When Leonora Esquivel returned to México to inaugurate our headquarters back in 2007, there were only a few organizations dedicated to promoting veganism and talk about animal rights, legally established. The word “vegan” was practically unknown in common language and most people had little no idea what it meant, therefore they didn´t have an opinion whether positive or negative around it, people thought, that talking about animal rights, was only about cats and dogs, that’s why we started in those early years, to carry out campaigns, information tables and activism in the streets to promote “Meatless Mondays”, the vegetable girl giving out tastings of vegan food, or “human meat” trays, that we used to deliver a straight and loud message to provoke a connection in people.
In those years, animal exploitation and violence were not as visible in this country, so we took the streets to expose the cruelty behind the use of fur as clothing, the use of animals for cosmetic experiments and cleaning products or the exploitation and mistreatment that occurs in factory farming to millions of animals. We were not indifferent to the slaughter of thousands of seals in Canada, which made us protests for years outside of their diplomatic headquarters, getting more and more attention of the media, both television and press, but specially we got attention from the public, which allowed us to recruit a growing number of volunteers, interested in participating in our acts.
As an organization, we haven´t been oblivious either, to two very important subjects that are currently some of the main issues causing the death of millions of companion animals, which are abandonment and the lack of sterilization programs. Sadly, Mexico is on the among the top-ranking countries where we can find stray animals, being homeless, that is why for years we carried out conscientization campaigns in the streets of many cities throughout the country and even sterilization program campaigns in Zamora, Michoacán.
Since 2010, we started performing acts in different cities in the country, demanding the end of usage of animals in circuses, because many of these animals are part of a never-ending cycle of captive breeding with the only purpose of being used for entertainment at the expense of their suffering, for that reason we were convinced that the captive breeding, exploitation, and suffering had to stop. By 2014, we promoted and achieved the ban of circuses with animals in Mexico City, launching a big campaign endorsed by many celebrities who joined us in calling for the end of captive breeding and suffering, this opened the door to our organization being able to lobby to finally accomplish this prohibition in 2015 all over the country.
Without a doubt, Anima Naturalis is by far, regarding the Anti-Bullfighting movement, the biggest and most relevant organization in Iberoamerica, we are a landmark in all countries that still have bullfights, whether it´s Spain, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru or Mexico, we are pioneers of massive protest acts against these kinds of spectacles. In 2010 we had our first performance known as “En la Piel del Toro” (Inside the Bull´s Skin), and the next year in front of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, we gathered 400 activists forming the word “BASTA” (stop it). This came to become the most important anti bull-fighting event in the country, in February of every year, bringing together hundreds of volunteers later in the Angel of Independence, and Monument to Revolution. Now, we have taken this cause to legal grounds in Court and Tribunals, where we are convinced, we will put an end to the cruelty forced upon bulls.
15 years after we established our headquarters in México, we have evolved our way of being activists, professionalizing not only our acts of protests, campaigns, and performances, but in areas like investigation and evaluation of law enforcement measurement in favor of animals as well. We released the first “Atlas Nacional de Maltrato Animal” (National Atlas of animal abuse); a specialized website that displays a regulations map of the whole country, and also the assessment every two years of more than 200 government agencies involved in the subject, from Prosecutors and Tribunals, to agencies regarding protection and education, providing the tools for activists in all different Mexican states that will help them perform a better, more precise and effective activism.
We are absolutely convinced that animals require not only to be granted rights in law, but we know that what´s most important and what we foresee in our future as an organization of activists, is to work to make these laws being applied for the sake of animals. That´s the reason why we are now taking legal action in courts, to demand government authorities that they enforce the laws that activism has fought for, for a long time to help the animals.
There are many challenges ahead and unfortunately the road is still long, but our dream is that we don´t need to exist, because that would mean that we as humans have achieved a far better world with justice for animals. However, we cannot impact all the causes that generate exploitation and suffering, that´s why we have specialized and will work harder and harder for the billions of animals that are victims of industrial animal agriculture and for putting an end to animal cruelty in entertainment.
Thanks to every one of the people who are volunteers and activists, that have worked with us in Anima Naturalis throughout these 15 years, for giving their most important and valuable assets, their time, their passion, their care, and most of all, the dream and desire for animal liberation. THANK YOU!
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AnimaNaturalis exists because billions of animals suffer at human hands. Because they animals need solutions. Because they deserve someone to speak up for them. Because animals need change. Because at AnimaNaturalis we want to build a fairer world for everyone.
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