As a vegan activist, I have done my time dressed up in costumes as a cow, a chicken, and even Jesus. I have yelled out of a bullhorn and even been intentionally arrested in the name of animal rights. Would I go back and change any of this? No, absolutely not. Change requires all different types of tactics and techniques, because everyone absorbs information in different ways.
Technology has certainly done more good for us as a society than bad. The internet has connected like-minded people with aligned goals and allowed them to hold society and governments accountable. Technology has also given us the ability to see things that some industries would rather us not see.
I love this quote by Paul McCartney: “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”. I love it because it is true. People are actually good; they want to help each other out and do the right thing. Honestly, most people would not have the heart to pick their pig, chicken, or cow and lower the blade on their neck for their next meal. Most people wince at the thought of harming an animal, whether a companion animal or a farm animal. But we are all fooled by the clean marketing of happy animals on happy farms somehow magically becoming those products in the clean and clear packaging at our local meat counter. The entire violent and filthy process is hidden from us all.
So how exactly does technology intersect with animal rights activism? Not long ago, the idea of sneaking a camera into a slaughterhouse was unthinkable due to the size of the camera. Lugging a television out to a street corner and finding a power source was impossible.
Now, videos of what happens to beautiful and sentient non-human animals are at everyone’s fingertips. These videos can easily be brought to the street with laptops and even bigger screens. The slaughterhouses now have glass walls.
Anonymous for the Voiceless (AV) offers a non-confrontational and educational approach to anyone who wants to learn more. While wearing a mask, you can stand in a cube facing four sides all displaying screens with animal agriculture footage. This form of activism is honestly the most powerful to date. Locally in Arkansas, you would expect some negativity, but in the times I have participated I can’t think of a single negative interaction. We always touch at least one person’s life. Every time, I have left feeling very positive about our impact.
AV events can be emotional for those participating. When behind the mask, you can see the face of someone watching the video and how they are affected. To see someone sincerely watching the video and being touched can touch you as well. We as activists have seen enough of these bloody horror videos, but many people have never seen them. Many people are unaware of the horrors of factory farming. By showing them these videos, you can open their eyes and possibly alter their lives and choices. It’s powerful, peaceful, and very effective. There is absolutely no denying that what is being shown in these videos is wrong.
If you want a more peaceful world for all, I challenge you to participate in the next AV - Little Rock. I look forward to seeing you there!
Check out AV Little Rock <-Here