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.