I had the honour of crossing paths with the wonderful Benjamin Zephaniah many times: in my work at Apples and Snakes, at schools performances, at Animal Aid’s Christmas Without Cruelty Fayre in Exeter, via Animals Asia Foundation, (to whom he was deeply committed) and at home – he came for tea once when he was in Devon. He viewed animal rights as central to his work and to wider social justice: a key part of his Rastafarian One Love commitment. He was a long-time vegan, publishing The Little Book of Vegan Poems (AK Press) in 2001, and his Luv Song (to a hedgehog friend in his garden) and Talkin’ Turkeys opened the hearts and minds of many young people. The mainstream media is brushing over all this, but we need to remember that kind and visionary man for who he fully was. RIP Benjamin Zephaniah. Thank you for the great good you did for all beings. Thank you for being you.
“Do what you can. Do the little, (or the big), things that make a difference you can see. The tangible stuff. Or take to the streets to do something for the future. Do anything. Just don’t give up. Don’t let them grind you down. Rise up all ye sisters and brothers who know better. Stand firm in the downturn.”