Farm animals squirming while being transported to slaughter, live chickens getting plucked, sores on the legs of cattle and overcrowded poultry cages.
Those were some of the video clips that played on laptops held by a group of four people standing back-to-back while wearing Guy Fawkes masks at the corner of Queen and Richmond Streets on Saturday.
The demonstration was held by the Charlottetown chapter of Anonymous for the Voiceless, an international animal rights organization that specializes in street activism.
“We show the public what happens to animals in agriculture and all the suffering they go through in order for us to consume them,” said organizer Richard Arsenault.
The back-to-back formation the group created is called a “cube of truth.”
Anonymous for the Voiceless does a cube of truth at each demonstration. During the Charlottetown demonstration, there were two other group members standing near the formation.
The videos the group played showed footage from Canadian slaughterhouses as well as animal testing.
“We don’t need to be doing that to animals whatsoever, whether it’s for clothes or food,” said Arsenault.
Aside from animal cruelty, Arsenault said other reasons to be against animal agriculture include the pollution that animal waste releases into the atmosphere, post-traumatic stress disorder for people who work in slaughterhouses and the overall bodily health of humans.
“We don’t need cholesterol to survive,” said Arsenault. “Animal proteins that we consume now-a-days, especially (because of) the way they grow animals, are linked to cancer and stuff like that.”
Arsenault said growing animals for slaughter creates a lot of unnecessary waste.
“We bring animals to life, we raise them by the billions, slaughter them by the billions every year and that creates a lot of waste,” he said.
According to the group’s website, the Charlottetown rally was one of more than 4,026 demonstrations Anonymous for the Voiceless has held in 805 cities across the world.
Arsenault said P.E.I. is the last of the Canadian provinces to have an Anonymous for the Voiceless group.
He started the group over Facebook about a month ago and it has drawn about 20 members.
“I’m even surprised how many people are part of the group already having just started a month ago,” he said, adding that Saturday’s demonstration will not be the last for the Charlottetown group. “You will probably see us quite often here.
“At least once a month for sure.”