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My First Animal Rights March Abroad


Recently, I went on my first ever Animal Rights March, which also happened to be my first ever Animal Rights March abroad. This is what I thought of it:


Animal rights march in Budapest

I'm currently living vegan in Budapest for three months, I wanted to make some vegan friends and try and do something to promote veganism - this seemed like the perfect solution! 

I actually found it quite tricky to find the information online, mostly because my Hungarian is rubbish. But the day I was looking at was the official animal rights march day (September), and although I managed to find the events in London, Germany and even Romania, I couldn't find the Budapest one! 

In the end I found a vegan Budapesti on Instagram who helped me out.

I turned up on the day with my fiancé and a Hungarian friend (who ended up being a superstar and translating everything for us :) ) 

What do you do at an animal rights march

We started off in a small square and held up signs. We didn't bring any signs with us, but luckily the organisers had come prepared and brought plenty of signs for everyone. 

At first it was kind of strange standing there and having passersby look at me, but I like that kind of thing and quickly got into it. I alternated between looking serious and smiling - it's a serious subject, but I also wanted to seem approachable.

It was so interesting to see the way the public reacted: most ignored us, some came up and asked questions, some ended up joining out circle. 

A few took 'sly' photos - those ones got my most cheesiest of grins (dairy free oc).

The funniest were the people who wandered around the circle staring at the signs with comically confused expressions. 

A big flaw in my plan was not speaking Hungarian, out of the few that did approach us, most came to me (undoubtably because of my winning/ inviting/ charming/ creepy grin). And of course I couldn't answer any of their questions. 

That was kind of a relief though because I'm not the best at answering vegan questions anyway. I don't know any of the facts off by heart and whilst I'm good at arguing and fighting, I'm not great at calmly discussing things. ha. 

Next up came music! One person started playing the steel drum, and another the clarinet. It was a good idea to draw people's attention, but as my fiancé pointed out, it's probably not that good for improving vegans image (as in it encourages the idea that we're all weird hippies).... Luckily they were talented musicians and I think it really did help draw people's attention. 

Next up came the actual marching, which was great because by this point my butt hurt from standing still too long. 

For some reason a couple of police-people led our march - I think they were showing us where to walk rather than 'protecting' us or something. 

The march was slow, which didn't help my aching butt, by this point the group had grown which was awesome, but that meant we had to stop and wait for each other at the traffic lights. 

Next we stopped at the cathedral which is one of the main sights in Budapest. We took some photos and a passing-by American was pleased to see us. 



We walked around some more, the police people annoyingly took us down side streets so there was no one to 'influence' and still we walked sooo slowly!

At the end there was a vegan picnic which we didn't stay for, it had been a fair few hours. 

All in all, I'm glad we went - it felt like we were actually doing something for once, even though I'm pretty sure we didn't convince anyone.
It was great to make some new vegan friends and be involved in that kind of community! 

I would do it again, but I think I would try and get more people involved. I'd also love to try it out in an English or German speaking country (or better yet, I'd love it if my Hungarian would improve and I could talk in Hungarian)!

Have you ever been on an animal rights march, what did you think?





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