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International Animal Rights Day

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13th International Animal Rights Day (iard)
10th december 2010

IARD in Madrid
Madrid metro, Spain
IARD in Madrid
Madrid, Spain
IARD 2010 Madrid Vigil
Madrid, Spain
IARD in Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain
IARD in Italy
Pordenone, Italy
IARD in Italy
Alessandria, Italy
IARD Italy
Turino, Italy
IARD in France
IARD in France
IARD in Sao Paulo, Brazill
São Paulo, Brazil
IARD Sao Paulo Cadavers
São Paulo, Brazil
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Puebla, Mexico
Puebla, Mexico
IARD Pakistan
IARD 2010 in Pakistan
Dying Camels
Camel deaths in Pakistan
Quebec, Canada
Quebec, Canada
Ottawa, Canada
Ottawa, Canada
Truro, UK
Truro, UK
Galway, Ireland
Galway, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Plymouth, UK
Plymouth, England
Dundee, Scotland
Dundee, Scotland
Enfield, London, England
Enfield, London, UK
East Dulwich, London, England
East Dulwich, London, UK
Swansea, Wales
Swansea, Wales
Sheffield, England, UK
Sheffield, England

Activists across the world show solidarity for International Animal Rights Day 2010

On 10 December 2010, thousands of animal rights supporters across the world held candlelit vigils and other inspiring events to mark the 13th annual International Animal Rights Day (IARD). Ethical pioneers united to remember the billions of animals subjected to deliberate cruelty and killing across the world every year. This coordinated global day of action has intensified calls for the recognition of the rights of all sentient beings to life, liberty and natural enjoyment.

The campaign is spearheaded by Uncaged. Director Dr Dan Lyons comments:

“We recently commissioned a YouGov opinion poll which revealed that an overwhelming 87% of the public here in Britain believe that the way we treat animals is an important measure of the state of our society. People across the world increasingly recognise that animals are individual beings with inherent value who deserve justice and compassion. Yet they are coming under greater threat due to the intensification of animal farming, cloning and the continuing loss of their habitats. To save animals from cruelty, it is essential that we establish basic legal rights to ensure they are treated with respect.” 


International Animal Rights Actions

In Belgium, Biteback campaigned on 11 & 18 December,  holding a special event showing their large 'Meet your Meat' posters, giving away free vegan food, special Christmas posters and leaflets, and conducting information & merchandise stalls in the cities of Antwerp & Gent.

In central Madrid, Equanimal performed an action on the Madrid underground on 4 December, with many activists inside a carriage simulating the conditions in which animals live and die. Then on 10 December Equanimal held an amazing candlelit vigil. Rafael reports: “100-150 people stood in silence before a big screen showing a video we made for the occasion, showing pictures of exploited animals and relating that with Nazism (videoshots of Hitler and the Nazi era). We also screened pictures of happy animals and activists, and at the end shots of our rescues of animals to end the clip with a feeling of hope. The main part of the vigil involved everyone carrying a candle and placing them on the floor to form the sentence ‘Pongamos fin al holocausto animal’ (let’s put an end to the animal holocaust). The whole event lasted about an hour. I myself was very emotional at times, the performance was very touching.”

Alejandra and colleagues held an IARD demo in Barcelona on 10 December on a street called Ramblas: “In this street, for more than 100 years, little shops sold animals. But in 2010 we won our fight against these shops and now they can't commerce with animals any more.”

Activists in Pordenone in the north east of Italy held an attention-grabbing IARD event on December 11th: “that was well covered by the local media plus they produced a brief video that is surfing the web on different sites: from fb to youreporter to laverabestia.org”, says campaigner Simona. “We had an information booth and some performances: for the MEAT INDUSTRY we had a girl (me) inside a box covered in plastic like steaks in supermarkets, the ENTERTAINMENT CORNER was represented by a leopard (Federica) trapped and caged, for the VIVISECTION CORNER a beagle and a rabbit (Nicholas and Ombretta) chained showed how animals are treated and threaten in labs, and for the FASHION there was an attractive woman (Milena) dressed in bloody fur and her daughter (Emma) dressed up us a wanderer puppy. We also had the participation of Tiziana Pers a famous Italian visual artist who brought her works to the demo.”

The EticoEtica group commemorated IARD on the 10 December in the centre of Alessandria in Italy. Many people stopped to sign petitions and to support the animal rights cause. In all there were 25 IARD actions in over 20 Italian towns, including a major animal rights parade in Turin and 60 volunteers delivered some 80,000 animal rights leaflets door-to-door across Italy. Thank you to AgireOra Network in Italy for helping to coordinate these actions.

For IARD 10 (known as JIDA in France) over 15 local actions coordinated by French animal rights group International Campaigns were carried out between the end of November until the 11 of December, gaining good media coverage. These were mainly street stalls and street theatre actions as well as IARD leafletting and UDAR petitioning held in several cities and towns throughout France with free vegan food available (Paris, Besançon, Toulouse among others) and mobile vegan video in Paris. As last year, a major event for animal rights was carried out in Toulouse. Thousands of French IARD leaflets were handed out and made available to the French public and UDAR signatures were collected. As usual hundreds of IARD A3 posters had been displayed in several major cities throughout France a few days before the 10th of December to announce IARD 10.

In São Paulo, Brazil, three amazing IARD actions took place. Firstly, for the 5th consecutive year, Holocausto Animal held a demonstration to mark IARD. About 200 people participated in the protest which came just after the VEG PARADE on Paulista Avenue, Sao Paulo.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian animal rights organization VEDDAS took to “downtown Sao Paulo (just 100 metres from the mayor’s office) to exhibit the dead bodies of animals victimized by animal exploitation. Activists mourned while holding the bodies in their arms as others talked to passers-by about the topic of animal rights. A multimedia apparatus was built on site to show what goes on behind the closed doors of several animal exploitation industries.

Around 15,000 people passed by during the four hours of the protest and many thousand stopped and talked to the volunteers about animal rights and veganism. The population was called to face their responsibility as consumers and stop contributing with the industries that use animals as mere commodities. All animals were obtained from the industry’s waste and did not in any way contribute to their profits nor to the animals’ deaths”. The group ‘Igualdad Animal’ (Animal Equality) held a similar powerful protest in Madrid.

In South Africa, Beauty Without Cruelty had a turnout of just over 30 for their NO Fur No Animal Skin demo to mark IARD on a very windy Cape Town day. IARD was also previewed in a Moroccan newspaper .

Over in Puebla, Mexico, Professor Armando Cid stepped up to the plate with some fantastic work to advance animal rights and has even built his own website on veg(etari)anism:
“On November 22nd, I gave a lecture to my four groups of high school students. I mentioned how we were taught in kindergarten, elementary school etc., to see the death of animals as a normal thing (speciesism-based education) without being taught the similarities: fear, family ties, capacity for feeling joy and pain etc. I also talked about the very close relation between eating meat and global warming, and the need to go veg(etari)an. As motivation I distributed animal stickers, so that they wouldn't forget December 10th.

Then at the beginning of December, I distributed among my fellow teachers an "invitation" for not eating any animals. On December 10th, I joined an activist group in order to raise awareness of animal protection.”

Armando tells us that his work has inspired his students, with many resolving to go veggie and vegan for the New Year!

We also have huge admiration for the Ravi Foundation in Pakistan, who found time organise a rally to mark International Animal Rights Day in Toba Tek Singh on December 10, despite having to deal with enormous animal suffering due to the terrible flooding there. Animal breeders, teachers, media persons, social activists, government officials and people of various sections of took part. The theme of the rally was to ensure animal rights in Pakistan.

Main Muhammad Rafique, Member of the Punjab Assembly said, “animals’ rights are infringed in our society and unfortunately the law enforcement agencies are not working properly.” He referred a recent case in the district of Toba Tek Singh of dog fighting and he condemned the negligence of such heinous acts and the promotion of violence against animals.

Mr. Ashfaq Fateh, lead person of the Ravi Foundation told us: “Animals are treated badly. The biggest issue for the animals currently is to rehabilitate the flood affected animals. Animal smuggling, transportation, and the killing of dogs, wolves, cats, birds on the roads is very common these days in Pakistan. Unfortunately there is no action or steps at government or organizational level. The government has been silently issuing licences/permits to kill endangered Siberan birds in Pakistan. It’s the moral and legal duty of the government to stop violations of animal rights in Pakistan. A demonstration procession was organized to educate people on animals’ rights and needs.”

The Ravi Foundation are currently appealing for funds to help deal with a terrible outbreak of an influenza-type disease which is causing suffering and death to thousands of camels in the Cholistan area of Punjab (see picture). If you can help please email ravifoundationpak@yahoo.com.

Ánima held a demonstration in Buenos Aires, Argentina for IARD 2010. At the junction of 3 major streets, several groups of activists displayed posters with large animal rights slogans. The public were appreciative and the campaigners got their message across without blocking the traffic at all. Animal rights leaflets were distributed to pedestrians. Ánima thank all their supporters and activists who made this protest possible.

A coalition of activists in Canada held three different events on December 10:

“In Quebec City one hundred fifteen protesters marched carrying placards with pictures of dogs in gas chambers, puppy mills and chained dogs. They marched proudly with their dogs by their side in -20 degree Celsius to protest the government's stand on puppy mills, gas chambers, and chained dogs. There was much media coverage. The march ended in front of the offices of the MAPAQ (Ministry of Agriculture). Although the Ministry of Horrors don't give a damn about the suffering of animals, they wasted no time hiring security guards for fear that protesters would enter the building. Protesters came from Ontario, Montreal, Laurentians, Eastern Townships and Quebec City. A deputy gave a speech letting us know that she was with us all the way and would work with us for much needed change. A reporter on TV pressed a representative from the MAPAQ for some answers. He responded in a wishy washy way and the reporter brought him quickly around saying to the effect to stop shoving it under the carpet and to address it once and for all. She was good.” (Report from Nicole Joncas of “TEJAS" Animal Refuge)

In the Canadian capital Ottawa, “a newly formed high school animal rights group called The Animal Advocates of Merivale High school screened the award-winning movie "Earthlings" - a first-ever screening of an animal rights film in a Canadian  high school. Over 100 students and teachers attended this life changing documentary and enjoyed tasting vegan treats. Every one was excited to see the film but as the film got rolling so did the tears. For many students the slaughtering of innocent animals was just too much  and they stepped out side where they were found sitting on the ground crying. Many lives were changed that day as a result of this screening. The Ottawa Animal Defense League applauds Nives Brkic and Animal Advocates for doing an amazing job in screening  Earthlings. It wasn't an easy task to convince the teachers to allow this most important documentary to be screened but she did it.”

“The Ottawa Animal Defense League also held a protest and letter writing campaign against the National Capital Commission for allowing infamous foie gras chef Martin Picard to serve foie gras at this year’s Winterlude opening night ceremony. Winterlude is a family-oriented event in Ottawa which attracts thousands from all around the world to see the magnificent ice sculptures and many other winter events Winterlude has to offer. We held a demonstration in front of the NCC's meeting place at the Chateau Laurier Hotel asking them to not allow the serving of tortured duck livers at this year’s Winterlude. We sent numerous letters to the event’s main sponsor American Express. We caught their attention and American Express did the right thing: stopped the serving of foie gras at this year’s Winterlude.”

Amnon, from the Time for Change group in Israel, told us about their fantastic efforts to persuade people to support animal rights:

“We had a good turnout in our activities in Tel Aviv, Israel, and were able to reach many people. We began IARD activities on Thursday, December 9th with a meatout in the centre of Tel Aviv. It was the last day of a holiday here and the stall was a big success and packed with people. Towards of the stall we placed signs with quotes of intellectuals and information which showed how other forms of oppression in human society's history (such as slavery, women suffrage and so on) were perceived as a "normal" and as a "moral right" of the oppressor, and from the stall forward we placed signs with quotes of intellectuals calling for social change in general and our relation to animals specifically (this was done from both sides of the stall). Later on that day, in another part of the city, we held a street film-screening of animal rights related films, clips and animation, and held a stall with vegan food and leaflets.

On Friday, December 10th we held a flash-mob dance. The unexpected performance started with a short acting scene inside a local fast food restaurant, and continued outside, in a square near Tel Aviv's busiest market. The reactions from the crowd were good and we handed out many flyers during the action and were able to convey a clear message for animal rights.

During the annual human rights march in Tel Aviv, animal rights activists distributed hundreds of leaflets which call on the Israeli Left to make the ethical and political connection between humans and non-human animals' exploitation, as part of a broad based social change movement.”  

International campaign group FOUR PAWS commemorated International Animal Rights Day on 10th December by launching a brilliant online Candlelight Vigil where 10000 people lit virtual candles and left a message in remembrance of the millions of victims who have died and continue to suffer in animal testing laboratories around the world.

In Ireland, Galway Animal Defenders held a great event in the city centre, with songs and speeches extolling the imperative of animal rights and calling for compassion towards animals. Meanwhile, over in Dublin, ARAN and the IAVS donned hats, gloves and hoods to cope with the bitterly cold weather, but it did not deter a great turn out for their candle light vigil to mark 'International Animal Rights Day' 2010. “On one of the coldest, iciest days of the year, people still managed to turn out to light candles in support of an important day to mark our work and that of others around the world to establish rights for all animals.”

IARD was also commemorated in Chile, Croatia, Bahrain, Sweden and the Netherlands.


IARD in the UK

Cally Hill met many supportive people at the candlelit vigil she organised in Plymouth and campaigners in Derby and Stoke distributed our Universal Declaration of Animal Rights leaflets before going out for a vegan meal! Gail Anthony had a letter extolling IARD printed in the Derby Evening Telegraph which won letter of the week!

In a very cold Dundee, activists collected lots of signatures on their IARD campaign stand as well as raising invaluable funds for the cause. Animal advocates in Milton Keynes kept going until dusk to maximise their impact for animal rights.

In Enfield, several people came along to support the Vigil and there was a good amount of interest from the public. Clare, a new recruit to the local Enfield group, gave this moving account of what IARD meant for her: ‘I want to say how much I enjoyed the Vigil last night, it really did mean so much to me, being in the presence of other loving caring people.  Words cannot express the pain I feel deep in my heart for all our beautiful animals still suffering.  The Vigil was also the perfect time to send all our love and warmth out to all still suffering, and hope and pray they could feel our love & energy as some wait lonely & isolated in cages.  They are in my thoughts forever and believe with all my heart, that one day they will be free x’

Cornwall SAFE held a candlelit vigil again outside Truro Cathedral on 10th December 2010. This was preceded by a stall in the main pedestrian street in Truro, where a collection was carried out and information distributed. The evening vigil was the second time it had been held in Truro. Around 50 people gathered to remember the animals suffering and killed in laboratories throughout the world. Candles were lit, poems and readings were read out, and finally vegan mince pies and mulled non-alcoholic wine was shared by the attendees.

Laura and a friend held a successful vigil in East Dulwich, South East London: “Many people stopped for us to talk to them and give out leaflets.  There was interest and quite a few people seemed open minded about adopting a vegan diet.  We explained why we were there and that Uncaged, a Sheffield based animal rights organisation, started IARD 13 years ago. We publicised the event using the template press release on the East Dulwich Forum when I looked a few hours after posting there had been 49 views.”

Campaigners also hit the streets to good effect in windy Nuneaton and Swansea. Thanks also to Heidi, Cathy, Yvette and Anne who received wonderful support from the people of Totnes in Devon for their IARD campaign stall and collection.

Once again, Uncaged coordinated with Sheffield Animal Friends to mark IARD in their home city, this time holding a candlelit vigil outside the University to commemorate the thousands of animals sacrificed in the establishment’s laboratories every year.

Other IARD events in the UK took place in Edinburgh, Southampton, Leek, Taunton, Hampstead, Guildford, Rayleigh, Bradford, Central London, Liverpool, Bodmin, Berwickshire, East London, Hampton, Kings Lynn, Leicester, Bristol, Cambridge, Ledbury, Leeds, Seaford and Southend.


Thank you to everyone who spoke up for animals on IARD 2010!


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.