This project gets better each day, I swear…
Besides allowing my unattended phone to fall prey to a thieving drug addict (no, really: I spoke to the guy on one of my friends’ phones, during which he tried to charge me the cost of his “product” he traded to get the phone plus “interest” to get it back!), I’m really enjoying my daily routine. It’s been interesting, to say the least. I had a conversation with one older fellow cradling a staff, not affiliated with Tulane, on his way from the public library. He told me he was down with my cause, but wandered back a minute later.
“But you know,” he said, like an afterthought, “the only thing that’s gonna make a difference for those animals is the Messiah.” I told him he should keep praying and said, “But I’m not going to wait for the Messiah; I’m going to try to do something because there are animals dying every day inside there.” (After all, ol’ JC hasn’t made an appearance in, you know, 2000 years!) He thought for a second and then replied, “Oh, yeah. That’s true.”
Greeting familiar faces, “formalities” like debating with researchers and giving out flyers, making new friends…It’s almost like I work there! By day six, the campus cops call me by name and friends inside bring me treats; by day thirty, Tulane will have, like, offered me a job or something!
Seven strong, we held down the sidewalk in front of the THSC sidewalk on Friday and had lunch. Seeing us chowing down, I think Tulane students and staff were a little confused — like, “Food?! I thought it was a protest!” And the answer is yes: it is a protest, a vigil, a picnic, or whatever we want it to be!
Red beans and rice, vegan mac n’ cheeze, Zapps, beautiful homebaked carrot cake…Maybe not a feast worthy of the Theoi Daitioi but certainly a venerable offering of sizable splendor! The potluck went so well, in fact, that — by the (vegan) powers vested in me —I hereby declare every Friday at noon an official picnic day henceforth! (Weekend warriors, fret not: you, too, can enjoy midday consumption of mass quantities when you visit on Saturday and Sunday if you’d like! Plus the holidays are coming. Soy nog, anyone…?)
Almost one week in, and already the implications of this thing are blowing my mind! With the help of the wonderful Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, some animal rights folks nationwide have stepped in to lend their support for my campaign. Here is a list of national actions that have springboarded from what I am doing: 30 Days for Laboratory Animals events calendar! I also just received word that there will be a vigil outside the UCLA animal research lab on Decmember 13th in solidarity with you-know-whoooo…Uh huh. Your boy. I’m so flattered I’m actually blushing! UCLA has seen consistent pressure from the animal rights movement for a while now, and activists have been arrested for demonstrating there. Thanks to these awesome folks in Los Angeles for making this happen, and if you live in the area, please support them!