By Leslie Goldberg
Elbow to elbow, animal rights protesters lined up in front of a Berkeley Trader Joe’s meat counter last Thursday.
Despite a security guard’s plea: “Hey, you guys can’t do this here, I’m sorry,” members of the nonviolent activist group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), shouted out for animal liberation one by one, in languages as diverse as Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, Hindi, Danish, Persian and Ukrainian.
DxE members from all over the world gathered in the Bay Area for a conference last week which included lectures, protests and social gatherings.
The group, which started only two years ago with five people tossing around ideas in somebody’s living room, has now spread to 110 cities in 25 countries. Why the groundswell? I asked one of the key organizers Chris van Breen.
“I think people have been waiting for this for a long time,” he said.
Yelling out loud is a kind of joy, albeit somber, when one has been screaming inside for years. Yelling feels like an authentic human response after one has had to see the dead body parts laying in grocery store “meat” departments every single week. Yelling is a demand for freedom inside these serene even cheerful places of business that calmly traffic in unspeakable cruelty to animals, including some which add insult to injury by claiming you can be humane to animals and kill them at the same time for trivial reasons such as the oft-repeated “It tastes good.”
But why would activists trying to win people over to veganism do such an “extreme” thing?
Compared to stealing someone’s baby or skinning her alive or cutting his throat, practices common in the animal foods industry, yelling, carrying signs or even blocking traffic is not extreme.
– A Vicious Vegan blog post –