Dec. 5 – 3rd Annual Eco-ability Conference – Online and Free

ecoability conference 20153rd Annual Eco-ability Conference: Animal and Disability Liberation
Online Free Conference
December 5, 2015
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GLOBAL STARTING TIME
7am Western USA Time
8am Mountain USA Time
9am Central USA Time
10am Eastern USA Time
3:00pm London Time
3:00pm Dublin Time
4:00pm Rome Time
4:00pm Amsterdam Time
5:00pm Cape Town Time
5:00pm Cairo Time
11:00pm Hong Kong Time
Midnight Tokyo Time
December 6, 2015
2:00am Melbourne Time

4:00am Aukland, New Zealand Time

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THE CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT THIS FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/events/935683536501766/
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SPONSORED BY

Eco-ability Collective
Institute for Critical Animal Studies
Save the Kids
Academy for Peace Education
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#ecoability #veganswithdisabilities #criticalanimalstudies
#animalanddisabilityliberation

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

10am to 10:10 Welcoming – Amber George, Moderator of the Conference

10:10 to 10:35 – Listen/Watch Anthony J. Nocella II’s video
10:35 to 10:45 – Type Q. and A.

10:45 to 11:10 – Listen/Watch archie beeswax’s video
11:10 to 11:20 – Type Q. and A.

11:20 to 11:45 – Listen/Watch Ana Hurwitz’s video
11:45 to 11:55 – Type Q. and A.

11:55 to 12:20 – Listen/Watch Sara M. Acevedo and Alka Arora’s video
12:20 to 12:30 – Type Q. and A.

12:30 to 12:55 – Listen/Watch Johnny Lupinacci’s video
12:55 to 1:05 – Type Q. and A.

1:05 to 1:30 – Listen/Watch Mike Hyde’s video
1:30 to 1:40 – Type Q. and A.

1:40 to 2:05 – Listen/Watch Scott Hurley’s video
2:05 to 2:15 – Type Q. and A.

2:15 to 2:40 – Listen/Watch Alex Ghenis’s video
2:40 to 2:50 – Type Q. and A.

2:50 to 3:15 – Listen/Watch Hannah Monroe’s video
3:15 to 3:25 – Type Q. and A.

3:25 to 3:50 – Listen/Watch Mary Fantaske’s video
3:50 to 4:00 – Type Q. and A.

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TITLES, ABSTRACTS, AND BIOGRAPHIES

1. Title: The environmental vulnerability of people with disabilities: climate change & our future
Alex Ghenis

Abstract
Environmentalists with disabilities are often caught between two worlds of activism – after all, environmentalism and disability rights movements have little clear overlap. So how can we bring our passions together? In this presentation, Alex Ghenis will tell his story of moving from disability activism to environmentalism, and finally to addressing how climate change will hit people with disabilities. It was an interesting journey: after intense disability activism in college, his passions switched to climate change. But he then realized that he cared about climate change specifically because it would hit vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, the hardest. Just as how animals and natural ecosystems can’t adapt as well as humans can, people with disabilities have a harder time adapting than their able-bodied counterparts do. After Alex’s story, the presentation will cover why people with disabilities need to be included when preparing for climate change. We’ll be disproportionately impacted by stronger storms, heat waves, and eventually migration – and adaptation needs to incorporate our needs. Finally, there will be some recommendations for policies and actions at multiple levels, as well as what participants can do to help make positive changes.

Biography
Alex Ghenis is a Policy & Research Specialist at the World Institute on Disability, where he is the lead of the New Earth Disability initiative. Over his career, Alex has worked in disability rights, environmental, and green energy spheres, addressing the impacts of climate change and reducing emissions. In 2014, he started New Earth Disability to analyze how people with disabilities will be impacted by climate change, and how to best adapt given existing and developing global changes. In addition to his work at WID, Alex writes articles for New Mobility Magazine and performs slam poetry about the experience of people with disabilities.

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2. Title: Embracing Our Herstory of Animal Loving Madness
archie beeswax

Abstract
Struggles for animal liberation have seldom been practiced in ways that are empowering to communities with disabilities or that incorporate radical disability politics. Instead, mainstream campaigns for animal rights continue to endorse ableist mentalities and rhetoric in various different ways. Obvious examples include the emphatic body-shaming promotions of veganism as the “healthy” solution to people’s different illnesses, or the appeals of animals as “intelligent” creatures and their advocates as “rational” people. Reasons for these tactics are not only because of the collusion with ableism as normalized oppression (akin to speciesism), but also as a reaction against repeated attempts of industries and governments to stigmatize animal allies as mentally ill. To demonstrate this, archie will discuss the illness of “zoophil-psychosis” – meaning literally a psychotic love for animals – that was first termed by leading vivisectionist Dr. Charles Dana in 1909. With analysis of this psychiatric disorder fabricated by the animal testing industry, archie will share insights regarding its implications around the medicalization and media stigmatization of animal activists as “crazy”; its patriarchal manipulations of feminism and gender politics; and the deeper internalization by animal defenders to distance ourselves from realities of illness and disability, thereby undermining the potential for our collective liberation.

Biography
archie identifies as a chronically ill, cis-queer, anarchist zen vegan. they write visionary fiction about animal & earth liberation while also managing the online resource called ELK (www.humanrightsareanimalrights.com), which has organized large-scale events around intersectionality, anti-patriarchy and anti-pipeline resistance. with a master’s degree in criminology, archie has written & led conversations around anti-speciesism, prison abolitionism – and the collusion of privileged mainstream animal rights with other oppressions. as a white settler currently residing on the territories of WSANEC (Saanich), Lekwungen (Songhees) & Esquimalt People’s of the Coast Salish and Straits Salish Nations, archie lives with one humyn, a boxer, a beagle and a kitty.

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3. Title: Fighting The Devil: Disability Rights and Animal Rights Under Capitalism
Ana Hurwitz

Abstract
This presentation covers the relationship between disability rights and animal rights. Especially how the two movements can (and should) be interdependent and share a common dream of a world without capitalism. What is animal rights activism like as a person with a disability? How can the animal rights community be more inclusive of people with disabilities? And, most importantly, why must disabled people be animal rights activists?

Biography
Ana Hurwitz is an organizer for the worldwide animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). She has written for Sistah Vegan, a critical race theory blog on veganism. Over the years she has been involved in revolutionary organizations fighting for animal liberation, socialism, migrant justice, prison abolition, housing rights, sex worker advocacy, and climate justice. She lives in Portland, Oregon, USA.
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4. Title: Living at the intersections:  A postcapitalist-feminist approach to disability, animality and gender
Sara M. Acevedo and Alka Arora

Abstract
In this presentation, we employ an ecofeminist social justice activist lens to analyze the intersections of disability, animality, and gender. Specifically, we examine how violence toward female, gender non-conforming and disabled bodies is both discursively and materially linked to violence against nonhuman animals and the natural world. We draw examples from cultural and religious traditions that render womanhood as inherently inferior; that represent the disabled as essentially effeminate or animal-like; and nature as passive, inert, and exploitable. Following on disability studies, animal studies and ecological justice frameworks, our contention is that these seemingly disparate examples are linked under a hypermasculine capitalist paradigm focused on subduing and conquering animality, femininity, vulnerability, embodiment, and wildness.

Biography
Sara M. Acevedo is a neurodivergent activist scholar, educator and disability justice advocate. Sara is adjunct faculty in the School of Undergraduate Studies and a doctoral Student in the Anthropology and Social Change program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Sara’s research explores the vibrant world of politicized disability communities around the world. Some of her recent grassroots work includes a collaboration with disability justice campaigns such as ‘It’s Our Story’ and the ADA Legacy Preservation Committee. Sara is interested in the intersection of feminist, queer, racial, and postructuralist analyses of disabled bodies/minds. Her current research prioritizes critical ethnography and collaborative research in activist anthropology.

Biography
Dr. Alka Arora is chair of the Women’s Spirituality program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her research and teaching are focused on the intersections of spirituality, feminism, and social justice. A dedicated vegan, she is committed to expanding feminist theory and praxis to include care and justice for all human and nonhuman life. Alka’s spiritual framework is based on her studies of Hinduism, Buddhism, women’s spirituality, and other wisdom teachings that emphasize interconnectedness, relationality, transformation, and love.
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5. Title: Imaginings of “Community:” Perceptions of (Dis)Ability, the Environment, and Inclusion
Johnny Lupinacci

Abstract
Understandings of “community” are culturally mediated and thus directly linked to centuries-old patterns of beliefs and behaviors. These patterns rely on the privileging of individuals over the recognition of our existence as a complex web of biologically and culturally diverse relationships within the living systems to which we all belong. Drawing on scholarship from ecofeminism (Plumwood, 1993, Merchant, 1983), EcoJustice education (Martusewicz, Edmundson, & Lupinacci, 2014), and Eco-Ability (Nocella, Bentley, & Duncan, 2013) this chapter examines the interconnectedness of perceptions of (dis)ability and the environment as inferior to and separate from being human. Through critically and ethically examining the relationships that connect critical social and environmental justice projects, the reader will be encouraged to imagine truly inclusive communities that sustain life for all members. This research presents a methodology for directly identifying how the dominant discourses reproduced in our day-to-day relationships and practices construct understandings of “community” that threaten inclusiveness for both human communities and the more-than-human world. Scholars, activists, and educators must examine taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about how to understand community as an essential part of educational reform efforts to support truly inclusive, diverse, decentralized, and sustainable communities.

Biography
Johnny Lupinacci teaches pre-service teachers and graduate students in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education (CSSTE) program using an anarchist approach that advocates for the development of scholar-activist educators. He has taught at the secondary level in Detroit and is co-author of the book EcoJustice Education: Toward Diverse, Democratic, and Sustainable Communities. His experiences as a high school math and science teacher, an outdoor environmental educator, and a community activist all contribute to examining the relationships between schools and the reproduction of the cultural roots of social suffering and environmental degradation.
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6. Title: Anti-vivisection and Anti-psychiatry
Mike Hyde

Abstract
This presentation will focus on the connections and
opportunities for allyship between the anti-vivisection and
anti-psychiatry movements. To begin with it will make the case that the use of animals in research as well as symptom-based diagnoses and treatment in psychiatry are all unreliable. From there it will touch on some of the many abuses faced by both psychiatrized people and animals used in research, drawing on the similarities between some of those abuses and detailing the torture of animals used in psychiatric related testing, which some consider to be the cruelest animal experiments. It will conclude with an analysis of suggestions for moving beyond these practices through the funding of alternatives and a call for allyship.

Biography
Mike Hyde is a psychiatrized person who was
labelled/diagnosed by the system at a young age, so he has a lot of experience navigating that system, but due to location most of his work around this issue has been online. He is a vegan and in the past has organized with the Grassroots Ontario Animal Liberation Network, Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance, and the Canadian Animal Liberation Movement. He has mostly anarchist leanings and works on many other issues as well with a focus on poverty, pro-feminism, queer struggles, and environmentalism.
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7. Title: From Collective Autism to Autistic Wildnes
Daniel Salomon

Abstract
Salomon draws from his experiences being an Aspie, a published environmental writer and political activist to demonstrate why there is a “conflict of interest” between the neurodiversity and deep ecology movements and how this conflict can be resolved through “interest-based conflict resolution.” Salomon begins with a definition of deep ecology including delineating the branches of the deep ecology movement with their key arguments (ecocentrism, primitivism, environmental justice, and ecofeminism) and impact on the environmental movement (preservation, humanities and climate). Salomon argues why deep ecology is a legitimate cause for neurodiversity (nonhuman oppression). Salomon than integrates Critical Environmental Studies with Critical Disability Studies. Salomon reconstructs Zerzan’s primitivist, green anarchist critique of modern technology (“hunters and gatherers” argument), with psychology, eco-justice and neurodiversity, addressing concerns of exoticism, idealization and inaccessibility. Salomon accomplishes this through Glendenning (with psychology), McFague (with eco-justice) and Prince-Hughes (with neurodiversity). Salomon claims intersection between disability history and environmental history. Many modern technologies (such as roadmaps) used to create modern society (global imperialism) and the ideologies used to perpetuate (like Greek philosophy) are both the “root causes” of the planetary crisis and normalcy, a crip, neurodiverse variation on environmental historians Merchant and Hughes. A critique of “the status quo” is the greatest gift of deep ecology to neurodiversity and disability. Deep Ecology makes “normal” culturally relative. This gives neurodiversity and disability a “foothold” for being able to question society. Salomon concludes with ways neurodiversity can advocate for nonhumans and deep ecology can incorporate neurodiversity. Salomon accomplishes this through identifying the mutual interest of neurodiversity and deep ecology needing to question the mechanistic foundations of Western civilization. Salomon calls only for the elimination of technologies which thwart living organisms from surviving and flourishing, such as fast food and automobiles. Salomon contends using technology is compatible with critiquing the “shadow sides” of technology.

Biography
Daniel Salomon has an MA in Research from Andover Newton Theological School with Graduate Certificate in Science and Religion from Boston Theological Institute. BS Cum Laude in Liberal Studies from Salisbury University with concentrations in Biology, Environmental Studies and Conflict Analysis/Dispute Resolution, along with a Naturalist Certificate from the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. Salomon is author of six books on the environment (five of them available on Amazon) and has published in the Society for Disability Studies, The Journal of Critical Animal Studies, The Scavenger, all-creatures.org and Hoyt Arboretum.

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8. Title: I Fled to the Wilderness and Was Surprised by Enlightenment
Daniel Salomon

Abstract
Salomon is a neurodiverse man in a neurotypical world who does not “fit in.” Since a small child, Salomon has been consistently lured into Nature for refuge and relief from a hostile, alien society, where he was free to be himself. A place where Salomon was not controlled judged or bullied for “being different.” Nature was a place where Salomon could engage in his childhood “fantasy play,” where he had this inclination to “personify inanimate objects,” seeing “inanimate objects” as “alive.” Salomon learned latter that he was “under the spell” of an “unconscious narrative” called “organic cosmology.” A belief held by First Nation societies around the world, every Eastern religion and even every Western religion up tell the Western Enlightenment. Organic Cosmology is a belief that the Universe is “alive,” even “inanimate objects.” These childhood experiences led Salomon, personally, to self-acceptance and a massive religious conversation. Politically, these experiences gave Salomon, his professional vocation of grassroots political activism in defense of Animals and the Earth. Salomon recounts specific places which provided him with empowerment as a neurodiverse human. Salomon talks about the role each of these places played in initiating him into “a life of good works.”

Biography
Daniel Salomon has an MA in Research from Andover Newton Theological School with Graduate Certificate in Science and Religion from Boston Theological Institute. BS Cum Laude in Liberal Studies from Salisbury University with concentrations in Biology, Environmental Studies and Conflict Analysis/Dispute Resolution, along with a Naturalist Certificate from the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. Salomon is author of six books on the environment (five of them available on Amazon) and has published in the Society for Disability Studies, The Journal of Critical Animal Studies, The Scavenger, all-creatures.org and Hoyt Arboretum.

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9. Title: The Dog Fancy: A Site for the Intersection of Ableist, Healthist, and Speciesist Ideologies
Scott Hurley

Abstract
Using my personal observations of dog shows, American Kennel Club breed standards, and literature about showing and breeding dogs as my primary source material, I argue in this chapter that the “dog fancy” (the promotion, breeding, and showing of dogs) contributes to capitalist agendas. These agendas permit the manipulation, modification, and destruction of human and nonhuman animal bodies for financial gain, reifies social and cultural constructions of normalcy (defined as able-bodied, beautiful, and healthy) for both humans and canines, and perpetuates the marginalization of humans and nonhuman animals based on body shape and type as well as abilities to successfully perform certain mental and physical tasks. In doing so, I demonstrate how the exploitation of canines parallels that experienced by people with disabilities or those with illness. Employing the concepts of eco-ability explicated in Earth, Animal, and Disability Liberation (2012) and Harlan Weaver’s “becoming in kind,” I explain the ways that relationships between humans and canines in the dog show world provide the conditions for specific experiences of health, species, and ability that reinforce hierarchical ideologies. Finally, I discuss how the category of “junk dog” is created in juxtaposition to that of “show dog” and argue that humans, living vicariously through dogs, inscribe anthropocentric notions of beauty and able-bodiedness on canine bodies resulting in such deleterious practices as inbreeding and cosmetic alterations.

Biography
Scott Hurley is Assistant Professor of Religion at Luther College, Asia Representative for the Institute of Critical Animal Studies (ICAS), Academy for Critical Animal Studies Coordinator, and Board member of the Northeast Iowa Humane Society. He teaches courses on religion, ethics, and animal rights and is a scholar of East and South Asian religions whose research interests include the intersection of oppressions, human-nonhuman animal relations, and the application of Buddhist concepts to animal liberation issues.

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10. Title: Challenging Racism and Ableism within Animal Advocacy
Anthony J. Nocella II

Abstract
The modern animal advocacy movement emerged in the 1960s with little thought at the time of intersectionality. There were people in the movement that were concerned about anti-war, racial justice, environmentalism, and women’s rights, but no organization was dedicated to interweaving different causes together. Intersectionality founded by Kim Crenshaw in 1989 emerged as a new perspective on examining and describing experiences of oppression. In 2004 total liberation took on a significant space within radical social movements due to a great deal to the Total Liberation Fest in Erie, PA, USA, which brought many voices from different movements together. As the animal advocacy movement grows more complex and multi-issue, it still deals with reinforcing racist, sexist, anti-LGBTTQI, and ablest actions and campaigns. This presentation/paper will discuss how to engage more successfully in solidarity for racial justice and disability justice. Moreover, it will speak to the economic barriers of the corporatized colonialized vegan diet, while also discussing the ecological and health concerns targeting communities of color, the economically disadvantaged, and those with disabilities. Finally, this presentation will identify the ways in which food justice, racial justice, and animal liberation are interwoven and how to act better when in in solidarity.

Biography
Anthony J. Nocella II, Ph.D., award-winning author, community organizer, and Assistant Professor of sociology, criminology, and peace and conflict studies at Fort Lewis College. He received his doctorate in Social Science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Nocella is the National Co-Director of Save the Kids a national grass-roots organization dedicated to creating alternatives to incarceration for youth. He is also the co-founder and an Executive Director of Institute for Critical Animal Studies, the first center dedicated to animal advocacy and social justice in higher education. Further, Nocella has published more than twenty books; some of his most recent include Hollywood’s Exploited: Public Pedagogy, Corporate Movies, and Cultural Crisis (2010), Educating for Action: Strategies to Ignite Social Justice (2014), Policing the Campus: Academic Repression, Surveillance, and the Occupy Movement (2013). Terrorization of Dissent: Corporate Repression, Legal Corruption, and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (2014), The End of Prisons: Reflections from the Decarceration Movement (2013), and Academic Repression: Reflections on the Academic Industrial Complex (2010).
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11. Title: Neurodiverse Identity in the Animal Rights Movement
Hannah Monroe

Abstract
This presentation will combine queer theory, critical disability studies, and critical animal studies, recognizing that these are not discrete fields, to understand difference and non-conformity in the lives of neurodiverse people in the animal rights movement. Neurodiverse people are often stigmatized because of stereotypes about their identities. Individuals in the animal activist community are additionally oppressed by stereotypes of this activism rooted in mental illness, such as over-emotionality. From the other side of this issue, animal activists sometimes use ableist language when talking about animal issues, such Gary Francione’s use of the term “moral schizophrenia” and PETA’s ableist advertisements about autism. This presentation will cover theory around this topic and early findings in my literature, as this is part of a larger thesis project that I am beginning. Authors I will draw on for my research include Michael Oliver, Sunaura Taylor, and Eli Clare, as well as essays from Earth, Animal, and Disability Liberation: The Rise of the Eco-Ability Movement.

Biography
Hannah Monroe is in the beginning stages of her thesis in the Master of Arts in Critical Sociology at Brock University. She is in her first year in the program and wants to study neurodiverse people in the animal rights movement. She is interested in post-structuralist and queer perspectives on neurodiversity. After completing this degree at Brock University, she is planning to get a degree in social work or counseling to become a therapist. She wants to work with individuals, especially neurodiverse and LGBTQIA people, to empower authenticity in identity.
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12. Title: The Importance of Walking on Two Legs: Where Ableism and Speciesism Meat
Mary Fantaske

Abstract
There exists a relationship between the disability rights movement, the radical feminist movement, and the animal rights movement. Connections between these movements have arisen out of concerns for bodily autonomy and objectification, reproductive rights, environmental concerns, and the process of “othering”. Many persyns with disabilities, find themselves being dehumynized, and placed at the level of animal, as their bodily autonomy rights are regularly disregarded. My presentation will seek to encourage a discussion on the dehumynization and objectification of the disabled, nonhuman persyns, and other effected persyns, such as those who work in slaughterhouses, are viewed merely as parts in a machine, and are often themselves disabled and/or injured. I will accomplish this by drawing attention to this dehumynization which, I will propose, stems from patriarchal, cissexist, sexist, ableist, racist, and speciesist social systems which value a very specific set of abilities. Such abilities include the capacity to think “rationally” and the capability of walking upright on two legs. This exclusive and extremely problematic way of evaluating and categorizing living beings often results in the metaphorical, and occasionally legal, lose of bodily rights for womyn, those with disabilities, and the human persyns abused in slaughterhouses as they are objectified and/or demonized. This parallels with the literal loss of bodily autonomy rights which is experienced by nonhumyn animals. I will explain how, through an understanding of these commonalities of oppression and suffering, one will be better equipped to comprehend the experiences of persyns (both nonhumyn and otherwise) who are marginalized based solely on their abilities, or perceived lack thereof. Such comprehension would also allow for a greater understanding of the discriminatory systems of ableism and speciesism, and how these forms of oppression influence and shape one another. By including nonhumyn animals in my analysis of the oppression of people with disabilities I will be taking an approach that looks at the connection between humyn rights and animal rights. This approach understands that marginalizing nonhumyn animals opens the door for further threats to democracy and humyn rights violations and that therefore, in order for an oppressed group to be liberated, all persyns must be liberated.

Biography
Mary Fantaske is currently on disability/sick leave from her Communication and Culture Masters program at Ryerson and York Universities, but is still working on her thesis at a pace which respects her body’s needs. She was originally interested in the intersectionality between sexism and speciesism, but since struggling with her own health, which has resulted in her need for mobility aids, she began noticing more and more the discriminatory ways in which persyns with disabilities are treated in our society, in addition to the commonalities between such cultural behaviour, and the way in which nonhuman persyns are treated. In addition to working on her thesis, Mary runs a casual social justice blog, which focuses on ableist, speciesist, and feminist issues, and co-organizes events and various social media for the grassroots Toronto Save animal liberation groups which “bear witness” to nonhuman persyns in their last moments before they enter the slaughterhouse. “Bearing witness” is a Tolstoian concept where, when one encounters an individual in pain, instead of giving in to the initial desire to flee, one instead brings themselves as close as possible to the persyn who is suffering, and helps in anyway they can. For the Toronto Save groups this means offering the comforts of water and love to those trapped in transport vehicles parked outside Toronto’s slaughterhouses.

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