On Friday morning, Regan Russell, a dedicated animal rights activist, died after being hit by a transport truck carrying pigs to a Burlington, Ontario slaughterhouse. Russell was peacefully protesting outside Fearman’s Pork, where activists sometimes provide water to suffering pigs en route to their tragic demise.
The 65-year-old woman, along with dozens of protesters from Toronto Pig Save and other animal activist groups, stationed herself at the pork processing plant in defiance of a recently-passed “ag gag” bill, which attempts to protect the agricultural industry from whistleblowers and activists, banning protesters from interacting with farmed animals.
As Russell harmlessly demonstrated her compassion for the innocent pigs passing by, a truck transporting the animals to their deaths ran her over. The devoted activist was pronounced dead at the scene.
Since 1979, Russell fought for the animal rights movement, regularly attending weekly vigils outside Fearman’s Pork.
“She died fighting for what she believed in,” Russell’s long-time partner Mark Powell told the Animal Save Movement. “Whatever it cost, she would pay. Sometimes, it’s money. Sometimes, it’s this.”
Toronto Pig Save plans to hold a vigil in Russell’s honor and is trying to convince Fearman’s to relocate some of its pigs to sanctuaries in her memory. Although the police are involved, it’s unknown whether an arrest will result from this needless and unspeakable tragedy.
“Regan was a kind, elegant, strong, and courageous person,” said Anita Krajnc, founder of the Animal Save Movement. “She was a mentor to others, and she always did activism with kindness in her heart.”