Mercy For Animals supporters gave generously at our 20th Anniversary Gala on September 14. The star-studded event was the most successful gala in the organization’s history. A moving program looked back at two decades of impact for animals and inspired attendees with a vision for the next 20 years.
In Brazil, activists took to the streets with a powerful message: The Amazon is burning, and the world’s appetite for meat is fueling the fires. The eye-opening demonstration took place on the renowned Paulista Avenue in São Paulo, part of a multi-regional campaign launched in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.
Some of Hollywood’s most notable animal advocates walked the blue carpet at this year’s annual gala, including Joaquin Phoenix, Kevin Smith, Rob Zombie, Charo, Daniella Monet, Moby, and Diane Warren, as well as Paul Wesley, Joseph Morgan, Persia White, Cassandra Peterson, Davey Havok, Sarah Jeffery, Matt Lauria, and Redfoo.
Kat Graham of The Vampire Diaries hosted the program. Kat Von D received the Hope Award for her remarkable activism. The Legacy Award went to the late Rena Roseman. Rena’s husband, Elliot, accepted the award with a touching speech about his wife’s love for animals and enduring legacy. American Idol star Catie Turner gave a beautiful performance, and attendees rounded out the evening by raising more funds than any prior event.
Close to 50 volunteers marched in a demonstration on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo wearing paper gas masks, holding signs, and pushing a 10-foot-long barbecue grill. A burning rainforest smoked under the grill’s bars, and on top of the grill sat a massive “steak.”
Activists held signs that said, Ninguém vê #PortrásDoFogo (No one sees #BehindTheFire).
The demonstration was part of a campaign launched online in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States ahead of the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit. In the United States, we are urging members of Congress to cosponsor the Act for the Amazon Act. In Mexico, we are calling on businesses to shift toward plant-based products.
Mercy For Animals also piloted a drone above the Amazon to show how humans are destroying one of the planet’s most vital ecosystems to clear land for raising cattle and growing soybeans to feed farmed animals.
Several Brazilian celebrities joined the campaign by calling on their followers to eat less meat to save the rainforest.
Photos by Marcelo Fim
Grilled: Turning Adversaries into Allies to Change the Chicken Industry by Mercy For Animals president Leah Garcés launched September 1. The book tells the compelling story of how Leah crossed enemy lines to work with some of the world’s largest food companies in her fight to transform the food industry and end factory farming.
Grilled continues to spark conversation and gather positive reviews. Vox’s Ezra Klein interviewed Leah about the book for his podcast The Ezra Klein Show. Leah will present at TEDxSeattle in November.
Just Salad and Chopt, fast-casual chains in the United States, committed to changing the way chickens are treated in their supply chains.
Our animal welfare scientist Walter Sanchez-Suarez presented on fish welfare in aquaculture and fisheries at a conference in Portugal, informing peers and attendees about the latest research into reducing the suffering of farmed fish.
The lower the demand for meat, dairy, and eggs, the fewer animals will be born into misery at factory farms. Mercy For Animals works to decrease demand by partnering with major institutions in Mexico and Brazil, such as schools and local governments, to reduce meat, dairy, and eggs served by at least 20 percent.
We believe that the world’s mightiest institutions will heed the call to reform when it comes from powerful and interconnected communities. That’s why our supporters are so important. And in September, Mercy For Animals activists hosted 52 actions!
Through investigations and public engagement, Mercy For Animals opens eyes and hearts to the suffering farmed animals endure. Our videos, websites, and print resources empower people to join our mighty movement.