Protestors take to Toronto Streets demanding 'Justice for the animals'
“Not just for Cecil, not just Harambe we want justice, justice for the animals. Not just for dogs and not just for cats, we want justice for the animals!”
In an effort to abolish animal consumption, end exploitation and violence towards animals, hundreds of activists marched through the streets of downtown Toronto in the worldwide March to Close Down Slaughterhouses on June 11. The protest began at Christie Pits and carried to Allen Gardens.
This is the fourth year Toronto has organized the event, initially founded in Paris. Similar protests were held this month in Istanbul, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, and Los Angeles.
Across the globe, it’s estimated that every year more than 60 - billion land animals are killed to satisfy the appetite of humans. In Canada, approximately 750 million land animals are killed each year for food and the majority of those animals come from factory farms, according to the Canadian Coalition for Farmed Animals (CCFA)
According to CCFA’s website, standard industry practices in Canada are the cause for some of the worst animal cruelty. ‘You can do almost anything you want to a farm animal in the name of profit without breaking the law, provided standard industry practice is followed,'.
To raise local awareness, protestors marched wearing red t-shirts marked with silhouettes of animals most commonly killed for human consumption. Many protestors held graphic signs depicting images of dead or distressed animals as several onlookers collected flyers and listened to the beating sounds of drums and chants.
This is the second year animal and human rights activist Giselle Correia 37, arrived at the protest. With her, she brought her husband Cody Kuchirka and friend Jordan Zurowski.
Correia has been a vegan for the last four years and says she has made a lot of lifestyle changes since becoming a vegan, including no longer wearing animal products and avoiding all forms of animal entertainment including zoos and circuses. She says was very impressed with the turnout this year.
“There were quite a few hundred more people here than the last time I attended. I came to support an end to the oppression of animals, the suffering of animals, and I’m here to support animals rights to their own minds and bodies, ” she says.
Among the chanting protestors also took part in “die-ins” as demonstrators lay on the road, while the screeching audio recording of farmed animals in distress echoed the street. The scene was meant to be a symbol of the animals killed, for Correia the event sparked a lot of emotion.
“It was a really great experience. It was very powerful and emotional,” she says.