Reading Time: < 1 minute Aiyana Goodfellow also gave a speech after the march in 2017 - at the age of 11 (Photo: Facebook)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

‘Proud rebel’ and activist 12-year-old Aiyana Goodfellow took to the stage at the end of this year’s Official Animal Rights March to give a speech in favor of animal liberation.

Double standards

After an introduction from Earthling Ed, Goodfellow opened her speech – in the form of a poem – by highlighting double standards with respect to society’s treatment of animals.

Having listed a number of domesticated animals to which humans show compassion, she asked: “What about the others? Don’t they matter?”

Animal use

Her spoken word also included a comprehensive overview of common forms of animal exploitation.

She said: “Stop using animals, in your every day. They are not at your disposal. They have a life and brain.”

‘Proud rebel’

The self-possessed youngster also touched on her own refusal to follow the status quo.

She said: “Unlike many zombie humans, who just follow the crowd, I am a rebel, and I am proud.”

The estimated 10,000 animal activists in attendance erupted in applause.

Arbitrary differences

Goodfellow followed her poem with a message of unity – and dismissal of arbitrary differences.

She said: “No matter what we look like, no matter our size, skin color, hairstyle, sexuality, or gender – we are all here united to fight for the vulnerable, the tortured, the mutilated, the abused animals suffering right now across the world.”

Call to action

Despite the uplifting nature of her speech, Goodfellow made a point of imploring activists not to rest on their laurels – noting that ‘we can save those who still have a chance’.

She added: “Don’t let this be all. Don’t let this be the peak. We still have so much to do and learn.”

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Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious and culturally sensitive approach to her work in all fields.