National Animal Rights Day went digital this year and transformed into a global, viral celebration of compassion that was breathtaking in its scope and depth.  Live musical performances, gut-wrenching talks, a sensuous vegan fashion show, a cutting edge animal rights panel, poetry… I could go on and on. It brought tears to my eyes. This is the world as it should be: basking in the glory of diversity, kindness and the pursuit of justice.

The racial injustice, that is causing people to take the streets across America, was addressed repeatedly. Panelist Gwenna Hunter spoke about her new Vegans for Black Lives Matter Facebook page, which has taken off with over a thousand people signing up almost immediately. I was proud to moderate the animal rights panel featuring movement leaders who spoke about racial injustice in the form of dietary racism in the USDA food guidelines, environmental racism that places slaughterhouses and factory farms in minority communities and the bigotry that insists slaughterhouse workers, overwhelmingly people of color, march into COVID-19 infested animal killing factories only to get infected with the virus. Many workers have died.  Many others are sick and infecting their communities. Check out the entire NARD virtual event. Part one just below.

This event was so inspiring and, as thousands watched all over the world, I felt hope for our planet…which is theirs too. We face a triad of troubles: racial injustice, a pandemic caused by exploitation and abuse of animals and climate change, caused in large part by our destruction of the natural world to create a product called meat, which isn’t good for our health. We can surmount these triple threats. The conversations at NARD show the way. Congrats to NARD’s leader Aylam Orian, MC Gabrielle Reyes, coordinator Jane Elizabeth and the entire National Animal Rights Day team. You did us proud. Here is part two.

 

this is the mc of NARD

NARD MC Gabrielle Reyes kept it exciting while moving things along!

 NARDX 2020 Program

  • Opening Words (Aylam Orian)
  • “Unite” (song by Radha Windham)
  • Opening Speech (James Aspey)
  • Poem (Marissa Noll)
  • Animal Stories
    • Tobey Maguire the Beagle (Mena Suvari)
    • Honey the Dolphin (Richie Kul)
    • Aisha the Horse (Edita Birnkrant)
    • Baobei the Pangolin (Sean Hill)
  • “I’m In Here” (Song performed by Kiirstin Marilyn & Kirk Miller)
  • Buddhist Prayer (Robert RyugenDoshin Yamada)
  • Moment of Silence: Please hold your image of an animal and a candle in remembrance

   Reading the Declaration of Animal Rights (Vegan Evan & Vegg Ian)

  • Closing Words (Aylam Orian)
  • Introduce Emcee Gabrielle Reyes

Celebration (9:30am PST)

Transition period:

  • Rain Phoenix performs a song
  • Special message from actress, producer Jorja Fox
  • We Are Winning! (Bailey Sargeant):
  • Special Musical Guests: Choir from Nigeria with Micah Thomas
  • A Message from That Vegan Couple: Natasha and Luca
  • The History of NARD
  • “NU HUMAN” a song from The Wake Up Experience
  • A video message (Anita Krajnc, Founder of The Save Movement):
  • Animal Rights Panel:
    • Moderator: Jane Velez-Mitchell, founder, managing editor JaneUnChained.com 
    • Video (Ingrid Newkirk, Founder and President of PETA)
    • Panelists:
    • Damien Mander, Founder & CEO of International Anti-Poaching Foundation
    • Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd, Whale Wars Star
    • Gwenna Hunter, Founder Vegans of LA, Founder Vegans for Black Lives Matter, organizer Vegan Outreach
    • Leah Garces, President of Mercy for Animals
    • Almira Tanner: Lead Organizer of Direct Action Everywhere
    • Christopher Eubanks, Organizer with The Save Movement
    • Dan Kidby, Co-founder of Animal Rebellion
  • Music from Shreyas Dharmadhikari
  • “2020 Approach to Teaching Others a Plant Based Lifestyle” (NBA Champion John Salley)
  • “Better You” song from Jim Marcotte
  • Message from Naomi Hallum from A Million Dollar Vegan
  • A special message and video from Leilani Munter
  • Vegan Fitness Panel/Flex Contest

Led by:

Torre Washington

Judges: Vegan Strong Team

Robert Cheeke

Vanessa Espinoza

Will Tucker

Bill Muir (SGT Vegan)

Ryan Nelson

  • “The Power of Love” speech Milo Runkle

F.A.K.E. Fashion Show (Jonathan Yoni Ohayon)

Models:
Patrizia Barretto (holding vegan flag)
Rain Bruno
Quentin Schreiner
Sucely Montoya
Stephanie Gerard
Talitata Trygsland
Chloe Tesla
Samuel Lhermillier
Kiko Hirakawa
Bones
Mary
Leonore
Charlie Fyffe

Music from Inanna

  • “Cultivating Self Compassion”  (John Pierre )
  • Animal Rights Activist of the Year! (hosted by Genesis Butler)
  • “Chorus Teens” (Song by Alex Buck from the vegan punk band Bad Jesus)
  • Vegan Cooking Demo
    • Vegan Black Metal Chef Brian Manowitz
    • Girija Tiwari
  • Conflict Resolution Workshop (Dave Rubin)
  • Thank You & Closing Words! Jane Elizabeth