Randall Cannon, Unsung Vegan Hero, 2016
Tribute by Jennifer Mennuti, Yuri Mitzkewich, and Chris Murphy
When thinking of Orlando, Florida, many people may think of Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and Pluto – but our favorite character is Dr. Randall Cannon!
Randy is a vegan veterinarian with his own clinic, where he has not only helped countless animal patients but has also educated their guardians about the suffering of so many other animals used in food production, entertainment, trophy hunting, clothing, and for vivisection. He has reserved space at his clinic for rescued animals, and he hosts fundraising car washes to help even more animals. At his monthly continuing education meetings with other vets, he always orders the vegan option and gently reminds the others of the hypocrisy of saving cats and dogs during the day and going home to eat cows, pigs, chickens and fish at night.
For many years, he has assisted ARFF (Animal Rights Foundation of Florida) at demos against circuses, greyhound tracks, puppy stores and SeaWorld, and has handed out many booklets about veganism. In 2011, Randy formed a non-profit corporation called Take Your Blinders Off, Inc. , and personally invested tens of thousands of dollars in a custom truck which features two large, retractable LED screens and a loud sound system which he brings to various places to educate people about animal welfare and other injustices. He drives the truck near restaurants while playing factory farm footage, and also to SeaWorld, rodeos, circuses, bear hunts and more, and exposes the truth and cruelty behind those practices. The truck has also been present at Earth Day events, Veg Fests, National Animal Rights Day- Our Planet Theirs Too demo, and throughout Miami’s high tourist area of South Beach. He has had to stand up for his free speech rights many times during this work as there have been countless people trying to silence him. Even though many exploiters retaliated against him by posting negative online reviews of his clinic and threatening him, Randy kept marching forward. He is one of the bravest and most dedicated people we know, and a true unsung hero in so many ways!