A silent procession of 100 vegans clad in all-black outfits with green tape over their mouths marched to protest eating animals or consuming animal products on Thursday.
Beginning in Union Square Park, marching up Broadway and ending at Herald Square, the protestors carried signs with phrases such as “animal liberation = human liberation” and “demand for meat = fires in the Amazon.” Thursday’s protest marked the second ever March of Silence, during which participants are asked to refrain from any verbal communication for the entire day. The LA-born annual demonstration calls for people to not consume, wear or use products derived from animal exploitation.
Paulette Naumova, 21, was at the march to stand in solidarity with the over 150 billion animals killed for food, clothing and entertainment each year.
“I think this march is great because it focuses on the victims and I hope the march makes people think twice about how we use, abuse and exploit animals,” Naumova said. “All of us that were part of the march come from different walks of life […] the one thing that brings us together is our collective realization that animal liberation is necessary.”
Amber Alicea, 24, attended the march to bring awareness to the suffering animals are put through for meat, entertainment, clothes, medicine and other uses.
“I like this form of activism because oftentimes people think that vegans are loud and annoying, so this takes that out of the equation.” Alicea said. “I hope those who deeply care for animals can see that conflict every time they eat a piece of an animal or something that came from them. I was a vegetarian for 6 years and throughout that time I kept lying to myself that no one died for me to eat cheese or eggs.”
Kiirstin Marilyn, one of the organizers, emphasized animal products’ contribution to global warming.
“Animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change from deforestation to emissions to unregulated waste and more,” Marilyn said. “We are currently facing a climate crisis and everyone needs to consider how what they put on their plate affects the rest of the world and impacts our future.”
Demonstrators continued to march despite the rain.
“Most of the participants understand that all truly oppressed beings suffer way more than us getting rained on for a couple hours,” Marilyn said.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, September 16, 2019 print edition. Email Bianca Brutus at [email protected]