Listen to the extended podcast of this show here! This podcast features an extra 30+ minutes of material with Excelsior 4 activists. You can also find this podcast on Apple Podcasts and on Google Play.
This week’s show is dedicated to fighting for justice for animals, when the government justice systems fails both the animals and those who advocate for their freedoms.
Week One of The Excelsior 4 Pig Trial, with defendants Nick Schafer and Roy Sasano
This week, we at Animal Voices attended the first full week of the much-anticipated trial of the Crown versus BC animal activists Amy Soranno, Nick Schafer and Roy Sasano (the 4th activist, Geoff Regier, was released of all charges after this April’s pre-trial). The remaining three are being charged with a total of 14 indictable offenses for break and enter, and mischief at the Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford, BC in early 2019, where many hours of video footage were recorded and live-streamed to the public, displaying egregious cruelties and horrendous welfare conditions for the 14,000 pigs who reside at the barn at any given time.
The farm co-owner, Calvin Binnendyk, reported this week that he sends 26,000 pigs to slaughter each year, selling them for $200 a piece. That comes to a (gross) annual profit of $5.3 million for the lives of these feeling souls who are raised at the barn “from farrow to slaughter”, where they endure their entire lives never seeing daylight and living in the filthiest and toxic conditions that promote illnesses such as large hernias, tumours and infections on their bodies; cannibalization of the pigs who die from illness; and stereotypic repetitive behaviors from going insane in their confinement.
In this exclusive interview with Roy Sasano and Nick Schafer, who joined us in the studio, we learn the both exciting and disappointing details of the first four days in court, which include being barred from showing any video evidence whatsoever to the jury that display many legal violations in the barn, proving the farm to be an unlawfully utilized property. The Judge deemed “animal mistreatment to be irrelevant in this case.”We also recorded an extra 35 minutes of this interview after the one hour radio broadcast ended, and this is all included here! In this bonus material, we speak about the misbehaviours of the the farmers’ family in the gallery during court (the viewing room for the public), and speak at length about the conditions of the pigs of the barn, as we witnessed them ourselves. Meat the Victims activist Kira Cheeseborough joins us in this part to describe her experiences. We also learn the vegan stories about Roy and Nick (did you know that they were both die-hard anti-vegans at one point?!).
Ways to help:
ATTEND TRIAL! It’s very important for supporters to show their presence to the jury! June 27th – July 6th, Monday-Friday, 10AM-4PM at the Abbotsford Courthouse: 32375 Veterans Way
FOLLOW on Twitter for trial updates @theexcelsior4
SIGN the petition calling for the BC SPCA to prosecute criminal animal abusers: www.change.org/p/bcspca-charge-animal-abusers-at-excelsior-hog-farm
DONATE to the gofundme: www.gofundme.com/f/the-excelsior-4-legal-defense-fund
PURCHASE an E4 shirt: www.my-store-c41b2a.creator-spring.com/listing/excelsior-4-eco-friendly-t-shi
EMAIL BC’s Ministry of Agriculture to demand cameras are placed inside all animal farms and to change animal law enforcement from the BCSPCA to a more transparent government agency. Template at: excelsior4.org/lana-popham
RECYCLE your containers at a BC Return-It Express location, using the fundraiser number 555 308 8386
Every bit helps to help the animals who are the ongoing victims here that we speak out for.
Ingrid Newkirk, Peta Founder and President, on the History of the Animal Liberation Front as written in her book “Free the Animals”
Later in the show, we also present a feature interview with founder and President of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Ingrid Newkirk! Since founding PETA in 1980, Ingrid has grown the group into the world’s largest animal rights organization. Her passion and dedication to making this world a better place for all living beings has inspired countless others to do what they can to help animals.
Since its beginnings, PETA has exposed horrific animal abuse in laboratories, leading to many firsts, including canceled funding, closed facilities, seizure of animals, and charges filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PETA has also closed the largest horse-slaughter operation in North America, convinced dozens of major designers and hundreds of companies to stop using fur, ended all car-crash tests on animals, helped schools switch to innovative animal-free dissection tools, and provided millions of people with information on being vegan, companion animal care, and countless other issues.
Ingrid is an abolitionist who remains committed to the idea that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. Ingrid is also a prolific author – she has written many books – and in this interview, she speaks about her 30th Anniversary edition book called “Free the Animals: The Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front in North America”. The ALF is an international, leaderless, decentralized political and social resistance movement that engages in and promotes non-violent direct action in protest against incidents of animal cruelty, much like the Meat the Victims world-wide actions and the undercover actions of the Excelsior 4 activists. In Ingrid’s very detailed and completely accurate and documented storytelling, she describes how the North American chapter began in the 1980s.
This book is a page turner and reads like a thriller novel! It has recently been announced that well-known actor and animal activist Joaquin Phoenix has purchased the movie rights to this book, so we are excited to see the film version of this story in the theatres in the future!
Ingrid also has a group chat with Excelsior 4 activists Roy Sasano and Nick Schafer, and this part is certainly tear-jerking and as inspirational as it comes. As you may know, Peta was the organization that delivered the first undercover video footage of the Excelsior Hog Farm to the mainstream media in 2019 (CTV News). With Ingrid’s wisdom and many years of being a pioneer of the animal liberation movement, she shares her thoughts and advice to Roy and Nick on their path to fighting for the animals and achieving success in this endeavour.
This is a show not to be missed! Please SHARE widely!