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Lily Tomlin once said, "Somebody should do something about that."
But then I realized, "I am somebody."
I had my first "aha, I am somebody" moment when I was walking down the street,
in my native New York city,
and happened upon what I can only describe
as a pulsating, brown, furry,
and yet kind of slimy little ball at my feet,
that was in grave danger of being smashed to bits
by a very angry sanitation worker, with a very large shovel.
I had no idea what this little alien thing was, but instinctively,
I threw myself on top of it, screaming, "No, no, no, no, no!
I'll take it."
Of course the guy thought I was totally nuts, but I did,
and took this little ball, and I put it in a box, and I took it to Central Park,
and I sat there staring at it for a couple of hours, not knowing what to do.
And all of a sudden, the box started to move,
and the flaps on the top of the box opened,
and not one, but two beautiful bats flew out over my head
and into the night sky.
Apparently, what had happened, or it's the best guess of the experts,
is that two bats had become stuck together in the throws of passion -
- and fallen from a rooftop somewhere, and landed at my feet.
So, for me, I didn't know what this little thing was,
but it was pulsating, right?
So that meant it must have had a pulse, which would mean probably a heartbeat,
which would mean it could suffer.
And that just wasn't going to happen on my watch.
So, I don't know what makes some people watchers and other people doers.
I don't know what plants a seed that blossoms into a calling.
I do know that, for me, it's a compulsion,
to speak for those that cannot speak for themselves.
Uncomfortable, though, it may be
for somebody who never raised her hand in class,
hated to be called on to read aloud,
and was described by every teacher as "painfully shy."
I guess something in me must have connected to those
that seemed invisible and voiceless.
Perhaps, something in me saw myself as one of them,
needing rescue and a voice.
All I know is I have no choice in the matter anymore.
I was born for this, and I raise my hand for animals every chance I get.
I remember the first time that I was shown footage
obtained by undercover investigators,
of how animals had suffered and died for my dinner, my clothing,
my entertainment, and my well-intentioned charitable contributions.
I stood in stunned silence, tears were racing down my face,
and my hands were covering my eyes
and I was hit with such rage and such pain,
that I could barely speak.
Unlike these cows that you might recognize from YouTube,
this footage that I saw was dark and grainy,
but images of eyes wide with terror will haunt me forever.
Animals on factory farms, and laboratories, zoos, circuses,
aquariums, amusement parks, rodeos, all of it, they are all routinely beaten.
They are denied everything natural to them.
They are isolated, burned, electrocuted,
brain-damaged, blinded.
They are beaten, as I said before, and they are whipped into submission.
They are left to linger in cold cages, alone, without any painkillers,
until they are killed.
My brain had to process that this is legal.
This is the way that billions upon billions of animals live.
This is the way that they die.
This is what lurks behind closed doors
that only ardent animal advocates dare to open.
I was hit with such a wave of guilt, that I barely recognized myself.
These images changed me.
They gutted me.
They made me realize that all of these labels that I so detested,
like "oppressor," and "bully,"
could just as easily be applied to me, regardless of intent,
because I was a contributor to industries that view animals
as nothing more than property and machines.
So, the little girl that wouldn't dare raise her hand in class
grew up to be somebody that wants to raise the roof for animals,
because I found that I could no longer live in peace
while there's a war being waged against animals.
I could no longer feel full while they're being starved,
or feel warm knowing that they're being enslaved in cold cages.
I couldn't feel safe while they're being brutalized,
and I certainly couldn't feel free while they are still oppressed.
Activism destroys me,
but it also heals me, every day.
And every day we're faced with new challenges.
How to educate the public within a digestible way?
Because let's face it: if we're too graphic,
people turn away; they don't want to know.
If we're too gentle, then we don't make any impact.
So, for me, sometimes my activism is loud, and it's aggressive,
and it's blaring through megaphones outside of slaughterhouses.
But at other times, it's in soft, measured tones,
speaking about orcas and dolphins in captivity
to little children entering Sea World.
And sometimes, yeah, my message goes viral,
with me being let away from this scene in handcuffs.
I believe that activism starts as a whisper in our soul,
a voice, way down deep inside, almost like intuition,
that presents itself as an unmistakeable knowing
that nudges us to look our conscience dead in the eye,
and ask ourselves the tough questions, such as,
"Is this moral?"
"Is this the right choice for me?"
"Can I sleep at night knowing what I know now?"
"Am I living my truth?"
And often times, the answers will surprise us.
A revolution begins with an idea, a truth in ourselves that we cannot deny,
and feel compelled to spread, regardless of the facts
that, yeah, it might isolate us from those close to us,
it might take our safety, our freedom, and put them at risk,
it can drive us to our darkest depths of despair,
and break our hearts.
But it's worth it. Oh man, it is worth it!
Because a revolution brings about change whose time has come,
and we are at a tipping point of this revolution,
that begins and builds with each of us
recognizing what we know is true
in the most sacred places of our hearts, and acting on it.
For me, giving these animals a voice,
these choiceless animals,
helps illuminate these dark, cold, bearing enclosures
that bring out, with cries of pain, loneliness and torture,
voices begging to be seen, to be recognized,
to know that they are not alone, and that yes, they are heard.
And maybe, somehow, this makes me feel less alone.
Acting on behalf of these animals that I will never meet,
but fight for every day,
has connected me to a global cry for justice
that has moved mountains for other social justice movements.
It has taken me from feeling like a powerless individual
to an important, proactive part of the wheel
that is a driving force toward making this world
a kinder, and gentler, and more sustainable place to live,
connecting me to my highest self as a citizen of the world that I live in.
I have planted a seed of change,
and I delight in seeing it grow,
as more and more animals are awarded rights,
and veganism takes its place in the mainstream.
We all have this in us, no matter what our calling.
We can all change the world.
We can all raise our hands.
For me, I promise you, I will not rest
until every cage is empty,
and every tank is drained.
What might it be for you?
Thank you.
(Cheers) (Applause)


【TEDx】Animal rights -- birth of an activist | Simone Reyes | TEDxOrangeCoast

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Eliane Eliane 2015 年 5 月 9 日 に公開
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