Serving free vegan crudités under a succa and photographing visitors’ faces in a
portrait of grinning cartoon livestock, animal rights activists hoped to rally
the public to their cause on this Hol Hamoed Wednesday.
by the groups Anonymous for Animal Rights and Let Animals Live, the event aimed
to draw passersby under a Succa for Peace With Animals, where they could sign a
petition toward revamping the existing 18-year-old Animal Welfare Law.
the backdrop of the event, held in Tel Aviv’s Meir Park, canines and their
owners ran circles in facility’s dog park – behind posters detailing the various
measures of suffering experienced by Israeli cattle, pigs, chicken and fish, as
explained by information from Anonymous.
The groups had arranged the date
to roughly coincide with World Farm Animals Day, which took place on
First and foremost, activists at the event strove to accumulate
signatures in favor of transferring the duty of enforcing the Animal Welfare Law
from the Agriculture Ministry to the Environmental Protection Ministry – a bill
by MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beytenu) that the cabinet already approved in July
but has yet to make its way through the Knesset.
Ministry, according to the activists, is not the proper home for enforcement of
the law because there exists a conflict of interest between the profitability of
the agriculture industry and the welfare of animals.
exist for managing each of these responsibilities in EU countries, stressed
Hilla Keren, spokeswoman for Anonymous.
“We want to do the same in
Israel,” she told The Jerusalem Post. “If there were regulations, we would be
able to provide better defense to the animals.
We wouldn’t see little
piglets with their teeth cut out, their tails cut off.”
Many pig farms in
Israel must currently perform such operations because the severe crowdedness of
these farms sparks aggressiveness among the animals, Keren explained. Following
a transfer of the Animal Welfare Law enforcement duties to the Environmental
Protection Ministry, this is just one regulation that Keren and her colleagues
would like to see implemented.
The activists continue to fight for the
rights of battery cage chickens, and are now working on a reform outline for the
fish industry – in which posters adjacent to the succa described many fish
receiving slow, bloody deaths from hooks.
Meanwhile, the group members
also hope to see future reforms of the dairy industry, with regulations
mandating grazing and curbing genetic modification practices that make the cows
produce unnaturally large quantities of milk, according to Keren.
Israeli milk industry is considered very developed, but it is one of the
cruelest in the world,” she said. “This intensive production of milk makes cows
suffer from all kinds of health problems.”
Back in the succa, visitors
munched on the vegan cheese and olive combinations, seitan and pizza burekas,
and dozens signed the petitions for the Animal Welfare Law’s
Yossi Wolfson, coordinator for agricultural animals at Let
Animals Live, was happy to see the number of people present to learn about “the
situation of farm animals in a very fun way.”
“We’re trying to remember
that animals do not have any pleasant experiences in industrial agriculture,”
“Every time we choose between shwarma and felafel we are
changing the fate of the animals.”