Although animal activists are usually not the ones actually murdered for the rights they are fighting for, they live everyday with the pressures that come with the difficult tasks they are taking on. And they suffer just as much as those demanding rights for people and for the environment.
I chose to write this article when I received a newsletter from The Council of Canadians stating that more than 700 activists have died in the decade leading up to 2011 - making the number higher than one per week. They don't list any Canadians or Americans in their home page, but I do know that one Canadian died either during that decade or a few years prior trying to save the Great Bear Rainforest near Vancouver. She was camping at the top of one the trees of the area of the virgen forest that a company was about to start logging and instead of finding a gentle way to take her down, chose to chop down the tree. Need I remind anyone how tall these trees are? She died instantly when she fell to the ground.
This newsletter, published by Greenpeace in 1993, gives us an idea of what other types of issues - murder amongst them as well - activists have to deal with regularly.
What can we do about this? First and foremost, denouncing such acts of threats and downright cruel murder just for speaking up about the dangers of environmental destruction and the injustice many people live with would help reduce the stress and pressure that those who fight for rights have to face. If the general population knew of these attacks and menaces, those who carry them out would think twice before taking action.
After, the only thing I can think of is to pray for those who live in these situations and hope that their fight won't end in bloodshed.
Living in a country where these types of murders are still far too common makes me feel even more for them because I see, on a daily basis, what they are fighting for. I don't have much money, but still give bread to the homeless here who were surely kicked off their farm lands at gunpoint to house a greedy, large corporation's mines or monocultures.
Comments? Please leave one. Let's share about this topic and try to find ways to make everyone's lives easier to live.
Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)