Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Negotiation Is Over

January 4, 2010 — Negotiation Is Over

With corporations, the legal system, security state and police forces, and mass media portraying those who defend or engage in direct action and underground liberations, raids, and sabotage attacks as “terrorists”; with the mainstream pacifists distorting and rejecting the most dynamic and effective activists in their own movement, in language uncritically taken from state apparatuses and corporate media that serve and defend every facet of the ongoing war against nonhuman animals and the earth; and with nauseating spectacles such as the star-studded Genesis Awards that celebrate the commodification and co-optation of a movement that is central to resolving growing social and ecological crises, we thought it useful and significant to build a stage for our own awards ceremony, an anti-Genesis Awards dedicated to acknowledging the significance of direct action tactics and the animal and earth liberation movements.

Despite fierce political blowback and state repression, especially in hardening police states such as the US and UK, the animal and earth liberation movements continue to grow globally. With The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) establishing a presence in 17 countries,[1] the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) now active in 42,[2] Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) evolving globally, and ultra-militant groups such as the Animal Rights Militia (ARM), the Justice Department, the Revolutionary Cells emerging in response to the rapid expansion of capitalism, exploitation, and the human empire as a whole, militant resistance movements are growing as well. And they do so even if this fact is impossible to discern from the silence or misrepresentations of corporate media and counter-revolutionary mainstream and pacifist “advocacy” groups for a planet under increasing attack and now in crisis condition. Despite increasingly harsh penalties for direct action tactics branded as “terrorist,” militant forms of resistance spread with unstoppable force.

Pacifist and mainstream animal and environmental groups constantly stigmatize the underground and MDA movements as marginalized, ineffective, and counter-productive. Yet objective analysis will show that they are the most dynamic, fasting-growing, and most effective forms of resistance, and they alone advance in these movements every progressive and potent struggle for liberation that has ever shaped human history and soaked the earth blood.

When something lights up in the night, we know that there are people who have not bowed or cowered to repression and that resistance is alive. Everyday, throughout the globe, people who understand the exploitative dynamics of capitalism, the futility of working through the state, and the secondary importance or irrelevance of the sanctified and empty abstraction of “public opinion” to which mainstream movements obsequiously pander, there are people who take situations into their own hands, and whose primary concern is with stopping violence and shutting exploiters down, once and for all, as they so often do, despite the slander and lies of the impotent pacifist. Those who take direct action against exploiters, who reject the lies of the law to honor the truth of their convictions, and who say “Ya Basta! Enough!” to the pervasive violence for which other “advocates” have built up such a complacent tolerance, these are the men and women we honor here.

For those who will moralistically condemn the outlooks and actions represented below as violent, extremist, or ineffective, we urge the importance of seeing these as planned, considered, strategic, effective, and appropriate and measured responses to growing exploitation and oppression everywhere. Were the victims of these capitalist hell-holes and tortures chambers human, then instead of criticizing these militant actions, people would support or even join the resistance, just as they did in Nazi Germany. Pacifism is nothing but a speciesism and an excuse for doing nothing and being part of the complicit population rather than the resistance movement.

1) Outstanding Achievement: Mexico

Abusers Targeted at Higher Rate Than Anywhere in the World

The symbol of a local version of the Animal Liberation Front was found painted near the attacks in a residential neighborhood on the city’s south side, assistant city prosecutor Luis Genaro Vasquez told the Televisa news network. An anarchist symbol was also found.

“They are not vandals. They’re not doing this for personal gain. They do this because they love animals,” Vlasak said.

Since their first reported ALF action in 2006, resistance has exploded on the Mexican scene with an endless assault on McDonald’s, fur farms, and other institutions of animal exploitation. Mexico inspires animal activists and liberators throughout the world, and shows that animal rights is not only the domain of “animal whites” activities in the “developed Western world” such as the US, Canada, and Europe. And while your historic actions have yet to be properly documented and contextualized, they have hardly gone unnoticed and we hope activists with the Mexican aboveground and underground struggles can ally and unite with activists throughout the world.

2) Best ALF Action: September 15, 2009, 2000 Mink Released, Italy

anonymous report:

We entered inside the mink farm called Valle Salice, located in Castel di Sangros, on the highway 652, under the viaduct II/Valle Salice.

At first we cut a large part of the fence and then we opened the worn cage situated in the four sheds of the farm containing 2000 minks (not only 130 as reported by the media). All these living beings are tortured waiting to become another consumer good.

Our untameable desire for freedom is what drove us. This action represents for us the destruction of an anthropocentric and speciesist point of view, which considers other animals as objects to be exploited and not like
beautiful individuals.

At last we damaged tools, machinery and feed located in a small warehouse.

As this communiqué shows, militant direct activists are motivated not by a thirst for violence and destruction, but rather by compassion, boundless principles of justice, and the desire to rescue victims from victimizers. We chose this action because it counters the distortions of the propaganda machines in the corporate sector and pacifist mainstream alike, and helps us to see that in militant liberation movements one finds the connecting threads with the history of human rebellion, and where elsewhere it is snuffed out, here the spirit of resistance and autonomy glows with the pulse of life.

3) Best ELF Action: November 23, 2009, Santiago, Chile

ELF Torches Slaughterhouse

On Monday, November 23, at 11:50 pm, we installed an incendiary device in a slaughterhouse (located in the immediate vicinity of Juan Cristóbal, comuna de Recoleta) activated by an easily operated timer. The objective was not to burn the place completely, but to cause damage to a freezer soiled with death and torture.

We believe that direct action is largely the way to propagate an idea in a practical way, and with an increase of attacks on capital in all its expressions; the state, prison, laboratories, cages, and no end of targets.

Because of this we decided to carry out this action, during the international week of agitation for prisoners, given that we identify authority and the exploitation of the land and its beings as the great common enemy of all the battles of anti-authoritarian insurrection.

Capitalists have proven that they will continue to rape the planet, torture animals, and exploit any available resource until it becomes unprofitable. The ELF defends the earth that sustains every single one of us.

4) Most Relentless Campaign: Win Animal Rights (W.A.R)


We vow that in this age of governmental repression and harassment of dissidents, we will remain firm and steadfastly defend our rights to exercise our civil liberties to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and to defend and liberate those that are unjustly enslaved.

In view of the aforementioned tenets, W.A.R. is devoted to the campaign to stop the killing at Huntingdon Life Sciences, a notorious international animal testing laboratory, responsible for the torture, mutilation and death of 500 animals every day. We believe in using every legal tool, tactic or strategy available to us to bring about this closure. We are resolved to continue this fight until Huntingdon Life Sciences is closed or until the killing there stops, once and for all.

W.A.R.’s ultimate goal is total animal liberation.

Founded by NAALPO Press Officer, Camille Hankins, these above-ground activists prove that fearless militants are the abusers’ worst nightmare. W.A.R. does not stand on corners waving signs at cars. They educate, taking their campaigns to the abusers, at home and work, and understanding that an exploiter is only one part of a network. By identifying and campaigning against HLS investors, they have played a key role in HLS losing many financial backers. Perhaps not coincidentally, HLS (traded publicly as LSR) was recently forced to go private.

5) Outstanding New Grassroots Network: Bite Club K.C.

Bite Club of KC is an independent, zero-profit animal rights and liberation activism group. Founded on 7/5/09, Bite Club’s mission is to amplify the efforts of individual animal rights activists in the Kansas City area by bringing them together, to educate the public about veganism and animal liberation in an attempt to gain their support and participation, and to wage campaigns to defend nonhuman animals who are under attack. Campaign tactics will include educating the exploiters, negotiating with the exploiters, speaking out for the victimized nonhuman animals through the media, demonstrating against the exploiters, informing the exploiters’ neighbors of their barbaric activities, and potentially engaging in civil disobedience.

Bite Club welcomes all animal defenders who want to engage in activism on behalf of nonhuman animals. With respect to tactics, strategies, actions, and campaigns, we are willing to entertain any ideas, provided they are above-ground and legal. Whether you want to be the most vocal protestor at the demos or stay behind the scenes making signs and leaflets, whether you can work a few hours a month or seven days a week–if you want to stand up for other animals, we need you.

Bite Club K.C., founded by Jason Miller ( NAALPO Press Officer & Publisher of Thomas Paine’s Corner), provides further proof that militant, fearless, determined aboveground activists create movements. And since Jason decided to defend a deer population in his Kansas City area that had been given a death sentence, he founded Bite Club to mobilize activists, and has shown everyone that one person can make a huge difference. The group of activists campaigned relentlessly — in parks, streets, town halls and online – employing innovative and provocative strategies, and building alliances with veteran activists. The fight for the Shawnee Park deer, which they renamed “Death Park,” earned national media attention and became one of the hottest grassroots campaigns of 2009. We are proud that Jason is NIO’s Wildlife Liaison and, along with some other activists, he is now waging this war through a newly-formed Global Anti-Hunting Coalition, which promises to be the campaign to watch in 2010.

6) Best Vegan Radio Show: GoVeganRadio with Bob Linden

Bob Linden is a New York City native and graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York who has led a double life – as a professional broadcaster and animal rights advocate.

GO VEGAN WITH BOB LINDEN, celebrating 4 years on-air as of January 05, is heard in Los Angeles on KTYM-AM-1460 and in San Diego on KCEO-AM-1000. This show represents the successful marriage of Bob’s two lives.

GO VEGAN WITH BOB LINDEN covers everything from slashed-food to cookie recipes, animal rights, diet, health, environment, world hunger, morality, justice, peace.. The weekly hour-long show also features exceptional guests. GO VEGAN WITH BOB LINDEN was the subject of a full-page article in ANIMALS AGENDA written by Pulitzer-Prize winning LA TIMES media critic HOWARD ROSENBERG and was featured as RADIO SHOW OF THE WEEK in the LA DAILY NEWS.

Each week Linden takes a look at any number of current events and makes the connection to veganism and animal rights. GoVeganRadio airs on commercial airways with each show available to a mainstream audience. In a media overwhelmingly sponsored by Burger King, McDonald’s, and assorted capitalist exploiters, Bob is putting veganism into the competition. He has a unique wit and his programs are entertaining, but he is very serious about exposing animal exploiters – whether he’s taking on the HSUS for promoting agribusiness and rehabilitating Michael Vick or featuring controversial guest that other shows – including vegan forums – would not touch. When he is not educating people on the radio, he is involved in any number or animal rights issues, and he was even arrested at a fur protest recently for exercising free speech.

7 ) Best Blog on State Repression: “GreenIsTheNewRed” by Will Potter

Will Potter is an award-winning independent journalist based in Washington, D.C., who has become a leading authority on “eco-terrorism,” the environmental and animal rights movements, and civil liberties post 9/11.

He has tracked how lawmakers and corporations have labeled animal rights and environmental activists as “eco-terrorists.” And he has closely followed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, the Earth Liberation Front arrests in “Operation Backfire,” and the landmark First Amendment case of the SHAC 7.

While the Bush/Cheney administration was shredding our Bill of Rights and industrial abusers worked with Congress to pass broad and arbitrary legislation, Will Potter was among the first to understand that repressive laws like the 1991 Animal Enterprise Protection Act (revised in 2006 as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act) and the 2001 USA Patriot Act, with clauses dealing with sweeping definitions of “domestic terrorism” were new weapons in the war and dissent and dangerous moves to criminalize protest movements, animal and environmental movements first and foremost. Fortunately for us, Potter responded with GreenIsTheNewRed, dissecting the new McCarthyism, the “Green Scare,” and Orwellian discourse of “terrorism” in nuanced, rigorous, and rich analyses that provide an invaluable contribution to liberation movements and freedom and democracy overall.

8 ) Best Animal Liberation Blog: “Voice of the Voiceless by Peter Young”

Voice of the Voiceless founded by Peter Young “to effectively arm those fighting for the liberation of all life.”

Peter Young is a veteran animal liberation activist and former political prisoner convicted for his role in liberating thousands of animals from fur farms across the country. Emerging from a grand jury indictment, 7 years of being wanted by the FBI, a federal prison sentence, and nearly 15 years in the animal liberation movement; today Peter is a frequent lecturer at universities and events, writer on liberation movements, and unapologetic supporter of those who work outside the law to achieve human, earth, and animal liberation.

Sent to prison for mink liberation on the testimony of a comrade turned informant, Young went down without apology, served his time with dignity, and came out swinging. Moving from the shadows to the light, form the underground to the aboveground, Young simply retooled his game to become an even more effective champion of liberation through educating, lecturing, and launching a liberation website with a unique focus on state repression and political prisoners that draws on his deep knowledge and experience. In this new role, Young spent months compiling intelligence identifying the fur-farm supply-side infrastructure and in December 2009 published The Blueprint, the most comprehensive listing of US fur farms to date, covering 75% of the industry. We are proud to call Peter our Senior Editor of Animal Liberation because whether liberating minks or emancipating minds, he completely dedicated to the struggle.

9) All-Around Service in Animal Liberation: Dr. Jerry Vlasak

Dr. Jerry Vlasak is known for many things. He is a trauma surgeon in Los Angeles, a militant animal rights activist, a former vivisector turned renowned critic of vivisection, a scientific advisor to groups like Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and a co-founder and Press Officer for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office. [Because of his uncompromising positions, he] also has a lot of “former” roles on his resume, such as former spokesperson for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and former Board Member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society …He is also a former visitor to the UK. In summer 2004, UK Home Secretary David Blunkett, always acting in defense of the vivisection industry so important to the British economy, saw it fit to ban Vlasak …from again entering the UK [deeming him, like other US activists to follow, a “threat to public order].[3]

The ever-controversial, vocal, and unapologetic defender of militant direct action, Dr. Vlasak co-founded North American Animal Liberation Press Office in 2004 to establish a voice not only for the “non-violent” ALF, but also for more militant groups such as the Animal Rights Militia, the Justice Department, the Revolutionary Cells, and any and every form of resistance to animal exploitation. The Press Office provides a critical and counter-hegemonic voice to industry propaganda and corporate media forces by contextualizing animal liberation and explaining the need for illegal action in conditions where the state functions as a tool of capitalist interests. The Press Office also provides critical balance to the animal advocacy mainstream (whether welfarists, rights, or “abolitionist” in approach) which either ignore the dynamic actions of the underground or – using the Orwellian language of the corporate-state-media complex – demonizes MDA as “violent” and “counter-productive.” In addition to running the Press Office, and incurring the risk and repression this entails, Vlasak has waged the war of liberation through confronting sealers on the ice, public speaking and debates throughout the world, and even testifying before the US Senate. Using his medical training and experience as a former vivisector to maximal advantage, Vlasak speaks against vivisection with authority, and when “researchers” like David Jentsch and Dario Ringach of UCLA run from his challenges to debate, it is evident that they fear public exposure and have something scandalous to hide.

10) Most Dangerous Philosopher: Dr. Steven Best

Dr. Best leading one of the first anti-vivisection rallies in Moscow, Russia.

Our Task, Dr. Steven Best

The revolutionary implications of animal liberation explain the intense resistance to it on all fronts.

Let’s be clear: we are fighting for a revolution, not for reforms, for the end of slavery, not for humane slavemasters. Animal liberation advances the most radical idea to ever land on human ears: animals are not our food, clothing, resources, or objects of entertainment; they exist for their own purposes, not ours.

Every justice struggle up to now was has been relatively easy. Now it gets hard. Speciesism is primordial and universal; it is arguably the first of any form of domination or hierarchy and it has spread like a deadly virus throughout the entire planet and all of human history. The problem is not limited to Western culture or to the modern world, such that there is some significant utopian past or radical alternative to recover. The problem is the human species itself, which but for rare exceptions is violent, destructive, and imperialistic. Universally, humans have vested interests in exploiting animals and think they have a God-given right to do so. To change these attitudes is to change the very nerve center of human consciousness.

That is our task – no more and no less.

Dr. Steven Best has been described as “one of the leading scholarly voices in animal rights.[4]. That much most people know, what they don’t know is the breadth and depth of Best’s work as a scholar, teacher, speaker, and activist. He is an author and editor of ten books, two of which won “Philosophy Book of the Year” awards, and has published some 150 articles and reviews. Best works across an astonishing array of topics, and his books and articles have been translated in a dozen languages.

Best’s publishing career spans three decades, and few are aware that his political activism has equally deep roots. Beginning in 1980, as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, Best was a leading campus activist, leading groups working against US imperialism in Central American politics (which among other things provided sanctuary for illegal refugees from El Salvador and raised money to purchase medical supplies for Nicaraguan people) and South African apartheid, as he put his writing and theatrical background into community radio, performance art, and guerrilla theatre. A radical leftist, Best became a vegetarian in 1983 (eventually going vegan) and an animal rights activist in 1988. In short order, he said, “I realized that the `radical’ traditions in no way are a liberating philosophy or politics from the standpoint of animals and the environment. I saw Leftism as merely another form of Stalinism toward animals.” Never prone to philosophical stagnation, in subsequent years Best formulated an increasingly militant, holistic, and comprehensive analysis of “total revolution” that articulates human, animal, and Earth liberation struggles as an inseparable unity to be conceived of and fought for together.

In 1993, Best accepted a tenure-track position in the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas El Paso, and applied his radical political views his teaching. Within his first week in town, Best accepted the role of Vice President of the Vegetarian Society of El Paso, he organized and led animal rights groups on campus and in the community, he spoke about vegan ethics and animal rights to community groups and schools at all levels, he worked with the Green Party and other environmental and wildlife groups, he became a mainstay on TV and radio news and interview shows, and he even launched his own radio show on the local NPR-affiliate station. Among other things, he was arrested numerous times for civil disobedience; he campaigned tirelessly for a new humane society and animal shelter, he implemented a trap, neuter, and release program for the growing population of feral cats on his campus; he freed Sissy the elephant from her tormenters at the El Paso Zoo to live her remaining decades at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, he raised awareness about sprawl and its impact on wildlife and the “dirty dozen” worst local polluters, and with his philosophy of law class he successfully lobbied the City Council to pass a measure declaring the USA Patriot Act unconstitutional, was arrested numerous occasions for civil disobedience.

Best found that of all the radical issues he taught, by far the most controversial was ethical veganism and animal rights. From the start, he took fire from colleagues and department chairs who warned him against teaching animal rights, from right-wing radio hosts outraged that taxpayers were supporting “subversion,” from politicians unaccustomed to being challenged, and from the city Mayor who sent numerous letters to the university president complaining about Best involving his students in protest activities.

Squeaking through the tenure review process on the strength of his teaching and publications, the situation grew considerably more tense after the publication of Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (2004), which he co-edited with Anthony J. Nocella II. With a steady stream of such publications, with lectures and speaking tours throughout the world, and with co-founding the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, Best emerged as the only academic in the country principled and defiant enough to openly support and defend the ALF, knowing full well that his actions constituted professional suicide. In a rapid succession of events that began in summer 2005, Best was banned for life from the entire UK, pressured by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to testify before Senate eco-terrorism hearings (he refused), charged by David Martosko of the Center for Consumer Freedom (on C-Span Live before a full Senate hearing) with being the organizational leader of the ALF who recruits his students into the underground, deposed from his position as Philosophy Department Chair, and ostracized from the mainstream animal advocacy movement.

Throughout all of this, Best remained undaunted and unrepentant. From the US to Norway, from Sweden to France, from Germany to Russia to South Africa, Best shows what philosophy means in a world in crisis. And we are proud that Dr. Best, drawing on a wealth of knowledge and experience, is our Senior Editor of Total Liberation.

11) Best Vegan Educator: Gary Yourofsky

Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT) founded by Gary Yourofsky

Gary Yourofsky has spoken to thousands of students about the true meaning of animal rights. Gary’s powerful and enlightening message has been heard by more than 50,000 students in 147 middle schools, high schools and universities nationwide, including UTEP, U. of Florida, Georgia Tech and Fresno State. Gary uses thought-provoking prose, inspiring stories, indisputable facts, quotes from Pythagoras, William Ralph Inge and other great thinkers, plus graphic footage from slaughterhouses (land and sea), to ask people to be kind to animals and, ultimately, go vegan.

Lecturing is a softer approach for Yourofsky, who has been arrested numerous times for random acts of kindness and compassion, and banished by five foreign countries from entering their borders. In 1997, Gary even liberated 1,542 minks scheduled for certain death from the Eberts Fur Farm in Blenheim, Ontario. Several attorneys, led by Donald Perkins, Esq., tried to pass a resolution in Michigan in honor of Yourofsky’s actions. “We recognize that throughout this nation’s history, other individuals, acting from conscience have similarly violated certain laws and ordinances. In our own time, these same principles of nonviolent disobedience to unjust laws have been applied by such individuals as the Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., both of whom were—as was Michigan’s Gary Yourofsky—sentenced to jail for their actions.”

Gary Yourofsky is one of the most outspoken, passionate, dedicated, and effective activists and educators in the vegan and animal rights movements. Indefatigable, unassailable, and unstoppable, the man is a machine programmed for ceaseless action. Making an incredible transformation from liberator to educator, Yourofsky is a one-man revolution. The most militant opponent to speaking to the choir, Yourofsky exclusively targets inveterate carnivores and hardened speciesists. He has spoken in agricultural colleges, before groups of hunters, and debated (and destroyed) Ted Nugent on radio. But his primary audience is high school, college, and university audiences and every year he criss-crosses the continent to address countless thousands of people who otherwise would never hear the life-changing, revolutionary message. Using footage he shot in slaughterhouses, scientific data, nutrition, humor, and passion without condescension, he promises his listeners that he will remove their “blinders.” A daunting challenge few would issue, but every time he delivers; for when the hour is up, the illusions are gone, few cynics are standing, and dozens or hundreds of new vegans join to spread the message. Moralizing pacifists and bedroom bloggers need to take note. Yourofsky accomplishes what most of us could only dream about and we all could do far worse than to emulate his example. We are proud to say that Yourofsky is our Editor of Vegan Education and we can think of few who so embody and define effective vegan outreach.

12) Best All-Around Activist: Anthony Marr

Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE) founded by Anthony Marr

Anthony Marr holds a science degree from the UBC and has worked as a field geophysicist and an environmental technologist. In 1995, he became a full time wildlife preservationist, which has brought him to India three times, earning him the title of the “Champion of the Bengal Tiger” in the Champions of the Wild TV series aired in 20 countries. As an anti-hunting activist, he has conducted high profile campaigns in Canada for the bears and seals, and been to Japan twice for the whales and dolphins. He is the founder of Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE) and the author of Omni-Science.

Whether protecting tiger reserves in India, risking his life in undercover investigations of the illegal trade in endangered species parts; challenging any and all forms of hunting; hosting a radio show; writing visionary books on science, philosophy, and cosmology; embarking on marathon coast-to-coast Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions covering dozens of US states (launching his seventh tour in March 2010), or mobilizing scientific research to awaken the complacent to the immanent dangers of irreversible ecological crisis, Anthony Marr is raising awareness, effectively campaigning, and blazing new trails. In 2009, with Jason Miller and others, Marr launched the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition, one that “can bring the weight of the entire world to bear on the local governments bullying the grassroots Activists.”[5] For anyone skeptical of what one person can do alone or in strategic alliance with others, or what can be accomplished without the large bankrolls such as HSUS commands (and squanders), look no further. For Marr shows what great things can blossom from intelligence, independence, courage, and unqualified commitment to the rights of nature, free from the predatory violence of Homo sapiens. The story Marr tells, and the outcome for which he fights, is not a zero-sum tragedy that pits one element of nature against another, however, but achieves a harmonization of life forces. “If we win,” Marr says, “we will have elevated the quality of Humanity, and brought about a major quantum leap in human social evolution.”[6]

13) Most Tenacious Ecowarrior: Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, founded by Paul Watson

“I have been honored to serve the whales, dolphins, seals – and all the other creatures on this Earth. Their beauty, intelligence, strength, and spirit have inspired me. These beings have spoken to me, touched me, and I have been rewarded by friendship with many members of different species.

If the whales survive and flourish, if the seals continue to live and give birth, and if I can contribute to ensuring their future prosperity, I will be forever happy.”

Terrorist to some, ecowarrior to others, Captain Paul Watson has been a looming presence over the animal rights and environmental movements for the last three decades, and his battle today is as strong as ever. Although he has tracked elephant poachers in East Africa, saved wolves in the Yukon, liberated monkeys from zoos in Grenada, defended bison in Montana, and campaigned for the rainforests in Brazil, Watson is best known for his dramatic efforts to halt the slaughter of whales, dolphins, seals, and fish of the sea. After being kicked out of Greenpeace (which he co-founded) in 1977 for the audacity to interfere with attacks on seals, Watson formed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which he describes in his book Ocean Warriors as “the most aggressive, no-nonsense, and determined conservation organization in the world.”

For his numerous attacks on and sinking of whaling ships, Watson has been branded as a vigilante, lawbreaker, and eco-terrorist, but in fact he is an upholder and enforcer of a 1986 international ban on whaling in countries like Russia and Japan which routinely flout the law and massacre whales. The drama of Watson’s battles with whaling ships on the high seas became the focus of Whale Wars, the first season of which was the most watched program ever for Animal Planet, commanding over one million viewers for its season finale, giving the direct action and environmental issues the best press they’ve ever had.

Ask Watson if there is really a “war” against animals, and brace yourself for an affirmative answer from someone who has battled killers of sea animals, been attacked by a mob of sealers, nearly drowned by whalers, and shot at (a direct hit to the heart successfully deflected by a bulletproof vest) by Japanese whalers. However feeble, our award recognizes Watson’s 40-year service in the front lines of battle in the “war against nature” and let his critics try their hand to do better in stopping brutal, high-tech killing in the freezing Arctic winds and choppy seas.

14) Every Soldier in the Trenches

There are millions of people across the world who give of themselves to comfort the abused and those named above are a few who represent the whole. All of us who volunteer in shelters, rescue the homeless, release mink from fur farms, or sabotage exploiters are the direct activists waging grassroots campaigns. If an animal has looked into your eyes with gratitude this week, then you are the exact person we acknowledge and thank. We are engaged in a war and, irrespective of philosophies, it will not be won by one camp or another. But, while most are never recognized for their service, some activists are labeled “terrorists,” “violent,” and “criminals” – not only by the industrial state-complex, but by our peers who have adopted the oppressors’ mentality. The only crime the activists noted share is that they are effective – and they each prove that one person can make a difference.

[1] Wapedia, Wiki: Earth Liberation Front (

[2] “Diary of Actions,” Bite Back (

[3] Steven Best, “Who’s Afraid of Jerry Vlasak,” Thomas Paine’s Corner, May 3, 2009 (

[4] Smallwood, Scott., “Speaking for the Animals, or the Terrorists,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2005 (

[5] “Mission Statement,” Global Anti-Hunting Coalition ( ).

[6] Steven Best, “Paul Watson and the Sea Shephard Conservation Society (

[7] Ibid.

If the nonhumans could fight back, their tormentors would have expired long ago. We have an obligation to expose the abusers. It is the LEAST we can do! I welcome your emails & contributions.

If you have a Facebook account, join the extended Negotiation Is Over network.”.

To submit work to NIO for consideration and publication, please send an email to with the subject “submission”.

To receive NIO updates, please send an email to with the subject “subscriptions”.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Story of Stuff

One thing I'd change about this video is that we don't need any government, all we need is each other and cooperation, not some hierarchic system that bestows upon some the power to rule upon others. Power corrupts, and governments are still made of people who are also gears in the corporate machinery that allow it to work and to thrive at the expense of the ones they exploit, people who are also blinded by our society's system's illusions, by the fake values on which its foundation is built, the contaminated notions of worth and importance that filter and censor our perceptions of ourselves, of others and of the world.

Destroy governments, destroy corporations, and upon their ruins we can build a world where all humans can be happy to live in, in a sustainable way and respectful towards Earth and all our fellow earthlings.

Peace and Anarchy, One and the same.

Monday, November 9, 2009

ALF in Portugal: 18 rabbits liberated

Some friends of mine from Portugal removed two boxes containing nine rabbits each from a vehicle that was going to transport them to the slaughterhouse. Unfortunately, they had no means of transporting more than those two boxes, and were unable to liberate the hundreds of others that were left in the remaining boxes that vehicle carried. This video shows them liberating the eighteen rabbits after transporting them to a safe place where hunting is prohibited. I wish the rabbits adapt well to living in the wild since they were bred and kept in captivity all their life, but no matter what dangers they may face now, they're free and surely better off than facing certain death in a slaughterhouse. Thanks to my portuguese friends for sending me this video, I wish them all the best and the best of luck in future direct actions they may take.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interview with Steve Best, american professor and thinker

Dr. Martin Luther King (who didn’t fear losing his life, let alone a job): “Cowardice asks the question: Is it safe? Expediency asks the question: Is it politic? Vanity asks the question: Is it popular? But conscience asks the question: Is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it simply because it is right.”

The defense of direct action, civil disobedience, sabotage, and armed resistance rests on the distinction between what is legal and what is ethical, between the Law and the Right. There are textbook cases where legal codes violate codes of ethics and justice: Nazi Germany, U.S. slavery, and South African apartheid. In such situations, not only is it legitimate to break the law, it is obligatory. In the words of Dr. King, “I became convinced that non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”

The true forces of ethics and justice have involved groups such as the Jewish Resistance, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Gandhi and the Indian independence movement, the Suffragettes, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, and Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress. All of them broke the law, destroyed the enemy’s property, or committed violence; they were beaten, jailed, killed, and denounced as extremists or the equivalent of terrorists.

Yet who will argue that their actions were wrong? Today we lionize Nelson Mandela as a great hero, but he and the ANC used violence to win their freedom. People forget that the much-heralded Suffragettes in England and the U.S. used arson and bombs to help win the emancipation of women. No movement for social change has succeeded without a radical fringe, without civil disobedience, property destruction, and even violence — so why should one expect it to be any different with the animal liberation struggle?

Opponents of direct action, civil disobedience, and sabotage (typically those with vested interests in the status quo) believe that illegal actions undermine the rule of law and they view principled lawbreaking and “criminal” actions as a threat to social order. Among other things, this perspective presupposes that the system in question is legitimate or that it cannot be improved upon. It also misrepresents direct activists as people who disrespect the law, when arguably they have a higher regard for the spirit of law and its relation to justice than those who fetishize political order for its own sake. Champions of direct action renounce uncritical allegiance to a legal system.

People often say that animals are “the new slaves.” No, they were the first slaves. They’re the first beings human oppressors used to confine, torture, cage, chain down, auction, and sell for labor and profit. The domination of animals paved the way for the domination of humans. The sexual subjugation of women was modeled after the domestication of animals, such that men began to control women’s reproductive capacity, to enforce repressive sexual norms, and to rape them as they forced breeding in their animals. Slavery emerged in the same region of the Middle East that spawned agriculture, and, in fact, developed as an extension of animal domestication practices. In areas like Sumer, slaves were managed like livestock, and males were castrated and forced to work along with females. Whips, prods, chains, shackles, collars, branding irons and other brutal technologies of control and confinement used throughout the modern international slave trade were first perfected on animals.

Stealing blacks from their native environment and homeland, placing chains around their bodies, shipping them in cramped quarters across the ocean for months with no regard for their suffering and death, branding their skin to mark them as property, auctioning them as servants and slabs of meat, separating family members from one another as they screamed in protest, breeding them for service and labor, exploiting them for profit, beating them out of hatred and anger, and killing them in huge numbers when they were no longer of service – all these horrors began with the human exploitation over animals and continue today, in even worse forms, in fur and factory farms, slaughterhouses, laboratories, and other hell-holes where humans show animals no mercy.

Animals in experimental laboratories, factory farms, fur farms, leather factories, zoos, circuses, rodeos, and other exploitative institutions are the major slave and proletariat forces of contemporary capitalist society. Each year, humans confine, exploit, and slaughter tens of billions of animals (50 billion for food consumption alone). The raw materials of the human economy (a far greater and more general domination system than capitalism), animals are exploited for their fur, flesh, and bodily fluids. Animals are slaves in every meaningful sense of the word: they are held captive against their will; caged, chained, and confined in oppressive conditions from which they cannot escape; exploited for profit and labor, reduced to the status of objects, commodities, and property; brutalized and tortured; forced into a life of intensive labor that produces value and profits for exploiters; and bred to produce the next generation of slaves so the process can repeat itself endlessly.

In factory farm conditions that resemble mechanized production lines and concentration camps, animals are forced to produce maximal quantities of meat, milk and eggs; this coercion takes place not only through physical confinement but also through chemical and genetic manipulation. Producing milk or eggs is hard, physical labor that, as with Nazi compounds, terminates in death.

So too we must point to the exploitation of other animals as well, such as the lions, chimps, elephants, and bears forced to work in circuses; when not made to peddle bicycles, wear tutus, or dance, they travel the country in crowded boxcars that are too hot or too cold, and are kept in cages or chains when not “performing” – i.e., when not working under the omnipresent threat of severe beating. We must mention as well the millions of laboratory animals who although may lead oppressively sedentary lives, their bodies are pumped full of drugs, chemicals, and toxins to stimulate their brains, hearts, lung, and kidneys; they yield to needles, probes, lights, knives, and gloved hands until the suffering of their stressed and sickened bodies produces raw data for research reports, and then they are thrown away like trash.

Both racism and speciesism are born out of the need to maintain an economy and society rooted in bondage; only through slavery can the privileged – whether the white minority elite or the vast human populace in general – enjoy conveniences and live comfortable lives. After the US Civil War, the Cotton Economy became the Cattle Economy as the nation colonized the West, slaughtered millions of Indians and sixty million buffalo (the massacre of animals pivotal to the genocide of the people), and began intensive operations to produce beef. Once the slavery of African-Americans in the US officially ended in 1865, the systematic capitalist and industrial forms of enslaving animals was just beginning, and animal labor power became crucial for economic growth and the production of an endless array of commodities by using any and every component of their bodies.

In the postindustrial conditions of the twenty-first century, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Pfizer, and drug testing corporations such as Huntingdon Life Sciences, have become major components of global capitalist networks, and their research and testing operations are rooted in the breeding, exploitation, and killing of millions of laboratory animals each year. In the postmodern world of pharming (pharmaceutical farming), companies like GTC Biotherapeutics use genetically modified goats to churn out drugs for diseases such as hemophilia and cancer, reducing and reshaping animals to organ machines that labor within conditions of mass confinement.

As animals are prisoners and slaves, it also makes perfect sense to speak of their liberation and to call the militant sectors of the contemporary animal rights struggle a –new abolitionist movement that quite consciously sees itself as the heir to its predecessors in the nineteenth century. Nineteenth century abolitionists were not addressing the slave master’s “obligation” to be kind to the slaves, to feed and clothe them well, or to work them with adequate rest. Rather, they demanded the total and unqualified eradication of the master-slave relation, the freeing of the slave from all forms of bondage. Similarly, the new abolitionists reject reforms of the institutions and practices of animal slavery as grossly inadequate and they pursue the complete emancipation of animals from all forms of human exploitation, subjugation, and domination.

Slavery has once again become a focal point of social debate and struggle, as attention shifts from the bondage of human over human to the enslavement of human over nonhuman. The new abolitionist movement seeking animal liberation has emerged as a flashpoint for moral evolution and social transformation, as some of the hottest political battles today are over the politics of nature and animal ethics. A war has erupted between those who will kill every last living thing for power and profit, and those prepared to fight these omnicidal maniacs tooth and nail. We are witnessing perhaps the dawn of a new civil war, this time about animal slavery and the subjugation of nature by corporate powers. As Blacks and anti-racists continue to struggle for justice and equality, the moral and political spotlight is now shifting (or rather, broadening) to a far more ancient, pervasive, intensive, and violent form of slavery that confines, tortures, and kills animals by the billions in an ongoing global holocaust that has catastrophic consequences for humanity itself.

Just as nineteenth century abolitionists sought to awaken people to the greatest moral issue of the day, so the new abolitionists endeavor to enlighten society about the crucial importance of animal oppression. As Black slavery raised fundamental questions about the meaning of American “democracy” and modern values, so animal slavery provokes critical examination of a human psyche damaged by violence, arrogance, alienation, and greed. Whereas racial standpoint theory illuminated core pathologies of modernity in the critique of colonialism and imperialism, so animal standpoint theory exposes key causes and destructive dynamics of the violent dominator cultures that have emerged and spread over the last ten thousand years. And while W. E. B. Du Bois said that “The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line,” we could say with equal relevance that the problem of the twenty-first century is the problem of the species line.

Inclusive Democracy considers the ultimate cause of the present multidimensional crisis to be the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of various elites. This power is advanced through the predatory objectives and operations of the global market economy and it is stabilized and legitimated (to varying degrees) through its political complement in the state system of “representative democracy.” Whereas political representation – what Rousseau called the “alienation of the will” — deludes people into believing that elected officials serve universal and public interests rather than private and particular advantages, and that they, as citizens, ultimately hold the titles and deeds of power and authority, Fotopoulos exposes indirect democracy as “liberal technocracy” run by and the corporate-state complex and national and international elites.

Where one might expect the multifaceted crisis in society and nature to generate an appropriate political response, another crisis has formed. Theoretical and political opposition to global capitalism – in any significant and truly radical form embodying democratic social and political alternatives — has collapsed. Elitism, bureaucratic domination, and the destruction of nature was grotesquely replayed in various “communist” or “socialist” states that intended or alleged to present an “alternative” to capitalist systems. The European tradition of Social Democracy, dating back to Edward Bernstein and the German Social Democratic Party in the early twentieth century, presented itself as an alternative to both capitalism and bureaucratic socialism, but unavoidably succumbed to the failed logic of reformism that attempted to repair rather than radically transform a system with inherent structural flaws. Social Democracy mounted no effective alternative or opposition and today is but a museum piece amidst increasing the privatization and market domination of European nation states.

Mainly, it’s the influence of modern humanism, which itself emerged from the larger context of Western ideology and philosophy completely tainted by anthropocentric arrogance, alienation, delusions of grandeur and control, and an instrumentalization and verification of all life. To put it simplistically, there are two strands in Western history: an egalitarian, vegetarian, animal protectionist philosophy that began with philosophy itself through the profound and enduring teachings of Pythagoras, and the hierarchical, carnivorous, speciesist worldview canonized by Aristotle. Unfortunately, the Pythagorean perspective was overwhelmed by the Aristotelian outlook, which after all was much more functional for a society oriented around slavery, war, expansionism, growth, and conquest. The Greek hierarchical worldview flowed into the dominant currents of Christianity and from there poured into the ideology of modern science, rationalism, Enlightenment, industrialism, and capitalism.

To be sure, the move from a God-centered to a human-centered world, from the crusades of a bloodthirsty Christianity to the critical thinking and autonomy ethos of the Enlightenment, were massive historical gains, and animal rights builds on them. But modern social theory and science perpetuated one of worst aspects of Greek and Christian philosophy, namely the view that animals are mere resources for human use. Indeed, the situation for animals worsened considerably under the impact of modern sciences and technologies that spawned vivisection, genetic engineering, cloning, factory farms, and slaughterhouses.

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels lumped animal welfarists into the same petite-bourgeoisie or reactionary category with charity organizers, temperance fanatics, and naïve reformists, failing to see that the animal welfare movement in the US, for instance, was a key politicizing cause for women whose struggle to reduce cruelty to animals was inseparable from their struggle against male violence and the exploitation of children. In works such as his 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, Karl Marx advanced a naturalistic theory of human life, but like the dominant Western tradition he posited a sharp dualism between human and nonhuman animals, arguing that only human beings have consciousness and a complex social world. Denying to animals the emotional, social, and psychological complexity of their actual lives, Marx argued that whereas animals have an immediate and merely instinctual relation to productive activity and the earth, human labor is mediated by free will and intelligence. If Marxism and other Left traditions have proudly grounded their theories in science, social radicals need to realize that science – specifically, the discipline of “cognitive ethology” which studies the complexity of animal emotions, thought, and communications – has completely eclipsed their fallacious, regressive, speciesist concepts of nonhuman animals as devoid of complex forms of consciousness and social life.

The humanist nonviolent utopia will always remain a violent dystopia and hypocritical lie until society extends equality and just and equal treatment to other animals. Humanist “revolutions” are superficial by definition. Humanist “democracy” is speciesist hypocrisy. Humanism is just tribalism writ large.

Or consider the case of noted socialist writer, Michael Albert, who confessed the following in a 2006 interview with Satya magazine: “when I talk about social movements to make the world better, animal rights does not come into my mind. I honestly don’t see animal rights in anything like the way I see women’s movements, Latino movements, youth movements, and so on … a large-scale discussion of animal rights and ensuing action is probably more than needed … but it just honestly doesn’t strike me as being remotely as urgent as preventing war in Iraq or winning a 30-hour work week.”

This blows my mind – the complacency, detachment, arrogance….It is hard to fathom privileging a work reduction for humans who live relatively comfortable lives to ameliorating the obscene suffering of tens of billion of animals who are confined, tortured, and killed each year in the most unspeakable ways. Like most within the Left, Albert betrays a shocking insensitivity to the suffering of billions of sentient individuals and he lacks the holistic vision to grasp the profound connections among the most serious problems afflicting humans, animals, and the environment.

Animal liberation is the culmination of a vast historical learning process whereby human beings gradually realize that arguments justifying hierarchy, inequality, and discrimination of any kind are arbitrary, baseless, and fallacious. Animal liberation builds on the most progressive ethical and political advances human beings have made in the last 200 years and carries them to their logical conclusions. It takes the struggle for rights, equality, and nonviolence to the next level, beyond the artificial moral and legal boundaries of humanism, in order to challenge all prejudices and hierarchies including speciesism.

Since the fates of all species on this planet are intricately interrelated, the exploitation of animals cannot but have a major impact on the human world itself. When human beings exterminate animals, they devastate habitats and ecosystems necessary for their own lives. When they butcher farmed animals by the billions, they ravage rainforests, turn grasslands into deserts, exacerbate global warming, and spew toxic wastes into the environment. When they construct a global system of factory farming that requires prodigious amounts of land, water, energy, and crops, they squander vital resources and aggravate the problem of world hunger. When humans are violent toward animals, they often are violent toward one another, a tragic truism validated time and time again by serial killers who grow up abusing animals and violent men who beat the women, children, and animals of their home. The connections go far deeper, as evident in the relationship between the domination of humans over animals and the hierarchy of sexism and racism.

It is becoming increasingly clear that human, animal, and earth liberation movements are inseparably linked, such that none can be free until all are free. This is not a new insight, but rather a lost wisdom and truth. Recall the words of Pythagoras, the first Western philosopher, who 2500 years ago proclaimed: “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

What do you say to critics who call you an extremist and a terrorist?

I plead guilty to the former, and not guilty to the later. In extreme crimes, in the face of extreme evil and violence, moderate positions don’t cut it, and one is forced to take extreme measures to stop extreme wrongs. The western environment and animal advocacy movements have advanced their causes for over three decades now, but we are nonetheless losing ground in the battle to preserve species, ecosystems, and wilderness. Increasingly, calls for moderation, compromise, and the slow march through institutions can be seen as treacherous and grotesquely inadequate. In the midst of predatory global capitalism and biological meltdown, “reasonableness” and “moderation” seem to be entirely unreasonable and immoderate, as “extreme” and “radical” actions appear simply as necessary and appropriate.

As eco-primitivist Derrick Jensen observes, “We must eliminate false hopes, which blind us to real possibilities.” Where the social superego tells us to be respectful, play by the rules, have eternal patience, and take that long march through the institutions, 19th century abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison speaks a little more sense “I do not wish to think, to speak, or write, with moderation … Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present!’’

Now let’s get real. Terms such as “violence” and “terrorism” are the most abused words in the English language today; they are products of the corporate-state propaganda machine; they are peddled uncritically by the media and have become so hegemonic that the Ultimate Orwellian Reversal of Meaning has been accomplished, such that those fighting for rights, justice, and compassion are demonized as criminals and terrorists, and those brutalizing innocent beings and raping and poisoning the common earth are valorized as the crème de la crème of respectability.

When people use the same discourse of “terrorism” to describe those who fly fully-loaded passenger planes into high-rise buildings and those who rescue abused animals from breeders and factory farms, the word has been drained of any meaning. When corporations and states deploy the language of terrorism it is sheerly for propaganda purposes, to cover up their own terrorist acts and to denounce in the strongest language possible anything that threatens their interests. Clearly, “terrorism” is not a word, but a weapon. The state uses it to brand it adversaries as terrorists, to malign their cause and demonize them, and thereby to legitimate their own cause and to secure it by any means necessary.

I define terrorism as any intentional act of violence toward an innocent sentient being in order to advance an ideological, political, and economic agenda. It is a strange kind of terrorist who has never injured a single person, who is compassionate toward the suffering of others, and who risks his or her own freedom to save another from harm, violence, and death. It is not the ALF who are violent terrorists, but rather the UK and US governments and war machines, global corporations raping and pillaging the world, vivisectors in their blood-stained coats, and all facets of the animal exploitation industry. They are terrorists on the grounds that they intentionally harm and kill innocent living beings for ideological, political, and economic goals.

The ironies are all too painful. When beagle puppies are crippled and punched in the face, when monkeys are strapped into restraint devices that smash their skulls, when kittens have their brains invaded with electrodes, and when rabbits and guinea pigs are pumped with toxic chemicals until they die, we are asked to believe that this is science, not terrorism. When over 10 billion animals each year in the US alone are confined and killed in unspeakably vicious ways by food industries, we are told this is business, not terrorism. In this sick and violent society, property is more sacred than life, and thus only those who destroy property are branded as criminals while the real terrorists perpetuate the “banality of evil” (Hannah Arendt) through the daily affairs of torture and killing. For every scratch an activist might inflict on an animal exploiter, a sea of blood flows from the bodies of animals; consequently, it is the height of perversity to brand activists rather than animal exploitation industries as the ethical misfits.

Torching a research or vivisection laboratory is considered more heinous than anally electrocuting mink or conducting the LD50 tests that pour industrial chemicals into the bodies of animals until half of them die. The loss of one building is deemed more noteworthy than the devastation of rainforests or the eradication of species. Critics whine about the possibility of physical violence by the ALF but fall silent before the actuality of state terrorism, animal massacres, and environmental destruction on a global scale. They decry death threats, but never death. They deplore rare activist attacks on exploiters but never violence against activists. The U.S. is rife with volatile hate groups—ranging from neo-Nazis militiamen to right-wing Christian zealots—that have a long record of violence, including killing hundreds of people in the Oklahoma City bombing, yet the government positions the ALF above all of them as the more dangerous “domestic terrorist” threat. While Al Qaeda and sundry terrorist cells openly threaten attacks on the nation, the FBI deploys hundreds of agents and squanders millions of dollars to harass activists who rescue cats and dogs. Those who exploit human beings, animals, and the Earth are dignified with labels such as “scientist,” “developer,” or “businessmen”; others who dare attack the property of the powerful are branded as “terrorists.” It’s a game of corrupt semantics where those who monopolize power monopolize meaning.

Our task is especially difficult because we must transcend the comfortable boundaries of humanism and urge a qualitative leap in moral consideration. We are insisting that people not only change their views of one another within the species they share, but rather realize that species boundaries are as arbitrary as those of race and sex. Our task is to provoke humanity to move the moral bar from reason and language to sentience and subjectivity.

Animal rights is the next stage in the development of the highest values modern humanity has devised – those of equality, democracy, and rights. Our distorted conceptions of ourselves as demigods who command the planet must be replaced with the far more humble and holistic notion that we belong to and are dependent upon vast networks of living relationships. Dominionist and speciesist identities are steering us down the path of disaster. If humanity and the living world as a whole is to have a future, human beings must embrace a universal ethics that respects all life.

Growth is difficult and painful, and the human species is morally immature and psychologically crippled. Human beings need to learn that they are citizens in the biocommunity, and not conquerors; as citizens, they have distinct responsibilities to the entire biocommunity.

The meaning of Enlightenment is changing. In the eighteenth century it meant overcoming religious dogma and tyranny; in the late twentieth century, it demanded overcoming racism, sexism, homophobia, and other prejudices; now, in the twenty-first century, it requires overcoming speciesism and embracing a universal ethics that honors all life.

The fight for animal liberation demands radical transformations in the habits, practices, values, and mindset of all human beings as it also entails a fundamental restructuring of social institutions and economic systems predicated on exploitative practices. The new struggle seeking freedom for other species has the potential to advance rights, democratic consciousness, psychological growth, and awareness of biological interconnectedness to higher levels than previously achieved in history.

We must not only educate, agitate, and enlighten, but also coerce and frighten, for moral progress does not work through gentle nudges or ethical persuasion alone. Society is inherently conservative, and change is blocked either by the corruption of the powerful or the apathy of the powerless. Sometimes society has to be pushed into the future, and justice has to be forced past the barricades of ignorance and complacency by the most enlightened people of the time. Within this framework, direct action and civil disobedience are key catalysts of progressive change.

Societies must change on every possible front, from the economic, political, legal, and education institutions to the transportation systems, energy technologies, and modes of consumption. Yet vast social, political, and economic changes by themselves are inadequate, unless accompanied by equally deep psychological changes, such as demand a Copernican revolution in human identities, whereby people realize that they belong to the earth, and the earth does not belong to them.

Thus, revolutionary change is necessary at all levels of existence, unfolding in a process of total revolution that addresses the interconnectedness of forms of domination over humans, animals, and the earth. We must dismantle every form of hierarchy — human over human, and human over animals and nature – and reconstruct our societies city by city, community by community. We must eliminate every vicious form of prejudice and discrimination — not only racism, sexism, and homophobia, but also the lies, ugliness, and violence embedded in speciesism and humanism.

The crisis in the natural world reflects a crisis in the social world, whereby corporate elites and their servants in government have centralized power, monopolized wealth, destroyed democratic institutions, and unleashed a brutal and violent war against dissent. Corporate destruction of nature is enabled by asymmetrical and hierarchical social relations, whereby capitalist powers commandeer the political, legal, and military system to perpetuate and defend their exploitation of the social and natural worlds. To the extent that the animal and earth exploitation problems stem from or relate to social problems, they thereby require social solutions. One cannot change destructive policies without changing the institutions and power systems that cause, benefit from, and sustain them. Where the exploitative policies of corporate globalization cause poverty in nations such as Brazil and South African, people who are poor and desperate will cut down trees or poach animals to survive. The goal to end the rape of nature and the slaughter of animals must thereby address the root causes of poverty, making animal liberation inseparable from human liberation.

The hypocrisies, inanities, ironies, distortions, lies, and contradictions that billow forth from a barbaric society that pretends to be civilized and humane are so massive, staggering, and outrageous that they are numbing to contemplate. In this Orwellian world where slavery is freedom and war is peace, it is difficult to find truth and logic. It is not the ALF’s tactics that deserve vehement condemnation, but rather the industries that exploit animals so viciously, the legal systems that institutionalize their interests, the media moguls that denigrate animal rights, and the states that run the whole insane asylum.

Monday, October 19, 2009


The ecoVeganarchist is for Human and Non-human Animal Rights and Human and Non-human Animal Liberation, for sustainable and biological agriculture, for Love & Peace, for true Freedom, Conscience & Responsibility. Therefore, the ecoVeganarchist is against Human and Non-human Animal exploitation, incarceration, oppression and cruelty; against speciesism, carnism, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and bigotry and prejudice in general; against pollution, deforestation, ecocide, genocide, genetic engineering and modification (GMO), against the state, patriotism, nationalism, fascism, imperialism, hierarchy, authority, war, torture, apathy, ignorance, servitude, conformity, brainwashing, organized religion, capitalism and this representative, fraudulent and corrupt "democracy".

The ecoVeganarchist has spoken, now it's time for Action!