Núria Querol Viñas
I have always seen other animals as friends and equals, so my road to animal rights activism can be traced back to childhood instinct rather than an intellectual process during adolescence or adulthood.
Imagine what it is like to be born in Spain – a country that still glorifies the public mutilation and torture of an animal? Needless to say, bullfighting was one of my earliest subjects for school projects and debates. Despite shyness and a lack of hard information, I was determined to shake the consciences of my classmates.
The point of no return for me came when I entered University to study Biology: I saw with my own eyes what animals in laboratories undergo and it shocked me for a very simple reason – it was wrong and there had to be another way. I went through a personal crisis, because I did not want to be a scientist if that implied making other animals suffer. That was the beginning of my involvement with organisations such as InterNICHE, striving to replace harmful animal experiments. But obviously that was just the beginning – you cannot just forget about the other areas in which animals are terribly abused.
I became a vegetarian at 19 and have refused to wear any animal by-product since then. The plight of animals became so important to me that I have been able to get over my shyness. I have taken part in several ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ demos and become a regular speaker at meetings. I have even been in jail after an anti-fur demo at the Prada boutique in Milan!
Not everybody has the time or will to be an activist, but certainly everybody can make a difference – so grab your most recent copy of Outrage and get plenty of ideas! Congratulations to Animal Aid for your amazing and inspiring work for the animals.