Priya Sawhney
Published on
November 2, 2014

What's Stopping You From Speaking Out?


By Laura Bellefontaine 

"The moral evils of a flesh diet are not less marked than are the physical ills. Flesh food is injurious to health, and whatever affect the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and the soul. Think of the cruelty to animals that meat eating involves, and its effect on those who inflict and those who behold it. How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard these creatures of God!" - The Ministry of Healing .

  Direct Action Everywhere's protest in Salt Lake City, Utah. Protesting against the

Direct Action Everywhere's protest in Salt Lake City, Utah. Protesting against the "humane" advertising slogan placed on meats at various upscale grocery stores. Exactly what is their definition of humane slaughter?

Direct Action Everywhere’s (DxE's) mission, stated simply, is to create peace for all earthly beings. The recipe for social change is fairly simple: Create activists, Connect activists and Inspire activists. Priya Sawhney, DxE’s community organizer, states, “Committing ourselves to making the world a better place is one step in finding deep peace within ourselves, but more importantly, a step closer in creating a peaceful world for all inhabitants of this planet.” The people involved with DxE convey the passion they feel about animals. However, many people argue that DxE’s approach is harsh and preachy. Nobody likes a preachy vegan. Right? Well, except for the animals. Instead of judgment, read this article and admire their convictions and commitment. Avoid the social stigma that to be assertive is pushy.

  Protest in Salt Lake City, Utah
Protest in Salt Lake City, Utah

Some vegans try hard to keep the conversations light, to avoid the social shame that animal right activists have stamped upon their foreheads. Are vegans preachy? Where does the negative association of the word “preach” come from? Since millions attend churches, one would assume people enjoy hearing a sermon derived upon various religious notions and beliefs. When I asked Priya whether protesting produced any benefits, she answered, “In his letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.' The world needs emerging leaders who display an outspoken understanding of the cruelty taking place. Indeed, if outspoken activists did not campaign for social justice throughout history, would slavery still exist today? Furthermore, what is your definition of slavery? Is it only confined to human-beings or rather all innocent beings?"

  Protest in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Protest in Salt Lake City, Utah. "This is a somebody, not a something!"

I was moved, as I began to understand why people choose to protest. These activists protest despite the public opposition. They continue to speak against the injustice being done to animals. Do they not deserve a voice? Do they not have an equal right to be safe, happy, and free? Is this not honorable? DxE hopes for change focusing on farm animals, noting that violence is not food. This campaign directly impacts Ching Farm Sanctuary. These organizers and protesters help give a voice to the animals that reside on our farm; animals that society sees as food. If you wouldn't harm a cat, why are other animals so different? Animals big and small, they all deserve a voice. They all deserve love and compassion. What’s stopping you from speaking out?

  Post action activist dinner with some awesome people.
Post action activist dinner with some awesome people.

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