As obvious as it sounds, animals can’t express themselves in the way that humans can. Humans have a multitude of ways to broadcast their feelings or opinions, while animals are at the other end of the spectrum in comparison. That said, millions of them every day scream out in blistering, agonizing pain when their lives are callously snuffed out in the satanic slaughterhouses that are littered around the planet. We need to be advocates, very one of us, to challenge and change this brutal reality. And this is where lending our weight to animal rights / vegan petitions becomes a crucial act of obligation.
It is up to us, vegans and animal rights advocates, to speak out, make a noise and let it be known that while others remain silent and complicit in the face of animal cruelty, exploitation and slaughter, you absolutely will not. Animal rights and vegan petitions are a great way to do that, and here’s the lowdown as to why.
In the traditional sense, petitions were up until recently generally brandished by hardy souls clutching clip-boards, in all weathers, dotted around town centres, encouraging passers-by to sign up. That still remains a valid, albeit at times drizzle-sodden way to drum up support for progressive, liberation causes – such as veganism and animal rights.
But then technology came along and took petition-signing to a whole new level. The pen well may be mightier than the sword, but now the mouse is giving the two of them a real run for their money.
When one thinks of democracy or movements for social change, famous names like Gandhi or Martin Luther King leap out at us and rightly so. However, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, credited with the invention of the world-wide web, needs to take a bow up there with Messrs. Gandhi and King, as his contribution to democracy is no less impactful.
Why would that be? Well, no invention has enabled so many to be able to now articulate themselves, be heard and educate others, as the world-wide web. If you wish, you can now lend your voice to as many causes as you wish and be as loud and as frequent as you like. Yet you don’t have to take a step outside of the house when you do so.
When speaking up for the animals, in particular by signing an animal rights petition, one is highlighting issues that the voiceless, and therefore helpless, are blighted with yet unable to do anything about. And it is that giving a voice to the voiceless that is a fundamental, basic principle of democracy. All totalitarian, authoritarian and regressive modes of thought, including the animal exploitation industries of contemporary society, rely on in some way the stymying and suppression of expression.
Going out into the streets to protest or to wave a placard is still admirable and the right thing to do. The Suffragettes and the Civil Rights movement embraced that and changed the world for the better. Just think how more effective they would have been with the web at their disposal.
While not a petition, it is worthwhile to reflect for a second or two on the rapid ascent of the MeToo movement. In less than a year, previously unheard voices are now being heard and the drive for justice for victims of sexual harassment or assault grows by the day.
So it is that online petitions offer the same potential impact as “traditional” petitions, and then some. For example, online petitions are not bound by geography, as with the MeToo movement – the world-wide web is just that, world-wide. Seeing supporters of your cause not just from your home town but from the other side of the world can be very inspiring and reinforces a sense of solidarity and common cause.
Online petitions can also generate publicity in a way that traditional “pen and paper” petitions cannot. Online causes can potentially gain media attention very quickly, in turn adding momentum to the issue.
One of the keys to overcoming oppression and injustice has always been speaking up and speaking out. Bullies, tyrants, animal abusers and exploiters rely on the apathy of the majority of people to not get involved with them, but rather to shrug their shoulders and stay silent. As the saying goes: “The road to Auschwitz…was paved with indifference.”
That is why it is absolutely crucial that when presented with the opportunity to do so, those that care for the animals, their dignity, their rights and their equality, use every opportunity they can to be heard.
See a petition you agree with but meh – don’t have the time? Make the time and with just the click of a mouse, you get to stay in the house (if you like) and make a difference.
You get to potentially save lives and inspire others – that’s a great win-win. So go get signing!