May 31, 2015

The First Annual NARD, Toronto ON

NARD, National Animal Rights Day, was established in 2011 by the group Our Planet Theirs Too. It was begun "for the purpose of giving a voice to all animals and raising awareness for their rights, until all animal are free from enslavement and their rights are established and protected by law".

It was held for 3 years, in May or June in the USA only, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. This year Toronto got involved and held its own event on May 30 at Trinity Bellwoods Park in the heart of the Queen West Village, downtown Toronto.

I was fortunate to be a part of this event. This year we held a requiem ceremony for the billions of animals who die every year by human hands, the explanation and signing of the Declaration of Animal Rights, and a celebration of the steps that we activists make to help change the world for animals and create a plant based world where no animal lives in suffering, pain or fear.

For myself, it was a very moving and empowering day.

The day began at 11:00 am in Trinity Bellwoods Park. We met, ate delicious vegan treats and got ready for the ceremony.











                                                                              Me!


Toronto Police Services kindly shut down Strachan Street for us, allowing us to hold the ceremony in the street.

                                                                                                                         Pic: Agnes Cseke
                                                                                                                        Pic: Agnes Cseke
The ceremony was solemn, spiritual and sad. Poems were read, tears were shed and prayers said. A collection of dead animals were laid to rest and a moment taken to mourn the lives of all animals lost to human use and exploitation.

                                                                                                                       Pic: Agnes Cseke

                                                                                                                     Pic: Agnes Cseke   

                                                                                                                          Pic: Agnes Cseke

                                                                                                         Pic: Agnes Cseke   

                                                                                                    Pic: Jo Anne Arthur/WeAnimals

                                                                                                                     Pic: Agnes Cseke                                                                              
After the ceremony we all returned to the park for more mingling and eating. There was a copy of the Declaration for Animal Rights to sign and add our wishes and comments to.

                                                                                                                      Pic: Agnes Cseke
                             
                                                                                                                         Pic: Agnes Cseke


Finally, a healing circle was held where we yelled out into the circle the feelings the day raised in us. We also were asked by the healing leader to dream of where we would like to see animals in 5 years, 10 years and think or say what we were willing to do, commit to, give up to help make these dreams a reality. I have been unwell for the past three years so this was meaningful to me. I am just returning to active activism so I thought seriously about it and made myself some promises.
                                                                                                                    Pic: Agnes Cseke

                                                                                                                       Pic: Agnes Cseke

My Personal Commitment:

1. Work more
2. Love more
3.Worry less, care less about anti animal rights criticism, antagonism
4. Spend more time with nature, animals, fellow activists to strengthen my resolve, actions and bring joy to my heart.



                                                                                                                       Pic: Agnes Cseke

It was a lovely, beautiful day and ceremony and I hope to see you there next year!


“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

For more pictures please visit this album:

https://www.facebook.com/unarose7/media_set?set=a.10155577261345532.1073741826.826140531&type=3&uploaded=92&pnref=story

For more information about NARD:

http://www.thenard.org/
http://www.ourplanettheirstoo.org/