On Monday November 6th, the BeFairBeVegan campaign went live in Cleveland with powerful displays in eight central locations, intended to confront and challenge the pervasive notion of human supremacy.

In August of 2016, BeFairBeVegan created a stir in the animal advocacy world, by releasing a powerful series of uncompromisingly vegan displays throughout New York City, including a stunning moving billboard in the middle of Times Square, one of the highest profile locations in the world.

These powerful images caused the campaign’s Facebook page to grow from zero to 10,000 in under four weeks, and to triple in the 14 months since, as well as eliciting responses from celebrities such as actor and Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix, who was quoted in AlterNet as saying the following:

“In addressing our speciesist attitudes toward other animals, BeFairBeVegan encourages us to consider that our core similarities are far deeper than our surface differences. Now more than ever, the world needs to hear this message.”

Having since gone live in both Tasmania and Connecticut, and poised to expand into multiple other locations around the world in the coming year, BeFairBeVegan introduces viewers to the faces and feelings of the animals we use, while inviting us to consider the true nature of the human-nonhuman power imbalance.

These arresting billboards (along with other striking visuals on the BFBV Facebook page) encourage us to see our victims for who they really are: sentient beings to whom we — far from being the caring custodians we like to imagine ourselves to be — are persecutors blinded by bigotry to the true nature of fellow animals, and addicted to the benefits we receive from defending, despite all evidence to the contrary, our own supremacy.

As stated by Joanna Lucas, the campaign’s creator:

“We cling to the self-aggrandizing image of ourselves as the superior species, and to our position of absolute power over all other animals on Earth. We want to maintain this unbridgeable divide between us and nonhuman individuals at all costs. Our use of products extracted from the bodies of others is not about necessity, but about fulfilling desires as trivial as taste, habit, profit, or convenience. At a deeper level, it seems to be more about the daily affirmation of our delusion of supremacy.”

Campaign Spokesperson Angel Flinn states:

“With all our sincere discussion and genuine concern for the rights of oppressed groups of humans, not one is dominated and tyrannized to a degree that even compares with the way we persecute our nonhuman brethren, who are ignored and ridiculed as much by the progressive left as by the conservative right. As the disposable victims of a global system of brutal oppression, the lives of billions of other animals the world over are a dystopia, from the degrading ways in which their parents are forced to conceive them, to their terrifying, humiliating deaths when they are still, for the most part, young adults or children.”

The hope of BeFairBeVegan is that we will help people to see that the casualties of this relentless massacre are complex beings, with faces, feelings, and families. We reduce these individuals to consumable goods, and they all end their lives in bewilderment and terror at our hands. Contrary to popular belief, this does not just apply to those used for meat, or on factory farms, but is equally true of those in free-range/cage-free/organic facilities, in the dairy, egg, and wool industries, and in all other branches of the animal trade.