Vegan Kalamazoo at Peace Pizzazz and Circus Pages Protest

Chris at Peace Pizzazz

Chris at Peace Pizzazz

Hey VK fans! I hope you are doing well and I am so excited to tell you about what Vegan Kalamazoo has been up to this past weekend! To start off, we were invited to table at the 7th Annual Peace Pizzazz, a festival for children, teens and adults aimed at promoting the Golden Rule (treat others how you want to be treated) and advocating for peace in the Kalamazoo community. We were there extending that argument to treating all sentient beings how we want to be treated.

We had a “name that fruit matching activity” and coloring sheets for the children, along with information on how to make the transition to a plant based diet for teens and adults. We answered thought provoking questions from the attendees such as, “I look pretty healthy (He did) and have been eating meat so how would you pitch me to go Vegan?” (Awesome question!) to which I responded, “The golden rule. If we don’t wish to be killed, eaten and/or held captive, then how can we support those who do that to animals by purchasing animal products?” We were also questioned about a recipe for Vegan Gumbo and found one in the Betty Goes Vegan cookbook. After visiting some of the other booths and watching the peace focused music and art performances, I feel confident that the next generation of adults growing out of this community will be more peaceful, empathetic and kind than mine.

Peace Pizzazz was organized wonderfully despite having to change location last minute due to rainy weather and we look forward to attending next year! We hope would love to share more about this event at our Vegan Potluck on June 11 2015.

Chris at the Circus Protest

Chris at the Circus Protest

The following day, we were a part of the circus protest organized by the Kalamazoo Animal Liberation League (KALL) at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center and Fairgrounds. Circus Pages was promoted as a fun and entertaining event for the family, however these type of shows are far from fun for the animals, who are often mistreated and beaten in order to learn the “tricks” they are forced to perform for the crowd. They are constantly in fear, held in small cages, and transported across the country against their will. This is the equivalent of slave labor and we wanted to attendees to be reminded of this.

As I arrived at the fairgrounds, I drove by the area where numerous animals including camels, elephants, tigers and giraffes were outside and unprotected in 50 degree rainy weather. Most of them generally looked miserable and it looked very unnatural to see them in that state. I felt even more encouraged by this and was proud to be a voice for animals who cannot speak for themselves. The number of people attending each show was around 120 and fellow veteran protesters from KALL said that this was the lowest number of attendees they had seen at the fairgrounds for circus. We are happy to announce that we were able to reduce this number even more due to our efforts! At least 10 cars of people did not attend the event after they drove by our protest at the main entrance. Many even thanked us for being out there and were happy to not attend the circus. This was the best part! To know that we helped reduce the profits of Circus Pages helps to give them an indication that what they are doing is cruel, unwanted, and should be stopped immediately.

Group shot of protesters

Group shot of protesters

Veteran and rookie protesters stood together for over two hours, and we were so proud of everyone for coming out! We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who attended! Be sure to join the Vegan Kalamazoo Meetup Group to keep updated on events like this. We would love to have you participate with us!

Chris Hendrickson
Vegan Kalamazoo

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