An Enemy of the People in Oslo

by Rimini Protokoll



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Name: Siri Martinsen
Age: 39
District: St Hanshaugen
Nationality: Norwegian
I live on my own in Oslo. At my place outside of Oslo, I live with my boyfriend, dog and thirteen cats.

I am a veterinary and the leader of the animal rights organization NOAH. 

I belong to the the animals rights activists and the veterinaries, but I do not belong to the meat eaters, the hunters, the fur farmers or the very group-conscious.

The reason I am in Oslo is because NOAH, my workplace, is here.  If I did not work with NOAH, I would probably only live at our place in the forest. 

I’ve read An Enemy of the People a couple of times. And ever since the first time I read it, I’ve always liked it. I identified with him, as he is trying to do what is objectively the right thing to do, and I identify with Petra, who feels she has to speak up when she witnesses wrongdoing. I also recognize the ones that got cold feet when they understood that it would affect their interests. If you interpret the saying ‘the strongest man is the one that stands the most alone’ positively, I guess it says something about ignoring how others may critique you and how your actions may offend others. This makes you free enough to do what you think is important and right. And that makes you strong, since you don’t care about the opinions of others, or their power over you. On the other hand it is clear that it is definitively better if more people can agree upon something good. It is not a goal to stand alone, but if it’s necessary to stand alone to do what you feel is right, then you should do it. There is one particular occasion where I had to do this: As a veterinary student, I objected to the use of animal experiments in education. There were more students who wanted alternatives instead, but they gave up because of the threatening attitudes from some of the professors.  I wish that the rest of my class was with me, but mostly I am glad I had the strength to stand alone.

My turning point when it comes to animal rights came when I was about fifteen years old and I decided to stop eating meat. I remember standing at the Kings farm at Bygdøy, watching the calves and thinking that these animals will soon be killed, just because someone wants the taste of flesh, even though they themselves want to live. And I just wouldn’t be a part of it. I didn’t want to pet them and eat them after. In this very period I had just gotten a budgerigar. To eat a chicken while your bird is on your shoulder felt very wrong.

I am walking to the performances. Just straight down Torggata, until I hit Karl Johan, and then I would continue down Karl Johan all the way to the theatre.