Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mercy for Animals

Today's Vegan Thing I Like is one of the most inspiring, incredible forces in the world of veganism today: Mercy for Animals! Their work, vision, and reach is simply staggering to me. Mercy for Animals advocates for farmed animals on a variety of platforms, promoting veganism to individuals and businesses, as well as conducting undercover investigations that launch legal battles to improve the lives of farmed animals. While, ultimately, I believe the goal is that of liberation for all farmed animals, there are steps to be taken on the road to that destination in order for society as a whole to get on board and MFA is doing that work.

Last weekend, I had the great honor to attend a Mercy for Animals fundraiser in Hollywood where an award was presented to Emily Deschanel in recognition of her work for farmed animals. Emily was gracious and lovely and shared her platform with some of the animals' biggest heroes: MFA's founder, lead investigator, and general counsel. These people are part of something so big. MFAs founder, Nathan Runkle, founded MFA when he was 15 years old and, at age 28 he is now heading an organization that is fighting billion-dollar industries -- and, as he pointed out in his short speech, frequently winning. As he said, quoting from Mahatma Gandhi, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Right now, the animal agriculture industry is fighting Mercy for Animals hard, going as far as to influence lawmakers to introduce Ag-Gag laws - legislation that would make it illegal for Mercy for Animals to continue their work of exposing the worst abuses of farmed animals, some of the most vulnerable creatures on the planet, as well as uncovering major health and safety violations that affect humans and the environment. MFA continues to fight this kind of legislation, as well as to release new investigations which point out how vital is that they not be enacted. The American people deserve to know what is going on in their name (you buy it, you're funding it).

I can't say enough good things about this organization and I hope that you will support them and their important, amazing work in any way that you are able. Watch the video below for some information on what MFA does and keep an eye out for the work that they continue to do. These videos always ensure that I never leave an MFA fundraiser without crying. Some from the undercover footage shown, but more from how inspired and touched I am that this is all happening. In the future, will the struggle to liberate farmed animals be seen in the same light as the many human-rights movements of our past? I believe so, and that those in support of this work are on the right side of history.

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