Animal rights — birth of an activist | Simone Reyes | TEDxOrangeCoast


Lily Tomlin once said, “Somebody
should do something about that.” But then I realized, “I am somebody.” I had my first “aha, I am somebody” moment
when I was walking down the street, in my native New York city, and happened upon
what I can only describe as a pulsating, brown, furry, and yet kind of slimy
little ball at my feet, that was in grave danger
of being smashed to bits by a very angry sanitation worker,
with a very large shovel. I had no idea what this little
alien thing was, but instinctively, I threw myself on top of it,
screaming, “No, no, no, no, no! I’ll take it.” Of course the guy thought
I was totally nuts, but I did, and took this little ball, and I put it
in a box, and I took it to Central Park, and I sat there staring at it for a couple
of hours, not knowing what to do. And all of a sudden,
the box started to move, and the flaps on the top
of the box opened, and not one, but two beautiful bats
flew out over my head and into the night sky. Apparently, what had happened,
or it’s the best guess of the experts, is that two bats had become
stuck together in the throws of passion – (Laughter) – and fallen from a rooftop somewhere,
and landed at my feet. So, for me, I didn’t know
what this little thing was, but it was pulsating, right? So that meant it must have had a pulse,
which would mean probably a heartbeat, which would mean it could suffer. And that just wasn’t going to happen
on my watch. So, I don’t know what makes some people
watchers and other people doers. I don’t know what plants a seed
that blossoms into a calling. I do know that, for me, it’s a compulsion, to speak for those
that cannot speak for themselves. Uncomfortable, though, it may be for somebody who never
raised her hand in class, hated to be called on to read aloud, and was described by every teacher
as “painfully shy.” I guess something in me
must have connected to those that seemed invisible and voiceless. Perhaps, something in me
saw myself as one of them, needing rescue and a voice. All I know is I have no choice
in the matter anymore. I was born for this, and I raise my hand
for animals every chance I get. I remember the first time
that I was shown footage obtained by undercover investigators, of how animals had suffered and died
for my dinner, my clothing, my entertainment, and my
well-intentioned charitable contributions. I stood in stunned silence,
tears were racing down my face, and my hands were covering my eyes and I was hit with such rage
and such pain, that I could barely speak. Unlike these cows that you might
recognize from YouTube, this footage that I saw
was dark and grainy, but images of eyes wide with terror
will haunt me forever. Animals on factory farms,
and laboratories, zoos, circuses, aquariums, amusement parks, rodeos,
all of it, they are all routinely beaten. They are denied everything
natural to them. They are isolated, burned, electrocuted, brain-damaged, blinded. They are beaten, as I said before,
and they are whipped into submission. They are left to linger in cold cages,
alone, without any painkillers, until they are killed. My brain had to process
that this is legal. This is the way that billions
upon billions of animals live. This is the way that they die. This is what lurks behind closed doors that only ardent animal advocates
dare to open. I was hit with such a wave of guilt,
that I barely recognized myself. These images changed me. They gutted me. They made me realize that all
of these labels that I so detested, like “oppressor,” and “bully,” could just as easily be applied to me,
regardless of intent, because I was a contributor
to industries that view animals as nothing more
than property and machines. So, the little girl that wouldn’t dare
raise her hand in class grew up to be somebody that wants
to raise the roof for animals, because I found that I could
no longer live in peace while there’s a war
being waged against animals. I could no longer feel full
while they’re being starved, or feel warm knowing that they’re being
enslaved in cold cages. I couldn’t feel safe
while they’re being brutalized, and I certainly couldn’t feel free
while they are still oppressed. Activism destroys me, but it also heals me, every day. And every day we’re faced
with new challenges. How to educate the public
within a digestible way? Because let’s face it:
if we’re too graphic, people turn away; they don’t want to know. If we’re too gentle,
then we don’t make any impact. So, for me, sometimes my activism
is loud, and it’s aggressive, and it’s blaring through megaphones
outside of slaughterhouses. But at other times,
it’s in soft, measured tones, speaking about orcas
and dolphins in captivity to little children entering Sea World. And sometimes,
yeah, my message goes viral, with me being let away
from this scene in handcuffs. I believe that activism starts
as a whisper in our soul, a voice, way down deep inside,
almost like intuition, that presents itself
as an unmistakeable knowing that nudges us to look
our conscience dead in the eye, and ask ourselves
the tough questions, such as, “Is this moral?” “Is this the right choice for me?” “Can I sleep at night
knowing what I know now?” “Am I living my truth?” And often times,
the answers will surprise us. A revolution begins with an idea,
a truth in ourselves that we cannot deny, and feel compelled to spread,
regardless of the facts that, yeah, it might isolate us
from those close to us, it might take our safety, our freedom,
and put them at risk, it can drive us
to our darkest depths of despair, and break our hearts. But it’s worth it. Oh man, it is worth it! Because a revolution brings about change
whose time has come, and we are at a tipping point
of this revolution, that begins and builds with each of us recognizing what we know is true in the most sacred places of our hearts,
and acting on it. For me, giving these animals a voice, these choiceless animals, helps illuminate these dark,
cold, bearing enclosures that bring out, with cries of pain,
loneliness and torture, voices begging to be seen,
to be recognized, to know that they are not alone,
and that yes, they are heard. And maybe, somehow,
this makes me feel less alone. Acting on behalf of these animals
that I will never meet, but fight for every day, has connected me
to a global cry for justice that has moved mountains
for other social justice movements. It has taken me from feeling
like a powerless individual to an important,
proactive part of the wheel that is a driving force
toward making this world a kinder, and gentler,
and more sustainable place to live, connecting me to my highest self
as a citizen of the world that I live in. I have planted a seed of change, and I delight in seeing it grow, as more and more animals
are awarded rights, and veganism takes its place
in the mainstream. We all have this in us,
no matter what our calling. We can all change the world. We can all raise our hands. For me, I promise you, I will not rest until every cage is empty, and every tank is drained. What might it be for you? Thank you. (Cheers) (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Animal rights — birth of an activist | Simone Reyes | TEDxOrangeCoast

  1. this woman supports big industrial farms and tries to make backyard chickens look bad, try seeing what's going on in those big industrial farms

  2. THIS IS TO ALL ANIMAL LOVERS, WHO WILL NOT SEE A PUPPY PUT DOWN BECAUSE THE PROCEDURE TO HELP ONE PUPPY WHO'S UMBILICAL CORD WAS CHEWED TO SHORT BY THE MOTHER, THAT SADLY THIS PUPS LIVER WAS HANGING OUT, I MANAGED TO TAPE IT TILL TAKING IT TO ' Roodekruin Veterinary Clinic, Azalea Avenue, Wilro Park, Roodepoort' ONLY TO BE TOLD IT’S A CASH BASIS AND THE PROCEDURE WOULD COST TO MUCH AND I WOULD BE DOING THE PUP A FAVOUR HAVING HER PUT DOWN TO AVOID HUGE COST, I THEN ASKED PLEASE CAN I POSSIBLY PAY ON THE 30th , THE VERY UNFRIENDLY WOMAN VET ABRUPTLY SAID I AM DOING HARM TO THE PUP I SHOULD RATHER PUT HER DOWN, WALKING OUT I WENT TO HELDEKRUIN VETERINARY CLINIC AND THEY IMMEDIATELY HELPED AND ALLOWED ME OPTION TO PAY THE PROCEDURE OFF TO TRY RATHER SAVE HER LIFE THAN PUT HER DOWN, I STRONGLY URGE PEOPLE IN ROODEPOORT TO RATHER TAKE YOUR ANIMALS TO HELDEKRUIN WHERE THEY PUT ANIMALS FIRST AND NOT MONEY!!!!

  3. Speaking for the voiceless, because no one else will, inspirational, everyone who is awake should speak the up for those who cant.

  4. that was the most amazing est speech i have ever herd. we are having to do a speech in class about a social justice issue and you have just inspired me to do something that i think it is wright.

  5. I totally love this..I'm a new vegetarian…so leather is gone from the house..learning more and more😊😊😊😊

  6. When i was 13 years old i saw a documentary called RACING EXTINCTION that gone through me. After watching that i am not the person i was before. I have killed many innocent animals as we all do. In our highways, or just for fun, for food ,for clothes. Now i am a animal lover i help every single speechless animal that cry out for help. We all have to do it because if we dont nobody will. It is my dream to open at least 20 animal hospitals and animal saving institutes.

  7. That look on your face as you were being led away in handcuffs is EXACTLY how I felt the first time the Master Race put ME in a cell for speaking out against human tyranny.

  8. I love what she's saying but I have to say that I often wrestle with this idea a lot. Not that animals shouldn't be tortured. I know that's wrong, but of what I could honestly do about it. It's not that I'm one person, it's that there are so many causes that need help. I want to care about what is happening to animals and would love to devote all my time to it, but at the same time if we cared about everything and everyone suffering it would destroy us. There is so much darkness in the world and the really unfair lesson of life is that you have to turn away from certain things. If I devote time to this I am not helping someone else. There's a real opportunity cost. In the end we have to rationalize why we think some things deserve our attention more than others or we have to accept that we can't help everyone and we're choosing somethings over another.
    So I guess my question would be, at what point do we get to say that it's not our problem and I am not going to try to fix it?

  9. All the best to you Querida Simone, humans who stand up for animals are my biggest inspiration!

  10. Unfortunately she's associated with peta, which means any animal she does help rescue, if they end up at Peta, will most likely be euthanized. What a shame she puts energy into that terrorist organization.

  11. I came to realize as a member of the NRA that I should Care about Protecting Public Lands and wildlife from large corporations since the environment on government property Belongs to We the People, and we could be the next victim of mistreatment by these companies if we allow them abuse our property, the environment.

  12. I am somewhat of an animal rights supporter (mainly because of people's decisions), but this woman is a perfect example on why I don't follow these movements. I felt that she was too descriptive in her story and argument, and that just turned me off. This is not a type of person I'd sit and have a chat with, but this is just my analysis.

  13. Pet keeping is bad human behavior. Let animals live their life in their own race in their own free space (not zoo) !

  14. Thank you so much for this video! It is so beautiful and perfectly said. Go Vegan!! And Be the Voice for these Beings!!

  15. I totally understand what this woman is saying. But, animals exist for the benefit of humanity. Animals live so they can die by the knife of humans. I totally believe we should try to slaughter animals in a humane way. If we are to stop depending on animals for food then what are we going to eat? Next thing you know we have "plant rights" activists, because plants feel pain too.

  16. I hope she never goes to dead dog island in Puerto Rico. That's where dogs are dumped when their "owners" are done with them 😭

  17. ALL animals deserves to live a life free from pain and suffering. We can ALL help, many petitions and events can be found online at organizations like PETA, ASPCA, HSI and etc.

  18. I wanted to meet you and wanted a debate with you in front of all over the world and on the topic of animals and beggars explotation……… seriously i get motivated and really wanted a debate with you….😌😌😤😉😊

  19. I'd rather that the animals die in the wild than die to us. I'm ashamed that such beautiful creatures die in the wrath of the
    'all mighty' human race.
    Good on us…

  20. I’m being harassed about my dog someone tried to stick their hand in my dog mouth and it’s my fault what can one do

  21. I relate so damn much to this. I honestly hate being an activist but it's something I have to do. How could I live with myself if I didn't take action to help? Not speaking up would be so much more comfortable. I'm really shy and socially anxious, but I have to speak up for them.

  22. Si 1⃣ français 🇫🇷 passe par là : vous pouvez signer une pétition contre l'expérimentation animale sur le site 30 Millions d'Amis 🐎 🐁🐭🐰🐦🐍🐟🐒🐱🐺🐶🐖🐾

  23. It needs too stop is not fair on these beautiful animals people have no heart people say that animals are monster they should look at them self the real monster are people animals are way better then people

  24. We need to put all the animal rights activists in a lions cage for 2 reasons: One, they can learn about the humanity of what to do to someone when you are hungry and two, sometimes lions gotta eat.

  25. The study points out that some vegans rely heavily on processed foods and may not eat a sufficient variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A whole food, plant-based diet is commendable, and a well-planned vegan diet can be adequate to achieve proper nutrition, but requires some education. Nutrients of concern are vitamin B-12, iron, calcium, vitamin D, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

  26. "Animals" are living breathing, thinking beings we are fortunate to share this earth with. Heaven help the person I see abusing a dog, cat, horse,etc……………………………………….ad infinitum

  27. Thanks girl…….we are one…not a one world order…..we are one with nature…..wake up people……

  28. i am vegan since i am about ten years old, i am now 45. i made that decision myself, i have been ridiculed a lot for my veganisme choice ar that young age. i am happy to see that there i am not the only one now..

  29. Its the food chain lady, thats why im on top, and your on bottom (no joke intended)

    Top of food chain 🤛
    ^ (me)
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    | (this woman)
    Bottom of food chain

  30. Stop animal cruelty. People slaughtering animals (pigs, cows, etc) unhumanely for producing food. I’d rather be a vegan than see animals suffer a terrifying death! :’(

  31. Beautiful lady, lovely long hair and great speech. Well put across, nice and slow with great animation I am right behind her I threw out all my goods that tested on animals recently and replaced them with non animal testing. I would like the scientists to stop as I feel pain for them, I will take the pain for the animals.

  32. Animals are 1000 times better than humans. They never hurt anyone's feelings as humans do. I just love animals no matter how poisonous or dangerous they are.

  33. A thousand likes and massive love you, to you Simone.
    May the light within you shine brightly in the hearts of those
    who don't want to see.

  34. Bats can't just take off flying from the ground . if they fall to ground they have climb least 20 feet up a tree or structure and they jump and take off that way .

  35. 1) animals can’t have rights, humans are responsible to respect them tho
    2) humans evolved specifically to eat meat.

  36. I can't believe people waste so much time, energy and money on saving and protecting animals, while 16,000 human children die from hunger related causes every day. Let me say that again because that is a staggering figure. SIXTEEN THOUSAND human children die EVERY SINGLE DAY due to hunger related causes. Every time someone puts forth an effort or donates money to protect an animal/animals, they are LITERALLY allowing a human child/children to die. Again… LITERALLY!

  37. Not far to go. Your video is currently ranking #3 for the keyword: 'animal rights'. I can show you what other keywords you rank for. Would you like to know?

  38. Beautiful speech I realy liked it
    But I am carnivorouse i feel nothing to regret about slaughtering and devouring animals and I rather enjoy it😜

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