(Below an interview w/ founder Sonja Meadows)
When Animals’ Angels began it was with the hope that change could be brought about and that the animals forced into the slaughter pipeline would be spotlighted. That the animals who suffered needlessly would have their stories told and that above all … somehow more people would get involved and care enough to sign petitions, phone their representatives and demand for this ugliness to stop.
It’s been rotations of harsh winters, scorching summers, dangerous weather, and long vigils sitting and waiting for hours on end, in order to document the harshest and cruelest deeds against these animals. Animals’ Angels has courageously been there with the animals. It is most difficult to read their reports and even harder to watch the damning videos. I wonder … how much more difficult is it to purposely watch yet not be able to save these innocent victims … in monitoring the successive events leading up to the torment and death of these gorgeous, intelligent animals? What a price to pay in order to do something valuable and good for these equine and farm animals. Animals’ Angels supplies all of us with the necessary ammunition so we can make a conscious decision to become involved in this fight. They place strong emphasis on getting the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act passed. Because together we can help end the suffering of these equine and insist that the authorities enforce the laws already on the books for the protection of horses and farm animals.
Light the Sky 2012 fundraising is still ongoing through the end of the year. We appreciate each and every one of you that has made the decision to join forces, donate dedication candles and to help keep the investigations going strong. There is progress taking place slowly but surely and as these candles were lit in memory of our beloved pets we have lost, they were especially lit for those animals who were not saved. Every candle held significant meaning. Every donation from the smallest to the largest was given by those of us who want the unvarnished truth to be told. We want Animals’ Angels to know they are not alone.
They are the voice of the animals we care about and because of these investigators we learn what the animals are going through every time we see updates or read full-length reports included in Animals’ Angels Newsletters. If we did not support their efforts investigators would not be able to uncover the plight of these animals and the horses would be treated far worse than they already are! The auctions, kill buyers, feed lots and transporters need to be seen for what they are … and if no one is willing to watch them then we have failed as people to protect our equine. By donating and speaking out and speaking up and standing together we show the world there is hope to make a “Mighty Change“! Animals’ Angels is a major part of this hope.
Light The Sky 2012 event was successful because of you! We honored those we could not save. Many travelers and local citizens in Toyahvale, Texas, stopped to take a look at the wailing wall. They asked for and received information. They took time to read our dedication cards. They listened to the stories of slaughter and what our animals must endure. They stood on the road that transport trailers use when they drive our equine into Mexico.
These concerned people learned the event was a dedication for those poor souls who have been tragically slaughtered. Most of them decided to support Animals’ Angels and their efforts.
It’s so easy to donate. Click: Support Animals’ Angels Investigations and in about three minutes you’re done and you can feel good about the money you share. Giving is such a kind and generous thing to do for our animals. Thank you for caring and being a significant and growing hope for a better year ahead.
Chatting with Sonja Meadows
Anne: Tell me more about the weekend and have you reached your goal for your 2013 investigations yet?
Sonja: We don’t know yet since people are still sending in donations for the event. We will not have the final count until January. I would just say that the support was overwhelming and that we received hundreds of prayers, stories and pictures.
Anne: Did this event surpass the others in the involvement of the public and new supporters?
Sonja: Yes, it did. The location is just perfect and the prayers are very visible along the highway of tears. All weekend we had people stop and pull over with their cars and inquiring about the event and the significance of the location. Most people had no idea that it is this road that takes all these horses to their deaths. Lots of them took brochures and reports with them and promised to check out the website. I feel that we gathered a lot of new supporters that weekend and that local awareness was increased greatly.
Anne: Were there a few standout moments that impressed you or drew you in ceremony?
Sonja: I was impressed how committed people were to make the ceremony a success. Everybody worked so hard preparing everything, setting up thousands of candles, printing out reports and erecting signs. It was an incredible team effort. We all started lighting when the sun was setting behind the mountains. It was so beautiful and all of us were united in prayer. The feeling of hope for a better future was very strong.
Anne: Who lead the prayers?
Sonja: No one. Prayers were very individual, but everyone was united within the spirit. Micki Free was there to show his support for our organization and played a song for us that he had created just for this event.
Anne: What symbolizes how you felt … how you feel about another year that you and your team have worked so hard for the horses?
Sonja: Like every year, it was a very intense to remember all the animals that have crossed our path in 2012. My investigators and I had given them all names and recited those names while lighting candles on their behalf. I feel very good about what was accomplished this year for the animals. We have conducted more investigations than ever and have brought several offenders to justice. I think all of us renewed our vow to keep going while we were lighting candles. We will not rest until we have completed our mission. I am very excited about the Toyahvale location and while lighting candles I felt that this was the beginning of something great. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.
Be a part of the Mighty Change. Please support Animals Angels and donate today. Thank you it means everything for the animals.
A special event takes place tonight in New York City. The documentary “Saving America’s Horses” premieres. We are sending good wishes there will be a lot of positive news coverage to raise public awareness about this film. Animals’ Angels not only supported but provided important documentation and footage for the making of this film.
(Photography by: Nancy Smith-Blackwell)