The Toronto woman, who faces a possible fine and jail time for providing water to thirsty pigs headed to slaughter, says she’s encouraged by the reaction she’s received internationally, including that of several major celebrities, as her criminal mischief case makes its way through the court system.
Anita Krajnc, co-founder of Toronto Pig Save and the Save Movement, found herself in hot water back in June after approaching a truck transporting pigs to a processing plant in Burlington, Ont., and giving the animals water. Members of her group stage “vigils” every week for the past few years, where they film trucks bound for the slaughterhouse, which they then post online.
The video of Krajnc giving water to pigs and confronting the truck driver circulated widely online. After the video was posted, the owner of the pigs filed a police complaint against Krajnc. She’s since had three court appearances, with another pre-trial set for later this month.
Since the incident, Krajnc has been flooded with support both locally and from around the world. With every court appearance she’s attended, groups of supporters have gathered outside the courthouse — growing from 20 to 50 with each court date. T-shirts have been made with the slogan “Compassion is not a crime,” while the hashtag #compassionisnotacrime and #StandWithAnita have trended on Twitter.
“I had felt anxiety before the first court appearance,” Krajnc tells Yahoo Canada News. “But seeing all those people at the first vigil, I’ve had no anxiety whatsoever. I’m fighting the good fight.”
A protest was even staged in front of the Canadian embassy in Argentina during one of Krajnc’s court appearances.
“I never expected any of this,” she says.
By her third court appearance, Krajnc started to receive international interest in her story, with the London Telegraph and Metro UK covering it. Former MuchMusic VJ Phoebe Dykstra and No Doubt bass player Tony Kanal have sent her encouragement on social media while comedian and animal rights activist Ricky Gervais retweeted a petition directed at the Ontario attorney general in support of Krajnc. It was then retweeted thousands of times.
So far, the petition has gotten over 130,000 supporters of the 140,000 that’s required. The Save Movement, which started in Toronto, has groups that hold protests at slaughterhouses across Canada, the United States, Australia, Brazil and Europe.
“People are the same, ultimately,” she says. “In every country there are people who love animals and believe that animals are equal.”
Krajnc is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 15. Her trial date has been set for late August 2016.