Street Justice

activist, author, former political prisoner

Camille A. Marino
December 21, 2018

The red paint on their faces mixed with sweat, dripping and congealing on their cheeks under the hot Florida sun. The angry screams and blood-like streaks marring their faces added an element of fury and urgency. Their chants were warlike. Their passion was real. And their stunned targets were frightened. But these activists were not confronting animal abusers, holding them accountable, or seeking to disrupt the a multi-billion dollar animal-slavery infrastructure. That would be divisive and dangerous. No, this was street theater, disrupting mothers and children eating Big Macs at McDonalds. It was a formula that had been perfected over the decades. Pure capitalism at its finest. The activists are passionate and sincere in wanting to end the horror. But these theatrics were not designed to end the consumption of animal products; only to garner media attention, create some hysteria, and lay the foundation for a perpetually-expanding donation base. Profits in the name of animal exploitation — some profit by promoting it, some profit by positioning themselves as adversaries.

Many debated, arguing that these tactics encouraged veganism; others argued that we were sorely in need of more aggressive, committed activists. No matter. The drama may not save any animals, but it certainly energizes the bases and that always translates into dollar signs. These are the same politics we see in government. And the isolated few watched in silence, biding their time.

The few, almost-extinct species of vegans focused on specific industries — animal experimentation, factory farming, fur farms, circuses and seaworld; there’s never a shortage of slave trade industries, only of those willing to confront them head on. They concentrate on the numbers, the money, the actors, working to identify a weak spot, some place to subvert just a little piece of the machine. The only things they lack are the self-serving tactics that serve to enrich themselves and cultivate followers. It gets lonely. Those prizes go to more non-profits alleging to be the guardians of animal-slavery welfare. Find a welfare violation, file a complaint, write a petition, circulate propaganda to the masses, have them sign your petition, and convince the world that now that the wrong-doing has been identified, the rest of the captive animals are safe. Industrial abusers could not ask for better allies than alleged adversaries who are more effective at promoting industry goodwill than the abusers themselves. At the end of the day, these guardians of animal liberation dive into their dollar-filled donation coffers to bathe in the filth of their profits stained with as much blood as any butcher shop cutting board.
Some debatevthe efficacy of petitions; arguing whether they accomplished anything for the suffering animals at all, never understanding their real purpose: to create a donation base for the welfare organizations and simultaneously control and neutralize an uprising against the industrial state. Some argued that we need baby steps and every actions counts. There’s no magic bullet, so we need to stop rocking the boat and encouraging deviations. The truth is that we all perform any number of useless tasks that only make us feel good while the animals die. A perfectly-neutered community, under control, and happy with themselves, wearing a bright-red state-sponsored bow of compliance. And the isolated few watched in silence, biding their time.
The movement was back on track. Animals being cut up alive in labs, blinded, mutilated, poisoned, burned, and thrown back into their cages alone, to bleed, suffer, and, if they’re lucky, find some relief in death. On the farms, now that those pesky picture-taking activists were all neutralized, the slaves’ caretakers were free to resume raping cows with shovels, tearing calves from their mothers and torturing them to death to a symphony of maternal wailing. And those stupid little pigs making so much noise. It’s always fun to take out the scissors, cut off their testicles, and then maybe make them eat their own mutilated body parts. There is nothing remotely incidental or innocent about industrial animal abuse. The sadists who torture their restrained and captive victims do it because they enjoy it. And they have the freedom to pursue their rape/death/torture fantasies with the full protection of the law and the absolute compliance of the animal rights businesses. The tragic part is that passionate, committed, and selfless activists are co-opted by these cancers in our own community that recruit, divert, and castrate their power. It’s all been galvanized in the perfect pursuit of profit born of suffering.
And the isolated few watched in silence, biding their time… collecting the identities of the war criminals, collecting and disseminating their addresses, proof of their crimes, their bank statements, the names of their wives, husbands, children, and parents. The war had been allowed to rage without challenge thus far; profits, accolades, speaking engagements, book deals, and TV parts having overshadowed the mission to end animal slavery long ago. Exploiters on both sides of the fence were equally guilty and equally responsible. The day had arrived where the fabric of mainstream complacency would be forever shredded; we would shed their blood or our own would be shed. But on this day, the animals were not going to die alone.
Outside McDonalds, TV crews interviewed the protest organizer. He spoke sincerely about the horrors of factory farming and explained that his group was raising awareness. And with the precision of justice born only on the streets, as he smiled to direct the audience to make donations, the camera showed the world a sniper’s discharge shattering his bright, white veneers as it proceeded through his skull. Across town, a vivisector held his daughter’s hand as they left the comfort of their mansion. The little girl screamed as she heard a pop and her father fell, his blood pooling on the beautifully-manicured lawn. And in the a rural patch of farmland, a rancher made his way to the dairy shed with a crowbar in his hand — a sex toy for the demented. His devious grin gave way to groans of agony as the pitchfork stuck in his back exited his stomach.
And the isolated few understood that there were more of them than they ever imagined. It had begun. They were no longer silent; their rage alone would speak the language of justice. And today, the animals were not going to die alone.

8 Responses

  1. anonymous says:

    Who is the person who “a sniper’s discharge shattering his bright, white veneers as it proceeded through his skull”? The protest organizer it seems? If this is supposed to be one of the corpse munchers advocating “animal welfare” then you’re very right that they are the enemy and are guilty. But the article makes it sound more like a vegan street activist? You said yourself “The activists are passionate and sincere in wanting to end the horror.” so of course street activists are not enemies, they just need to see the urgency of the movement and that we need a more revolutionary militant movement. But right now, NO ONE, not a single person in the world, is taking real militant action for animal liberation. So yes the street activists are guilty, guilty of not doing more, but they’re the least guilty of all humans. Not doing nearly enough, but doing something.

    I like this essay other than that one line is confusing, it makes it sound like the liberators are killing a vegan activist.

    • admin says:

      I completely agree with you. The street activists who are engaged, trying their best, and out there trying to make a difference are the least guilty. But the charlatans pulling their strings to get rich are very guilty. And i’m sick of seeing demagogues manipulate well-meaning activists for profit. If you don’t believe that they exist, read my memoir. Every last one of them will sell out other activists AND the animals in a heart beat to protect their reputations and profits.

      You and I are on the same page. Many others hiding among us in plain sight are not.

      • anonymous says:

        You’re very right, I wanted to bring it up because it sounded a bit ambiguous.

        What people fail to realize is that animal liberation cannot win by just being a “social justice movement.” It’s not like the civil rights movement or the feminist movement where the people in power had little to lose. Okay they give women/blacks the right to vote, so what, no big deal. The people in power don’t lose a whole lot.

        Animal liberation is more akin to the American Revolution or the Civil War, because in this situation, the bad guys have a lot to lose: Their profits. Kinda like the British losing their tax income, or the Southerners losing their slave workforce.

        The sooner animal liberationists realize this, the better.

        It is good to have some nonviolent people doing civil disobedience in our movement, they can win “hearts and minds” of some people.
        But alongside them, we need truly revolutionary militants.
        We cannot win with either means alone, we need a revolutionary movement that is a fusion of both nonviolent (yet committed and self-sacrificing) activists willing to do things like civil disobedience and open rescue and militants prepared to use any means necessary.

        Animal liberationists, whether nonviolent or militant, need two things: Commitment (which means willing to put in effort, AND willingness to sacrifice), and willingness to stand with all other liberationists, both the nonviolent and the revolutionary.

        Just as Gandhi wouldn’t have won with the more militant revolutionary Indians using violence in pursuit of Indian liberation. Just as MLK wouldn’t have won without Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. But just as Gandhi and MLK needed the revolutionaries, the revolutionaries benefited from Gandhi and MLK as well.

        Fusion is the key… fusion of the “nice” people and the revolutionary liberators working together.

        • admin says:

          In my first response, it only occurred to me after the fact to thank you for letting me explain what I meant. I realize it’s a controversial subject to hold demagogues and traitors up to the same contempt we reserve for abusers; but to my mind, they are all equally guilty. We are either working toward liberation or exploiting it for our own agenda.

          I have difficulty comparing this struggle to other social justice struggles for only one reason — the animals have no determination in our trajectory; it’s all politics – a human made construct. I think of it more as a civil war, where I first understand how brother fought against brother. This is a form of pervasive slavery that could tear families apart, leaving them on opposite sides of the field.

          And I agree that we need militancy and nonviolence. MLK and Malcolm X depended upon one another, inasmuch as they disagreed with one another. Both factions tended to form a cohesive struggle.

          I hope you’ll understand this, but I don’t want to publish your second comment. I do not want to speak about that individual publicly and i’ll tell you why. As far as francione, if the industry isn’t paying him, they should be. Having fallen under one of these cult leaders myself, it literally makes me cringe when activists quote the words of these aberrations as if it’s gospel.

          The other person you mention is even worse. I don’t discuss it because in their case, the people following him are genuine, are getting active, are in the street making waves. And it’s better to have people engaged — even if for the wrong reasons — than to do nothing. The fact that this individual is animal liberation’s benny hinn is unimportant at this moment. I’m waiting for him to buy his first mansion or lear jet. He can tell his followers not to mention the word vegan but that the world is somehow going to be vegan in 20 years. And they’ll follow him as blindly as any of francione’s cult. Never questioning anything the second coming utters.

          As I said, for now, people are getting active so it is what it is. Nonviolence in itself should be a strategy, not a marketing franchise for self enrichment

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with most of that (everything except that regarding the one person). Regarding the person you don’t want to mention by name: My position on this person is a good-faith position, in that I sincerely believe that he is doing good for animal liberation and that he is truly on our side and truly cares about animal liberation. My position is not out of personal loyalty to him, and if he turned out to not be a true ally, I would have no problem turning against him, but I sincerely believe he is on our side.
    I respect your position on him because while I disagree with you, I do recognize that your position (like mine) is a good-faith position, and that you truly believe that he is not all he’s made out to be.

    I have heard him use the word vegan multiple times, and I believe he is in favor of advocating veganism, but only chooses not to talk about veganism more than he does because he wants to focus on the end goal (animal liberation) and the animal liberation movement, instead of focusing on just veganism.
    One committed animal liberationist is worth more than 1000 passive vegans doing nothing. The intent is to not just create more vegans, but more importantly to create more animal liberation activists.
    Veganism is a means to an end, and the end – the ultimate goal – is Total Animal Liberation.

    I do believe he should talk about veganism more than he does, but I also agree with him that we should be talking more about animal liberation, not just veganism. I think we need to be talking about both: Animal liberation to build our movement, and veganism to turn everyone else vegan.
    And I think that right now with our movement as small and weak as it is, our focus should be on building our movement into a bigger stronger movement. I believe this holds true to the extent that currently, as long as our movement is this small and weak, while we should be telling non-vegans to become vegan, it is even more important for us to be telling vegans to join the animal liberation movement.
    First we rally together all the people who have the potential to be committed animal liberationists, then together with all animal liberationists we turn the world vegan.

    I agree with you on almost everything (I don’t mean just in the context of this article and this discussion). We both recognize that our movement is small, weak, full of infighting and divisiveness and apathy. We both recognize that our movement is full of people (some paid by the state and the industries) that don’t care about animal liberation. We both recognize that we need a bigger, stronger movement. We both realize that we need a revolutionary, militant movement. We both recognize that we need to move beyond the idea that our movement should be a pacifist nonviolent social justice movement. We both realize that this is the most pressing, urgent issue this world has ever faced and that the animals need us to liberate them and stop their tormentors by any means necessary, and that there is no more time to wait. (and we both realize that Francione is as bad as the vivisectors)

    I also agree with you that we should never hesitate to talk about veganism, and that some people’s aversion to talking about veganism is detrimental.
    But I also hope you will give some open minded consideration to my belief that the ratio of talking about “animal liberation” to talking about “veganism” should be higher than it currently is, that our primary focus short-term should be recruiting animal liberationists rather than creating more non-active vegans (focusing on both, but focusing MORE on the former than the latter for the short-term), and that while the person in question does avoid talking about veganism more than he should, he is probably (in my view) well-intentioned and basing it on the same strategic views that I hold that I explained in this paragraph, placing the short-term focus on creating animal liberationists rather than creating passive vegans. Should he use the word “vegan” more? Absolutely. Does the fact that he doesn’t use it more than he does indicate that he doesn’t care or that he’s an enemy? No, it just indicates that he’s mistaken about one thing, but is still seeking a vegan world and still on our side.

    Whether or not you end up seeing any truth in my argument, I will stand by you regardless, because obviously we both hold our positions in good faith, and ultimately we are both only concerned about one thing: Total Animal Liberation by any means necessary.

    • admin says:

      I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to read your words; sometimes it feels like no one “gets it,” I need to qualify one of my statements: when I noted that individual x doesn’t talk about veganism, my thinking was that he advocates welfarism-for-profit (eg., investigations, humane meat, etc.). But as far as he goes, my sincere hope is that you are right and I am wrong. Everything I know behind the scenes tells me otherwise, but i’ve been wrong once or twice. 😉

      Yes, traitors are as bad as abusers. Maybe worse. I’m still contemplating that one.

      But you said, “One committed animal liberationist is worth more than 1000 passive vegans doing nothing.” AMEN, my friend!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great to hear that you are open minded on this. I have myself been concerned about individual x focusing on welfarism as well, but from what I can tell, this is purely strategic: Use welfarism as an excuse to justify (legally, and in the minds of the public) investigations, conversations, etc, to draw attention to the issue, but with the intention of turning people vegan and bringing Total Animal Liberation. I may be mistaken, but I don’t think I am.

    I completely understand your concerns about him, but I think and very much hope that they are unwarranted.

    Only the future will tell, hopefully he turns out to be a great ally.

    Either way, our movement is growing and more leaders will rise. And of course we must look at all of them critically, as there will surely be more and more infiltrators and subverters as our movement grows, but there will also be more and more legitimate committed true leaders.

  4. Lo says:

    There was a time petitions were more effective, but government is corrupt and powerful lobbyists pay off elected officials with millions of dollars so they overlook or deliberately destroy humane legislation designed to improve the welfare of animals. Bottom line whoever pays gets whatever they want, and that includes “food research” which is mostly geared toward meat consumption. Even the meat industry influences so-called evidence-based writing.

    So nothing changes using legal channels.

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