To demonstrate that ‘animal liberation’ and ‘human liberation’ are interconnected and inseparable, The Vegoan, a group of grassroots animal liberation activists in Goa, is organising a campaign ‘Liberation For All’ on the 16th and 17th December.
“Similar to racism, sexism, casteism, speciesism is a discriminatory attitude that fuels the victimisation of non-human animals on the ethically irrelevant basis of species. As part of our ethical responsibility to practice and promote progressive values, we must shun and speak against the exploitation of animals too,” said Trisha Bene of The Vegoan.
The campaign is being held against the backdrop of Goa Liberation Day celebrations, held annually on 19 December, which commemorates freedom for Goans from the erstwhile Portuguese colonial regime.
In this regard, The Vegoan organised an Animal Liberation March on 16 December, 4.30pm, that flagged-off from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Park, and culminated at Azad Maidan.
The March witnessed activists from various cities across the nation chanting animal rights slogans. Some activists painted their bodies, highlighting the fact that animals are exploited for needless human wants and the need to eradicate the torture and exploitation of sentient fellow Earthlings.
On 17 December, a video outreach will be held at various prominent locations in Panaji wherein people will be shown undercover video footage of industries that profit from exploitation of animals and how their lifestyle choices impact animals.
The event will also comprise painting a wall at a location along Dr. T. B. Cunha Road with artwork and messages on animal liberation to raise consciousness about this discrimination and the resulting agony of animals used for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, etc.
“Every sentient being, human or non-human, deeply cherishes and deserves the right to live free on this planet. We have an ethical responsibility not to rob them of this fundamental right. Why should justice and compassion be limited to humans when animals too can suffer acutely both mentally and physically? In the everlasting words of a famous philosopher, as for our duty to not cause suffering, the question is not ‘Can they talk or reason?’’ The only relevant question is ‘Can they suffer?’ said Gemini Xettigar, activist and organiser of the event.
Talking about his personal transformation, co-organiser Daniel Thomas, said, “I was raised non-vegetarian, but I turned vegan after recognising the completely unnecessary suffering that our choices inflict on helpless animals. Being vegan means ensuring, to the greatest extent practically possible, that animals are not exploited or otherwise harmed by our actions for any purpose. Apart from not eating meat, eggs, dairy products/milk, and honey, being vegan also involves avoiding leather, wool, silk, fur, pearls, zoos, animal circus, animal-tested cosmetic products, etc.”
“We recall Nelson Mandela’s quote, ‘For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others’. Atrocities like slavery were once so embedded in the collective consciousness that they were then thought to be eternal. But history has shown that positive change can be achieved even when the oppression seems deeply ingrained and pervasive,” Bene said, urging everyone to help eliminate the lifelong suffering that our choices inflict on trillions of animals.