"We are all Earthlings."
On August 24, 2013, activists all over the world will unite behind those simple, powerful words. Words that evoke so much, for those of us who have opened our eyes to the violence that rages behind closed doors.
There are the nightmares. The desperate cries of a young hen, as a bad man drags her by the legs, to the bloody blade that will be her untimely demise; the haunting moans of a mother orca, after her beloved children have been stolen away, by terrifying monsters from above; or the sad eyes of a beagle puppy, who will never know an affectionate touch, or a friendly voice, as deadly poisons slowly take his life away.
But there are also the dreams. The young hen, taken from her dark cage, to a grassy pasture under the sunlight, and allowed to stretch her wings for the first time; the jubilation of orca and child, reunited after so long apart, reunited after their terrifying separation and ordeal; and the loving eyes of the little dog, as he wags his tail uncontrollably, and says to you, with his eyes, and his bark, and his very soul, "Thank you. The bad men wanted to take everything. But you made the bad men go away."
On August 24, we will be united with our fellow Earthlings, in both our nightmares, and in our dreams. We will see with a single set of eyes.
But there is another unity that is just as important for this demonstration -- the unity of our movement, behind a powerful message of animal liberation. Because too often, we are isolated. We are surrounded by the seemingly indifferent masses. We are cowed by the threats of legal prosecution. We are even broken by divisions within our movement.
But that isolation weakens us. It erodes our motivation, saps our strength, and dampens our voice. So there is a second unity that is just as important as the first: not just unity with our fellow Earthlings, but unity with our fellow activists -- the defenders of the animals who are our greatest allies, closest comrades, and dearest friends.
On August 24, we will set aside our differences, and put down our self-critical pens. We will no longer be blinded, or divided, or afraid. And we will unite behind a single message, that all of us believe in our heart of hearts:
"We are all Earthings. And every last one of us -- big or small, weak or strong, four legs or two -- deserves to be free."