BeFairBeVegan, an animal rights advocacy collective that pairs an uncompromising vegan message with striking imagery, has broadened its Canada chapter by launching in Montréal, Quebec. The new chapter is an advertising takeover of Montréal’s Berri-UQAM station along with 99 digital screens located in other key stations and hubs around the city, and will run until September 29th.
In addition to the official outdoor ads, BeFairBeVegan materials will be on display at a public vigil held by local activists on September 14th at Jardins Gamelin. The event begins at 2:00.
The Berri Station campaign will utilize print and digital media to display messaging that is both touching and provocative. Commuters will encounter ads on the underground digital network, prompting them to learn more about veganism and the organization’s mission. BeFairBeVegan’s Montréal campaign is the second phase of a widespread, 8-week campaign that launched in Toronto early this week. The Montréal and Toronto campaigns are the group’s first foray into metro Canada.
“The truth is, the world can change,” says Joanna Lucas, the campaign’s director. “Indeed, the world has changed many times before, and it has changed in ways that seemed impossible at the time. The world will change, but only if we confront the truths we go to great lengths to avoid or distort: the truth that humane animal exploitation is a self-serving myth; the truth that animal farming on any scale is an ethical and environmental disaster; the truth that fellow animals are not ours to own, use, and ‘harvest’, but persons who happen to be nonhuman, individuals who have an equal right to life and freedom from human oppression; the truth that being vegan is not something we ‘try’ but something we owe our fellow animals.”
Since launching in Manhattan in 2016, BeFairBeVegan has undertaken similar campaigns in seven other major cities around the world. The NYC launch utilized a dramatic moving billboard in the middle of Times Square, inviting onlookers to see the animals we use in a different light.
The advertisements aren’t always met with a warm welcome. In Melbourne, they sparked talk of censorship after the government-owned Yarra Trams dropped the campaign at the last minute. In St. John’s, Newfoundland, the ads were rejected by the transit company Metrobus, even after evidence was provided that the claims made were not “inaccurate or deceptive.”
Communications manager Angel Flinn explains: “The discomforting descriptions our opponents would dismiss as being extreme are in fact accurate portrayals of the violence that other animals endure every day, around the world. Nonhumans everywhere are the enslaved inhabitants of a degrading underground world, the specifics of which are guarded by secrecy and protected by conveniently reassuring propaganda that comforts its customers into believing that their everyday choices are not, in fact, costing lives and liberties.”
Despite strong pushback, BeFairBeVegan has also been lauded for its attempt to bring animal rights to the forefront of public awareness. The ads have garnered attention from celebrities like actor and Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix, who praised BeFairBeVegan’s message that we need to “address our speciesist attitudes.”
To learn more about BeFairBeVegan and its current or past campaigns, please visit the organization’s website at http://befairbevegan.com/.