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The National Animal Rights Day transitions to an online event in response to the coronavirus
The tenth anniversary global gathering will take place June 7 on Zoom
LOS ANGELES (27 May 2020): Aylam Orian and his event staff were eager to plot something special to mark the tenth anniversary of The National Animal Rights Day set for June 7 and planned to take place in more than 50 cities across the world. The novel coronavirus has forced the nonprofit event to move their various festivities online via Zoom, merging all of the global host cities into one live event slated for 8:30am PT/11:30am ET/3:30pm GMT.
Last year’s Los Angeles event began with a march led by Hollywood A-listers Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, transitioned into a moving memorial service, and concluded with a celebration of plant-based food, music, arts, entertainment and stirring speeches from animal rights activists and influencers. Something similar was being planned for this year when the pandemic hit, forcing organizers to scramble and create something totally unique for 2020.
“Doing one big global event online will allow us to do something special for our tenth anniversary after all,” said the Los Angeles-based Orian. “We do these events each year no matter what: rain, shine, pandemic or not. The animals deserve to have this day, every year on the same day, no matter how difficult the circumstances are for us humans. Whatever challenging circumstance we may have, it is nothing compared to their circumstances. The animals need us to be their voice that day no matter what. We owe it to them. And just like Memorial Day ceremonies for fallen soldiers do not get postponed due to inclement weather or bad circumstances, we decided that our event honoring the animals should be treated the same way. It is not coincidence that The NARD is close to Memorial Day for people in the US. Our event is like Memorial Day and Independence Day for the animals combined.”
Since its founding by Orian in New York City in 2011, The National Animal Rights Day participants gather to commemorate, educate and celebrate the lives of all animals. Last year, events took place in more than 35 cities around the world and this year, that number was expected to top 50 cities. With mass gatherings in most global cities suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19 concerns, Orian and his team shifted this year’s event to Zoom.
Among the list of scheduled speakers are PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk, three-time NBA champion John Salley, race car driver Leilaini Munter, Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Global), Almira Tanner (Direct Action Everywhere), Shivonne Kaspara Engen (Animal Save Movement), Damien Mander (International Anti-Poaching Foundation), and activists and influencers James Aspey, Genesis Butler and That Vegan Couple.
Although a march and plant-based foods will not be part of this year’s The National Animal Rights Day, the rest of the usual program will take place. The first part of the event memorializes the animals who lost their lives at the hands of humans for food, clothing, entertainment, scientific testing and pet breeding. After the funeral-like ceremony, The Declaration of Animals Rights will be read, outlining the inalienable rights of all animals as written by Orian and his fellow activists prior to the inaugural The National Animal Rights Day.
The second half is a celebration with live music, entertainment and informational talks that educate about the alternatives to using animals and animal products, and applaud the progress made by the animal rights and plant-based movements.
Orian sees benefits to having one global online event.
“For the first time, we will be able to have everyone from all over the world together in one event. We usually have separate events in cities around the world, each at its own location and time on the same day. When we do that, we only get to experience each other’s events, along with a sense of global unity, afterwards when we see the images and videos from all the cities. But this year, we will be able to be together in real time: 1,000 compassionate animal lovers from such diverse places as Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Mumbai, Manila, Perth, Tokyo, Berlin, Toronto, Oslo, Hong Kong and many other major cities. Another benefit of becoming an online event this year is that this will give us a chance to curate the event program with great speakers and performers from around the world thus making it into a special international and multicultural event befitting our tenth anniversary.”
Earlier this week, organizers released a new video showcasing highlights from previous The National Animal Rights Days as well as to remind people why this event needs to take place. It can be viewed at https://youtu.be/p3Wdv-aF3vc.
The National Animal Rights Day is organized by “Our Planet. Theirs Too,” a 501(c3) nonprofit organization. For more information or to donate, please visit http://thenard.org.