A child with butterscotch hair stands before my kneeling body. Shyly looking down at her toes, she says “I don’t want to kill piggies anymore.” I reply to her teared up eyes by saying, “you don’t have to.” The young one then goes into a beautiful rant of never wanting to eat animals again. A child whom has a mind of innocence, and is not yet melded by societies “normalities” see an animal’s suffering for what it is. A suffering animal. Not an animal that’s destined to have this fate. But instead, just an animal who is experiencing pain at the hand of humans, and shouldn’t be. These eye-opening moments that spark a mind to think critically, are why I spend my Saturdays at a farmers market dressed in black, wearing a mask, with a tv strapped around my neck, volunteering with Anonymous for the Voiceless. 

Anonymous for the Voiceless (AV) is a global animal rights organization, currently putting on street activism events in over 56 countries / 496 cities. 

These events often comprising of a “Cube of Truth.” The Cube of Truth being a group of people in the shape of a cube, who hold screens that display footage of standard-practice factory farming. The members involved in the cube wear black clothing, and white masks to represent the anonymous. This allows the attention to stay directed towards the screens, rather than the people presenting the footage.

Meanwhile, circling the outside of the cube are also outreach members who are allowed to speak and answer questions any viewers may have. Outreach provides information to the viewers on why one might want to go vegan, or how one could practically live a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Michelle Raney

In my time volunteering with Anonymous for the Voiceless, I have had the opportunity to rotate as both a member of the cube, and be a member of outreach. In the perspective of an activist, each of these positions are incredibly influential in their own way. 

Michelle Raney

To be someone holding a tv, that is displaying animal cruelty right under your very nose, allows you have the unique opportunity to witness compassion before your eyes. The ability to hide behind a mask, see a passerby stop, and slowly watch their expression change from neutral to empathetic for factory animals is beautiful. Our society is often not shown the reality of where our food comes from, so to allow this window of truth is powerful.

Michelle Raney

On the flip side, to be a member of an outreach is a whole other experience. A woman in her sixties intently listened to me explain the common practices of the animal agriculture industry. I described detailing, debeaking, dehorning, infection, beatings, living in one’s own filth, cannibalism, and so forth in depth. She followed up with wide eyes by asking, “how long have you been vegan, and do you feel healthy?” I insure her with a smile that I have never felt better, and I’ve been immersed in this lifestyle for about 3 years now.

Rubbing her arms she says, “I have chills, thank you so much.” I hand her a card with further documentaries on veganism, and she leaves with a hug saying she’s going to start the documentaries today. 

“Thank you” is the most common phrase you hear on the job. Once given the information, with simultaneous visuals being displayed before someone, people are often glad to have more knowledge around factory farming. Even if they shed some tears midway through their day. 

The reality of factory farming is not pretty, it’s not comfortable, and most definitely not ideal. For the most part, individuals are aware to some degree of the reality behind meat production. However many often do not know to the extent, and with that, do not think about it on a daily basis.

Out of sight, out of mind. But once the information is brought to the surface, one cannot un-see the torture these animals go through day to day. Change’s first step is often discomfort, and finding the reality of unfortunate circumstances. Then to debunk misleading ideas, generate new ways of thinking, which is then hopefully followed up by action.

Anonymous for the Voiceless is just one of many organizations that are attempting to bring a truth to the surface. But without passionate volunteers, that feel strongly for the topic at hand, Anonymous for the Voiceless's movement would not be successful. 

If you care about factory animals and want to make a large impact on someone's life, I highly recommend joining a Cube of Truth near you. To become part of a cube, go to Anonymous for the Voiceless's website; https://www.anonymousforthevoiceless.org. On the top right hand corner click on “locations”. You will then be directed to a list of cities. Simply find one near you, and it will direct you to their Facebook page. From there you can contact the cities founder and be part of the next cube.     

To get more information on veganism in general, you can also visit https://www.anonymousforthevoiceless.org. They have a list of documentaries to watch, along with books to read. Depending on how you like to process new information. I personally highly recommend Earthling on http://www.nationearth.com and Cowspiracy on Netflix. 

Michelle Raney