A beach day and a great book. Freshly baked tortilla chips and (vegan) guacamole. Coconut and dark chocolate…many great things in life are made just that much better when you put them together.
Take FAST – or Five Activists Standing Together – a newly formed group of activists that travels via bicycle to various cities to raise awareness about animal abuse, for example – this group melds a shared passion for biking with animal rights to make for one amazing, change-making combination.
Formally launched in January of this year, the group formed after the five bikers participated in a 150-mile fundraiser for an animal sanctuary in October of 2012. John Jungenberg, a founding member of FAST, explained: “The five of us (Kevin, Rachel, Jamie, Mary and I)… all became better friends because of it, and it made us realize that we should merge two of our passions together: biking and animal rights.”
For the members of FAST, the concept of biking for animal rights follows a shared simple premise: “FAST focuses on animal abuse because we simply have no right no harm animals in any way. Another way to look at it is to consider the quote ‘no one is free while others are oppressed.’ Humans will never experience true liberation until all beings are liberated. Animal liberation is human liberation!” Jungenberg said. All five members of the group are vegan, keeping true to a core value of animal rights.
In April 2013, the group set out on its first trip. They biked from Northern Illinois to Madison, WI and then from Milwaukee and back – an approximately 300-mile journey. “Our tour throughout Central Wisconsin was great!” Jungenberg said. “We ran into some very rough weather along the way. 18 MPH winds, snow and thunderstorms, but, despite the difficult weather, we managed to hand out 7,200 Vegan Outreach leaflets!”
In the future, FAST is doing even more for animal rights and vegan awareness. “We are planning a Vegan Outreach bike ride fundraiser on July 27th. It’s a 32-mile ride on the beautiful Des Plaines River Trail in Illinois. We are also planning a tour to St. Louis sometime later this year. FAST is also going to be in the Madison Pride Parade this August!”
For this group of five animal rights activists, the combination of two distinct loves – biking and animals – is propelling real awareness and change in meaningful ways. Follow FAST on their journey at www.facebook.com/fastbiking4change – or watch them on YouTube here.