Imagine It Were A Child

imagine_childAnimal Rights is the belief that all sentient beings have the same right to exist. The same right to life. The same rights to be free of exploitation, slavery, and murder. that we humans declare for ourselves.

But saying we believe it and actually acting as though we do are entirely different matters.

If we believe animals should have the same rights as we have to be free from abuse, slavery, and murder, it necessarily follows that those lives are as valuable as are our own.

And if that is true, our reaction to the abuse of any creature, or his murder, should be the same as our reaction to the abuse or the murder of a child.

Even the most strident Animal Rights activists fail in this regard. It may be rationalization, it may be cowardice, it may just be settling into the inevitability of horror as standard operating procedure.

Whatever the reasons, we must confront the horrors and acknowledge that they are not acceptable.

If the slaughterlines were of children, would we act differently? Wouldn’t we storm the slaughterhouses to set them free? Wouldn’t we put ourselves between the children and the bolt guns? The knives? The meathooks?

If children were loaded into livestock trucks and driven down our highways, would we waylay the trucks? Confront the drivers? Free the children? Put our lives on the line to protect them?

If children were turned loose into fields for hunters to track down and kill with guns and bows, wouldn’t we use guns and bows against those who hunted the children?

If children were being vivisected or fed lethal doses of chemicals to test medicines or products, wouldn’t we throw ourselves between the children and the monsters who would commit such atrocities?

Then why aren’t we?

Think what you will of right wing zealots who militate for zygotes and embryos. Crazy as they are, they are braver than we are. They act in accordance with what they truly believe. We do not.

And I am among the biggest failures in the movement.

Many in the animal movement lack the clarity I believe I have. Even so, I have not done what I believe is the moral imperative of every animal activist.

I am an accomplished marksman. Why haven’t I taken out a single driver of a corpse truck?

Why haven’t I picked off slaughterhouse workers going into or out of the places of death?

Why are the members of the boards of directors or the owners of slaughterhouses still breathing?

Why are Walter Palmer or Paul Ryan, or any members of the Safari Club still alive?

Why are cops still walking a beat after murdering Black folks or shooting family pets?

Because I am afraid to act.

I am worried I will end up in prison and not be able to do anything else for the animals.

Perhaps I should instead focus upon the affect such actions would have on other activists. Maybe such direct action would ignite the movement. Maybe a flash point or two will trigger uprisings, encourage massive widespread direct action, embolden comrades to hit other targets, perhaps even initiate revolution.

Or maybe not. The entire enterprise could end in catastrophic failure. Revolution is a crap shoot. The stars must align to bring down those in power.

Whether the victims of the holocaust are children or animals, we must be strong enough to bring an end to the horrors, not merely simply disrupt them for a few hours.

Just taking out a slaughterhouse or its owners will accomplish little. We must bring down the economic system which rewards people for engaging in animal exploitation and murder.

There are others with ample reasons and justifications for working to overthrow the government. Their complaints are ours, as individually we are not capable of achieving our goals, but united we might succeed. While animal people may wish for radical social change, few of our number are prepared to sacrifice all to achieve it.

The animal movement must attract a critical mass of radical activists who will put their lives on the line for the animals.

Radicals who will initiate the revolution. Revolutionaries who will see it to fruition. Organizers who will direct the new social order. Philosophers and activists who will ensure that Animal Rights are a key consideration of any resulting society.

 

 

Author’s Notes:

I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.

If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.

• Be sure to follow the Armory and share it with your Facebook friends and email contacts, as well as on Twitter, Google, and all other social media platforms. Our influence and effectiveness is dependent upon you!

Natasha Sainsbury, of Good Karma Graphic Design, has joined Armory of the Revolution as Editor, and is responsible for the transformation of the blog’s appearance. Visit and follow her blog V Kind.

If you are not already subscribed to the Armory, please do so before you leave. There’s a button to Follow us in the upper right sidebar.

• Be sure to visit Armory of the Revolution’s new commissary and bookstore: The Supply Depot

You will find recommended reading on Animal Rights, revolutionary theory, politics, economics, religion, science, and atheism. There is also a section of supplies for animal liberationists, hunt saboteurs, and social revolutionaries. This is all brand new, and we will be adding lots more merchandise in the near future!

Feel free to comment. I encourage open discussion and welcome other opinions. I moderate comments because this blog has been attacked by hunters and right wing trolls. I approve comments that are critical as well as those which agree with me. Comments that I will not tolerate are those that are spam, threatening, disrespectful, or which promote animal abuse and cruelty.

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16 thoughts on “Imagine It Were A Child

  1. If the US government wants to imprison animal activists for whistle-blowing, then what punishment is in store for the ones who try to stop the murder? That’s right. The death penalty. Even though “defense of others” is a purported defense. But the animals already got the death sentences & executions even though innocent of any crimes. They didn’t even get to appeal or petition for habeas corpus.

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  2. It’s all so true. Were cowards who don’t wanna end up in prison because we have obligations to our own children, family and animals. What will happen to them if I go to prison, who take care of my elderly parents and my house( probably they will take it) can I ever get a job back? I work as a teacher, and if you have a criminal record you don’t have a job. So I confess I’m a coward.

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  3. This essay is asking me to imagine something I can’t imagine. Non-human animals aren’t human children. Furthermore, this mental exercise isn’t required of me—or anyone else—to understand anything alive wants to live. Something else is required. The fact about our collective lives in this country is this: our prevailing culture doesn’t teach our children the lesson of all life wanting to live. Also, the parents who serve bacon and eggs to their children after Sunday morning mass don’t edify their children about the desire of a swine to live as a privileged, pampered, preferred canine in the family home. No, the subtle message children receive from this human-imposed arrangement is nature is ours to do as we choose. Some animals are cherished, while others are condemned. This is the (un)natural order of things.

    At an early age, children learn domesticated canines and felines are ours to possess (exploit for our mental comfort to the detriment of other species) in the family home. Bovines are for barbecues and turkeys are for Thanksgiving and swine are for Christmas. Our children aren’t taught a different metaphysics in our public schools, therefore, their victimization continues, unabated, well into young adulthood. Yet, if the circumstances are right, our erstwhile children may be introduced to a more sophisticated understanding of veganism and animal rights at an institution of higher learning (let it be understood working for an animal shelter is superficial to this understanding and is, ultimately, counterproductive to assuming a truly integrated deposition in regard to reverence for nature). Unfortunately, most of our grown children are never exposed to the metaphysics of veganism and animal rights, and for many who are, the mental embeddedness of this tradition and cultural convention is too ossified for them to smash.

    My seven-year-old daughter plays on a soccer team with eleven other girls. I enjoy their practices and games. I enjoy watching the girls develop their soccer skills and having fun with one another. These girls get excited when the ice cream man drives by in his van during practice, but they stay on task with their soccer drills. Still, most of them will chant over and over, “ice cream man, ice cream man, ice cream man … we want ice cream!” until the van is out of view.

    Many, if not all, of these girls don’t understand or know what is involved with the production of ice cream from dairy. They don’t know about the lives of factory farmed animals. They don’t know about the cruelty farmed animals endure before they are brutally killed. They are taught by their parents a particular metaphysics which involves their consumption of other animals for nourishment because they are “omnivores.”

    What do we do with all the (human) children victims who are instructed to nourish their bodies with other earthlings during this revolution of carnist elimination? Do we spare the children? Do we eliminate their parents and reprogram the children? Would there be an age cut-off with this elimination process; that is, would anyone, say, over the age of twelve be eliminated? How might the spared children feel about this program? Would they detest their supposed benefactors for their act of righteousness? Would these children be emotionally scarred for life? Why would they trust the values or goodwill of those who killed their beloved parents? Well, perhaps ought to eliminate all meat-eating children, including all the adorable girls on my daughter’s soccer team who don’t know better (my daughter is vegan).

    I was a victim who had his eyes closed to a particular truth for most of his life. Many people have never been exposed to the truth I now live by.

    I don’t equate myself with a canine because I can ask myself these questions—questions a canine may not ask of himself: What is nature and how ought I to relate to it? Is it something to be respected? If I elect to use her bounty, ought I to be mindful of possible consequences to her many children species? If I acknowledge nature burgeons with millions of lifeforms that aren’t a threat to me and play a role in my survival, how ought I to integrate with them? Should I take a position of species impartiality and, as much as possible, non-interference with nature?

    The questions I might ask myself of nature are endless. The canine doesn’t concern himself with the health of marine life. This is our inheritance—a moral potential with the possibility of extending our moral scope beyond the human family—but this potential isn’t taught in our schools at an early age. In fact, the general discipline of philosophy is scoffed at.

    This may be part of the reason why the person who writes this blog hasn’t “taken out a single driver of a corpse truck.”

    The fact that I still see some adult carnists as victims doesn’t excuse their behavior, but to simply kill them for their prejudice isn’t the answer. The sought-after reformation advocated on this website may have to wait another one-hundred years or more.

    We must liberate our human children before we can liberate the children of other species.

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  4. Excellent! I think these are the questions most of us have asked ourselves through the years as the fight against animal abuse progresses with the speed of a Paleolithic glacier. The frustration is relentless.

    The child/animal comparison is a great way of putting things in perspective. But I doubt if most people would think of it. The idea of children being subjected to the kind of routine abuse many animals receive would be too preposterous and outrageous to contemplate. How many people think about, or are even aware of, the suffering of pigs and calves destined for slaughter? How many concern themselves with the terrible ways puppies and kittens are disposed of because they are an inconvenience, or worry about the baby wild animals whose mothers are killed by hunters, or imagine the foals born in trucks as their mothers are hauled to foreign slaughter houses?

    It all comes down to the chasm—that moral and philosophical barrier that we believe divides human beings from all other creatures. It is the belief in human exceptionalism based on our cognitive abilities and language, or in the belief in human souls and divine creation, or on the smug assertion that we are “at the top of the food chain” or whatever excuse feels best. We believe we have the right to view animals as mere resources and to use and abuse as we see fit. In a culture that is ever mindful of the welfare human children, the suffering of the other children of the earth is discounted.

    I also have been angry enough to fantasize about violence. There is no sight I hate more than transport trucks packed with unsuspecting innocents being sent to their death. There was a time when I frequently had to drive past a small “stockyard” where the trucks were lined up. Every time I drove by, I actually wondered what it would be like to get a rifle and make sure that at least one or two of the drivers would never get behind the wheel again. But I also realized the futility of the act. It was obvious that if I or others did the deed, more drivers were just a phone call away, and the trucks with their doomed victims would continue to move out.

    Aside from not stopping the slaughter or the experiments or the hunting, crimes against humans in the name of animals would only bring on more hatred for the animal rights cause and more restrictive laws against any signs of protest. The Animal Liberation Front was careful to avoid any kind of human injury to keep from damaging the movement. Still there was a backlash against them for breaking the law and damaging property for the sake of animals.

    Unfortunately, we still do not have numbers to make a significant difference in the fight. There are going on 9 billion people on this earth, but there are few ethical vegans who are involved in animal rights activism as a moral and social justice issue. It’s difficult to get enough protesters together for an event to be noticed or to start a boycott that is big enough to hurt a business.

    To make progress, the fight for animals needs not only more advocates but advocates who have the passion, commitment, and willingness to sacrifice. Many people, of course, do not approve of cruelty to animals, but not enough to fight for them or give up goods or pleasures derived from animal suffering. How many people are willing to give up food, fur, leather, or entertainment based on animal exploitation. How many would say “no” to experiments that promised health benefits for them or their families. How many would give up the price of a movie or dinner out to donate to their local shelter. Many people will not even speak out for fear offending family, colleagues, or employers.

    A good example of the problem is the recent murder of Cecil. When Walter James Palmer, DDS, lured Cecil out of his habitat, shot him with arrows, and only 40 hours later managed to put him out of the misery he had caused, the Internet lit up with outrage from around the world. I was hoping that there would be justice for Cecil, that his murder would be the spark that ignited a flame of revolt against trophy hunting and all hunting. So what happened? Not enough. When Dr. Jan Seski soon afterwards killed a lion near Hwange Park, where Cecil was killed, there was a little flurry of notice, but it died down quickly. When a German hunter killed a venerable and elderly elephant in Zimbabwe, PETA offered a reward (bounty) to discover his name—Rainer Schorr. So far we haven’t heard much criticism of Herr Schorr. And even the good Dr. Palmer is back at work and will not be extradited. When “Blood Lions” (an expose of canned hunting in Africa) aired on October 7 on MSNBC, I checked the Internet the next morning, expecting to see an explosion of angry comments, similar to those for Cecil. I was sorely disappointed. When Wayne Pacelle wrote an excellent article for Hufffington Post condemning the practice, I left a comment. This morning I checked Huffington Post site again to see how big the response had been and discovered only two had written anything! Therein lie our major problems—not enough animal rights advocates, not enough passion, not enough commitment. There is obviously not much of an attention span, either, and that is what the hunters and abusers rely on.

    We ignore the wonderful intelligence and capabilities of animals that allowed them to evolve and thrive on this planet with us. We do not see what Henry Beston did, that we need a wiser concept of animals, that we need to realize that they are not our “underlings” but creatures of “other nations” who travel the earth with us. They and their children deserve to live their lives and fulfill their destiny here without the suffering and death we inflict upon them. And they need our help.
    .

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    • Not on Facebook so I can’t press the “like” button but I would if I could (not going to intentionally add anything to the coffers of that animal-abusing scumbag Mark Zuckerberg). You’re right that the lack of interest by the public even when atrocities against non-humans are fully exposed, is stunning. This has been one of the great revelations of my life: when young and naïve in the pre-cable era I thought that one only had to expose injustice to the public and it would be remedied, like magic. That the great mass of humanity, whom idealistic socialists slaver to serve, was basically good and that there were only comparatively few bad apples. That ignorance and inequity were the fundamental problems. Power to the People and all that other ridiculous cant. But now, in the age of the Internet and direct TV when few are too exhausted by a 60 hour work week to act, simple ignorance about what is going on is no longer a plausible excuse for public apathy; and the attention span of the average citizen appears to be shorter than the reputed 3-second memory of a goldfish (a slanderous urban myth about goldfish that is demonstrably untrue!). So how to attract and hold public attention? Maybe a couple of dead celebrity trophy hunters? Or maybe demolition of Safari Club International headquarters? Every possibility needs to be on the table. And no criticism should ever be directed at anyone who has been driven to finally saying, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any longer!”.

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      • “So how to attract and hold public attention? Maybe a couple of dead celebrity trophy hunters?”

        As I read your comments I thought about John Brown, just as I thought about him when I drove past the stockyard and considered how a rifle could stop a transport truck driver or two. Brown believed in abolition so fervently he hoped to start a revolt among the slaves when he attacked Harper’s Ferry. The revolt he hoped for did not happen. But 15 men were killed and John Brown was hanged. History has judged him a madman, a zealot, a fanatic, and a murderer. Yet some, including me, admire him for fighting for his cause, a cause that proved to be just–the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, just four years after the attack.

        Would a John Brown be received any differently today acting on behalf of animals? I suspect he (assuming a “he”) would be considered a misanthropic fanatic and murderer. He could bring justice to Dr. Palmer, and his hunting days would certainly be over. But would Dr. Palmer’s end stop Dr. Seski from killing the lion or Rainer Schorr from killing the elephant? I suspect if they were brought down too, more hunters would come after them, just as one transport truck driver would be replaced by another. In the long run, I believe Mr. Vincent is right. We need a paradigm shift in our relationship to animals, starting by bridging the “chasm” and making animals members of the moral and legal community and giving them the protections they now lack. Unfortunately, changing the culture is frustrating and slow compared to the lethal alternatives but will probably be more successful in the long run.

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      • Yes it is amazing the transformation of John Brown from saint (to pre-Civil War abolitionists) to sinner (in history text books of the first half of the 20thCentury), back to saint (for black power advocates and their radical white supporters), and now back to reprobate (among white establishment Republicans). Regardless of whether he was deranged or not he took a principled moral stand and acted upon it, come what may. It reminds me of the movie “The Star Chamber” where the character played by James Sikking who tried to shoot two accused child killers In Michael Douglas’s courtroom explains to the judge that he had at least TRIED, unsuccessfully as it turned out, to do something to curb an evil menace. Sometimes action, even if futile, is better than complicity.

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    • Your excellent analysis of our current situation underscores the need for a paradigm shift in our thinking, perspectives, and strategies.

      We cannot rely upon public support, nor can we muster the troops to make a difference ourselves.

      Only a broad leftist coalition could begin to challenge the system. That Animal Rights would not be a priority of such a coalition is a given. that, however, should not be an impediment for our support of socialist revolution. The disruption and chaos caused by insurrection alone would decrease the number of animals bred and slaughtered, and the resultant economic system would command a centrally planned economy, one without profit incentives for the torture and murders of our fellow creatures.

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  5. Thanks for your honesty about being afraid to act. We are all plagued and sometimes paralyzed by such fears. But everyone comes with their own unique skill set. Some are expert in demolition, some are expert in the black arts, and some are talented writers whose greatest service to the movement can be inspiring and directing the troops. Throwing away such a skill to engage in a heroic but likely one-way mission that accomplishes little constitutes a misallocation of scarce resources. Still, there are others whose talents and skills lie in asymmetric warfare and everything can and should be done to encourage them.

    “If the slaughter lines were of children, would we act differently? Wouldn’t we storm the slaughterhouses to set them free? Wouldn’t we put ourselves between the children and the bolt guns?” Well, not necessarily if history is any guide. Where were all of the “good Germans” when children were being mercilessly slaughtered in Nazi death camps? Where were the “good Christian” residents of eastern European villages when Jewish children and babes-in-arms were being shot by the thousands and dumped into trench graves by the Eisantzgruppen? As someone (I think George Bernard Shaw) said: “Custom and habit will reconcile human beings to any horror.” If history teaches us anything it is to never underestimate the capacity for depravity to which the human species can sink.

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    • Good points! Dostoevsky said something similar: “Man is a creature that can be accustomed to anything.” Unfortunately, people everywhere have become accustomed to the torture of other animals. What is frightening is how easily and universally we fall into barbaric and depraved behavior and how difficult it seems to be to change. History could teach us that if we were willing to learn:(

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