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International Animal Rights Day 2010, London

Multiple crime scenes stain Leicester Square

Central London became the scene of multiple crimes on Saturday 11 December, as the blood-stained outlines of victims filled the film première location.
But this was no movie set, these deaths are a reality.

Each year in the UK alone over 900 million animals are killed for consumption, not forgetting millions of fishes and sea creatures and the millions of animals who die for clothing, in circuses, zoos, the "pet" industry, the racing industry, on hunts, shoots, and in laboratories. Each death is unjust and unnecessary, and each we consider to be a crime.

Says Laura Gough, Animal Equality spokesperson, "Male chicks in the egg industry are shredded alive, 'free-range' hens are packed into huge sheds and killed after little more than a year, pigs and sheep in organic slaughterhouses have been filmed being kicked, hit and forcibly thrown.

But the worst crime committed against animals is continuing to think that their bodies and lives are ours to use at all. The science is in - animals are also sentient beings like us, capable of feeling and thinking. Yet industries treat them as disposable commodities whose lives depend on their ability to make a profit. Thinking that we use animals as our resources and then slaughter them at will is based on a prejudice called speciesism, which is an irrational and unscientific discrimination against the other sentient beings with whom we share the planet, simply because they belong to a different species than our own."

To mark International Animal Rights Day, over 30 Animal Equality activists constructed multiple species crime scenes in Leicester Square to raise awareness of the injustice of using other animals as resources, and to promote the ethical alternative: veganism.

White outlines of the victims: cows, calves, sheep, pigs, chickens, chicks, rabbits, turkeys, fish, squirrels, badgers and foxes took over the pavements, surrounded by crime scene tape. Activists wore white crime scene suits and stood in silence holding images of the fates that animals suffer, while others handed leaflets to the public and talked about how to follow a vegan lifestyle.

Video of the protest coming soon...