Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defence Lawyers Compare Woman Who Gave Water to Pigs to Gandhi, Mandela

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defence Lawyers Compare Woman Who Gave Water to Pigs to Gandhi, Mandela

Article excerpt

Woman in pig trial acting for greater good:defence

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BURLINGTON, Ont. - A Toronto woman who gave water to pigs on a truck headed to slaughter committed an act of kindness similar to when people gave water to Jews transported on cattle trains during the Holocaust, her lawyer said in closing arguments at her trial Thursday.

Defence lawyer Gary Grill also compared Anita Krajnc's actions -- and the resulting legal battle -- to the experiences of historic rights activists such as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Susan B. Anthony.

"Anita is acting in the public good," Grill told a packed courtroom in Burlington, Ont.

Though pigs are not recognized as persons under law, they have the same capacity to suffer as humans, Grill argued.

"It is clear that the public has an interest in fostering the good actions of others," he said.

Krajnc, an activist with the group Toronto Pig Save, has pleaded not guilty to a mischief charge in the incident, although she has admitted that she gave water to the pigs.

Speaking after the hearing, the 49-year-old said she was moved by the comparisons to such noteworthy figures.

"This is the fight of my life. I'm going to spend the rest of my life fighting for the rights of animals until they're considered equal just like the rest of us," she said.

"There are people hundreds of years ago, like Susan B. Anthony (who) went to jail fighting for women's rights. She devoted her life to that and now there are people amongst us who are devoting our lives to saving animals and the planet."

The Crown has argued that the pigs were the property of a farmer, and Krajnc was interfering with his property when she gave them water, even if the pigs weren't hurt in any way.

Prosecutor Harutyun Apel said that in the view of the farmer and the truck driver, the pigs were given an "unknown substance" which could have prevented them from being slaughtered.

"Why does the farmer have to take the chance or the risk that it may not be water? …

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