and advocates.

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One comment

  1. moving to vic in may, count me in.