Mysterious posters highlighting the suffering of animals in the meat and dairy industry have been appearing across the region.
Featuring pictures of animals with slogans such as Humane Milk is a Myth: Don’t Buy It; They Trust Us, We Betray Them, and Dairy Takes Babies from Their Mothers, the adverts have been popping up in public areas this week around the North East.
Buses, Metros, rail platforms, bus shelters, billboards, and public conveniences in shopping centres, pubs and service stations are just some of the places they have been spotted, much to the delight of the regions vegans.
The woman behind them is Go Vegan World campaign manager Sandra Higgins.
She said: “If you asked most people if they think it is wrong to unnecessarily harm other sentient beings, they would answer that it is.
"This is because we all know that other animals feel. They experience physical and psychological pain when we hurt them.
"Like us, they have an interest in continuing their lives and do not want to die. Therefore, most people already hold the values that underpin veganism. When we live as non-vegans, we behave in ways that are inconsistent with our deeply held ethical beliefs and values. This campaign reminds people of those values."
Many of the animals featured in the campaign have been rescued from use by the animal agriculture industry and live at Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary run by Sandra in Ireland.
She said: “These individuals have come right from the heart of the industries that use other animals, onto our streets, where they confront us with who they are and the injustice of our use of them.
"They are the residents of Eden who taught me about the personhood of other animals and the atrocity we have perpetrated on them by our use of them. It is surely the greatest tragedy this world has ever witnessed. Everyone needs to know about it.”
The campaign went live across the region on Monday July 4, with the first wave of adverts appearing on public transport and street signs in the North East.
It will then roll out throughout England, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the next six-to-twelve months.
Sandra said: "Many of us are unable to extricate ourselves from our western lifestyles. We are forced to use transport to get to work, or fossil fuels to heat our homes. But we can very easily change what we eat.
"As animal agriculture is significantly more harmful than the transport sector, making that small change to living as a vegan has very important consequences. Our everyday choices seem inconsequential; but in fact their impact is felt from the micro level of individual animals to the macro level of the future of the planet.
“We claim to respect fact; yet we live according to myth. We claim, as humans, to be humane, courageous and open minded, yet we refuse to look at the consequences for others of how we live our lives.
"As a result, our everyday lifestyle choices about what we eat for dinner, wear to work, or do in our leisure time, destroy them individual by individual, in their trillions, year after year.
She added: “I have seen the light go out of too many eyes. Every one of them struggles to hold onto their precious only life, right until their last breath. A vegan world is only the starting point; our goal must be their freedom from us.”
The campaign directs viewers to the www.goveganworld.com where they can research the issues for themselves. It also offers a free vegan kit (Text: Kit and your email address to 60999 or download the kit from the website).
:: Sandra is giving a talk entitled Other Animals: Our Teachers at Farplace Animal Rescue Vegan Store, 71 Clayton St, Newcastle from 5pm to 6.30pm on Saturday July 9/
The campaigner, who is is a psychologist by profession, will also be speaking about veganism and the human mind in a talk titled “Vegan Education in an Age of Entitlement: Narcissism, Empathy & The Rights of Others” at the North East Vegan Festival, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle on July 10 from 12.05pm to 1.05pm.