• Canada
  • Activist

David Pereira


Meet David Pereira, Animal Rights Activist and former government slaughterhouse inspector from Canada. David’s family immigrated from Portugal and Newfoundland to Canada years ago, with many of his family members working for the Feds in the slaughterhouse industry with David soon to file suit. At that time this was considered a great opportunity, working for the government with outstanding benefits, a pension, all of these things.

When he started working there, of course he saw what was happening, and all of these feelings came rushing through, but he had to literally shut everything off. His emotions, his feelings, his soul. He had to put all of those aside because he didn’t want to disappoint his family, as they went through great efforts to get him this government job. When asked how people can work in an environment such as that, how can one go home, shut it all off, be with their family, their children, their pets and not let it get to them? Because within the slaughterhouse, you are working so fast in an environment where speed is a priority more than anything else, so you don’t have time to let it sink in. But after 15 years David had had enough.

 

 

Fast forward to his final days, he found out about this new world, veganism. He did the research on it and then he thought he would give it a try. He first became a vegetarian and shortly after went vegan. Once going vegan, he found that his health improved dramatically, which made a huge impact in his life. He also realized that all this time we have been lied to about everything. It was all a lie. All the marketing and advertising that was done to promote the dairy, meat, and poultry industry painted an entirely different picture. So he pressed forward on his journey, became an activist for those who have no voice, and on his journey he met some inspirational people which at that point was when he moved even further towards animal rights.

Years ago, the resistance from the industry was not the same as it is today, and that is because their industry is being threatened even more so. They push back with animal rights when seen on mainstream media. Dairy is being promoted all over the place. You see the logos of dairy advertising at sports events, and commercials. They paint visions of dairy cows meandering in pastures being milked by milkmaids, with a big, beautiful red barn in the backdrop. This is how they wanted us to see it. They want it to appear that they live in a fairytale setting. These massive barns are just one thing, there are hundreds of sheds on these farms where calfs are housed and are immersed in snow freezing to death. He has seen many of these farms burn while the cows are inside, and one would think that instead of getting out of the business, these farmers just get to build a bigger farm. They are supposed to have standards. Or at least we the people would hope that they do, yet no one sees behind the scenes of what is going on. There is a dramatic process that happens to these poor cows. They are pregnant for 9 months, can’t even enjoy their babies or spend a day with them, was they are taken away within hours of their birth. And that is just one aspect; we don’t even talk about the health implications, environmental effects of what is happening. They don’t even make the public aware of what is going on. This industry has lobbies, subsidies and they promote lies about the health benefits. It’s a horrific and cruel industry and it’s ruining the planet.

 

 

As an activist 24/7, David also does outreach on behalf of animal liberation daily, weekly, monthly averaging about 5-7 events per week. Prior to going to events, he takes a moment to think, how can he best represent the movement, how one has to drop the ego and be relatable rather than going in for the kill. The crew he has been around has taught him to follow the guidelines of each event. They have a coaching method, a Socratic method, so he honed in on those skills so he can stay within the boundaries. When meeting non-vegans, he tries to match their energy, knowing he wants one of two things; a positive reaction or a negative reaction. There is a science behind people reacting and someone walking by without a reaction, and not even caring, which is not what he wants. If you have a person who is giving you a positive or negative reaction, you are at least getting a reaction. He’s knows that the dialogue that was created after he has connected, when they walk away, they will be thinking about what was said, and will take something away from that conversation even if it’s years down the road.

In October of 2021, more that 200 animal rights activists from across Canada staged a mass protest at a Hybrid Turkeys breeding farm in Southern Ontario, one week before the Thanksgiving holiday. Six activists were arrested before they even left their own dwellings. They were all charged with Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence while some were pinned as organizers and received an additional charge of Counselling Indictable Offense. There is an ag gag bill called 156 which goes against the fundamental freedoms in Canada. The government pushed this bill through without going through the proper normal channels of what it would do and they passed it straightaway. With this bill if you work on a factory farm, and see wrongdoing and you report it, you could be fined up to $20,000. It’s really designed and skewed towards the industry to continue to hide the vile practices and not show the public of what is really going on. Animals like turkey’s for example, live in deplorable conditions in these ammonia filled sheds, and living in such confinement. The activists showcased these victims, and the Crown came to them told them that if they just pleaded guilty they would not have to see jail time. They said no, but the Crown was really pushing for them to go to jail. And the ironic thing is, is that they never went on the farm, they didn’t commit an indictable offense. It was all conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. They were still aiming for jail time, and kept giving them offers which was ridiculous; they said we will give you a peace bond which entails that you cannot go to any Hybrid Turkey facility, you can’t go to agricultural events or stop slaughterhouse trucks, and you each have to pay a $1000 fine.

Ag gag laws will never prevent activists from exposing the sick cruelty that farmed animals face, because no legal repercussions could ever compare to what farmed animals endure. David and the other activists hope their actions encourage everyone to stop supporting these violent, abusive industries and adopt a plant-based diet. They also hope to prompt much needed legal change to protect the animals and their advocates.

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