For World Vegan Day 2012, 269 organized a worldwide campaign to honor all animals who are part of the organized exploitation and murder of animals for food, clothing, entertainment and “research.”. Hundreds of activist across the globe tattooed 269 as an act of solidarity. I asked one of the representatives of 269 for a statement about the worldwide event and pasted the press release below.
“J.M. Coetzee said it clearly when he wrote, “Let me say it openly: we are surrounded by an enterprise of degradation, cruelty and killing which rivals anything that the Third Reich was capable of, indeed dwarfs it, in that ours is an enterprise without end, self-regenerating, bringing rabbits, rats, poultry, livestock ceaselessly into the world for the purpose of killing them.” Let’s say it openly: the animals are going through a holocaust, and for them the year is always 1939. And we should act correspondingly, as if we were the branded ones now and the year was 1939, because that’s what it is for the animals.
The animals don’t want us nor as opressors neither as bystanders. Don’t stand on the blood! We should always, always look at things from the victim’s point of view, and from the animals’ point of view a bystander is equal to the oppressor, for both of them are responsible for the maintenance of the horrible status-quo.
Einstein said correctly, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Another source of inspiration for my activism is Christine Stevens’ quote, “The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position.” They all inspire me, in all my sayings and deeds for the animals.”
On November 1st, a group of Hundreds of animal rights activists around the world made both a political statement and personal protest against animal abuse. The activists who took part in the action are from the following countries: Israel, USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Turkey, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, and India. November 1st is World Vegan Day and for the first time also “269 Solidarity Day”.
The animal rights movement was sparked by three international activists who were publicly branded with a hot iron in the exact fashion that cattle are being branded to protest against animal exploitation. The number 269 was chosen because it was the identification number given to a calf born in an Israeli factory farm. According to the activists, the branding (and now also the tattooing) of 269 is a form of solidarity and immortalization. It is a statement that when it comes to suffering and pain there is no difference between animals and humans. When it comes to pain we are all the same. This group of Israeli activists is undergoing the tattoo of 269 as part of an international event, involving similar groups all over the world, in the hope of spreading the animals’ message. As well as the activists tattooing themselves, there will be a dramatic visual demonstration simulating the way Jews were branded in the Holocaust.
Unlike other campaigns, these activists are calling for a complete abolition of animal slavery. Alex Boojor, one of the organizers of the event and one of the activists who got branded on Oct 2nd says: “The people who are volunteering their skins, are people from all stages of life who have learned from history’s human holocausts, and recognize that the animal holocaust is far from over. Like the institutionalized confining and suffering of millions of humans by Hitler, animals on factory farms today suffer almost mirror-like cruelty which continues at the greed of animal-using industries. We are taking part in this event in solidarity for all these victims of industries that still use animals as nothing more than commodities. We are calling for an end to the slavery and violence that happens every single day in the name of food, fashion and testing.”
We should be ashamed for every sow that is confined to a gestation crate that is so small she can’t even turn around, for every calf that is taken away from his/her mother so she can produce milk for us instead of her child, and for every hen that is confined to a battery cage.” – Danica Daley, organizer for the Melbourne 269 demonstration.
“In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka.” Isaac Bashevis Singer.
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