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International Animal Rights Day Celebration This Saturday!

From: Loren H.
Sent on: Thursday, December 6, 2007 7:59 PM

Hello Triangle Veg*n MeetUppers,

This is a really long email. I think it is all worth reading, but I realize you may not be able to get through it all. So, here is the main message: We will be celebrating International Animal Rights Day this Saturday (12/8) in Carrboro and Chapel Hill from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We will divide into teams of 2-4 people that will go to high traffic intersections with large signs displaying easy-to-read, thought-provoking animal rights messages.

I know it's a particularly busy time of year. Please realize that your presence and energy would be a very useful addition to this important action, and join us for however long you can. Some of us will be getting lunch afterwards, and you will have an opportunity to meet other inspiring activists in our area. If you are thinking about coming, please let me know by 4 p.m. on Friday so that we can be sure to have enough signs available. I am sorry for not giving more notice.

Thank you!



Hi all,

I am forwarding a copy of the updated announcement for this Saturday's IARD celebration that I just sent to the SURGE listserv ( I prefaced the announcement with a response I wrote in relation to feedback we received about the November KFC protest in Carrboro. I was trying to impress upon them that we who act for improved treatment of animals also care deeply about humans and environmental sustainability. I also hope that some of them will check out the video and article links I included.

Here is a little background on SURGE and my history with that wonderful organization, in case you are interested.

SURGE stands for "Students United for a Responsible Global Environment," and is one of the most active progressive organizations in the Triangle. They grew out of a student group at UNC started by one of my classmates, and gave rise to groups on other campuses in N.C. and beyond. They now have a handful of paid employees and interns. I have a long history with this group, including relationships with the current and past leaders. I attended their 2007 conference at Duke, and attended their art auction fundraiser last Sunday night at the home of one of their board members. I also serve on the board of the Carrboro Greenspace (,and SURGE serves as our fiscal sponsor.

Many leading progressive activists in the Triangle (and beyond), of all ages, are on the SURGE listserv. Today's IARD announcement is the third pro-animal rights message I have posted to this list this year. With every communication or contact I have with the members of this group, I believe that significant progress is made. For instance, at the SURGE Conference this past spring, I made a point of asking the co-directors if any of the food was vegan, and then made my best sad puppy face when they pointed out how few options we vegans had to choose from (just fruit and bagel), while the other paying attendees were enjoying full meals. Then, last Sunday night, at the art auction party, when I saw one of the directors (who is a longtime vegetarian), the first thing she said after "Hi, how are you?" was "Have a look at all the vegan food!"  We shared toothy smiles, and then I had an opportunity, while surrounded by many other attendees, to say "Thank you so much for all of this delicious vegan food. This is really wonderful!"

For now,

P.S. Here is an example of some of the feedback we received about the KFC protest in Carrboro, taken from the Daily Tarheel Online (

Classism Stinks

posted 11/02/07 @ 3:26 PM EST

I don't eat meat. I think that factory farming perpetuates environmental racism. I understand why KFC's practices are harmful and unethical but I disagree with this protest on several levels.

First, by standing outside KFC badgering potential customers, y'all were making the assumption that folks who buy food there have the  option of buying it somewhere else. This classist assumption is a fundamental weakness of the green capitalism. Take a page from the Justice for Smithfield campaign and go to the source--- save your fury for KFC board meetings and treat low-income folks with dignity and respect.

Second, if y'all want to fight for animal liberation, fine. But please, don't forget the workers at the chicken factory farms who work long hours on dangerous machines with no breaks, healthcare, or collective bargaining rights. Also, don't exclude the low-income and minority communities that surround the factory chicken farms and slaughterhouses. These folks disproportionately face environmental degradation, property devaluation, ground water pollution, etc.

Forgetting the workers and communities put at risk by the farming and slaughtering practices that KFC endorses makes it difficult for me and lots of other folks to support you.


From: lorenhart25
To: surgelocal
CC: brucef; hlyman; info
Subject: International Animal Rights Day Celebration This Saturday!
Date: Thu, 6 Dec[masked]:34:18 -0500

International Animal Rights Day Celebration!



Please pass on part or all of the following message to any person or group that you think may be interested. Thanks!


Dear fellow activists for a better world,

Below, you will find an announcement for our local celebration of International Animal Rights Day, scheduled to take place this Saturday (12/8) in Carrboro and Chapel Hill from 11:30-1. But first, I would like to briefly address some feedback we received related to the participation of some Triangle animal rights activists in a protest at the Carrboro KFC last month.
(You can visit to learn why KFC was chosen.) Some members of the local progressive community expressed concern that when we speak out for better conditions for the treatment of animals in the possession of KFC, Smithfield, and other exploitive corporations, that we could also acknowledge the related issues of human rights, racism, class inequality, and environmental justice. Thank you for expressing these concerns to us.

It seems to me, however, that the majority of the animal rights movement, is not comprised of people who are more concerned with the well-being of animals than of humans, as is occasionally assumed.  On the contrary,
the overwhelming majority of people who identify as animal rights activists are also thoroughly committed to human rights and environmental sustainability.

I am sorry if we who advocate for non-violence towards animals have not made our concerns for people and the planet more well-known. We should be more clear about this. It may also interest you to know that a significant portion of the animal rights community actually choose to focus on animal issues because such action is thought to be a particularly strategic way of promoting peace, health, and environmental sustainability for all beings. For more about this, you can listen to, or read, the excellent essay "Vegetarianism in a Nutshell," ( by PETA's Bruce Friedrich. Bruce is known well by several members of the Triangle progressive community, and has a long history of social justice activism that includes a six year stint running a shelter for homeless families and the largest soup kitchen in
Washington, D.C.

We continue to welcome your suggestions and concerns. In the coming months, there will be plenty of opportunities for discussion, including, but certainly not limited to, film screenings, tabling, lectures, and potluck dinners. We look forward to continuing the discussion at some of these upcoming events.

Peace through justice for all beings,

Loren Hart
Chapel Hill, NC
The UNC Animal Rights Collective (

P.S. If nothing else in this email, please consider using the link I have provided at the very end of this message to watch the immensely important video Earthlings.


Hello to you,

This Saturday (12/8), there will be a celebration of International Animal Rights Day (IARD) in Carrboro from 11:30-1. The plan is for several groups of two to four people to go to busy street corners throughout Carrboro (and Chapel Hill, too, if enough folks show up), and stand vigil with thought-provoking signs. We will provide signs with bold, easy-to-read messages that speak to the rights of animals not to be harmed by humans. The goal of our efforts, I propose, is to speed along the mainstreaming of veganism within these already veg-friendly locales.

Literature will also be provided (such as the Vegan Outreach booklet Why Vegan? ), though passing out literature will not necessarily be the main focus during this event. I would suggest that this action is more about allowing our sign messages to plant seeds of compassion in the minds of all of who happen to read them, while also showing our willingness to stand up and speak out in public for the better treatment of animals. In addition, organizing an event of this type gives us good reason to promote the animal rights position widely, including to the media and other progressive activists.

The sign and literature distribution area will be the parking lot across from the Carrboro KFC on E. Main Street (see the map link below). I will arrive by 11:00, and will plan to stay in this vicinity during the course of the action. I am hoping others will come between 11 and 11:30 to take signs and literature, and then walk or drive to another location in Carrboro or Chapel Hill. Maps and location suggestions will be provided. Please feel warmly welcomed to bring your own animal companions, signs, literature, cameras, party favors, and anything else that you think will contribute to a fun and effective hour of outreach.

At the conclusion of the action, perhaps some of us will be interested in having lunch at the Weaver Street Cooperative, India Palace, or somewhere else nearby.

Please join us on Saturday if you are able! The more of us who show up, the stronger our message will be. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to continue building community.

Please write to me at lorenhart25 at by 4 p.m. on Friday (12/7) if you are coming, or may come, so that we can be sure to have enough signs and other materials on hand.

More details can be found below.

With gratitude,

Loren Hart
Chapel Hill, NC
The UNC Animal Rights Collective (


Here's the additional info:

First, the map link:,-79.064054&spn=0.013033,0.034933&z=15&om=1 . Please consider printing a copy for yourself, if you think this may be helpful.



Second, I should point out that International Animal Rights Day is officially December 10 this year, as coordinated by the U.K.-based animal rights organization Uncaged. They would like for people to sign their names in support of their brief but bold Universal Declaration of Animal Rights (UDAR) (see below), which was modeled after the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also encourage rallies, marches, and other activities.


The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights
(Slightly modified from

Since there is ample evidence that many animal species are capable of feeling, we condemn totally the infliction of suffering upon our fellow creatures and the curtailment of their behavioral and other needs except where this is necessary for their own individual benefit.

We do not accept that a difference in species alone (any more than a difference in race) can justify wanton exploitation or oppression in the name of science or sport, or for use as food, for commercial profit or for other human gain.

We believe in the evolutionary and moral kinship of all animals and declare our belief that all sentient creatures have rights to life, liberty and natural enjoyment.

We therefore call for the protection of these rights.


You can click on the following link to see some of the many organizations that have already signed the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights, including PETA Europe, In Defense of Animals, Compassion in World Farming, VIVA!, Animals Voice, Bite Back, The European Vegetarian Union, and The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society:

You can also read a report on actions from around the world in celebration of IARD 2006 (and previous years) here:



Below, you can read some of the sign slogans we will be using on Saturday. (Here are a few pictures of what the signs actually look like: .)

"In 1968, I became vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry, and unhappy like we do....It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings." --Cesar Chavez, farm labor activist

"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." --Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple

"When nonvegetarians say that 'human problems come first,' I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for humans that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals." --Philosopher Peter Singer in Animal Liberation

Since we can live healthfully and happily without animal products, we should all be vegan.

The animal rights position is the ultimate rejection of violence, and the ultimate affirmation of peace, love, and justice!

What animal would choose to live their life in captivity, if given the choice?

Speciesism is a prejudice in favor of one's own species and against members of other species. Speciesism is as intolerable as racism or sexism.

We have outlawed the slavery of humans. Now we should outlaw the slavery of animals.

Stop the killing! Animals are NOT ours to eat!



If you are not familiar with why an International Animal Rights Day or a Universal Declaration of Animal Rights is needed, or if you can use some inspiration to do something about the tragic cruelty that you know exists, please consider watching the following videos:

1) Earthlings. This feature-length video about the relationship between human animals and non-human animals is one of the most compelling animal rights movies in existence. If nothing else, just check out the mesmerizing sequence that opens the film. Narrated by academy award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix; soundtrack by Moby. You can watch it here: .

2) You may be interested to watch some of Harold Brown's remarks at the 2007 Animal Rights Conference. Farmer Brown, as he is popularly known, was raised on a cattle farm in Michigan and spent half of his life in agriculture. As Outreach Coordinator for Farm Sanctuary, Harold coordinates a campaign to encourage farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices, and he hosts the website. He also appears in the documentary, Peaceable Kingdom, where he tells the powerful story of his transformation from "beef"farmer to vegan farm animal advocate. Here's the link to this 11-minute segment: (At the beginning of the video, you will hear the somewhat distracting moaning of an audience member with special needs. This stops a little way into the talk.)

3) Some of Howard Lyman's remarks at the 2007 Animal Rights Conference are also available online. Lyman, known as the "Mad Cowboy," is a former cattle rancher-turned vegan and food safety activist. In 1996, he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, resulting in the infamous"Veggie Libel" case brought on by Texas ranchers. He is the author of Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat; past President of both the International Vegetarian Union, and EarthSave International; and is currently President of Voice for a Viable Future. Please visit and www.MadCowboy.cow. You can watch a 16-minute clip of Howard in action here:  

4) Finally, there is the 13-minute Meet Your Meat video, narrated by academy award nominee Alec Baldwin: .

Thank you!

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