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Monday, May 20, 2024
Masked ‘Anonymous’ protesters advocate for animal rights in NOTL

Vegan activists from a group called Anonymous for the Voiceless protested in front of the Court House in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Sept. 6 to advocate for animal rights.

The organizer of the event, who identified himself as Sean Sloan, said all members of his group frim Niagara Falls are vegans.

“We want people to understand what they’re putting on their plate,” Sloan told The Lake Report. “It’s a real disconnect between what’s happening to these animals and just thinking it’s fine to exploit them for food, for clothing, for entertainment.”

Anonymous for the Voiceless, which has chapters around the world, was established in Australia in 2016.

During their demonstration, eight people stood in a so-called “Cube of Truth," wearing Guy Fawkes masks and holding laptops or tablets displaying video footage showing animals in slaughterhouses. Some people held signs reading “Truth” on them. From time to time, activists would take turns standing in the cube.

Other members of the group, their so-called “outreach” people, walked up to bystanders and started conversations with them.

“Animal agriculture – like cows, pigs, chickens – that’s one of the biggest problems worldwide,” Sloan said. When asked about service animals, Sloan said he had to check what the organization’s stance was.

Run Smith and Jason King, members of the animal rights group, At War For Animals Niagara, were on hand at the event, too.

Many people ignored the protesters but some, like Joseph Amaral, stopped to learn more about the demonstration.

Amaral, who was visiting NOTL from St. Catharines, said he’s a partial vegan and he supported the protesters’ message.

“I understand people have to eat, but it’s a long road to get to where they (vegans) want to be,” Amaral told The Lake Report. “We’ve got so much bigger problems in the world, but we don’t have the right to do that to animals.”

He added service animals are well-treated in exchange for their service while carriage horses are used for “entertainment.”

One NOTL resident, Virginia Hills, said the demonstrators looked “disturbing, standing there.”

“It’s not Halloween,” she said, adding she disagreed with the protesters’ message.

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