Some 200 people wearing white T-shirts stood in silence on Friday at a demonstration in honor of international solidarity with World Farm Animals’ Day – held October 4 – at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.
“We’re fighting against the slaughter of voiceless innocent animals,” said Maayan Shtendel, one of the main organizers of the event. “The easy step, if you care, is to become vegan,” she said.
The demonstration, which promoted veganism, was organized by SHEVI (Animal Liberation Israel), an NGO dedicated to “creating a society free of animal exploitation and abuse,” as its website states.
Participants, who stood in straight lines stretching across the square, held signs with the words “justice,” “solidarity,” “life,” “rights,” “freedom” and “veganism.”
“In the food industry, these animals are nothing more than objects that are used to make money. In fact, animals are always a matter of quantity, never of quality,” Shtendel told the crowd through a megaphone.
“Humans are prisoners of social norms that say we ought to eat meat, but we need to make the moral choice,” she said. “When we consume as we please, someone else is suffering for us against his will.”
“Servitude, suffering and murder are not things inflicted only on human beings, animals too want to be free,” Shtendel said. “Meat, dairy products or eggs of any kind have as their purpose the support of torture.”
Zoe Rechter, a volunteer at SHEVI, has been vegan for three years and believes human beings do not value the lives of animals.
“Just like we talk about our Shoah, there is a Shoah done to animals, and it’s the biggest one ever, with the most casualties ever because it actually is ongoing,” she said, “Yet, we continue to economically support this by buying meat, eggs and milk.”
“Everyone has a moral responsibility for the torture of animals,” said Oshra Bar, who stood with the crowd, “All of us vegans are morally linked somehow.”
Participants stood in a large rectangle for half an hour of silence, while volunteers gave out flyers to passersby and sold T-shirts that said “Meat = Murder.” Cars driving by occasionally honked in support.
The event’s organization was inspired by a similar demonstration against animal cruelty that took place in Spain in 2011 where hundreds of participants stood in a similar manner holding corpses of various animals from fish to dogs.