Children dressed in black, wearing masks and holding “TRUTH” signs were part of a street art demonstration showing graphic videos of alleged farm animal exploitation, to try and convince some interested pedestrians to become vegans.
The group “Anonymous for the Voiceless” put on the street art demonstration called Cube of Truth. They are not affiliated with “Anonymous” – a decentralized international “hacktivist” group that has hacked governments – although both groups wear the same masks.
“(Animals) should have the same rights as a human being,” said Joseph Kratz, one of the protest organizers. “They’re a sentient being, they’re an earthling just like we are. They’re here with us, not for us.”
The demonstration of about 10 people was held in Frederick W. Hill Mall on Scarth Street in Regina on March 23.
“They have not made the connection of the suffering and the pain that that animal had to go through needlessly for their food,” said Kratz. “There’s a victim on the other end of your choices when you’re consuming meat and animal products.”
Kratz had some harsh words for the animal agriculture industry.
“Grow canola, grow soy beans,” said Kratz. “There’s a reason you’re seeing commercials now from the dairy industry and how they’re taking care of their animals and they’re saying ‘We love our animals.’
“Well, the fact of the matter is the cows are continuously impregnated so they can be milk machines. The babies are taken away; if it’s not a female baby, they’re gonna get put down right away or he goes and becomes veal. So it’s just an endless cycle of misery for the animals.”
The Government of Saskatchewan provided the following written statement.
“Producing healthy and safe food using sustainable farming practices is an important priority for the Government of Saskatchewan.
“Under the Animal Protection Act, livestock producers are required to follow national codes of practice that outline the proper care and handling of farm animals. This Act legislates what animal care duties are required by all animal caregivers, including farmers and ranchers in order to maintain animal health and welfare.”
Kratz said he works with other animal rights street activism groups. These protests include giving water to pigs when they arrive at farms and holding disruptions at stores that sell fur.
“They need to stop funding dairy farmers,” Kratz said about the Ministry of Agriculture. “I’m paying for that, for them to be funded, when innocent animals are being killed.”
Samantha Voss is another Cube of Truth organizer. She is part of other animal rights groups and works with Anonymous for the Voiceless because of the shock value and dialogue its public events offer.
“We want people to meet their victims,” said Voss. “They should have the right to live. I don’t think that we have dominion over animals or we should be able to take their lives so frivolously when there are other options …
“They can’t speak so I will be their voice.”
Voss thinks the Ministry of Agriculture deceives the public.
“The damage animal agriculture has on the world and our health,” said Voss. “I think that (the Ministry of Agriculture) need(s) to stop hiding so much stuff from the public.”
SaskBeef, also known as the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, did not respond by press time.
SaskBeef’s website has a video posted from Farm and Food Care Ontario, about how to euthanize livestock “in the most humane way possible.”
SaskBeef also quotes the Saskatchewan Stock Grower’s Association’s annual conference key note speaker Temple Grandin (talking about animal welfare): “People who like animals have more productive animals. It’s that simple.”
“I don’t have any hate for farmers,” said Voss. “I just think that they should consider other avenues. You know they can use their crops for grain or fruit and veg.”