We took Ebony on her first protest march today. Well, her first protest march outside my womb anyway. The Conservative Party *spits on floor* are holding their annual conference in Manchester this weekend, and so there was a huge protest march planned. The main Save the NHS march was organised by the TUC, but there were loads of other groups taking part in the march for various causes.
We’re big fans of the NHS, so wanted to attend the march anyway, but decided to march as part of the anti-badger cull march. I want Ebony to feel involved with and inspired by veganism, and I think an important way to do that is to take part in marches and demonstrations.
My parents were always protesting things when I was growing up, and there’s a wall of fame in their house that showcases the various local newspapers we were photographed by attending demos. I want Ebony to have the same sort of experiences, and to grow up feeling a part of society. I want her to grow up believing her values and opinions are important, and that she should be proud of her choices, and that she has the power to make a difference. I look forward to the day when she tells me off for being unethical or a hypocrite, as I start to see her political views form.
Protest marches aren’t particularly baby friendly - there’s cigarette smoke, shouting, hideous megaphones and no toilets - which is probably why we haven’t taken Ebony on a march until now. Protest marches are very toddler friendly - there’s shouting, noisy megaphones and people dressed as badgers - Ebony had a great time. There were dogs to stroke, music to dance to, and balloons to hold. She marched with gusto, in that weird forward leaning way that toddlers do when really they want to be flung in the air. She collected stickers, balloons and noise makers. She waved endlessly at a friendly human-sized badger,and loved all the people milling around.
I’m so glad we took her, I think she really enjoyed it, and it was good to be part of something I believe in. We almost made it to the end of the badger march, but had to hurry through the last bit as Ebony was about to fall asleep on Laurie’s shoulders. She was tired out after her exciting morning standing up for badgers.
I can’t wait to take her on another demonstration soon.
Here’s some information about why you shouldn’t support the cull of badgers, in case you haven’t yet seen it.