Celebrating my Existence by Making a Difference

Av Rizal.jpg

I'm officially an adult! I celebrated my 25th birthday last week, and it’s been my best birthday so far.

For years, I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday because I hated to be reminded that I'm still alive. This is the first time that I looked forward to my birthday not only because I started loving my life but also because I want to do something meaningful this time; I celebrated the symbol of my existence by doing something that matters.


METRO MANILA ANIMAL SAVE: MY FIRST VIGIL

You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.
— William Wilberforce
Pigs Vigil.jpg

Metro Manila Animal Save is one of the chapters of The Save Movement, an animal rights organization dedicated to bearing witness of farmed animals en route to slaughter. The group's goal is to raise awareness about what really happens to animals behind closed doors. 

My boyfriend and I went to Manila to join other animal rights activists in the vigil. A truck full of pigs dropped by, and the slaughterhouse staff allowed us to bear witness and give water to the pigs; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to help because I just cried the whole time.

I thought I’ll be able to handle it because I already saw hundreds of slaughterhouse videos, but nothing prepared me for the heaviness of what I've witnessed. It’s different when you see the condition of these poor animals and how inhumanely people treat them right in front of you and you can’t do anything about it.

Some of the pigs already gave up; they didn’t even want to drink water anymore even though it’s obvious that they’re thirsty and hungry. They know that whatever they do doesn’t matter anymore because they’re going to be killed that night.

Bearing witness took a toll on all of us, but it's comforting to know that we don't contribute to these animals' suffering anymore.


A PLASTIC OCEAN

After the vigil, my boyfriend and I, along with other animal rights activists, went to Greenery Kitchen to eat dinner and watch A Plastic Ocean, a documentary about how plastic pollution affects all of us. Ecobricks Cavite and Let's Do It Philippines also gave a talk about how we can help solve plastic solution.

The documentary inspired me to exert more effort in living a zero waste lifestyle. I'm still struggling because we're bombarded with products in single-use plastics, but if I can go vegan where most people are nonvegans, then I think I could also become better at living zero waste.


ANONYMOUS FOR THE VOICELESS: RIZAL CHAPTER

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Anonymous for the Voiceless (AV) is an animal rights organization that specializes in street activism. We show footage of what happens in the animal industry while educating the public and encouraging them to go vegan. AV Rizal is just one of AV's branches.

Below is a video that my boyfriend made to give you an idea of what we do in every Cube of Truth.

I was still not in the right state to talk to people during the Cube because I was still shocked by what we've witnessed in the vigil. Thankfully, AV is introvert-friendly so I was able to participate without wrecking my mental health.

I'm so thankful for my ever-supportive boyfriend who exerted a lot of effort to make my birthday special. I'm so proud of him for having the initiative to go out there and educate people about the truth even though he was busy documenting the Cube. I'm also grateful for our vegan friends who cheered me up after the vigil and even threw me a surprise birthday party.

Last weekend's activities were tiring, but it's all worth it, and I'm ready to do activism again this weekend and for the rest of my life—for the animals, for the environment, for all of us.