Over 400 activists joined us outside of the Farmer John slaughterhouse this past Saturday to expose the cruel abuse that goes on inside of the Vernon, California meat processing facility. Those who have ever driven by the plant know too well the foul stench that hangs in the air and the building’s hypocritical murals that depict happy pigs enjoying sunshine and playing in green pastures. There are no happy pigs behind the walls of Farmer John – only dead pigs – Farmer John slaughters 6,000 pigs a day, making it the largest slaughterhouse on the west coast.

The demonstration began with a funeral procession, which included a prop coffin. The march was lead by actors and activists, Elaine Hendrix and Michael Fairman. With so many dedicated activists joining us, it didn’t take long to encircle the entire facility. The mood was somber and many were moved to tears, but a positive feeling of hope radiated from the compassionate crowd. A moment of silence was observed to remember those who have fallen to the greed of animal agribusiness.

During the event, FARM staff and around 90 other activists crossed the street and Occupied McDonald’s. Some held hands, circling the outside of the property, while others, including Elaine Hendrix and Michael Fairman, took over the restaurant, impeding business for a short time.

For three hours, activists from all other the country stood together as one, to speak up for the pigs of Farmer John and for every animal who is trapped within the food industry. Some folks held signs, some chanted, some even took over McDonald’s, but everyone was there to see an end to the needless slaughter of billions of animals.

We would like to thank each and every one of you who came out and joined us, and to all of those who spread the word online. Thank you to Elaine Hendrix, Michael Fairman and Simone Reyes for supporting us. Thank you to the local news stations (KTLA, Univision 34, LA Times) for providing coverage of the event, and to theĀ  police department for ensuring everyone’s safety. To see images from the Farmer John demonstration, please visit our Facebook page.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

These are the four stages of nonviolent activism, and right now, the animal rights movement has reached the third stage – the fight. Society is done ignoring us…they no longer can. They’ve had enough fun mocking us, though you still have a few carnivorous comedians (you know who I mean). And so now, the movement has reached a turning point…a chance to make history and win this battle for the animals, the planet and the people.

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Tuesday was World Farm Animals Day, marking a day of honor for those who have lost their lives in the name of “food” and looking towards a brighter future where animals are no longer killed for mere taste. All across the globe, thousands of activists held silent vigils, public protests and live demonstrations to raise awareness of the plight of farmed animals. Animal rights advocates tabled in crowded city centers, distributed leaflets and marched in the streets.

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