Volunteer Shout-Out: World Day for Farmed Animals vigil organizers

It takes a village to plan a vigil. Especially when it’s the first one of its kind in our region.

Ten volunteers and three staff members enlisted this year to plan and put on Minnesota’s first World Day for Farmed Animals vigil, happening at 5:30 pm, October 2, 2020, at Father Hennepin Bluff Park in Minneapolis. They include:

  • Mark Hiner
  • Sandy Hitchin
  • Laura Hofer
  • Tamuno Imbu
  • Marina Kirkeide
  • Liberty Kirkeide
  • Julie Knopp
  • Halie Langanki
  • Laura Matanah
  • Abby Medberry
  • Gail Manney
  • Brianna Newcomb
  • Ty Newcomb
  • Josh Truong
  • Maya Ulrich

A few of the organizers who volunteered their time and skills to make this vigil happen shared their reasons for heeding the call. Find out what motivated them to be a voice for animals, and why they think it’s important to bring awareness to the tragic plight of farmed animals worldwide.

Why did you want to support the WDFA vigil?

Mark Hiner with foster chicken

Mark Hiner: We were about to foster chickens, who are the most farmed land animals, yet frequently ignored by animal cruelty regulations. So I wanted to do what I could to give them a voice.

Julie Knopp: I believe animals deserve kindness. World Day for Farmed Animals provides an opportunity for people across the globe to stand up in defense of the billions of invisible animals who suffer and die for human consumption each year. Here in Minnesota amidst the pandemic, tens of thousands of animals have been needlessly slaughtered and dumped without being processed into food. It’s time to address our broken food system and call for change.

Josh Truong: I think it’s important to offer a place and time for grief and remembrance of the farmed animals killed every year, especially in this very difficult year we have had full of mass cullings of farmed animals and environmental disasters as a result of climate change. 

Julie Knopp with Waffle Cone

What part of the vigil are you most looking forward to?

Mark, Julie and Josh: We’re looking forward to the amazing lineup of speakers and the powerful, inspiring animal stories they will share with us.

What would you say to someone interested in attending or watching the vigil?

Mark: Give it a try. It feels good to connect to others, especially when we’re so isolated these days.

Josh Truong with Tofu

Julie: Whether you’re a seasoned animal advocate or completely new to farmed animal issues, I would love to see you at the vigil. This is a meaningful opportunity for Minnesotans to come together to show that we care about animals and to inspire action in our community.

Josh: We are looking to create a safe and welcoming environment, and we’d love to see you there!

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