When you’re passionate about something, or deeply moved by injustice, sometimes the best way to get your message heard is to take to the streets and let people know.
Large-scale protests can be a great way to communicate your cause, but if you don’t have the numbers, you can still connect with people on a meaningful level and make them think twice about an issue using a little bit of creativity.
With that goal in mind, we’ve compiled a list of seven of the most inventive animal welfare protests of all time, to help keep you actively inspired.
1) Day Without Meat (Barcelona, Spain) Animal Equality staged this eye-opening installation for International Day Without Meat in 2012. The aim of the protest was to draw attention to the mass production of meat through cruel factory farming methods.
No doubt the bold statement turned a few heads, and made people think twice about where the food on their plate comes from.
2) Steve-O SeaWorld Crane Protest (Los Angeles, USA)
In August 2015 the Hollywood stunt man and Jackass star climbed a 100-foot crane holding an inflatable Shamu balloon with the words “SeaWorld Sucks”. He then proceeded to detonate fireworks from the crane.
Steve-O was recently sentenced to 30 days in prison for the protest, however he didn’t seem too perturbed by the idea: “I mean, if your goal is to make a statement about captivity, you may as well get yourself locked up!”
And this wasn’t Steve-O’s first time at the rodeo, so to speak. In December 2014 he climbed to the top of a traffic sign on the side of the highway to let commuters know just what he thinks of SeaWorld (Spoiler alert: he thinks SeaWorld Sucks). 3) Mexican Bullfighting Demonstration (Mexico City, Mexico)
The visually arresting demonstration attracts over 1,000 activists annually, who gather at the Monumental Plaza Mexico to make a statement about the horrific bull fights that torture and kill an estimated 250,000 bulls globally every year.
4) Procter & Gamble Animal Testing Protest (Cincinnati, USA) In 1998 members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) parked a car outside the headquarters of Procter & Gamble (who fabricate Tide laundry detergent) in Cincinnati, U.S.A.
The message was clear, naming and shaming the mega-corporation for killing thousands of animals through product testing.
5) Veterinarian Conference Protest (Minneapolis, USA) In 2005 animal welfare advocates painted themselves pink and sat in gestation crates in front of the World Veterinary Congress, to protest the shocking treatment of pigs in large-scale factory farms.
The aim of the protest was to influence 4,000 veterinarians attending the conference, encouraging them to empathise with the person in the crate and speak out against the use of cruel sow stalls in the pig farming industry.
6) Vegetarian Rally (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
In March 2012, members of PETA protested against over-fishing and the indiscriminate destruction of marine life by dressing in mermaid costumes and pretending to be killed for consumption.
7) Seal Clubbing Demonstration (Washington DC, USA)
In 2009 animal welfare protesters dressed as Secret Service police officers and blocked traffic in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington.
Recreating the iconic Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover, protesters called on the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, to end the horrific annual seal kills which violently club hundreds of thousands of seals to death every year.
See you on the streets!
So there you have it – you don’t need a lot of money or a lot of people to make a powerful statement about animal protection.
All you need is a voice and a message… and a little bit of paint can sometimes help as well.