There is a lot going on in the vegan world community towards making the maxim, “The World is Vegan If You Want It,” a reality. In several different parts of the world, vegans have started vegan abolitionist groups and meetups. This show is going to highlight a few of them and hopefully encourage you,wherever you are, to consider starting a vegan movement in your own hometown.
Auckland Abolitionist Vegans Association
We are going to take a quick spin around the globe to visit some of the spots where abolitionist vegan groups are sprouting up. Our starting point is New Zealand, where there is the Auckland Abolitionist Vegan Association, started by Elizabeth Collins of NZVeganPodcast fame, and abolitionist activist William Paul. They already have the bones of a website started; you can find them at http://www.aabva.org. Elizabeth and William have already been doing stall work, tabling and leafletting on the streets of Auckland for some time. As their group increases in size, expect great things to come from both of these dedicated vegans:
I am very briefly going to say that myself and William Paul have decided to start the Auckland Aboltionist Vegan Association. We are being very up front about being an abolitionist group, putting it in the name, and we are hoping to get people to help us do vegan outreach. Right now we are just beginning. We do have a website up, there is really nothing on it but it will be the website address, aabva.org, and we have business cards that we are going to give, and the cards say on them, “Creative Nonviolent Vegan Advocacy,” because that is exactly what we are planning to do. We are going to have some resources out there, we are going to create a nutritional pamphlet because most of the resources we have are from America and thought they are very helpful, and I do plan on taking a lot of the facts and figures from them, we want to adjust it to a New Zealand audience. So, we will replace pounds with kilos because we don’t use pounds over here; and there are some foods that are recommended that don’t really pertain to NZ. We don’t have a lot of vegan ready-made food. There are certain things that are not easy to get here, they are unbelievably expensive here, like organic maple syrup and agave nectar, those things are so expensive in New Zealand. We do hope to get some grassroots activities going, attend more events, hold events of our own, cookouts and bakesales, all the things that groups all over the world are doing, so that’s us, the Auckland Abolitonist Vegan Association. We will keep everyone posted once we have more things happening. Thanks for doing your podcast and for allowing me to be on it and thanks for everything you are doing.
Thanks so much for participating, Elizabeth. And what a wonderful way to start off, there in beautiful New Zealand, where these two dedicated abolitionists are really making some sparks fly, generating some energy, for the New Year! Next point: Canada, I think we need to sail away……
Sail Away by Randy Newman
Montreal Animal Rights Group
Travel over to Canada, and you will find that Chris Poupart and a group of dedicated abolitionists have started a group called Montreal Animal Rights Group. This group is just getting off the ground and already shows quite a few local people interested in joining the work ahead. Chris recently designed from abolitionist message tees that are printed in both English and French, helping to make all of us abolitionist vegans more visibile in our various communities. I just received mine! The front has the big green V with a leaf on one side, and the back says, “I am vegan: Ask me why!” I know I better have an answer ready. Thanks so much Chris for creating abolitionist vegan message tees. More on Chris later in this podcast.
Truckin’ by The Grateful Dead
Phoenix Area Abolitionist Vegans
Next, we are going to truck on down to the U.S. of A. Then travel down to Phoenix, Arizona in the southwestern U.S. The Phoenix Area Abolitionist Vegans, a group started by well-known Brockway Hall blogger Ken Hopes, seems to be alive and thriving. Like most of the above groups, The Abolitionist Approach website is linked in order to increase understanding about the issue of abolitionism. Quotes from Gary Francione are also found on many of these mentioned sites. Arizona is a very conservative state, and it is wonderful that Ken and his group have become a progressive voice in the area. Thanks for all you do, Ken, and best wishes to your group.
Now, we are going to truck on over to Texas!
Dallas portion of Truckin’ by The Grateful Dead
Animal Rights and Rescue of North Texas: A Vegan Abolitionist Group
Traveling east across the U.S., this time to North Texas, in the middle of the heartland of the United States. A new group, the Animal Rights and Rescue of North Texas, is due to have their kick off meeting in January in the Arlington, Texas area, just South of Dallas and Fort Worth in the MidCities area. The stated purpose of the group is to maintain a group of rescue-ready individuals to assist animals in the event of any man-made or natural occurrences, to do vegan outreach, establish humane education, support local shelters and sanctuaries, and be a voice for vegan abolitionism in the North Texas area. Like in the Invercargill area, this is an area rife with animal exploiters, from rodeos to hunting ranches, from slaughterhouses to cattle ranches. This is a yahoo meetup group, so the group will have their support and system, but also have those expenses occurring. The upcoming new Vegans Directory sponsored the group for our first six months; we will see if there is enough interest to support the $12/month fee for the duration. Our first planning meeting in January will also be showing the new film, Bold Native, it’s a dramatized account of direct action animal rescue and even includes
those working on welfare regulations, the problems with vindictiveness, and the injustice inherent in the AETA — it should be a good jumping off point for conversation. The film includes some actual footage from undercover videos including a vivisection lab. It shows the callous and cruel way the monkeys are treated with permanent plastic collars that can be inserted into restraints so the animal is held captive as they use them for experiments. A group of macaques was recently freed from those plastic collars here in Texas, down in San Antonio, at the Primarily Primates sanctuary. While the Texas area does have a lot of horrific things going on for animals, there are also groups here trying to improve on the status quo – an abolitionist group is one way to see if we can grow any interest. Right now there are only two abolitionists that I know of in the group and a few vegans, but with education within the group, that is sure to change. That is why it is so important, even if there is just one of you, to start a group and see what might develop.
Time to sail away again….
Sail Away by Christopher Cross
Invercargill Vegan Society
Heading back to our starting point, New Zealand, a mecca for animal exploiters, lives the Birdman of Invercargill. Jordan Wyatt, peacefully caring for a few rescued chickens and sharing their beauty and personalities with the rest of us, recently started the Invercargill Vegan Society. With a total membership of one, Jordan has allowed a few of his fans to become honorary members. I am one of his biggest fans – well, truth tell, I am only about 1.524 meters tall, or five feet, but I am very big in enthusiasm for Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, the Jaywontdart podcast, and his CWNA blog. Jordan is a great example of what one isolated vegan can accomplish. I first met him via Twitter, where he had asked for feedback about a letter he wrote to his local newspaper. He is often on local NZ forums, challenging thinking and quite often, given the high percentage of animal-related businesses in the area, catching unfair flack for his abolitionism. All he needs now is one more abolitionist to assist him in getting the word out locally. Jordan has already had IVS business cards all printed out, so he is ready to join the global abolitionist vegan network. If you live near Invercargill, contact Jordan for information about joining his abolitionist vegan work. You can find out his contact information at http://www.coexisting.co.nz/. Or give him a Tweet @jaywontdart.
Everybody Has a Seed to Sow, The African Children’s Choir
Get Ready for Future Ex-Omnivores!
Let your heart of hearts take you down that road, everybody’s got a seed to sow. Don’t hold yours in your hand; wherever you are, drop that seed, plant it, watch it grow. Become part of an even more exciting new synchronicity that is growing. The foundation for a worldwide vegan federation is in the planning stages, with bylaws already underway. La Coopérative pour la Développement Végane, or The Cooperative for Vegan Development is in the early stages. The purpose of the federation will be to link all these various abolitionist groups into an umbrella organization to share resources, utilize information for internal education, and plan federation events. This is yet another reason to develop an abolitionist group in your area. It may be just you for awhile; it may be just you for an entire year. But sooner or later, another abolitionist or interested party may join you, and then the numbers and momentum are sure to increase. If not, at least you will be part of the global network of vegan abolitionist groups. Right now, we just need to get things ready, so as the word spreads, we can assist all the future ex-omnivores with their vegan transformations. In fact, right now, there is an abolitionist waiting for a group to start in Boston Massachussetts, another one in Hialeah, Florida…. and another one – well, maybe right where You live. What are YOU waiting for? It’s a Vegan World If You Want It, and so do I; we can’t keep waiting for the world to change – we have to Make It Happen!
Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer
Seeds to Sow, lyrics by Michael Smith:
Chorus: (in Lugandan)
Buli muntu alina ensiigo
Omutima gwo gukulung ‘aamye
Buli muntu alina ensiigo
Some people sing it to express
While others hear another call
Some people speak with subtleness
Some don’t rely on words at all
But let me tell you ’bout…
One thing I know
Everybody’s got a seed to sow
let your heart of hearts
Take you down the road
Everybody’s got a seed to sow