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.

Organized jointly 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.

In 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 Tuesday.

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.

The Agriculture 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.

Separate authorities 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.

“The 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 transfer.

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,” Wolfson said.

“Every time we choose between shwarma and felafel we are changing the fate of the animals.”

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