They are pretty careful about who gets to put ads up in the Toronto subway system, and animal rights activists usually don't make the cut. But through September and October, subway riders have come face to face with a powerful campaign to convince people that if they like cute kittens and puppies, then they shouldn't be eating chickens and pigs. Kimberly Caroll, an organizer of the campaign says:
Pigs, cows and chickens are remarkable beings,” says campaign spokesperson Kimberly Carroll. “Cows will walk for miles to reunite with a calf after being sold at auction. Pigs have intelligence beyond that of a 3 year-old human. Chickens mourn the loss of their loved ones. We hope that in connecting with these animals and the grievous suffering that is behind every burger, omelette, and hot dog, people will be motivated to make more compassionate food choices.
I was surprised that the campaign got approved at all; Kimberly explained:
We ran a similar campaign back in 2009 on the TTC at about a quarter of the size of the current one. At that point the ad had to go through various levels of approval while we waited on pins and needles, but it was approved! This time around, it seems there were no concerns. We've been very impressed with the TTC for this. We believe this is the first animal rights campaign to run on the TTC.
While the puppy and pig comparison is probably not a stretch for most people, the kitten and chicken one is probably a bit more difficult. But they make a case that chickens are "inquisitive, affectionate and personable."
It is not a new message, that animals are animals and it is crazy to treat one kind so differently from another; the British Vegetarian Society did it decades ago. But it is new, seeing it in Toronto plastered all over the subway, where the TTC says it will be seen by 5.7 million people every week. Kimberly says that it is effective; she is getting "several emails, posts, and twitters a day from folks saying they're going veg after seeing the ads."
More at Toronto Vegetarian Association
More on Vegetarianism:
How to Become a Vegetarian
Why Graham Hill Is a Weekday Vegetarian, and Why You Should Be Too! (Video)
Couple Denied Adoption Because They're Vegetarian
Proven: Vegetarians Live Longer