I have been contemplating taking The Liberation Pledge for quite some time. On one hand it seems like something that could alienate people from me (and from veganism), but on the other, it’s very, very difficult for me to sit at a table where someone is consuming an animal without saying something, and silence = death. Right? In this case the death is quite literal and undeniably present.

Let me back up, the liberation pledge has three parts:

one | Publicly refuse to eat animals – live vegan.
two | Publicly refuse to sit where animals are being eaten.
three | Encourage others to take the pledge.

It’s time for me to take this pledge.

Over the course of the last few years, I have made an effort to meet the animals I am fighting for. I have spent a tremendous amount of time with animals who have been rescued from humans at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary and other sanctuaries around the United States. I am convinced that pigs, chickens, turkeys, cows, goats, sheep, ducks . . . all of them are individuals, just like the dogs or cats you have known in your life. Just like us they form relationships, they have personalities, and they will fight to escape pain and death. They want to live. Just like us.

In 2017, I stood vigil at a slaughterhouse where I saw unspeakable terror in the eyes of hundreds of pigs headed to their death. For the third year in a row, I protested night after night in the streets of Brooklyn and heard the screams of tens of thousands of chickens as they were neglected, tortured and finally slaughtered during ritual religious sacrifice.

When I see your bacon, I see their faces. When I see your eggs, I hear their screams. When I am silent, I am complicit in their suffering and death.

I can’t be silent anymore, and I won’t imply my consent by sitting at a table where violence against animals is taking place. It’s time to take the pledge.

I know this might feel like a declaration of what I refuse, so here’s a list of what I will do:

  • Gladly share a vegan meal with anyone — vegetarian, omnivore, fruitarian . . . I would love to dine with you, as long as no animals or their secretions are served.
  • Suggest a vegan/vegan friendly restaurant and share my delight with this awesome food.
  • Suggest vegan recipes and help you cook them!
  • Arrive at your event before or after animal’s bodies are displayed or consumed.
  • Meet you for coffee, tea, a vegan cookie, a walk in the park, a movie, so many options!
  • Enjoy our friendship the way I always have.

Truth be told, most of my friends and family already avoid eating animals around me, and I tend to avoid attending events where I know animals will be eaten. That’s actually a part of why I have decided to take the pledge. Maybe there are folks out there who wouldn’t think it would be a big deal to make their event vegan, or would at least want to have to opportunity to discuss it. By avoiding these events without saying anything, I have denied my friends and family the opportunity to have the conversation. That’s not really fair, and I would rather be honest and direct moving forward.

So, thank you for reading this and thank you for your friendship. I look forward to connecting with you more directly and with more honesty in 2018.


6 thoughts on “Resolved: Liberation Pledge

  1. Karin

    Very well put. Thank you. I took the pledge abut a year and a half ago and I feel so much better having taken this firm position. Have had mixed reactions and initially anger from my family saying that I’m intolerant. They won’t watch undercover video but my son and his girlfriend have since gone veggie from the off thing I send out to them all and he says he would like to be vegan. I encourage others to take the pledge so sure.

    1. Michael Harren

      Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your experience. I feel slightly apprehensive about how people might react, but I feel really great having made such a solid decision. Have a great new year!

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