What Is the Berkeley Animal Rights Center?
(Berkeley Animal Rights Center Newsletter)
By Brien Southward
Based on social justice-oriented businesses such as Castro Camera, Harvey Milk's camera store and campaign headquarters, the Berkeley Animal Rights Center (ARC) at 2425 Channing Way is not just a place to buy vegan treats, clothes, art, and stickers. It's also a place where all species are treated equally. “We want this to be a place that all vegans who come to the Bay Area should visit,” says Orlando Torres, manager of ARC. “But non-vegans too can see that it's possible to have a community that's non-speciesist and full of love and optimism for a future for everyone, regardless of species.”
Activities at ARC include free speech and nonviolence trainings, documentary screenings, and visits from other social justice movements. Trainings at ARC include open rescue, a form of direct action where animals are rescued from pain and suffering, including animals in brutal conditions on farms. On Saturday mornings it hosts DxE meet ups.
As the first center specifically for animal rights in the United States, the Berkeley Animal Rights Center represents a historical first. “We want to create a city free from violence against animals, to bring in activists, pass legislation, create local laws, and to make it more difficult to perpetuate violence against animals,” says Torres. “The Berkeley Animal Rights Center is instrumental in our goal of making Berkeley a vegan frontier.”