The night of Tuesday 23 April 2013 will forever be remembered as one of the most disgraceful nights in the history of the animal advocacy movement in Queensland, if not Australia.
The shameful series of events took place at the screening of the movie Maximum Tolerated Dose on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The public screening was a collaboration between Animal Liberation Queensland and the Facebook group Coast To Coast Animal Friends, two organisations that a reasonable person would think would be interested in promoting veganism and educating others on where to buy products that haven’t been tested on or contain animal products.Yet this wasn’t what happened.
Being aware that there was a number of gaps in the information that both Coast To Coast Animal Friends, and Animal Liberation Queensland give to the public, two individuals took the initiative to do something for the animals and compile a list of vegan suitable products that are available from a majority of supermarkets, thereby making it easier for people to adopt a vegan lifestyle.
These two people, who had the permission of the cafe where the public screening was being held, were bullied and aggressively ejected from the public screening by five people from Animal Liberation Queensland and Coast To Coast Animal Friends.
Whilst I can understand why those involved in Coast To Coast Animal Friends wouldn’t want anything vegan related promoted at any of their events, I cannot understand why Animal Liberation Queensland wouldn’t want to help more people adopt a vegan lifestyle by letting them know what products are suitable for vegans.
The fact that the current president of Animal Liberation Queensland, Chay Neal, stood back and allowed this to happen is disgraceful. I am also lead to believe that the past president of Animal Liberation Queensland, Annette Guice, took a leading part in kicking these two people out, which is as equally disgraceful.
Every current supporter, volunteer, and member of Animal Liberation Queensland needs to ask them why they held this event in conjunction with Coast To Coast Animal Friends in the first place. Especially considering that Coast To Coast Animal Friends, is not a vegan organisation, or even one that is concerned with animal rights.
Coast To Coast Animal Friends openly supports the violent and aggressive 269Life movement. (A number of the groups ‘leaders’ have 269 tattoos, despite not actually being vegan themselves.) I also am highly suspect of the group’s founder’s knowledge of the plight of other animals, as she may not actually be vegan herself, despite deceiving others into believing that she is.
It is probably also worth mentioning that one of the aggressive five who is part of Coast To Coast Animal Friends, and also has a 269 tattoo, claims to have been vegan for near on 30 years – apart from the ‘occasional’ lapse where seafood is consumed.
Whilst myself and my family have been bullied by people from these organisations in the past, the fact that no one questioned them, or held them accountable, has lead them to believe that they are indeed beyond reproach, and are able to do the same to anyone else who dare question what they are doing.[GARD]Despite their alleged best intentions, Tuesday night was nothing more than a fundraising activity for both of the groups, and thinly veiled attempt to attract new members.
In this campaign for equal consideration for other animals,I am reminded of Voltaire’s quote “With great power comes great responsibility”.
Those organisations that claim to be on the front line, have the responsibility to other animals to ensure that their egos and agendas are left at the door, and that the animals are put first.
When we fail to do this, whilst we may feel good about ‘protecting’ a particular organisation or bullying another advocate into silence, ultimately it will be the animals that suffer.
Both Animal Liberation Queensland, and Coast To Coast Animal Friends failed to respond requests for comment.
This article was written by the founder of VeganPolice.com.au, Cameron Blewett.
Cameron is a long term vegan (25+yrs), and is passionate about veganism, and helping people to understand more about animal rights.
You can find Cameron’s other rants on his website, CameronBlewett.xyz