The cold afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 10 did not stop the Direct Action Everywhere volunteers to carry out the March Against Fur through the Rideau Canal.
A group of around 30 people met outside Sporting Life at Lansdowne Park at 2 p.m., where they gave all of their supporters signs and instructions to talk for the animals and respect other people’s opinions.
Then they started walking towards the canal because they wanted to share their message there.
Neveen Sourour, a fourth-year bachelor of hospitality and tourism management student and member of the Algonquin College Vegan Society, attended the march.
“Vegan life tries to open eyes,” said Sourour regarding the life of the animals.
“Choose compassion over fashion” or “it’s not fashion, it’s violence,” were some of the chants that the activists were expressing.
The passion shown by the vegan activist impressed all the people who were spending a recreational afternoon at the canal.
According to Sourour, there are three stages of truth.
First, ridicule. Some people made fun of “those vegans” who are extremists.
Second, violent opposition. One man aggressively came close to the protesters, made fun of their signs and said that he did not care about the issue. When questioned if he had pets, he answered in a sarcastic way, “I have four dogs and I use their fur and of course, I eat them.”
And third, acceptance which the majority of the people who saw the signs and listened showed.
“I do this to make things better for animals,” said Mike Yuill, a member of Direct Action Everywhere. “The message shared here makes people think and act better than before.”
By the time the group reached the Rideau Centre, many people left the march but the ones who stayed went inside the mall to peacefully protest in front of many stores where clothes made of animal fur are sold.
Several people would stop, listen, take pictures and record the words that the people of Direct Action Everywhere were telling.
“Coming inside the mall makes people pay more attention than being on the canal,” said Erica Perrault, the march organizer.
The march was about to end when four volunteers dressed up in white, put on animal masks and went outside the mall. Then they poured fake blood all over them.
“They are going to pour it to make a point,” said Sourour.
The March Against Fur was successful because many civilians talked to Perrault when the fake blood exhibition ended.
“I find the college conservative towards these issues,”said Sourour. “We need to be more open and liberal to make a more profound change.”