'You know if you succeed, someone is going to kill you, or worse destroy your reputation.'
DAY 30! 30 Days Straight of Protesting for Animals
Today my wife and kids came to join in the achievement of my initial goal of 30 days. I wish I could say mission accomplished, time for a break. But, I know myself better than that. I'll be out there tomorrow. But, when I started this effort, my hope was to show that it was possible to get out and protest with just a sign, a sidewalk and an audience. I hope that some of you out there are gearing up to start your own effort. My advice is don't do it every day. And don't do it longer than you can handle. I don't do well with 'self-care'. And I'd be worried about burning out, but I'd be lying if I say I remember what it feels like not to be burnt out. But, I inherited the genetic defect of not having an off switch. So, the take away from this first 30 days is not that you should be out there everyday until you are physically and mentally exhausted. The point is more that you can make a huge difference by just making a sign and getting out where people can see you. People are curious and some are actually thoughtful. You won't reach everyone but you will reach the people who matter. And then your message will spread far beyond those that see or interact with you.
I've had far more positive than negative reactions and I've never left the experience without feeling like it was completely worth the time and effort. And yes, you'll deal with some idiots that want to yell ignorant things. Apparently some redneck idiots drove by a few times to yell about hating vegans and loving bacon at my wife and kids. But, just use that as fuel to your fire to make those dipshits feel more and more alienated by the world leaving them behind. Focus on the positive aspect that you are raising their blood pressure and ruining their day by giving a shit.
So, please, if at all possible, try to make protesting and raising awareness in a direct manner, a part of your daily life. And to everyone already doing this, please know that you are my heroes! I'm so grateful for all who put themselves out their for animals. Just reading about Lola Kay not regreting having to spend time in prison for her protest against the Jewish ritual of Kaparos (where chickens are brutally swung around and killed) fills me with hope that we are not part of a movement that will just sit by the sidelines forever but will begin to refuse to allow the abuse to continue. We are willing to risk our own freedom for a cause far greater than ourselves.
And to explain the initial quote I wrote up above, it is actually in part what my wife said to me a while back and then strangely, it is what I was told by a police officer last night (and not in a threatening way, as he was not the least bit opposed to my efforts or anything but genuinely friendly and supportive). Fortunately, we fight for something where if that is the cost of succeeding, I'd like to believe the vast majority of us wouldn't flinch from fighting on.
And thank you to Chase Avior for inspiring me to start this journey by always reminding us that we need to be out there fighting for the animals, not just enjoying potlucks!