Purple Poppy

Building a legacy for them.

Since 2015, an annual Animal Victims of War (AVoW) ceremony has taken place in Victoria, B.C. with attendees adorning the purple poppy. AVoW ceremonies are solemn events that encourage participants to reflect on animal use in war and ensure they are not valorized as heroes, but remembered as victims who had no choice.

The event has been organized for the past 8 years by Animal Alliance of Canada representative and Animal Protection Party of Canada Deputy Leader, Jordan Reichert, who started the event in Canada. Last year, events were held in Victoria, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.

Animal Alliance of Canada has now created their own purple poppy for distribution and is working to hold ceremonies across Canada. If you would like to host an AVoW ceremony in your community please contact the Animal Alliance of Canada.

Purple Poppy Ceremony
2019 Animal Victims of War Ceremony, Victoria, B.C.

They Had No Choice.

Victims of War. Not Heroes.

It is important that as we consider the loss of animal life in war that we do not recognize animals as “heroes” of war. It is tempting to anthropomorphize their actions as acts of bravery or courage, but they had no choice in being there and had no comprehension of what they were being used for. Humans can make a conscious decision to partake in war and we fully recognize that many soldiers were forced into war themselves. Animals cannot ever consciously decide to engage or abstain from war. They are thrust into it and have no control over how they will be used or when. They are victims and it important we condemn their use in war as part of our opposition to the suffering and violence caused by war itself.

Why remember animals in war?

We brought the AVoW purple poppy campaign to Canada to ensure that the tens of millions of animal lives lost to war are recognized as victims and not heroes. In World War I, 8 million horses and another 8 million other animals were killed. That is one for every two human soldiers killed. This number also does not include all the wildlife that would have died and not been accounted for. Animals continue to be used in war for transport, experimentation, reconnaissance, and other activities.

Purple Poppy

The Purple Poppy.

The purple poppy campaign is a complimentary or alternative poppy to the red poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion. It is not meant in any way to undermine or reject the red poppy and its symbolism of the human lives who served and died in war. It is a way for people to recognize the significant loss of animal life that is not represented in symbol or ceremony of the red poppy. It also makes an important distinction between animals as “heroes,” which is sometimes perpetrated by military culture, and animal as “victims.” Ideally, we will someday see the purple poppy be as synonymous with Remembrance Day as the red poppy, but in its own context.

List of purple poppy ceremony events coming soon.

How to order your purple poppy.

You can order your custom purple poppy by filling out the order form below. Our purple poppy design is made of recycled metal produced in North America and have a soft hemp paper finish.

We offer two options for ordering:
Order a single poppy for yourself, or multiple for others who may be interested in representing the Animal Victims of War with you.

If you are a community business, non-profit, or organization that would like to distribute purple poppies by donation and send us the proceeds, we now have a mailer and display box for you.

To order, please fill out the form below. Please note: Packages are mailed via Canada Post. We cannot guarantee a delivery date.

Thank you for representing the animal lives lost to war.

On behalf of the Animal Alliance of Canada, we want to thank everyone who chooses to wear the purple purple as a symbol of their opposition to animal use in war.

We are currently working to hold the Canadian government accountable for the Department of National Defence’s ongoing use of piglets in trauma training through our Defenceless campaign.

If you would like to learn more about our numerous campaigns to fight animal cruelty across Canada, please visit our site www.animalalliance.ca