full story, photos, comments: http://972mag.com/the-rise-of-israels-animal-rights-movement/81605/
By Haggai Matar
It started last Friday, when members of an animal rights group stood silently
in the center of Tel Aviv. Each member held a dead chicken in his or her hands,
wearing t-shirts that read "Their lives are in your hands." On Tuesday, about 20
activists from several different groups showed up at the Soglowek slaughter
house in Shlomi (a small development town near the Lebanese border), chained
themselves to the gates of the factory and the approaching bird-carrying trucks.
Three were arrested.
The actions come in the wake of an investigative story aired on the primetime Channel 2 show Kolbotek. The story included a film recorded by activists, which showed the brutal conditions under which chickens are held and slaughtered in the Soglowek Shlomi factory. The show also recently aired a similar story about Tnuva's cattle slaughter house.
The increase is activism coincides with notable rise of veganism and animal
rights discourse in Israel. Up until two years ago the movement was extremely
small, and although dedicated activists were putting in a lot of hard work and
pushing through positive laws in Knesset (like the ban on Foie Gras), the
general public and political discourse was oblivious to the issue. The last few
years, however, have seen a rise in the movement, especially since American
activist and vegan guru Gary Yourofsky visited the country in September 2012.
Yourofsky's famous Hebrew-subtitled YouTube lecture has nearly 700,000 views,
and more and more public figures - including prominent journalists, academics,
politicians and athletes - have been calling on people to watch the lecture and
go vegan, or at least adopt a model of
And so Israel, or at least a significant part of the Israeli elite, has
become a center for animal rights discourse. With animal rights activism on the
rise, Yourofsky is about to make another highly-anticipated tour throughout the
country. But the current push toward animal rights does not go without
criticism, even from the left wing, human rights activists of the movement. I
explore these criticisms in a