Canada: protest against meat-eating at Guelph ‘Ribfest’

Posted on August 25, 2012

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Today (25th August), a news item was posted on Canadian web-site guelphmercury.com titled ‘Protesters greet Guelph Ribfest crowd’.

‘… GUELPH — There was definitely something new at Ribfest on Friday: its first protest.

When the popular annual event at Riverside Park opened for business around 11 a.m., six animal rights supporters from the group Vegetarians and Vegans of Guelph had gathered at the main gate. They held signs, made attempts to chat with Ribfest-goers and held out literature.

“We’re here to encourage people to show they care for animals through their diet,” protester Larissa Ravel said.

“It’s a protest against meat eating in general. I believe most people do care about animals, but they don’t make the connection between the food on their plate and the pig that was killed for their pleasure.”

Ravel, a former co-president of the University of Guelph’s Animal Rights Club, said Ribfest celebrates meat, so it is symbolic of what the group stands against.

Fellow protester Pei Lin said she has never eaten meat and feels the same way about animals that she does about people.

“I see so many similarities between us and animals. I feel authentic compassion for an animal, so when I see an animal being killed it feels like one of my family being killed.”

The Rotary Club of Guelph-Trillium runs Ribfest and protesters made it clear they were not against the good work done by Rotarians.

“We’re not against Rotary, but we think that maybe there are better ways they could fundraise that isn’t contributing to cruelty to animals,” protester Joanne Clark said. “We’d like them to consider alternatives to Ribfest as a fundraiser.”

The group said it got the idea for the protest after hearing of similar ones at Ribfest events elsewhere in the province.

“It’s certainly the first for us,” Ribfest chairperson Brenda Whiteside said of the protest.

Ribfest is a major fundraiser for Rotary’s charitable efforts. In its 15th year, Whiteside said Ribfest has raised more than $700,000 – about $60,000 to $70,000 a year over and above the $117,000 it costs to stage the event.

“We certainly appreciate and value freedom of expression, but it’s unfortunate because people put a lot of work into this and it (the protest) might bring some negativity to the event,” Whiteside said.

“But as long as the protest is peaceful and doesn’t interfere with others, then so be it.” …’

Read the item in full, view images and add your comment online at www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/787048–protesters-greet-guelph-ribfest-crowd

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