LC SALDF and FALS Host Anita Krajnc
On Thursday, March 1st, 2018 LC SALDF and the Food and Agriculture Law Society cohosted a virtual event with Anita Krajnc.
Introduced by LC SALDF’s Co-Director Maral Cavner, Anita Krajnc is an animal activist and the founder of Toronto Pig Save. She was charged with criminal mischief in June of 2015 for providing pigs with water who were being transported to slaughter. When the driver asked her to stop giving the pigs water, she refused and told the driver to be compassionate. Anita said she would refuse to pay any fine and the trial went to court. The trial lasted almost two years and garnered substantial media attention. Public support for Anita and the trial led to courthouse vigils and to social media support including a “#compassionisnotacrime” hashtag and slogan. Two vegan lawyers, Gary Grill and James Silver worked pro bono on her case. The verdict determined that pigs are property, however, the owners failed to show that Anita caused an interference with the pigs.
Anita’s shared with the students that her main inspiration for the Pig Save Movement is Leo Tolstoy. Her main strategy is to bear witness to the suffering of animals and to provide them with water while in transport. The Pig Save Movement began in 2011 when Anita rescued her dog. To bear witness, she would visit pig transport trucks stopped in traffic as well as visit slaughterhouses. The Movement took a strong stance in their objectives by urging everyone to go vegan. Anita says that bearing witness changes people to enable them to become better activists and that it promotes a new cultural norm. She also says that we have a duty to bear witness to animals destined for slaughter and to understand what is happening to them. Anita says that, per her inspiration for the Movement, Leo Tolstoy, when we see suffering that causes pain, we must try to help. The Movement emphasizes that animals are individuals and it encourages people to look into their eyes and see them as individuals.
Although the movement has received criticism saying that activists are just watching animals being transported for slaughter and not actually saving animals, she is of the mindset that bearing witness is valuable and it is better to be there than not to be there. She believes that what the Movement is doing is still a step forward. Anita has noticed that people who come to vigils change their diets and become activists. The vigils help people reconnect to animals and realize that the animals are individuals. This connection removes the distancing effect that comes with globalization.
Overall, Anita adheres to the golden rule as phrased by Tolstoy, “We should take pity on animals in the same way as we do on each other. And we all know this, if we do not deaden the voice of our conscience inside us.”
We thank Anita for taking the time to share her brave story with our student organizations!