Merry Murdermas

Back in the days prior to commencing a compassionate life, I never used to have problems going to the supermarket or shops, but these days there is a literal gauntlet of triggers that I need to side-step just to get to the vegetables; and even then I frequently need to live-censor certain parts of the shops and surrounds out of my sphere of consciousness just to be able to make it back to the checkout.

At this time of year, the morgue sections of the supermarkets spill out beyond their usual boundaries, with the surplus of freshly severed legs (from pigs as young as five and six months old) wrapped in plastic and placed on refrigerated shelves.

All traces of the individual that once was are stripped away and packaged at the ready, soon to be consumed by people who refuse to acknowledge that the body parts on which they will feast were taken from an innocent being via brutal and violent force – all to end up on a dinner plate, which hardly seems fair.

Usually I hold a hand up to shield my eyes if I have to pass through a corridor of dismembered body parts, but I find seeing these pig legs exceptionally triggering because I have met the pigs who once stood on those legs. I have heard the cries and seen tears in the eyes of these sweet and gentle animals mere moments before they are forced to endure the most horrific death imaginable; one which we audaciously label “humane”.

Young pig cries before entering slaughterhouse
Pig Save 11 July 2021

The last pig save vigil I attended was back in July, and it broke my heart when I heard the news that the December vigil was cancelled. It has been months since I have been able to give comfort to animals in person, although I have crossed paths with many animals being trucked to their gory deaths since then, which I will write about soon.

Pig Save 11 July 2021

Every single animal that has been born just to be killed for human consumption has a mother – one that loves her babies very much, just as much as we love babies of our species.

People from around the world united in laughter when the baby panda sneezing video did the rounds and there is no better place to observe the unbreakable and instinctive maternal bond between mother and child than when watching non-human animals interact with their babies.

Pig Save 11 July 2021

We watch nature documentaries with our families, looking on with joy and cheering when the mother rescues her stranded baby, or successfully evades a predator – it’s like we have forgotten that all animals have the same protective and loving instincts towards their babies, regardless of their species.

When a mother gives birth, all she wants to do is offer love, comfort and offer milk to her new-born, but it is a desire she will never be allowed to fulfil within the confines of animal agriculture.

Mother pig whose teats were still dripping milk
Mother pig still lactating
Pig Save 11 July 2021

Imagine the anguish of the new mother who is forced to watch on helplessly as someone picks up their infant to slice parts off them without any anaesthetic – listening to the screams of your baby and being powerless to intervene, all they can do is scream too.

Just because their cries are not in a human language, does not make them any less piercing to the heart when you take the time to listen.

Pig Save 11 July 2021

Pigs are highly intelligent and, despite the contrary misconception, naturally clean animals whose intelligence level is ranked higher than dogs; but sadly, they are rarely afforded the same rights as that of their “domestic” counterparts – merely “live stock”, a life awaiting death, all for the consumer’s convenience and preference to consume “bacon” or “Christmas ham”.

How much more would these animals need to resemble dogs before you realise that they are exactly the same as our beloved companion animals?

Would you let someone eat your cat or dog? If the answer if no, then how can we justify taking the life of any animal when we know how much pain and suffering it causes them?

Pig Save 11 July 2021

I want to see a world where we don’t exploit the vulnerable – regardless of their species – one in which we fuel our bodies with super-foods, not the corpses of animals who only ever knew fear, pain and torture before their violent deaths.

If the old saying carries any merit and “we are what we eat” truly, then how can we genuinely expect to thrive as individuals if we’re living on a diet of death and suffering?

Pig Save 11 July 2021
Pig Save 11 July 2021

The question remains, will you choose to eat compassionately these Holidays, or will you be choosing to separate and eat other families instead?

I hope you will choose with your heart and decide to keep animals and their families off the table this year.

The only thing we need from animals is their forgiveness.

Video: Peta Australia

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season with your loved ones and may you act with love and compassion, always.

– Stace

Melbourne Pig Save

It was a chilly Sunday morning, April 18th, when I made the journey out to Diamond Valley Pork (DVP) in Laverton to attend my first Melbourne Pig Save Vigil and my apprehension was palpable as I arrived.

As I reached the first part of the DVP building structure, I could hear rustling and scraping sounds, was it the sound of movement coming from behind the wall – was it the sound of scared pigs awaiting their turn for the most horrific death on earth? Truly, what awaits them in the slaughterhouse is something straight out of a horror film.

I was fortunate enough to know a few of the other vigil attendees from various Animal Rights events and Jess, the vigil organiser, made me feel very welcome amongst the gathering of around 30 volunteers. At 9am we were talked through a safety briefing and instructed that two trucks would be stopped for us for five minutes each and that sadly, despite requesting permission to, we were expressly forbidden from giving water to the pigs; DVP maintain that they do this to ensure that we don’t give these terrified, dehydrated animals water with “something in it”.

Image by John Karapaladis

Knowing that all you can offer these beautiful animals is five minutes of peace, calm and loving words is a hard pill to swallow and I really wasn’t sure what to expect when the first truck rolled around the corner.

Once the truck came to a stop and we were cleared to approach, I made my way to the front of the truck as it was closest to me, deciding at the last minute to throw my cane back onto the nature strip as it was only a few meters away and I really needed both hands to engage with the pigs properly.

Image by John Karapaladis

The terrified pigs were crammed inside the truck’s compartments so tightly that one poor pig had become trapped and was screaming out in pain – I tried to see where the screaming pig was, but there were just too many animals for me to be able to see clearly.

Standing leg-deep in their own excrement, a lot of the pigs were foaming at the mouth (a sign of dehydration and motion sickness) and most looked quite understandably terrified.

All of the pigs looked unwell, some more battered than others, but it was easy to spot the animals who had probably had the roughest time so far – a deep sadnesss in their eyes that had glazed over the spot where their sparkle should be.

Pigs are extremely intelligent and naturally clean animals; they have complex relationships, can communicate and even learn to recognise their name in their first few weeks of life. Sadly, the animal agriculture industry has no care for the sentience of these animals, nor for their capacity to suffer and feel pain.

Shortly after birth, all piglets are forced to endure a variety of bodily mutilations once they are born: such practices include teeth-cutting, tail-docking and testicle removal via scalpel – all of these are done without any anaesthesia.

Once born, piglets are isolated with their mother, confined to a farrowing crate, which prevents the mother pig from being able to turn around, they can only stand up or down.

Usually, due to their clean nature, pigs will not deficate anywhere near where they eat, but when they are confined to farrowing crates, these animals are unable to follow their natural instincts, meaning they must live in their own waste.

If a piglet becomes trapped under their mother, there is little she can do to help them and any piglet who is deemed “sickly” or “unlikely to grow to healthy slaughter weight” will be pounded against concrete (PACing), a practice also known as “thumping” in which blunt force trauma is used to kill the piglet.

We have been conditioned our entire lives to believe that there is some magical, harm-free process that turns piglets into products, but this has always been a lie.

After the pigs are forced into the slaughterhouse they are electrocuted, gassed, stabbed in the throat and then submerged in boiling water where automated arms will drag them under the water repeatedly until they either bleed out or drown – some pigs are still fully conscious when they go into the water due to the ineffectiveness of various “stunning” methods.

The cruelty of the animal agriculture industries truly know no bounds – in places like Argentina and Uraguay pregnant horses are taken to places known as “blood farms” where they will have their blood extracted to obtain the PMSG (Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin) contained within.

PMSG is used in Europe to stimulate and synchronise oestrus in pigs and other farm animals. PMSG can also be used to induce superovulation, which results in larger litter sizes, or to induce puberty in sows.

That’s right, blood-letting pregnant horses in order to increase the litter sizes of mother pigs – the fact that companies have the audacity to call these practices “humane” really should tell you all you need to know about their true intentions towards animals.

Going and standing face to snout with innocent individuals who are about to be tortured and dismembered for a five-minute meal isn’t an easy task, but I needed those individuals to know that they were seen, that someone cared and that not all humans are bad.

I wish I could have offered them more than love.

The only thing we need from animals is their forgiveness.

Tiktok Trolls Make Animal Rights Mainstream

Trolling people for attention has become a common stunt to pull amongst content creators on the video-sharing platform Tiktok and, if you caught the news from our sweet little home here in Melbourne (Naarm), Australia, then you may have come across this: TikTok pranksters Nick and Bill slammed after eating KFC in front of vegan protesters. 

Last Saturday, a teenage duo who go by the Tiktok username @nickandbill, filmed themselves stuffing their mouths with boxes of KFC in front of Anonymous for the Voiceless outreachers at their weekly Cube of Truth demonstration in Bourke Street Mall.

The clip quickly went viral with over 3 million views and, unsurprisingly, the public’s reactions were quite polarised, with many people adamant that the pair were entitled to their spectacle; a sentiment that Animal Rights activists, Paul Bashir and Karen Shugg, most certainly shared.

Anonymous for the Voiceless founder, Paul Bashir, can be heard telling the boys that they are “morons”, before thanking them for their spectacle antics and even extended the olive branch to the pair, should they want to return again.

Now, in fairness, this is not the first time the two teenagers have rocked up to a Cube with giant green phallus in-hand: you may recall my second blog article which discussed my very first expereience at a Cube of Truth (including being trolled by the teen who goes by “Nick”).

Nick of @nickandbill
Photo Credit: John Karapalidis

The pair’s first attempt to cause disruption didn’t yield them any likes, in fact, the encounter was such a non-event that they went home empty-handed, with no post-worthy content to share. During the first encounter with Nick in Novemeber 2020, he revealed that he was only sixteen, so I guess I’d like to hope the youngster will gain some perspective with time.

It’s a sad world in which we live, when mocking the suffering, torture and abuse of innocent beings becomes a laughable event, click-bait for the masses.

The University of Rochester’s Health Encyclopedia gives some insight into understanding the teenage brain, saying:

It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet.

The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.

In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.

In teen’s brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not always at the same rate. That’s why when teens have overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking. They weren’t thinking as much as they were feeling.

Hopefully, given the soon-to-be-forming of their pre-frontal cortexes, there is still hope that these boys might grow up to think and function as more caring and empathetic humans in our world.

Regardless of how the stunt made viewers feel, there is no such thing as bad publicity for social justice issues and if that’s what activists have to put up with in order to get Animal Rights on the six o’clock news, then it’s a price well worth paying.

The only thing we need from animals is their forgiveness.

Humane Slaughter is an Oxymoron

The meat and dairy industries are pretty good at convincing consumers that if they buy animal parts labelled with “humane”, “grass-fed”, “free range” et cetera, then these animals somehow suffer less and therefore it is the “best option” for the discerning animal lover who just can’t seem to stop eating the “object” of their desires.

The reality is that all animals end up in the exact same slaughterhouse, subjected to the same torturous death rituals that each of these industries have institutionalised, depending on the species they enslave and exploit of course.

The word “humane” means to show compassion or benevolence, so how exactly does one prod, cut, whip, electrocute and stab animals compassionately to death?

Photo Credit: John Karapalidis

The notion of “humane slaughter” is an oxymoronic insult to the truth regarding the severe abuse and violence that animals in these industries are forced to endure.

From birth to death these innocent beings suffer in squalid conditions and are routinely sujected to a range of abuses: bodily mutilations without pain relief, recurrent rape cycles and, eventually, a ritualistic death that bears a scary resemblence to sacrificial cult practices.

For every egg you buy, millions of male chicks are mascerated or suffocated as soon as they are born. For every glass of milk you consume, a baby calf that grew inside their mother for nine months has their throat slit so that you can drink the milk that was meant for them.

We have asserted our dominance over other sentient beings so aggressively that we no longer even recognise those animals as individuals – they are merely products, commodities, the recently advertised fast food burger-combo ingredients that’s dirt cheap and only costs your health.

Photo Credit: John Karapalidis

After a certain point, claiming ignorance as a supposedly informed member of society really just doesn’t cut it though and the sad reality is, unless you’re living a vegan life you are actively funding and sanctioning the abuse of animals; it really is as black and white as that. That’s not a judgement by the way, that’s just how supply and demand works and, I’m sorry, but if you insist that our predilection for the taste of dead animals body parts and secretions is more important than preventing animal abuse, well I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree.

 “I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”


If you’re against animal abuse, then stop paying for it to happen – choose to live a compassionate life that doesn’t normalise cruelty, rape, abuse and violence.

We do a grave disservice to our children the moment we teach them to be speciesist: that it’s wrong to kill a cat, but okay to kill a cow – it is our first introduction to prejudice and the one from which all other forms of prejudice stem.

The only thing we need from animals is their forgiveness.

Street-based Animal Rights Activism

You have to give credit where credit is due, doing street-based outreach isn’t an easy gig; no two conversations will ever be alike despite the topic being the same. There is a certain element of uncertainty that fills the air when a conversation turns south; the verbal attacks become heated, tensions rise and someone storms off from an outreacher, often spitting angry looks and words towards other AV outreachers as they go, indignant about being told what their money is truly paying for: the en mass slaughter and routine abuse of some of Earth’s most gentle animals in ways that are straight out of a horror movie.

The human race wandered to a very dark place with the advent of factory farming and the reason these industries don’t want you to know what they really do to animals behind the un-monitored walls of slaughterhouses and animal agriculture farms, is because the truth is bloody, violent and evil.

Photo Credit: John Karapaladis

Each time I go to a Cube of Truth I find myself going over and over the outreach conversations I had, brainstorming better responses that would have either helped me make my point, or better yet, provide information that can help people see that there is no room to adopt a reductionist attitude towards animal abuse and consuming animal products.

For many people, speciesism is the first prejudice learned in life – we are taught to love cats, dogs and horses, but that the rape, torture and murder of other animals is okay because we like the way they taste.

As a civilisation we have condemned certain species’ of animals to the most inhumane of existences – taking these thinking, feeling, loving animals and inflicting violence and abuse from the very moment they are born, until the last, horrific final moments before having their throat slit; all so that these industries can turn the remnants of their abused bodies into “products” like sandwiches and shoes.

Is it not the height of arrogance to claim that our desire for a particular taste should justify the atrocities that we commit against these innocent animals?

Photo Credit: John Karapaladis

A lot of people I talk to are genuinely shocked when they witness the reality of these industries for the first time; certainly no one wants to be thought of as someone who condones animal abuse – the sad reality, however, is that most people are still walking around completely set in their brainwashed cognitive dissonance, failing to make an empathetic association between the dismembered body parts and secretions they consume and the animals themselves, innocent beings who did nothing to deserve such a life.

It is possible to shut down these industries, to end the animal holocaust and abolish animal slavery once and for all, but we can only make it happen if we keep on having these tough conversations with people; that’s why I keep going – so that I can help more people make the connection to the “why” of veganism: the victims.

Photo Credit: John Karapaladis

It should be illegal for the meat and dairy indstries to be able to broadcast campaign ads that blatantly lie to consumers, mis-information that creates the belief we need meat and dairy in order to be healthy and strong when, in reality, it is these very products that are making us sick. Sadly, most people would prefer to take a pill for a medial condition rather than opting for food that could actually reduce the effects of, or even alleviate altogether, said condition.

Isn’t it sad that we still live in a world where it is legal for babies to be ripped from their mothers mere moments after birth only to have their throats slit just so we can steal their breast milk and pour it on our cereal?

Photo Credit: John Karapaladis

Unfortunately there is little in this world that we have control over as individuals, but you can make a difference by simply discontinuing your support of these animal abuse industries – choose to live with kindness and go vegan, it will be the best decision you ever make.

I often hear the objection that it’s “too hard” to go vegan, but which of these is truly harder – doing a Google search in the supermarket for a plant-based alternative, or physically enduring the process of being an animal in the industries that profit from abusing them? No contest, right? Nothing could ever possibly be harder than being in the victim’s position and this is why we fight for justice.

We are living tomorrow’s history lesson, so which side of history do you want to be on?

The only thing we need from animals is their forgiveness.

Anonymous for the Voiceless – Cube of Truth

To say that this is a “small feat’ is both an understatement and an unintentional pun; you see two years ago I was riding my bicycle home from the supermarket when I was struck by a car and injured. After the accident I began having troubles with my right knee, discovering that it had a new tendency to give way – an understandable result of having one’s leg pinned between an iron horse and a Ford I suppose – but a rather inconvenient new trait nonetheless.

My poor bike still looks as though it is permanently turning left despite having its handlebars straightened, so it’s no wonder my knee has issues. For a time, the only way I could mobilise outside of my home was with the use of a wheelchair and a left-handed cane. I’m still currently using the cane and I have to wear a knee-brace to prevent any torsion in my knee.

Even if my bike still worked, I wouldn’t be game get back out on the road – to be completely honest, I am still very prone to severe anxiety attacks in the car so I don’t anticipate myself feeling “ready” to ride again any time soon.

Unfortunately, as my body is still healing, heavy painkillers are required in order for me to even attempt to function on a daily basis. The downside to this is that they impede my ability to concentrate and focus; which, understandably, would prove to be rather troublesome whilst trying to have effective outreach conversations. It was for that reason that I chose not to take anything before I ventured into the city.

As I mentioned, I still currently walk with a cane, so my husband dropped my off at and picked me up from a train station near our house, which definitely made the trip a bit easier.

So yes, attending my first Cube of Truth was a massive achievement for me. It’s been just a little over two years since I was hit by that car and last November, on the 19th, despite all of the injuries I am still healing, I caught public transport to the city –  a train and a tram in true Melbournian fashion – and attended my very first Cube of Truth.

Christmas was just around the corner and Bourke Street was bustling with people. I knew that I was meant to be meeting other activists near the arcade but I couldn’t see anyone wearing Anonymous for the Voiceless shirts so I just sat and waited. My body felt awash with a mixture of anxiety, excitement and nervous energy.

For those who aren’t sure what AV is, the following is from the first page of their website:

Anonymous for the Voiceless Website

As the Bourke Street clock chimed twice for 2 o’clock I noticed the two people sitting across the way from me had taken off a layer to reveal shirts that read “Anonymous for the Voiceless”. I went over and introduced myself to the two other activists – they made me feel very welcome and chatted to me be about their experiences in animal rights activism.

It wasn’t long before Paul Bashir – one of AV’s founders – arrived and began setting up the televisions for the day’s Cube of Truth. We had a two-person cube that day and, although I wasn’t sure how long I would be able to hold one of the TV’s for, I definitely wanted to give it a try.

Photo Credit: John Karapalidis

I pushed my body too much that day and after around only a mere 20 minutes I needed to swap out of the cube and sit down. You never truly appreciate the little things you take for granted until they’re gone I guess – like the ability to walk or even stand in one spot for more than ten minutes.

All of the volunteers at AV have been really thoughtful and considerate of my delicate physical condition and, if I’m being completely honest, that very first day I intentionally forced myself to stand there for as long as physically possible, telling myself over and over in my mind that the pain I was feeling right then was nothing compared to what the animals have to endure.

During my time in the cube a young man approached me and attempted to talk to me using a microphone that was attached to a bright green phallus – yes, you read that correctly, a big green d**k. Now, as you may know, when you’re in the cube with a mask on you are not allowed to speak to any bystanders, so I didn’t move a muscle and it was seconds before Paul intervened began to hold the young man accountable for pointing, laughing and belittling the animal abuse on the screen in front of him.

Photo Credit: John Karapalidis

I really valued that interaction as a learning experience on how to deal with people who are behaving in a belligerent fashion towards animal abuse, it always needs to be called out for what it is.

I had one outreach conversation that day and, although it turned out that the person I spoke to was already vegan, it was still great to be able to practice my outreach skills and discuss the cruelty of the “standard practices” depicted on the screen in front of us.

Photo Credit: John Karapalidis

In the end I had to leave early as my physical capacity was rapidly declining and I knew my body needed rest, so off I went. It was a slow hobble with my cane down to the tram stop and then onto the train at Flinders Street to head back to Preston.

Although I was thoroughly exhausted (and in a great deal of pain) I felt proud of myself – twelve months ago the notion of catching public transport alone to the city would have been inconceivable and even if my progress is slow, it is still progress. To me, Animal Rights are worth fighting for even if it means having to experience a bit more pain sometimes.

In an ideal world I would be down at AV’s Cube of Truth each and every Saturday but I’m well aware that’s a rather unrealistic expectation currently, however I’m extremely motivated to put in the physical hard yards to strengthen my body once again.

Yesterday was my third day at AV’s Cube of Truth and it went really well. I am looking forward to sharing more of my experiences.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you’ll join me for the next chapter in my journey to becoming the best Animal Rights Activist I can be.

The only thing we need from animals is their forgiveness.

Dealing with the Death of Animals

Every single day, animals die so that consumers can have a cheap drive-through burger – this is fact.

Three times a day, consumers get a chance to cast their vote in the animal holocaust – three opportunities to choose kindness and nutrition over abuse and murder.

Maybe you don’t like to think of it as “murder” – after all, animals were put on this earth to be exploited, abused and slaughtered for our enjoyment, right? (insert sarcasm here)

Today may be “Thanksgiving” but, unfortunately for the animals, this holiday is “traditionally” celebrated around the corpses and secretions of once living, thinking, and feeling animals – all of whom had their lives stolen from them because of a flavour preference, because of our self-proclaimed entitlement to animals as a resource.

It doesn’t matter to the animal contained in your sandwich whether someone put a “free-range” or “RSPCA approved” sticker on the package – they are no less dead; and they are dead because people keep choosing to support the slaughter and abuse of animals who suffer the misfortune of being born the wrong kind of animal.

In Western society, cats and dogs are seen as “pets”, whereas cows, pigs and sheep et cetera, are viewed as “livestock” and, as a result, are afforded no rights by those who breed them into existence – born into a life of pain, cruelty, sexual and physical abuse and, ultimately, a violent and brutal slaughter.

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today, please think about making a choice that doesn’t support and facilitate animal abuse.

Choose kindness, go vegan.

The only thing we need from animals is their forgiveness.