Monday, October 02, 2006

We Came, We Saw, We Walked

This weekend I participated in the 2006 Walk For Farm Animals to benefit Farm Sanctuary. It was so much fun. We had a beautiful day in Santa Monica for the walk, a little cloudy and cool. Just what we needed.

I got to do the walk with a new friend of mine, Robin. She was my sociology proffesor (remember all the "I'm taking this amazing sociology class" posts from a few months ago?) and is one of the coolest people I've met in my college adventure this year. It's actually all her fault I went all out vegan so, a great big 'thank you' to you, Robin!

Also, I wanted to say a huge and heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who donated to the cause and supported me and the critters. You guys are amazing. I was so touched because more than half of the people who donated were folks that I have never actually met in person. This on-line community of concerned bloggers came together and made a difference in the lives of some animals who really need the help. I am honored to "know" you. ;)

I was really impressed when I found out that the woman who organized the event, Valerie Belt, did so as a volunteer. She got the permits from the city, gift cards for the raffle, organized all the walkers etc. ad infinitum, because she cares that much about the plight of these animals. I was quite inspired.

Without further are some promised pics from the day.

Here's our mascot, the little plush pink piggy. Isn't she cute?
This woman spoke for a few minutes before we started the walk. She's done undercover work which has been used to fight for legislation to protect farm animals. Right now, they are working on getting a bill passed in AZ to ban the tiny little pens that they keep pigs in. I am in awe of people like this because I don't know that I could stomach the cruelty long enough to write anything about it.

We're off on our walk! I carried a sign that said "Say No to Foi Gras!"
Some people brought their dogs. I thought this poodle was an adorable participant. Nice shirt, pooch!
This woman was kind enough to let me take a picture of her t-shirt. I thought the message was great. It says "Why love one and eat the other. Make the connection. Go Veg for life." There is a picture of a cat, a dog, a pig and a cow. I found out later that she's also a veterinarian.

Here's a group shot. Some people had gone home already but I think we had about 80 participants. Not bad.

And here's all that was left of our piggy at the end of the day...

All in all, it was a great experience. I found that people's reactions were varied and pretty extreme. We basically just walked through the neighborhood carrying our signs. We got everything from people waving and honking their car horns while giving us the 'thumbs up', to other people shouting "I love beef!" And "Why don't you go eat spinach!" (yeah, real clever.) I thought it was interesting how threatened people seem to get when they feel like their values are being attacked. Nobody was yelling at these folks or getting in their faces, yet they felt compelled to shout some pretty nasty stuff at us. Hmmm...

One little girl came up to us with her mom and wanted to tell one of the ladies that she was also a vegetarian and that she loved animals. We bumped into a woman who was taking her twin girls for a walk in their stroller. She said she was vegan, had remained a vegan through her pregnancy and was raising her girls with a vegan diet as well. We had an interesting talk about some of the resistance and support she got from her doctors and family.

And guess what, I also won a gift card in the raffle! I will be going to dinner (or lunch) at Real Food Daily in Santa Monica one day fairly soon. It's a vegan restaurant down by the third street promenade. I can't wait to see what they have to offer.

But that's another blog...


Thorny said...

Yay you!! I'm so glad your walk went well!

Also, I'm sorry things have been too tight around here for me to be able to contribute - I really wanted to. :(

Keep up the great work!

Marz said...

I second Thorny's thought - yay for a fun and good walk!

Thank you for sharing your experience and pictures. I look forward to seeing you soon.

KleoPatra said...

Meesh, congrats on the walk and the raffle win. Love your storytelling... you should be a writer, you! :o) Hee hee. You already ARE, of course.

Very interesting to read of the responses that your walking elicited. Sounds like you met some super people who "get it" and who were supporting the things we stand for. I love it!

It is so odd to me that peeps get so defensive about the veg thing. I wonder why... hmmmmmm... could it be that deep down they "know" already what is right vs. what is not right!?

trac said...

Good job! It sounds like you all had a great walk and for a wonderful cause. I spent the day at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen and thought several times of you walking all the way across the country.

Urban Vegan said...

What a great walk for a great cause. You had some good karma coming your way --that's why you won the gift card ;)

Vicki said...

what a wonderful event to be a part of and in such a beautiful location. congrats on the gift card -- i've heard amazing things about real food daily. a highlight for me is the message on the lady's t-shirt...