All efforts, endeavors, activities and actions concerning veganism in Turkey blaze a trail, leave lasting marks and effects in this regard. All of these are actions towards our final goal of animal liberation.
While the fact that the Municipality of Didim is organizing a third vegan festival this year is meritorious for us, it is not sufficient enough when it comes to their concrete steps serving animal liberation.
The basis of veganism is non-violence, equality among species and lack of exploitation. As a result of this, due to its claim to be a “vegan friendly” city, there are expectations and responsibilities of the Municipality of Didim that extend far beyond organizing vegan festivals.
As we relayed during our September 2016 meetings prior to the first VegFest and as was promised to us the by Municipality administration, the fine criteria to being a vegan friendly municipality must lie not just in promoting the city but in its core.
One of the topics we stressed the most, the liberation of the horses being exploited for the carriages in Didim, has constantly been postponed for the past three years and currently the Municipality claims it is just “not assigning new licenses”. We expect concrete steps regarding prohibiting the use of horse-drawn carriages instead of it being promoted as a future project, as is the case prior to each festival.
In this regard, on the eve of their third vegan festival, we urge the Municipality of Didim to once more review its criteria towards becoming a “vegan friendly” municipality and start, without further ado, implementing city-wide steps in order to fulfill its claim to be “vegan friendly”, as it promised to do so back in 2016. Failing that, as the official non-governmental organization that personally bestowed it upon them, we kindly request they cease use of this important title.
In light of all the developments, we would like to reiterate to the public that the Municipality of Didim is no different to us than any other municipality organizing a festival as long as concrete steps regarding animal rights and liberation are not taken in parallel with their “vegan friendly” claim and that, as the Vegan Association of Turkey, we will once again not be taking part in the event this year.