Phoenix Animal Save is a new organization here in the valley – a welcome addition. A branch of the international Save Movement, they recently held their first vigil in Tolleson, Arizona at a dairy operation.
PALS interviewed Phoenix Animal Save organizers Melanie and Matt to gain insight into their mission. They answered some of our questions below:
1. Can you tell us about why it’s important to bear witness?
Matt: Bearing witness is such a powerful experience. For us, it provides vital context to the decisions that we make every day, not only as activists but as human beings in general. For the animals, it’s an opportunity to show compassion and comfort to someone who may be in the last moments of their life. I recommend reading Anita Krajnc’s blog post about bearing witness for a passionate look through the lens of a veteran activist.
2. What does Phoenix Animal Save hope to achieve?
Melanie: We hope to be an example not only to those around the vigils but to the animals as a symbol of compassion. The movement is peaceful as a whole. We want to be the illustration of solicitude to the animals. This will give off a positive impression for more to learn of the movement in hopes they will join.
3. How was your first vigil? Any highlights?
Matt: Our first vigil was a huge success! We had such an amazing turnout thanks to our friends from The Save Movement, PETA, and PALS! Sometimes new Save groups will go months with only 2 or 3 people showing up and we had around 30 people come out for our first vigil at the Dairy in Tolleson. We really cannot thank everyone enough! Highlights? I’d say that having the opportunity to talk to the owner of the Dairy was a huge moment. He came out after we had been there for about an hour and a small group of us had a civil discussion with him for a while before he went on with his day. Also, while Melanie and I were packing-up he approached us again and we were able to chat with him as organizers for about a half hour about The Save Movement and why we do what we do. We also managed to learn more about his operation (which “processes” over 2400 cows at any given time) which was useful for us going forward. Overall it was a really positive experience and certainly a successful vigil for both the animals and for The Save Movement as a whole.
4. What are your plans moving forward?
Melanie: Phoenix Animal Save’s future will be filled with more vigils all over the valley. We don’t want anyone to forget about us. We want more and more people to learn of the Save Movement. We are finding new information on locations often and plan to bear witness wherever possible.
Thank you Phoenix Animal Save for your important work, and for taking the time to chat with us! We really respect and support what you’re doing, and are looking forward to more vigils.