“Species membership is not a valid reason to place anyone outside the circle of moral compassion or beyond the reach of effective defense.”
by Lindy Greene & Camille Marino
originally published november 13, 2017
Globalization is predicated upon slave labor. Both animate and inanimate resources are expended to the point of exhaustion in pursuit of profit. The planet is being plundered to serve the self-anointed “superior species.” And it remains abundantly clear that our current course is unsustainable. Feeding and lubing the machinery of the entire system are the misery and blood of its vast nonhuman slave force. We were taught twenty centuries ago the myopic and destructive view that the other species with whom we share the Earth evolved for the sheer and sole purpose of serving us and that such servitude is the birthright of the privileged “master race.” Whether it’s factory farming contributing 37% of methane gases to global warming according to the UN or the federally-funded animal experimentation industry, it is extremely difficult to find any segment of the economy that does not commoditize and exploit members of other species for entertainment, sport, fashion, food, or testing. Subverting the integral animal economy is vital if we will ever free ourselves from the entrenched teamwork of corporate overlords and unprincipled governments.
The marriage of corporation and state, Mussolini’s definition of fascism, is epitomized by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – a group of corporate lobbyists and elected officials who serve big business profiteers. ALEC is the engine running the multi-billion-dollar prison / industrial complex. It’s single-minded mission in that endeavor is to maximize profits by keeping citizens jailed, on parole or probation, and otherwise inextricably ensnared in the judicial system. And ALEC is also the author of the federal 2007 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, the language of which conveys that any animal rights activist who affects the profits of an animal industry can be prosecuted for terrorism. Thus, any effective activist may be a terrorist by statute. And, at the state level, we see political free speech consistently reframed by the courts as terrorism with the speakers charged as stalkers. (By the way, there are actual laws on the books declaring “edgy speech” to be just “political hyperbole” and perfectly legal. Those same books also state that First Amendment activity does not fall under the legal definition of “stalking.” But judges apply (or fail to apply) laws as they see fit. It costs thousands of dollars to file motions, which are almost universally denied, for review of their decisions.) And, according to the New York Times, ALEC is behind the state legislatures’ trend to make photographing industrial animal abuse a crime (“ag-gag” laws). Let this penetrate: Animal abuse is not only protected, but exposing it is prosecutable. (Such punitive measures are not new. Anyone caught in the antebellum South helping Black slaves to escape from the plantations risked hanging.)
The only response to the all-out war waged against animals and the activists who fight for them is revolution. Animal activists are fighting not only against industrial abuse and the corporate-state overlords that protect and enforce it, but also against a society that does not understand (or care) that the animal slave industries are the core of all oppressive structures that likewise enslave and oppress people. And until society comes around, Animal Liberation activists need to adopt the mentality of warriors and revolutionaries.
An accurate and easy way for activists to gauge their own performance is to ask these two questions: “What would the animals want me to do?” and “What would the abusers want me to do?” It isn’t difficult to imagine the answer to the first one. The animals would undoubtedly say, “Whatever it takes to free me!” Put yourself in their place. What if it was you being tortured in a vivisection lab? Would you want activists to sing “Kumbaya” and leaflet – or tear the hellhole down brick by brick and pull you out? Okay, we can’t literally tear down a building with our bare hands – but you get the point!
The response to the second question should be just as easy. The abusers would respond, “Be as ineffective as possible.” It’s clear that every new statute passed is designed precisely to make this the case, as well as inspire fear. If you were an abuser, what kind of opposition would you want to face? People holding candlelight vigils and chalking polite messages in pretty pastels on the sidewalk? Or militant above-ground protesters naming, shaming, blaming, and defaming you before your neighbors and underground operatives damaging or destroying your personal possessions and laboratory equipment? The answer is obvious. And, therefore, it’s our responsibility to lose our fear and transfer it where it belongs – to the guilty! When the movement was militant, these psychopaths were royally scared. Some quit and looked for different lines of work, while others were deterred from entering abusive vocations. That’s the way it should be!
The mainstream Animal Liberation community seems hell-bent on using the struggle in a quest for self-promotion, political agendas, and public relations at the expense of the animals for whom they allege to fight. And the forces that guide the movement have had the net effect of pacifying activism and rendering it impotent and laughable. (But, hey! No one can label it violent!) The state has done its job so well that activists now moderate themselves. Enough! Let them call us stalkers. Let them call us terrorists. As long as they call us effective!
Universal love and respect are at heart noble and enviable aspirations. But, like anything else, they can be carried to the point of absurdity. In reality, it is neither possible nor appropriate to love and respect everyone. Love and respect have to be earned. In what universe does it make sense to love and respect evildoers? Under what system of ethics is it logical to condone and make excuses for evildoing? Why is it “politically incorrect” to be angry? Anger is the normal response to injustice. It’s a powerful motivating force. When used correctly, it inspires us to reduce or eliminate wrongdoing. Passivity is actually another form of violence: It encourages ineffectiveness which, in turn, emboldens abusers to continue and escalate their atrocities. The animals are left without help or hope.
Let’s take a brief look at psychopathology. It is a congenital and irremediable disorder whose hallmark characteristic is the lack of what the rest of us know and commonly experience as conscience. Stated another way, it is the inability to feel empathy or remorse. Many psychopaths are already manifesting evidence of their disease by age four as they torture and murder younger siblings and family pets. Take note of the following caveat: You cannot appeal to a conscience that doesn’t exist! Polite debate, exchanging vegan recipes, and any number of other “feel-good” activities aren’t going to make a dent in animal abuse. History has demonstrated which tactics work: We know for a fact that abusers are cowards who fear exposure, confrontation, and an organized community of activists focused on and dedicated to stopping them. This must be the direction we embrace!
There are internal and external forces at work that serve the unwavering objective of muzzling the movement. Repression is a response to effectiveness. It should never be feared, but rather adapted to and even welcomed. And when one of us is accused of being a stalker or terrorist and temporarily in the hands of the state, we should see 50 more stepping up to take his or her place!
Moderate elements in the activist community conduct themselves exactly as the animal abusers want them to in a form of straightforward co-option. Make no mistake: Our welfarists are in bed with industrial abusers. The deal is simple: Keep the grassroots (who genuinely have an effect) away and, in return, the abusers will give the moderates a few crumbs; debates, an occasional release to a sanctuary, or a seat on an ethics board. If the grassroots becomes a threat, the abusers will simply turn to their colleagues – mainstream animal rights orgs – and threaten to withdraw the “perks” if they don’t get the “renegades” under control. We consistently see their moderate counterparts then turn on and blame the grassroots for “hurting the movement.” Whether it’s the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS ) offering rewards to catch and prosecute Animal Liberation Front activists or Stop Animal Experimentation Now (SAEN) publicly condemning confrontational activists and blaming them for vivisectors’ killing their victims, the purpose is clear: The animal exploitation industry and our own cadre of mainstream animal welfarists must not disturb the status quo. Speaking of Research, a pro-vivisection group, explicitly lays out this objective: “We encourage all individuals from both sides of the debate to clearly and openly condemn them [grassroots activists]. AR extremism has the effect of overshadowing the important debate on the need for animals in research, scaring many scientists [emphasis added] into silence…” Has the movement been infiltrated? Hell! We’re so busy policing ourselves, does it even need to be?
Let’s understand exactly how we harm the animals by promoting only “love and peace.” The net effect of passivity is to condone state-sponsored and industrial violence while condemning any aggressive actions to stop it. No one in their right mind would seriously suggest that the Allies were the “violent” parties in stopping the Nazis and shutting down the concentration camps! Yet, the censure of assertive tactics is the prevalent nonsense guiding the movement today. It allows activists to defend inaction and impotence. The only thing that helps animals is handicapping, stopping, and holding abusers accountable. That means confrontation, escalation, and employing coherent aggressive tactics – not debating, chatting, talking nicely, and praying for sadistic sociopaths to have a “change of heart.”
When we talk about “revolution,” we mean a profound overhaul of attitude within our own community. This is the only way we will ever see an insurrection of action. We have to dismiss the patriarchs and politicians and once again allow our own grassroots militants to rise up and lead the movement. It’s time to step away from fantasy and ideality and into reality. And here is as good a place as any to declare that this essay is not advocating violence or illegal activity, as our detractors will predictably claim. It is an academic discussion about being more effective and less passive. Nowhere in the composition does either author imply, request, or demand violence or lawbreaking.
Industrialized animal abuse is the child of corporate and government tyranny in the endless pursuit of profit. Legislators and law enforcement personnel are also pawns in the game as they pander to the fascist partnership by criminalizing people and actions who or which seek to expose or protest against its systemic treachery. And the general population is complicit by being indifferent and apathetic. These factors play a critical role in perpetuating the forces of oppression and crippling those who would oppose them.
For some inexplicable reason, it has become “politically correct” to be submissive. The abusers know today that the worst they can expect from activists is candlelight vigils and prayers, and they fearlessly continue and escalate their abuse. The most effective form of control is to convince the opposition that it is “morally wrong” or “socially unseemly” to mount an effective defense against oppression; that abuse must be met with compliance, obedience, tolerance, and acceptance; that abusers must never be made to feel uncomfortable, afraid, upset, or ashamed; and that people who burn, suffocate, electrocute, starve, and beat animals are to be shown “love” and “respect.” There’s a name for this: It’s called “sympathizing with the enemy.” And, during wartime, it’s considered treason and punishable by death. Evil should be met with outrage, a cry for accountability, and the vow to implement reform.
If there are any medical advancements from vivisection, they are few and far between and could more readily and quickly have been developed by clinical research with humans. Vivisectors know that their immoral and scientifically fraudulent craft actually retards medical progress, but that’s the goal. There’s no market for prevention or cure: The medical industry is the grateful beneficiary when we become sick with chronic degenerative diseases requiring hospitalizations, surgeries, and long-term use of pharmaceuticals.
“Vivisectors are no different from other serial killers like Ted Bundy or Charles Manson. They’re just smart enough to know that if they do to humans what they do to animals, they will face life imprisonment or the business end of a lethal injection barrel.” ~Lindy Greene
“All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” ~Edward Burke.
Lindy Greene is an Animal Liberation activist, former political prisoner, and author living in Los Angeles, California. After being accused of and briefly jailed on multiple counts of stalking, she was prohibited from participating in animal rights discussions or demonstrations for three years. She may be reached at email@example.com.
Camille Marino is an Animal Liberation activist, former political prisoner, and author living in central Florida. After repeated arrests, extraditions, and the Florida legislature’s rewritten laws failed to silence her, she was summarily banned from the Internet for a total of 3 years. Her memoir, #uncensored: inside the animal liberation movement, will be published in 2018. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.