On Sunday, June 3rd, some 200 demonstrators throughout Taiwan gathered in the sweltering summer sun to show support for equal treatment of all animals. 117 people attended the main event in Taipei, and another 60+ in Kaohsiung.
Aside from the reading of the Declaration of Animal Rights, the Taipei demonstration included a poetry reading by 8-year-old activist Xiao Peng who travelled from Taichung to the capital for the event. There was a musical performance as well, and commemoration of animals by animal communicator Cristina Liu.
The Taiwan demonstration was different from events in other cities in that there were no visuals portraying active violence towards animals, although caged animals and farmed animals were prominently displayed. Violence towards farmed animals was discussed extensively as well in the speech delivered by Wu Zhi-Hui, founder of Taiwan’s street activism team Vegan30.
After the demonstration, activists were treated to a plant-based picnic with scones, cookies, black sesame pound cake and fruitcake from Green Bakery, and chocolate-filled bread by vegan bakery Hip Pun.
It was a meaningful and enjoyable day for all who participated. Said Kevin “Bai” Chen, the founder of the GO Vegan channel on YouTube, after the event:
“Today’s activities are very meaningful. More and more people are concerned about animals, the environment, and health. This event hopes to bring more influence and awareness. It was a very positive day!”
THE DECLARATION OF ANIMAL RIGHTS
The Declaration of Animal Rights – a project of international animal rights and planet conservation group Our Planet. Theirs Too – was drafted in May 2011 and publicly read and signed on June 3rd of the same year, on the 1st National Animal Rights Day in the US, in the city of New York.
The Declaration was copied onto a large scroll of paper, which since then has been traveling the world and collecting people’s signatures, drawings and notes. It is now 100 meters long, with almost 10,000 signatures. Once it reaches 50,000 signatures, the scroll will be delivered to the White House, the UN, the EU Parliament and other world leaders, in order to show them what we, the citizens of this world, think of our fellow animals and their rights. We will do this until The Declaration of Animal Rights is recognized all over the world, and the rights proclaimed in it protected by global law!
Explains demonstration organizer Jessi Chia Pei Chang:
“Using the term ‘rights’ instead of ‘welfare’ expresses a concern with the natural rights of all animals, which are supposed to be equal to those of humans.”
The National Animal Rights Day (NARD), established by the non-profit Our Planet. Theirs Too, is observed in multiple countries around the world on the first Sunday in June, for the purpose of giving a voice to all animals and raising awareness of their rights, until all animals are free from enslavement and their rights are established and protected by law.
On this day, special NARD events are held simultaneously in major cities around the globe. They start with a Memorial Ceremony for the billions of animals who die every year by human hands, often recognizing specific individual victims, and the reading and signing of The Declaration of Animal Rights. They end with a celebration of the animals in our lives, and the steps that are being made every year towards ending animals’ suffering and shifting humanity toward a cruelty-free, plant-based (vegan) lifestyle.