As a volunteer with the Let Live Coalition, I appreciate this opportunity to provide accurate details about the campaign and to clear up some misunderstandings. I’ll begin by restating our explicit stance against any and all aggressive communication, which we unequivocally oppose and condemn in the highest terms.
From start to finish, our posts have urged “respectful” and “polite” communications. Not only are we dedicated to the principles of peaceful protest, but hostile communication from people claiming to be our supporters distracts from and undermines our message.
Despite claims to the contrary, we only listed the contact information publicly available on Wild Abundance’s and Meredith Leigh’s business websites. We did not post the personal number that Wild Abundance owner Natalie Bogwalker sent to us directly. We also did not list addresses or go into their personal space.
We did, however, attempt to cut the campaign short, even offering to reimburse the travel expenses for their out-of-town registrants. They vilify us and frame themselves as victims and martyrs, even using Natalie’s infant to garner sympathy and outrage, but they chose escalation, and they killed an additional sheep.
Ironically, our partner’s [One Protest’s] bear-hunt protests are highly regarded. But what does that work look like? Encouraging phone calls and emails to organizers, online posts, petitions, literature, signs and media. This is precisely what our short-term, by-the-book campaign entailed. Activism for the protection of bears is applauded, while the same activism for the protection of sheep is denounced and derided.
Natalie frames her do-it-yourself slaughter classes as “sacred” ways to “honor the animals.” Her photos show healthy, happy animals, but not the reality of “after.” We want people to understand the reality: that defenseless, gentle creatures are pinned to the ground as an instructor demonstrates how to slit their throats [so that they are] “humanely relieved of their blood,” to use one of Meredith’s chilling euphemisms. This is the reality. If the victim were a dog, it would be a felony.
Proponents claim their killing is ethical because they use all the body parts and because it’s not factory farming. Our message is that it is still not ethical. Slaughter is not a natural “cycle of life” or a poetic “dance.” It normalizes violence against those who are less powerful, and it reinforces the use and abuse of animals.
We hope that if people sympathize with the demise of one helpless sheep and recognize, that he or she didn’t deserve to be “harvested” and “processed,” that this will carry over to compassion for other animals.
We also hope that Wild Abundance, and those who thrive on sensationalism and favoritism, will not continue to misdirect the attention of those who care about the well-being of animals. We encourage readers to find out more about sustainable alternatives to small-scale animal farming and slaughter at our website, www.Let-Live.org.
— Dawn Moncrief
Volunteer, Let Live Coalition
Editor’s note: This letter is a response to the letter “Wild Abundance Looks Forward to Apology” in this issue.