On Saturday June 14 2014, the city of Montreal witnessed a funeral procession honouring the sentient beings killed by human gluttony. More than 200 people made the decision to be part of the international protest calling for an end to the slaughter of animals. It is the first year in which the animal rights group Kebek Animal Rights Association (KARA) takes on the task on making this event a powerful message to the masses on veganism.
The March to Close All Slaughterhouses brought together a group of mourners made up by celebrities, authors, intellectuals, activists, children and even a vegetarian dog. The bodies of hens, chickens and baby piglets found dead in local Quebec farm factories were at the front of the martyr's cortège. At the close of the procession, the bodies of the animals were respectfully displayed for the mourners. Christelle Baccigotti presented a eulogy. The honorary pallbearers of these victims were Marion Achoulias and Marie-Claude Gagne, cofounders of KARA. They used megaphones to express in English and French to the spectators of the funeral march what was the motive of their activism.
"Silent about animal rights: No More!"
According to a press release by KARA, "the group intend[ed] to open the eyes and hearts of people worldwide to the suffering of animals in slaughterhouses, and to stress the urgency of adopting stronger laws to protect animals killed for food."
"There is no suffering that we inflict on animals that we do not inflict on humans," notes event spokesperson Dr. Stevan Harnad, Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal. "But the vast difference is that the suffering we inflict on humans is seen as wrong by most decent people worldwide—and it is also against the law. Not so for animals. They are not protected by the law and most of us are not only unaware of their agony in slaughterhouses, but also actively sustaining it as consumers."
The cameras of local news media were there to capture and document the event. However, at the end of the day, the effort of the animal advocates was the victim of media bias. Social Media and the "sharing" of photographs and comments illustrated to those not present what happened at the March. The Broadcast Media gave animal activist spokesperson Dr. Stevan Harnad, air time to explain the motive of the march. This was a successful and productive way to reach out to listeners about the purpose of the march and about animal rights.
The principal sponsors of the event were the French animal rights group L214 and LUSH Handmade Cosmetics. On a website created especially for this event, are displayed the different organizations that support the ideals of the event. The profound effect of the Montreal March to Close All Slaughterhouses resonated a call for activism and an awaking of love towards animal advocacy.