Animal rights activist thinking of making hunger strike a yearly event
Pretoria animal rights activist Herman H le Roux whose 20-day hunger strike to raise funds to feed hungry animals is due to end at midnight on Saturday says he is thinking of making this a yearly event.
Le Roux said in a post on Facebook on Saturday morning he had started with the hope of raising R20‚000 for his cause but that donations had already exceeded R100‚000.
On whether the ordeal has been easy‚ he wrote: “No of course not. I am very tired and very hungry. There was also vile attacks by several members of the public. It is easy to say ignore that‚ when it affects a fundraiser‚ when you are tired and hungry.”
Would he do it again? “Yes. I am thinking of making this a yearly event.”
On why he embarked on the hunger strike‚ he had this to say: “Why. Why would a human stop eating. That is not a question you should ask‚ you should ask why must an animal die of hunger. I can eat any time if I so wish. The same was asked about my branding. The same answer applies. We humans created the domesticated pet. We should not even own animals. Yet we do. So it is our responsibility to see to it that their rights are protected.”
To demonstrate his passion for animal rights‚ Le Roux went as far as having the number 269 branded on his back with a red-hot iron live on social media to experience first-hand the pain felt by livestock during the branding process.
The significance of the number 269 is that it was the number of a calf that was rescued from slaughter at an Israeli dairy farm. The calf is still alive today‚ thanks to a campaign by animal rights activists all over the world.
"The calf has a number 269 and the number has since become a symbol of animal rights worldwide … I cannot speak with authority on something that I have not experienced myself. I (had) no experience how it feels to be branded‚ so the next time I educate somebody about getting branded‚ I can tell them it is this painful‚" Le Roux told TimesLIVE recently.
In his Facebook post on Saturday he said however that the hunger strike was not only about animals.
“It was also a message to mentally ill people‚ drug addicts and alcoholics. If I‚ a man that almost lost his life to that‚ can change his life then so can you.”
He added: “The education that was also raised with this is important to me. Numerous press articles were published‚ posts went viral and today I will be interviewed by the SABC. This means nothing else than people will get educated on animal rights. For this I am grateful.”