Animal rights event airs live from Hamilton

It's a tame looking event on James Street North, but thousands are participating worldwide Saturday in a movement started by a Hamilton university student.
Nadia Masoudi is holding Animal Freedom Day on James North. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

It's a tame looking event on James Street North, but thousands are participating worldwide Saturday in a movement started by a Hamilton university student.

Nadia Masoudi's Animal Freedom Day is being celebrated around the world. The heart of the celebration is at the Green Smoothie Bar, where Masoudi is doing a live broadcast of an event featuring a vegan bake sale and 10 local bands.

More than 15,000 people are abstaining from eating meat today as part of the third annual day, Masoudi said.

The 20-year-old downtown resident and McMaster student started the event three years ago. It has drawn celebrity support from the likes of actor Woody Harrelson and environmentalist David Suzuki.

It encourages awareness of the environment and animal rights, and promotes going a day without meat, Masoudi said.

Proceeds from this year's Animal Freedom Day benefit three Ontario animal sanctuaries: Snooter's Farm Animal Sanctuary in Zephyr, Refuge RR in Alexandria and Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary near Stratford.

Siobhan Poole, owner of Cedar Row, came to Hamilton for the event.

"It's a great day to bring awareness and give animals a break," she said.

Masoudi's documentary, Don't Eat Me, has been in the works for about four years. It is in post-production and she hopes it will be released next year. She is also writing a book.

Watch live on newscliptv.com and ustream.com.