Taking the Liberation Pledge can come with a variety of challenges.
This page is a compilation of resources aimed at supporting you.
New to navigating the liberation pledge? Here are some suggestions that may help.
- Offer an alternative meal. Suggest an alternative meal that leaves others feeling welcome and included. There are many online resources for preparing holiday and other meals that are respectful of animals.
- Suggest an alternative arrangement. If the meal hosts insist on eating violence at the meal, you can arrange to visit before or after the meal, perhaps over animal-friendly snacks, appetizers, or dessert.
- Emphasize, organize, and attend other opportunities to get together. Whether a holiday meal or a get-together with colleagues, highlight, create, and go to alternative gatherings where there are no victims’ bodies. Movies, games, happy hours and other activities offer day-to-day alternatives, and you can also arrange separate holiday gatherings not involving animals' dead bodies.
- Reiterate your love and respect for the person. Nonviolence can be succinctly described as anger toward systems, compassion toward individuals. Emphasize that while you oppose violence against animals and your friend or loved one's choice to participate in the systems that cause this violence, you love and respect them as a person.
- Consider coming to the event and leaving temporarily in the presence of violence. For a holiday or personal gathering, consider joining your friends and/or family and then stepping out of the room when animals' bodies are being eaten or on display. This can make a powerful statement both of your love for your friends and family as well as your specific resistance to an act of violence.
- Having trouble with committing to the Liberation Pledge? Orlando Torres writes about ways you can cater the Liberation Pledge to work for you - and still make it a powerful statement for animals. Read here.
MAKING A LIBERATION BAND
Making a liberation band by yourself is simple and requires only a few basic tools. Forks can be sharp, so make sure you handle them with care. Lastly, keep an eye on the Liberation Pledge Support Group on Facebook- there may be an organised liberation band making party near you!
1 - Find a fork. A cheaper, flimsier fork is best. You'll need something easy to bend.
2 - Find some tools. You'll need two pairs of pliers. In a pinch, an adjustable wrench/spanner could work.
3 - Bend like hell. With a pair of pliers carefully gripping either end, bend the fork into a bracelet.
SAMPLE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
"Today I am stating my refusal to eat where animals are being eaten. Like many of my friends, I know animals of many species - human, dog, chicken, fish - and I respect all of them and even love some of them. For this reason, from this point on, I will treat the body of any animal the same and refuse to participate in meals where animals' bodies are being eaten."
I am really looking forward to getting together with you soon! I wanted to let you know that if the event is serving animals, I will not be participating, as I have taken a pledge to respect the lives of animals. Our friendship is really important to me, and I would love to help cook and prepare a plant-based meal. If not, I would love to get together for [snacks/hanging out/drinks] or another meal. Let me know if that works!
Thank you again for reaching out to me about getting together.
Below are some of the most common remarks (and suggested responses) you may encounter as a result of your pledge.
1) "You should respect our personal choices."
"I love/respect you and respect your choices when they do not affect anyone else, but when they hurt animals, I believe I have to say something."
As a backup, you can add:
"I cannot choose to be where something I consider violent is happening, so I'd ask you to respect my choice."
2) "You're forcing your beliefs down my throat."
"I believe it's important to consider the animals who also are involved in these meals. I do not want to participate in meals where people are eating animals because I don't want to force my or others' beliefs on them. I do respect you and any beliefs you have that do not lead you to hurt others."
3) "You care more about activism/animals/your cause/your beliefs than your family/friends/me."
"I love you, respect you, and want to spend time with you during any activity that is respectful of animals, too. This is not about you or my feelings about you. It's about finding ways to spend time with you that are also respectful of animals and so having not tension or resentment but peace between us."