Today we pay loving tribute to Daniel V. Shaull (January 7, 1984 to January 27, 2010).
Daniel died as a result of setting himself on fire in front of Ungar’s Fur Shop in Portland, Oregon while screaming; “There are animals dying! Animals dying!”
It is very typical of the mass media and the public to reduce such acts to mental illness, but it’s a mistake to do so. This is probably what it seems: an act of ultimate self-sacrifice in solidarity with the most oppressed beings on Earth. Most social justice activists choose to give their lives through activism, but it can be done through martyrdom, too. The cause of animal liberation is absolutely this serious: it is actually surprising that there are not more examples of self-sacrifice to bring attention to it.
The commentator says (in the link below): “Amidst a range of speculation, I think it is important to assume this is a genuine action by a person driven to make the ultimate sacrifice by the severity of animal suffering. When every legal channel to affect change is closed, people will increasingly be driven to actions which bring both attention to the plight of animals, and a disruptive effect to those who kill them.”
Daniel’s eulogy describes him as someone who “had a great concern for many of the ills of society including mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency, the homeless, and the environment. He had a deep compassion for the down trodden and the forgotten and neglected souls of society.”
RIP Daniel. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.
~ With thanks to Paul York