Over the past decade, Hamilton has started to emerge as an arts and culture hotbed, capable of holding its own as a burgeoning spring of immense talent. Through many initiatives to grow, suffering economically under the crest of a steel fallout in the town, Hamilton has strengthened itself as a greener, more liberal thinking city with a proclivity towards local veggies and delicacies, revamping the Hamilton Farmer's Market to cater towards those who favour an organic product.
One young woman in particular has taken the idea of a greener Earth and incorporated her own views, a juxtaposition of compassion and the prevention of ecological threats. Nadia Masoudi, a 19-year-old Hamiltonian, has launched a project called 'Animal Freedom Day' that has been gathering a substantial following, earning praise for her glorification of the lives of animals, as well as a hefty amount of derision.
Nadia's proposed plan to encourage a vegan lifestyle for people around the world is to start small. Nadia strongly encourages non-vegetarians to attempt to abstain from meat during the course of Animal Freedom Day as a symbolic showing of compassion.
This year Nadia will be continuing Animal Freedom Day for two days; two days to refrain from consuming any animal or animal by-products. With every year she hopes that another day with add onto the event, eventually encouraging a full year of a vegan lifestyle.
With lofty goals come disdainful criticism. Her detractors claim that she is far too young to have a grasp on ethics, and that her 'immature' ideals are far-fetched and pie-in-the-sky. To others, her age only astounds those who root for her cause.
"To me, age isn't an issue," says Nadia. "Maturity and passion for your cause may come at any age if your heart is in it for the right reason."
Whether or not you agree with Nadia's campaign to decrease the amount of suffering in the world, bolster a crippled environment and regain the health that so many people are lacking, her idealism and compassion speak volumes to those who are aligned with her cause.
Her tenacity has given her credit amongst certain circles of carnivores who respect her drive and charisma. All of Nadia's work has produced a day that started with hope and will serve as the climax of her upcoming docu-film, "Don't Eat Me", an odyssey of continent-crossing proportions to shine the spotlight on the tranquility and lax confines of wild and free-range animals to the congestive wires that cross the homes of factory farmed livestock.
Hours of footage were compiled to create a raw, emotional film that wholeheartedly delivers a personifying and often-unnerving view of the face on our plate.
You can watch the live stream for Animal Freedom Day (which has almost ten thousand attendees on the Facebook event page) at http://animalfreedomday.com on July 23, hosted at Hamilton's own BizClip Inc. on 323 King St. E. There will be a vegan barbeque, along with vegan treats provided by Bunners and Sweet Lemon Bakery.
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