A Proud Parade


After two months in China I could feel the weight of oppres­sion, govern­ment control and the lack of freedoms weigh­ing on me like a lead pipe across my shoul­ders.  This was my length­i­est visit to a country where the govern­ment has such a restric­tive grip upon its people.  For me it was new and extremely uncom­fort­able.  As I said in a previ­ous blog my website was temporar­ily blocked in China within a few days of arriv­ing.  I assume that one of the thousands of Inter­net patrollers working for the govern­ment found my website too opinion­ated and not suitable for China.  I had to a purchase a virtual private network (VPN) to gain access to all of my web accounts and to the inter­na­tional uncen­sored news.


As I travelled the country I met so many want-to-be activists that were anxious to make the world a better place but felt bound within the restric­tive environ­ment in which they live.  I met many energetic, passion­ate, young people who are ready to stand up for animals.  They all were looking for feedback and advice as to how to move forward.  They told me that to protest is illegal in China, to demon­strate is illegal in China and to express any negative thoughts against the Chinese govern­ment will surely result in negative reper­cus­sions from the author­i­ties.  Their stories frustrated me for their sake and for animals.  Each NGO (non-government organi­za­tion) that I spent time with made a point of asking me to never portray the govern­ment in a negative light while mention­ing their names or work.  For them I will stop talking about the Chinese govern­ment now and move onto something much more pleasant.


Merely 24 hours after leaving China and arriv­ing on Canadian soil I was proudly march­ing down Toronto’s busiest street with thousands of others demon­strat­ing for love, peace and solidar­ity for animals.  June 2nd was Toronto’s 3rd Annual Veggie Pride Parade and it was the best welcome home ever!  For 2 hours the busiest street in Toronto was jammed with people of all ages, religions and races joining together to exercise their freedom of speech and express their desire for peace for all.  There were dancers, musicians, doctors, chefs, mothers, students and politi­cians alike all out to show the world that a vegetar­ian lifestyle is fun, healthy and compas­sion­ate.  It was just what the doctor ordered for my activist soul.


For my friends in China, you are my heroes.  Lacking the luck of being born into a society that exercises freedom of speech your obsta­cles are greater and your work even harder.  However, I know that you won’t give up no matter what restraints that you are forced to work under.  I have faith that one day the streets of China will also be filled with animal loving activists legally promot­ing peace and love.


















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3 Responses to A Proud Parade

  1. What a beauti­ful group of people!!!! <3

  2. Jill says:

    The photos are terrific, and your opening commen­tary succinctly illus­trates what it is really like for activists who do not have the same freedom of speech and expres­sion that we enjoy here in Canada. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Dan says:

    As usual, your postings make me nearly cry — usually from empathy toward the mistreated animals and shame from being a member of a species that so abuses others. This posting however, filled me with tears of joy and hope and a feeling of connec­tion with those that see a brighter and better path for the world. Thank you, Julie.

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