Day 15: I Spoke Too Soon...
Today was a great day out on Vegan Corner here in Williamsburg. My friendRachael Ellis had volunteered to join up with me today and my kids came. For two hours the town of Williamsburg was bombarded with pro-Animal messages. And while we got quite a few "I love bacon", "Meat taste good." and "Get a life" type comments, I still feel like the number of positive responses was greater and way more enthusiastic. And I handed out a few buttons to the people that were very supportive and were stopped at the light. My hope is that it'll serve as a reminder of what they supported today and maybe they'll start looking more into how they can help animals through their food choices.
The place where I spoke too soon was Rachael and I were talking about the people yelling are almost always male and usually with someone else as an audience for their ignorance. And I added, 'I've never had a woman or girl yell 'I Love Bacon'. Well, within probably 15 minutes we had a girl yell exactly that (she was with a group - so that part held true) but then a little bit after that another girl (or maybe the same one doing another drive by) yelled the same thing. So, I've henceforth decided not to joke, 'At least no one has assassinated me.'
And to the man who yelled 'Get a Life' to whom I suggested back that he might join me on that adventure of life obtaining... what exactly does that mean? I live in a state that praises Robert E. Lee as a hero for fighting to create a country that would protect slavery. My kids, Rachael and I were out there trying to promote an end to abuse towards living beings and we need to get a life. I'm not sure I understand the rationale behind this statement. Choosing to devote your life or even free time to helping animals seems hardly to be deserving of 'Get a Life'. In actuality, I think what he meant is 'It makes me uncomfortable that people care about things that matter and aren't at home watching football or drinking beer all day. So, because you are trying to do something that matters for this world... I need to try and put you down to boost my own meaningless existence a little.'
To all the lovely people that rolled down the window to say thank you or say they liked what we were doing, we can't thank you enough. You cancel out a million 'I love bacon's with your kindness and inspire us to fight even harder!
(additional news from today)
While usually activists have to accept that we will never really know the impact we have, sometimes we get lucky and someone tells us that we've had an impact on them. Today one of my nearby neighbors shared that she had seen my signs the other day when I was protesting and had went home and watched a video about how pigs are treated. And she wanted to know more about if the same thing happened on Smithfield farms and factories. We had a great conversation about everything from the facts on factory farming to the philosophical implications of animals sharing so many emotional commonalities with humans. And everything in between. This is not a neighbor that I've ever had much more than an occasional hello with, so it was great knowing that holding up signs really does get people thinking and increases the chances that they will go home and want to know more. Imagine how many people never share the impact. Hopefully this inspires us to keep getting out there more and more often!
I also wanted to add a note about today's protest. I forgot to tell our planet that there is no need to stock on idiots. In spite of the projected shortage predicted by the Enlightment... we are beyond capacity on that front. This thought was inspired by a woman who yelled at us today asking if we drank dairy or if my kids drank dairy since we needed to get our Vitamin D. I tried to explain to her about the giant fireball in the sky that hangs over our rotating planet which apparently isn't flat (though I hear that is now debated by some who might enjoy her company). I told her how that giant fireball sends off rays that hit our skin and produce vitamin D and so we were all set. She insisted she would still drink milk even though she seemed to suggest that veal was evil and I pointed out the connection between dairy and veal. But, she closed with 'Milk does a body good.' Always nice when brainwashing reveals itself fully for what it is by the person reciting the exact wording used to brain wash them.
If you'd like to support my ongoing protest, please donate to my GoFundMe account to help me get more weather proof signs made for speaking for the animals at my ongoing daily protest for animals.
Day 14: I Know Why the Police Took My Picture...
So I started my journey to go protest by stopping at Michaels. Had to get some paint for the Pandas I'm working on. But there I ran into a woman who said she loved my I H8 Meat shirt. She was 63 (she told me) and her doctor just recommended that her and her husband should go vegan. And the doctor gave them Forks over Knives to watch. (Mind you'll I'll be finding this doctor). So, we talked for a long while about this. And then the cashier at Michaels told me she had been vegan and still didn't eat anything with eyelashes. So, I told her I'd bring her some Gardein Fishless Sticks and Crabless Cakes. She said she went vegan because she loved animals so much. Needless to say, I instantly like this human.
Finally, got to my protest sight and immediately had someone walk by and say, 'Isn't veal deer meat?' I explained that was venison and told her all about what happens to baby cows and she thanked me. Had another woman thank me for being out there (and bless me).
One person said, "I hate pigs." He may have been drunk or drugged up. But, I suppose hating pigs is less ignorant to yell than I love bacon... you can hate something and still not wish it harm. So, I'll be optimistic. And as usual lots of thumbs up and honks. And many people are so enthusiastic about showing support. It really inspires me seeing this.
Then the same police officer who took pictures of me yesterday drove by the corner and rolled down his window. He said, "I love your stuffed animals. I took a picture yesterday so I could send it to my daughter." This confirmed my belief that Williamsburg Police Officers are some of the nicest ones I could hope for. Not a bad experience with one yet. They've helped me know what I can and can't do and never once tried to dissuade me from exercising my rights.
And in addition to this I found out that since I lack in bulk and my signs are great wind catchers, standing still and not blowing away can be a challenge when the wind came. But, I fought it and now my muscles in my upper arm and mid back are telling me they are angry about that.
Plan to head back out again in a little bit with my kids. I'm having such a positive reaction from people and it just really feels like people are being impacted by the message and the dedication.
What is a Vegan Warrior?
It is someone that wishes they could stay up all night because there is so much to do to work on the fight for animal rights. But it is someone who can hardly drag themselves out of bed in the morning because they don't know if they have it in them to survive another day knowing what they know. It is never thinking of the cost and the sacrifice that goes into fighting for animal rights while at the same time dealing with the emotional and physicalexhaustion and pain that goes along with a life centered around righting the most egregious wrong our world may ever know.
A vegan warrior is someone who has embarked on a quest that they know will likely consume them, cost them many friends and family members, but knows that to not take on this quest would mean to lose themselves. It isn't a choice someone makes, it is just who they are. Feeling so passionately about speaking for the voiceless animals of the world, feeling overwhelmed with grief and sadness is not a life that one chooses. Vegan warriors are often highly sensitive people who feel things so deeply and violently (in that it causes them physical pain) that they have no choice but to fight the injustices they see in the world being heaped upon animals.
It is not a life we choose. It is not a life we'd wish upon others. But, yet, we'd have it no other way. We may not make it back the same person that started this quest for justice. The wounds, emotional scars and losses may never truly be healed or rectified. But, we will come out the other side victorious. We have justice on our side. We will defeat cruelty and selfishness. And we will never regret the cost.
Feel free to tag the vegan warriors you know in the comments below!
This one is called A Mother's Love: Deer. It is a 16"x20" acrylic on canvas painting. Click here to see it's listing on our Etsy shop.
We've had mostly positive responses during our first 12 days. Occasionally we get someone yelling something stupid like that they love Bacon or that meat tastes good. But, most people either just read our signs and several give us thumbs up, waves or honks! And one girl made a donation to our cause.
My kids, my wife, and I have been out protesting for the past 8 days. This week has been focused on raising awareness for pigs. And I'm hoping to get some more signs made related to dairy. But, ideally, more and more activists will take to the streets and start speaking for animals! Please join in where ever you are!
That is the number of documented cases where there were actual people that 'can't live without cheese.' At least these people could use the right word. 'Won't' - that is the word they are looking for. They use can't because it sounds beyond their control. Like a necessity. But rather it is just a choice to have cheese at the expense of the abuse, misery and loss of life to cows that have done nothing to deserve this. So, be sure to correct anyone who says, they 'can't live without cheese.' Be sure they know they are choosing to cause animals to suffer because they 'won't' give up cheese.
Ditch Dairy, follow the path to kindness!