Animal Liberationists: Why We Must Take The Fight To Human Targets

closedBy definition, terrorism is violence against the innocent.

Terrorist organizations hope to influence the actions of governments by paralyzing populaces with fear and uncertainty.

We see these tactics employed by jihadist Muslims, right wing hate groups, and radical separatists. Government response, predictably, is repression and fascist legislation. Voices of reason and of tolerance are drowned out by demagogues and political opportunists.

In the US, the irony of such a reaction is that the very police that the public demands protect it in fact kill nine times as many Americans as do terrorists.

In attempt to demonize and intimidate animal liberationists, animal exploitation and murder industries directed two of their wholly owned Senators (Democrat Feinstein of California and Republican Inhofe of Oklahoma) to co-author and introduce the Animal Enterprises Terrorism Act (AETA – subsequently signed into law by fascist president George W Bush) which makes animal liberation a federal crime and equates animal activists with terrorists such as ISIS militants or Timothy McVeigh.

Animal liberationists have consistently targeted only property in their activities, have judiciously avoided violence, and have harmed not a single person in the years since Ronnie Lee of the UK founded the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

Criticism of the ALF has been that freeing a few animals accomplishes relatively little, that the incarceration and support of animal liberationists places a strain on the animal movement out of all proportion to the benefits of ALF attacks, that the result of such attacks is usually no more than modest increases in insurance premiums for the animal enslavers.

Even so, that animal enterprises do not want their practices highlighted is evidenced by the enactment of AETA and the attempts by lobbyists for Big Ag to push for ag-gag laws throughout the nation which criminalize whistleblowing and photography of animal abuse and cruelty at factory farms, feed lots, and slaughterhouses.

Jon Hochschartner is a young leftist writer and animal advocate. Still in his 20s, among his accomplishments is the creation and building of Species and Class, an influential blog which examines speciesism and socialism.
Jon turned over management of Species and Class to me some time ago. He remains a regular contributor to S&C. His recent article concerns the ineffectiveness of animal liberation as a tool of the animal movement.

His article, published on S&C, is reproduced here in its entirety:

I understand despair driving ALF
By Jon Hochschartner

In June 2015, according to the Mississauga News, the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the firebombing of two trucks in Canada owned by Harlan Laboratories, a company which provides research animals to vivisectionists. Police said the blaze caused no injuries.

For a while now, I’ve counseled animalists against this sort of illegality, advocated by groups like the ALF. Not because I have a moral opposition to torching the vehicles of vivisectionists. But because I’m convinced such actions are ineffective. Individual acts of sabotage cannot address systemic problems. They do, however, invite government repression against the animalist movement as a whole and send dedicated activists to prison for decades at a time. And yet, frequently, I wonder whether the alternative — building a mass movement against animal exploitation — is possible in this moment in history.

Take Jacobin Magazine, the current voice of the far left in the United States, which should be a proponent of animalism. So far as I’m aware, the publication has addressed our movement twice. Both times, it has done so with hostility and condescension. In an article from August 2015, called “Peter Singer’s Race Problem,” Sarah Grey and Joe Cleffie pushed back against the idea animal suffering and human suffering were in any way comparable, and argued making analogies between them was inherently reactionary. In an article from October 2015, called “Welfare for All,” Adam Fisher argued workers were the real victims of factory farming, as opposed to animals being literally dismembered. As the saying goes, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

This is at a time in which animalists are bending over backwards in their attempts to court leftist allies. In our movement, blogs are proliferating everywhere, trying to examine non-human exploitation from a socialist lense, from a feminist lense, or from an anti-racist lense. And yet it seems no matter how much we concede, ideologically or tactically, we have gotten nothing in return from the broader left. Further, this is at a time, in which — animalists should not need to be reminded — over 65 billion land animals are slaughtered every year, according to Farm Animal Rights Movement. To put that in a bit of perspective, the Population Reference Bureau estimates only 107 billion humans have ever lived. So in this respect, we can agree with Grey and Cleffie. There can be no real comparison between animal and human suffering. The former is infinitely worse.

So I understand the despair that drives groups like the ALF. While, ultimately, I know only a mass movement can liberate animals, I understand the despair which led animalists to place incendiary devices in vehicles owned by a company profiting from non-human exploitation. I understand the despair that makes animalists give up on humanity’s capacity to change, and take matters into their own hands. After all, if we can’t sway the left, those who should be most sympathetic to our arguments, perhaps systemic change — even mild reform — is not possible in the here and now.

Jon has raised, even if unintentionally, a fundamental question regarding the future of the movement, and further questions on what our short and long term strategies should be.

Socialism, the goal of most of the political left, is still the goal of enlightened animal advocates, as a socialist system will remove the profit incentives that drive animal exploitation and murder. Even socialist societies indifferent to animals prove much more humane than capitalist societies, as socialist societies kill and consume half the animals per capita as do capitalist ones.

Which means that if socialism replaced capitalism, THIRTY THOUSAND MILLION animals would be saved every year! That simple fact should make every animal activist and everyone who loves animals a SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONARY.

Bringing about a socialist world is a daunting task and a distant dream.

Bringing about animal rights is even more daunting and more distant.

So, what should our goals and strategies be? What we have been doing as movement has not worked.

Indeed, it cannot work. We are a tiny minority of the populace. Our numbers are proportionately declining against the growing world population.

Clearly, the animal movement has no allies. While most animal activists are politically supportive of other oppressed constituencies, those constituencies (blacks, women, LGBTs, the poor, etc) do not seem to be returning the favor. And if we do not have allies, we must grow our movement and our influence internally.

If, as Jon postulates, reform is not a possibility, what is possible?

In my opinion the animal movement must target other than the economic interests of animal abusers and murderers, we must target those who actually commit the atrocities.

Conventional wisdom argues that taking out slaughterhouse workers or owners would mean only that others would take their places. And that may be true in the short term. But as the benches become shallow, the cost of meat production would skyrocket with the requirements for salaries, security, public relations, etc.

Similar tactics could be used against big game hunters (more a symbolic effort than a productive one), dog fighters, sealers, bullfighters, fur farmers, puppy mill operators, etc.

The key to success in any of these regards is having no contact whatsoever with the targets, exponentially increasing the difficulties of apprehension.

The justification of such direct action is simple: Nothing else has worked, nothing we have done has even diminished the Animal Holocaust. If we continue on our current path, we guarantee the murders of billions upon billions of animals into the future. Upwards of 60 billion land animals, 2500 billion sea creatures annually.

Animal activists alone could not possibly bring down the capitalist system that exploits animals and people.

But animal activists could ignite the spark of revolution. African and Native Americans are the biggest victims of the government and corporate America and the most brutalized by police thugs.

Police have been killing our comrades for years. Our black brothers and sisters are our natural allies, even if some are indifferent to the plight of animals.

Taking out a few hundred or a few thousand murdering psychopaths seems a small investment in the future.

And could be the precursor to revolution.

Terrorism is violence against the innocent.

But revolution is violence against the guilty.



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!

If you are not already subscribed to the Armory, please do so before you leave.

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• 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.

24 thoughts on “Animal Liberationists: Why We Must Take The Fight To Human Targets

  1. Pingback: How Will Animal Rights Be Achieved? | Armory of the Revolution

  2. The thought that the implementation of Socialism would lead to the lessened suffering of animals is ludicrous on its face, and this has never, ever been the result in any country that has implemented the system to date, from the old USSR, to Modern Zimbabwe (where the dictator consumes exotic wildlife at his annual birthday celebrations), Touting a LONG proven failed political system as the means to your end, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary regarding your unsubstantiated belief, is as foolish as the belief in an allegedly imaginary deity you decry.


    • Sorry to disappoint, but the facts are the facts. Due to central economic planning, the removal of profit, and likely bureaucratic bumbling, the net result is that socialist societies murder and consume HALF the number of animals as do capitalist societies. That single fact should cause every animal lover, every animal activist, everyone who gives a shit about animals, to take up arms against the capitalist state and become a socialist revolutionary.


      • If that is true, it is only because those people are starving because they cannot afford to buy meat due to the economic destruction wrought by socialism/communism.

        As much as I am against the senseless abuse of animals, I must say your agenda is utter insanity. Not only is it immoral, it is simply doomed to failure on practical grounds. If you really want to help animals, you’ll need to change your approach. At this time, you’re simply serving your ego and masquerading as activities when you’re really just terrorists.


      • The “facts” you claim that show Socialism harms fewer animals than capitalism. I will cite the ecological horror that was East Germany, and parts of the Old Soviet Union, and Modern Day China, that refute your claim. In point of fact, China is heading the extinction of entire species in the 21st century.


      • China has long since been a socialist country. And the environmental horrors of industrial socialist states mirrored those of the West in all but scope. True socialism removes profit from industries, whether owned by the state or those who produce. Central economic planning allows government to implement policies which serve the people and the environment, uninfluenced by person greed or institutionalized avarice.

        Here is a link to a USDA report on per capita consumption of animals in various countries.


      • I don’t know if you bother to read what you post as evidence, but what you provided proves that as countries leave starvation level, subsistence economies, they consume more food in general. BTW, the crops required to sustain vegetarians remove the habitat of animals, and animals are killed to prevent the consumption of crops, so moving to vegetarianism still will kill substantial numbers of animals. The only ‘solution’ to your problem, is to reduce the human population, for which Socialism has an Admirable record, having killed more than 115 million humans living under Socialist governments in less than 100 years. If you look at wiping out 3/4 of humanity as being good, I guess you would have a large incentive to be a booster for Socialism. Sadly, the people you would dupe to adopt the system, hardly have the intelligence to realize you wish 7 out of 10 of them dead.


      • The amount of grain produced to feed animals trapped in the food system would end world hunger.

        The Earth cannot sustain 7.5 billion flesh eating primates. With no appreciable limitations on population growth, war, pestilence, famine, and disease are likely to winnow our numbers. Perhaps the ultimate irony is that climate change could act as the Earth’s self defense system against human destruction of natural resources and pollution of the environment. Global warming will cause severe weather events, competition for food and water, local and global conflict, displacement of huge populations, destruction of arable land, etc. The net result could be as extreme as human extinction.

        If humans survive the crises caused by man made climate change, the result could be the adoption of socialism around the world, as capitalism will have been proven the author of the crimes against the Earth.


  3. “Terrorism is violence against the innocent.”

    “But revolution is violence against the guilty.”

    I think most terrorists believe the innocent are in fact guilty.


    • If any group has the moral authority to presume the general public guilty of oppression it would surely be those of us who consider animal murder to be on a par with human murder. And every carnist is complicit in the murder of the creatures they consume. Even so, none of us advocate for wholesale violence against the public. The article argues that we should escalate direct action to target those who actually wield the knives and the bolt guns, those who drive the captives to their deaths, those who rape thee cows and murder the calves. To those who own the factory farms, the feedlots, the slaughterhouses, to the boards of directors of slaughter companies. Guerilla activity against the killers may spark general revolution against the capitalist system, but is a warranted course of action in an of itself.


  4. Now you see ‘the folly of your way/s’ Roland. For, by denying Christ; by not Believing; you can not Pray to GOD in JESUS’ Name for the help, the intervention by the Holy Spirit of GOD, in this, our (yours and my) ‘Fight for the Justice’ of GOD’s Very-Own-Creatures/Animals. Simple.

    For, it is only GOD who can intervene in the affairs of ‘man’, you see. Simple.

    For instance – there are BILLIONS of Christians right-around-the-whole-wide-World who are “meat eaters” TODAY. Not so. Whereas JESUS would Never Ever be a “meat eater” TODAY – if He ‘walked-the-Earth’ TODAY, and was not ‘just’ with us in Spirit, you see. Can you follow me ? Can you understand ? I do hope so. For then there is Hope – for all things are possible with GOD, if you only Believe Roland – which you, for now anyway, do not.

    You want NUMBERS Roland – so do I. So do all Vegans. There are NUMBERS in the Church – in the ‘body of Christ’. I repeat – because it is worth repeating to you Roland – there are BILLIONS of Christians in the Churches of the World who are “meat eaters” – yet our Master; our Leader, our King; our Saviour JESUS the Christ would Never Ever be a “meat eater” TODAY. Simple.

    Before you ‘go off at me’ with your ‘manly wisdom’ and your ‘manly knowledge’ about the ‘non-existence’ of our GOD I want to say this to you Roland :

    1. I am a Vegan for Life. I have been one for 39 years Sir. I will die one – Please GOD.

    2. I am a Christian for Life Roland. I have been one for 75 yeas Sir. I will die one – Please GOD.

    Lord Bless, Michael.

    P. S. Please read ‘CRY OUT’ ‘TODAY I would Never Ever be e “meat eater”. It is a Free Read at eBook :…/10042317


    • I applaud your veganism and commitment to animals. We disagree on religion. I used to be a Christian. i was one in my youth. It was my studying the Bible which caused me to reject it. If one believes the Bible, God committed the greatest horror in history with the Flood, murdering millions of people and billions upon billions of innocent animals. He demanded animal sacrifice, murdered babies, required the death penalty for children who dissed their parents or people who collected sticks on the Sabbath.

      I do not pray because I do not believe there is anyone to whom to pray. Talking to imaginary friends does no more than convince one that they have done something without doing anything at all.


      • Billions of Christians do believe in JESUS; in GOD. That is my point.

        You will see for yourself Roland, in ‘CRY OUT’, from verses quoted directly from/in the Bible; from the very Word of GOD (as far as we Christians are concerned) that it is proved 100%…/10042317
        that TODAY JESUS would Never Ever be a “meat eater”. Simple.

        Instead of ‘attacking’ Billions of Believing Christians; instead of ‘being a clever’ by showing Christians how ‘stupid’ we are (according to you Sir), IF we (you a Vegan and I a Vegan and all the Vegans around the- whole-wide-World Roland) can convince the BIG BIG Leaders of the Church and the BIG BIG Evangelists – and more especially their ‘followers’ – that JESUS would Himself be a Vegan TODAY … that would be far more meaningful and of far more benefit and value to the ’cause’ of Vegan ism. That is my point Roland.

        We Vegans want NUMBERS. Your article ‘bemoans’ the fact that we are not getting the NUMBERS hey. You are 100% Right Sir.

        We Vegans should ‘aim at’ the many many Billions of Christians, in love Roland. Simple.

        Please read and share ‘CRY OUT’ ‘TODAY I would Never Ever be a “meat eater” ‘ (it is a Free Read) – Thank You :…/10042317

        Lord Bless, Michael.


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