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Major animal protest in Israel

Dec 28, 2014

Look them in the eyes!

Over 3,000 people took to the streets yesterday for the largest animal rights demonstration ever held in Israel. The demonstration was started as an Israeli-led initiative on Facebook, and turned into a global protest with 40 demonstrations simultaneously held in various cities worldwide. For the first time ever, all those acting for animals joined forces: Dog shelter volunteers, cat feeders, anti-vivisection groups and pro-farm animal organisations – as well as many caring citizens from all over Israel.

Under the banner "Look them in the eyes!", over 3,000 people joined forces yesterday in Tel Aviv for a demonstration uniting all those acting for animals – dog and cat shelters, anti-vivisection groups, and vegetarians and vegans fighting for those animal exploited in industrial farms.

View the demonstration photo album in Facebook.

Ori Shavit, animal activist and one of the organisers, said at the event: "They have no voice, but have a soul. They have no words, but have feelings. Just like us, they want and need to live. Not being caged, enslaved and abused in any conceivable way by human imagination – they aren't items of clothing, amusement products, invading species, walking testing laboratories. They're only one thing – animals. They own their lives and we should remember that, respect that and return that to them. Not only because we have to, but because we, who have the voice and the power, could."

Dr. Asaf Harduf, an animal activist and criminal law expert, who initiated the demonstration, said: "I am ashamed of the justice system of which I am part: of its helplessness, its ignorance of animals. A system where shredding thousands of chicks each day - is legal. A system where inserting chemicals into the eyes of bound rabbits and rummaging in the helpless bodies of fully awake monkeys - is legal. A system where selling fur torn out of foxes - is legal. A system where the execution of cats and dogs simply because they have no home - is legal. But I'm also proud – of all of you who came today. We are here, on a battle for life, until we can look them in the eyes."

The event started as a private initiative by several Israeli activists who opened a Facebook event, yet managed to start a wave of demonstrations worldwide – parallel demonstration are held in over 40 cities, from London to San Francisco, from Moscow to Costa Rica. The protesters gathered on Rothschild Boulevard and marched to the Tel Aviv Cinemateque where a protest presentation was held with eye-covered protesters representing the blindness and indifference to the suffering of billions of animals each year: Abandoned cats and dogs, chicks thrown to the rubbish heap as soon as they hatch, chickens locked in cages all their lives, horses ties to carts, calves separated from their mothers, foxes and raccoons hunted for their furs, and wild animals whose living space is reduced.

"It's time we all march together and say clearly: Enough violence, enough enslavement, enough cruelty, enough objectivation, enough animal slaughter," said the event's Facebook page. "Animals are not products nor merchandise; they're sentient beings deserving freedom and life, and we should be their voice." Various Israeli celebrities published videos calling the public to join the demonstration.

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