This Cardiff second year is going mute in February for animal rights
He’s raised over £600 so far
A Cardiff Uni second year has set himself the huge challenge of going voiceless for the whole of February to raise funds for animal rights charity, Viva!
Guy Harper, 20, who came third in last year’s fittest finalist series, is calling his campaign ‘Voiceless for Viva!’ The charity campaigns for a vegan world in order to end animal suffering, protect the environment and improve human health.
Animal-lover Guy is spending the whole month without breathing a word, claiming he will be “voiceless for the voiceless victims of our planet, the animals”.
The Politics and International Relations student hopes to raise £1000 for the animal rights charity. He has already been sponsored over £600.
The Tab Cardiff to Guy about his vow of silence and tough month ahead, all in name of the animals.
What made you think to do a vow of silence?
An Australian guy called James Aspey did an entire year without talking in 2014, with similar motivation to mine. We are both vegans, which mean we do not participate in the exploitation of animals (no leather for example) and do not consume any animal products.
I am voiceless for the voiceless victims of our planet, the animals. The intention of my vow is to raise awareness and also money for a charity called ‘Viva!’, who investigate and expose farms that are mistreating animals as well as helping individuals move towards a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle.
How are you going to get about daily life and making people aware of your situation?
With respect to everyday scenarios, Viva! have been very kind to me and made up 250 business cards explaining my situation as to defuse potentially awkward situations. I will have a number of these on me at all times.
What about university seminars and going out?
As far as university goes, fortunately my course hasn’t got particularly demanding contact hours, however seminars will be pretty interesting. I have been asked a lot about the going out scenario and whether I will or won’t. I think I will give it a try at some point but take it easy on the booze to make sure I don’t accidentally say anything! It might be possible raise some money on a night out, who knows.
What have friends and family said?
It is something that has raised eyebrows with whoever I speak to. My family have and continue to be very supportive as to make it as easy as it can be. My housemates, as one might expect living in a house of seven guys, think it will be great fun to torment me throughout the month, like “say nothing if you hate vegans”. In all seriousness however, they have been very supportive also and help keep me motivated.
And everyone else?
Aside from that, the response generally is one of disbelief that the feat is even possible. The questions, “what about when you stub your toe?”, “what about when you’re on your own?” or “what happens if you need to shout at someone to get out the way of a car?” are often asked.
When asking for donations people will often say that they will wait for me to get through at least a week or so first. Those who know me have said that my slightly stubborn and determined nature will get me through it. Overall I would say that people are very surprised as not many people have heard of a challenge of this nature and consequently are very impressed and complimentary.
Juliet Gellatley, Founder & Director of Viva!, said: “Guy’s fundraising concept is a poignant representation of the on-going struggle farmed animals face – with the help of inspirational supporters like Guy, Viva! can continue to raise awareness of the atrocities of factory farming and speak up for those that can’t.
“In the UK over one billion animals are slaughtered every year; these animals have no control over their short lives or their inevitable fate.
“Viva! exposes the hidden world of factory farming and encourages the British public to stop supporting it.”