by Camille Marino
January 27, 2016
“Hey, guess who Alice fucked the other night!”
“Who? You know she’s always on Facebook flirting with men. Posting pics of her tattoos just to show off her boobs.”
“I know. She thinks she’s so hot. Well I heard that after the potluck on Tuesday she left with Joe. And you know his reputation. I heard he’s HIV positive.”
“What a bunch of frauds. She’s a whore. I heard she gangbangs cops. They deserve each other.”
“But don’t tell anyone I told you. I hate gossip.”
“Of course not. It’s our secret. “…. “OMG, Val, you’ll never guess what I heard. But you have to promise not to tell anyone….”
Well, actually, Alice is a sexually liberated woman, she has an ample bosom, some radical tats, and men are attracted to her confidence. And, despite our gossipers desperate attempts to throw themselves at Joe, their attentions were never returned because Joe is gay. I’m not here to fat shame, slut shame, or ugly shame. But if these things apply to you, don’t hate Alice ’cause you can’t get any! And don’t hate Joe ’cause he won’t give you a second look. The truth of the matter is that when Alice and Joe sneaked off on Tuesday, they were waiting until it was dark enough to figure out how they could penetrate the perimeter of a backyard fur farm where foxes and racoons were exhibiting signs of insanity, repetitive spinning in their tiny cages. And while our insipid cupcake-eating vegans were destroying Alice and Joe’s reputations, the enslaved animals in that backyard concentration camp were waiting patiently to have their necks broken and their fur ripped from their backs.
Forget security culture. Our community not only accepts, but facilitates and perpetuates, a culture of gossips, bullies, and snitches. These individuals are agents of the state who feed activists by whom they feel overshadowed to the government, clinking a glass of wine and hosting a Facebook celebration of twits in the process. And fuck the animals! All we need to say is “what have they done for the animals” as if that phrase excuses our own ineptitude and complicity. It’s all sport to those who sit behind a keyboard launching grenades at activists as they become collaborators with industrial abusers. So At War is on a mission to attack this insidious condition from the inside out. We shouldn’t have to fend off industrial abusers AND our own community. But we do. So let’s accept it and fortify ourselves.
First, as almost every prisoner knows or unfortunately will find out, it is when they are behind bars, when they are devocalized, that the cowards will come out in force with personal attacks, lies, and the universal “s/he isn’t vegan anyway.”
What are our options here? Should Joe and Alice broadcast their underground mission, jeopardizing their own freedom and that of the slaves who’s liberation is at stake? Or should they remain silent, comfortable with their own integrity and secure that they are warriors of conscience? For every single soldier, there is no choice. We act because we must. We act because our conscience dictates our course and, without us, the animals will live and die alone. Joe and Alice don’t fear jail. They fear ineffectiveness.
But unbeknownst to them, should they ever become ensnared by the state and find themselves in the domain of the storm troopers, they will not only have to fight for their own freedom against the enemy, but this is also when the cowards, bullies, and snitches will seize the moment, to kick our warriors while they are down. To eliminate activists by whom they feel threatened. To help the state rid the movement of people they simply don’t like so they can go back to eating their vegan cupcakes in peace. So they can wave a sign at traffic once a year outside a circus protest, buy an ALF t-shirt, and identify as an “activist.”
To mention names would simply allow drama queens a platform to pontificate to their useless followers. But we all know who they are. Take a look at Facebook. We all know some idiot with 5000 followers who will occasionally post some truism like “if you’re not vegan, you’re part of the problem.” Well that should get you a few 100 likes considering the only people you speak to are other vegans. Let’s put you behind bars with a towering tattooed meat-eating adversary, however. Then you can demonstrate what a pathetic coward looks like. Nonetheless, in between their “go vegan” statuses, these same people seem to serve the sole purpose of calling out, criticizing, and bullying other vegans while their followers cheer. Or leave comments like “really? well thank you for telling me. I’m going to block him/her.” STOP THE INSANITY!
If you are new and anyone is telling you to block someone else, you need to put on your vegan sneakers and run with everything you’re made of. No real activist worth their salt will ever out another activist unless they are a snitch, a collaborator, or present a threat to you and the animals. If women are being attacked for their sexuality, then you have wandered into the land of misogyny.
When we see activists bullying others from the safety of their keyboards, we need to learn to defriend and block them. When we see activists gossiping about other activists, we need to defriend and block them. When we see activists criticizing our prisoners, their strategies, their actions, these people need a baseball bat in the teeth. But in lieu of that, block and defriend them. The last thing any one of us on the frontlines needs to worry about is who in our own community is putting the knife in their back while the state has them in shiny new handcuffs.
Rather than concern ourselves with detractors and traitors, we simply need to acknowledge that they are all around us. Therefore, it behooves us to take notice of those around us, how they conduct themselves, and if they are simply blowhards sitting on a facebook perch or if they are genuine actors for animals in the real world. Posting atrocity after atrocity does not make one an activist. It identifies them as someone who has no effective form of activism. Yelling “go vegan” 100 times a day to 5000 other vegans does not make one an activist. It identifies them as an impotent vegan with no form of activism. But the real danger is listening to those who will write you to sabotage campaigns. Those who use social media to shame female activists or divert attention from the animals to participate in schoolyard fights. Are you on my side or their side? If you’re friends with them, then defriend me.
Your response should be “Gladly! I am on the side of the animals alone and will tolerate no distractions.”
One of the primary goals of At War is to recruit and strengthen our soldiers. When we are so immovable in our convictions and loyal to our own conscience, there is no one and nothing on the planet that can alter our course. We must care for ourselves first and above all. That means exercise, meditation, it means sober focus, it means adopting strategies that will liberate animals and employing our tactics with precision. It means tuning out everyone and everything except that inner voice that is telling you to act.
The animals are waiting.
And when you need refuge from the gossip, distractions, and mainstream eunichs, we will be here to provide tools, support, and community. The animals are in a state of emergency.
And we are At War!