First Goa Animal Liberation March held at Panaji
Panaji: With an aim to highlight the exploitation of non-human animals by humans, The Vegoan, a group of grassroots Animal Liberation activists based in Goa, organised the first Goa Animal Liberation March on Saturday at Panaji.
The event was aimed at drawing focus to the immense suffering that people’s choices inflict upon animals for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation and labour, and urged citizens to make changes.
Activists from several Indian cities, including Goa, assembled at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Park, Patto, and marched to Azad Maidan chanting slogans like “Animals feel pain, just like us” to acquaint people with the reality of the world’s most neglected victims, animals.
A public speak-out was performed to underscore ‘Speciesism’, a form of discrimination that fuels the exploitation of sentient beings on the ethically irrelevant basis of their species.
Activists spoke about the stark, yet hidden reality of industries that exploit trillions of non-human animals for avoidable human wants.
One of the main organisers of the march, Gemini Xettigar, said, “Animals want and deserve freedom just like us, so their use is nothing but exploitation. This planet belongs to all animals as they are sentient beings just like us. They have emotions, with lives of their own. They even have families. It’s time people start seeing animals as sentient feeling beings as they are, and not as commodities,” she said.
“I was raised non-vegetarian, but after watching the documentary ‘Earthlings’ and other videos that brought out the animal suffering that our choices are responsible for, I went vegan. Being vegan means ensuring, to the greatest extent practically possible, that animals are not exploited or otherwise harmed by our actions for any purpose. Apart from not eating meat, eggs, dairy products/milk and honey, being vegan also involves avoiding leather, wool, silk, fur, pearls, zoos, animal circuses, animal-tested products, etc,” said the vegan campaigner.
Veganism is a Social Justice Movement to abolish the commodification and property status of non-human animals.
Another activist, Aditya Harmalkar, said, “Imagine being born just to be tortured and killed for someone’s wants. That’s the story of the tens of billions of land and marine animals that we annually exploit for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, labour, etc. Had these victims been humans, we would’ve called this the worst-ever barbarity. And, unless one avoids animal-based choices, they continue to be among those causing this barbarity.”
Candolim-based Darryl D’Souza, who battled serious health problems for 14 years, spoke about how the complete switch to vegan diet helped him resolve his issues within a year.
“I was able to reverse all of my digestive problems within a year of switching to a vegetarian diet. And since 2013, I have completely switched to a plant-based diet. My aging has also reversed,” said the 52-year-old organic farmer.
Freelance writer and Publicist