Actress Abbie Cornish and a handful of other Australian celebs have recently voiced their support for Voiceless, an Aussie animal-rights organization.
According to the group’s website, “Voiceless will bring the institutionalized suffering of animals to the forefront of Australia’s agenda; ensuring that animal protection is the next great social justice movement.”
Unlike more outspoken groups such as PETA, part of Voiceless’s mission is to provide education simply and rationally, without resorting to outrageous tactics. This practice of calm information dissemination is what attracted Cornish.
She says, ”The people behind Voiceless are incredibly intelligent and are putting forward the information in a very honest and straightforward way. I feel that it is purely about the information – there are no protests or craziness involved.”
She continues, “I feel if people are informed, then the choices they make are informed – and then whether they decide to eat meat or not is up to them. I am not a crusader – if people want to eat eggs, for example, I always encourage them to buy free-range eggs and know what they are buying.”
Cornish, who was raised on a farm, says she became a vegetarian as a teenager, when her family had a vegetarian guest for dinner. Once she realized it was possible to live a meat-free life, that decision began to affect choices in other areas of her life, including fashion.
“I will not wear leather or suede shoes on the red carpet. Just because a pair of shoes is great . . . if they are made of leather, I won’t wear them,” she says.
Cornish isn’t the only celeb from down under who has gotten involved with Voiceless. Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry, who is a member of Voiceless’s Council, got involved with animal rights to help improve the treatment of wild animals. Once again, he was driven to work with group because of what he describes as intelligent, motivated, and non-extremist methods.
“One of the images I recall from my childhood is the pictures of fur seals being clubbed to death in the far north of America. It had a huge impact. [Years later] I got interested in the way kangaroos were slaughtered. I looked at a couple of surveys and what I realised was that every year, tens of thousands of joeys were clubbed to death. I think as humans, we have a long way to go before we can say we are really taking into account the interests of other animals,” he says.
Director Emile Sherman, whose family founded Voiceless, explains exactly why he believes the organization’s methods are better than more in-your-face tactics. “It is a justice movement I believe very strongly in. It is not about convincing anybody of anything because the information itself speaks loudly enough.”