“Anything for the animals” is what I believe I said as I stepped into the chicken costume at the Inman Park Festival. I’m not really sure, though, because my heart was pounding so loud I couldn’t think. I’m usually not one to dance around in costume and catch crowds, but ever since I’ve been advocating for animal rights, things have changed. I mean, how can I not fight for these helpless beautiful creatures after knowing the cruelty they have to endure? If leading people toward not eating these animals means being goofy for a few hours, then sign me up.
The costume was supplied by Georgia Animal Rights and Protection (GARP) who had a booth at the festival where they paid people $1 to watch a 4-minute video on factory farming. This is the first time I volunteered for them, and boy are they an amazing organization! I was proud to be in that chicken suit for a short amount of time to contribute to the endless hours they spend trying to promote a compassionate lifestyle.
The “Farm to Fridge” video they showed is not for the faint-hearted. These scenes that detail factory farming and slaughterhouse practices never get easy to watch. While I was dancing around outside entertaining the kids and making people smile, there were festival patrons inside the tent with their eyes stricken on a computer screen, gasping with their hands over their mouths in disbelief. I was told later in the day that 45 people watched the video, and although I’d never wish for anyone to see these video clips unfold before their eyes, I was happy to know that more people have access to the truth. Those 45 people may not become immediate vegans or vegetarians, but I’d have to bet that they can’t deny the cruelty and evilness that happens to defenseless animals every single day in this world.
I’m excited to get more involved with GARP, even if it means dressing up in chicken costumes and making a fool of myself, because I believe it means one more person may be swayed to live a life of mercy and peace.
The slideshow below contains pictures from the Inman Park Festival parade, the GARP tent and my amazing vegan Reuben sandwich from Dough Bakery (I think I dreamt about that sandwich last night – it was that unbelievably good!).