Plan B is the alternative, a backup strategy, when Plan A fails. Or when there really isn’t a plan at all, as is the case with the animal movement.
The animal movement is really not a movement at all. It is a collection of large and small organizations, all competing for support, each having their own objectives, and offering varying degrees of competence to achieve those goals.
As is the case with all nonprofit organizations, the smaller, poorly funded groups often are much more effective in the use of resources than are the multi-million dollar operations which pay their staffs and directors exorbitant salaries and which are models of bureaucracy.
Whatever the size of the organization, those in charge generally have tunnel vision. They work toward their own group’s ends with little concern for issues beyond those addressed in their mission statements.
And because money and volunteer activists drive animal organizations, they are generally uncooperative with each other and jealously guard their donors and supporters from other animal organizations.
Such a paradigm does not lend itself to the leadership of a broad social movement. And, predictably, the animal movement (if it can even be described as such) is leaderless, rudderless, inefficient, and grossly ineffective.
But most importantly, there is no plan. None to be found anywhere. No leaders, organizations, or activists working together to assure a future for the animal movement, or framing a set of goals for the movement, or even having a vague concept of how to achieve said goals if they even had them.
The movement is Balkanized. There is little coordination among groups, no prioritizing of efforts, no weighing of priorities or evaluating the success of various strategies. Understandably, companion animals receive most attention and the largest proportion of resources, even though they make up a tiny fraction of the animals abused and exploited by people. Most animal activists are dog and cat rescuers, and most animal activists first became involved with animal issues through helping to save unwanted pets that were being killed in municipal animal shelters.
Over the last 50 years such efforts have dramatically reduced the wholesale killing of dogs and cats in the US. At it’s apex, US cities and counties were murdering nearly half a million dogs and cats per year. That figure is now around 40,000.
All of the animals saved by animal activists over the last 50 years number some 50 million worldwide, or fewer than the number of animals who will be murdered in slaughterhouses in the next 8 hours.
The greatest horror of all is the Animal Holocaust, which claims the lives of 60,000,000,000 (sixty billion) animals each year on slaughterhouse floors, and another 2400 billion sea creatures who die in ships’ holds, nets, dredges, traps, and on long lines.
But the Animal Holocaust is being addressed and fought against by only a small fraction of animal activists. Most animal activists are not vegetarians, let alone vegans, and by eating meat, eggs, and dairy, and wearing leather and wool, are contributing to the very cruelty, exploitation, and killings that other activists are fighting.
Fifty years ago, slaughterhouses were claiming the lives of one quarter of the animals they presently kill.
And the number of animals being murdered has never been as high as it is today.
The most forward thinking animal rights advocates recognize that the enemy of animals is the very system under which we live. Most animals are killed for profit, for business, by capitalism.
Capitalism encourages and rewards animal exploitation, abuse, and death. Animals are considered nothing more than property, to be used and killed in the pursuit of profits.
Capitalism rewards exploiting animals, rewards raising and murdering them. Capitalism bestows profits upon those who increase production and consumption of anything. Including animals.
Socialism removes profits from the equation.
Saving animals is not a goal of socialism. Saving animals is a by-product of socialism. Saving animals is not a bit intentional, but is a function of socialist economics.
Socialists are no more sensitive to the plights of animals than are other people. But socialism as a system destroys fewer animals than does capitalism. This simple fact should militate for every animal activist, every animal lover, every rescuer, every compassionate human being, every vegan, to become a socialist revolutionary.
As long as there are profits to be made on the enslavement, exploitation, and murder of animals, enslavement, exploitation and murder will continue.
Profits are responsible for almost all the animal cruelty on Earth. Businesses are protected in committing their horrors by governments and the law.
Efforts to promote compassion and veganism cannot change human nature or human behavior.
Only the force of government can protect animals.
And the only governments which might be disposed to protecting animals are socialist governments. Human rights and social justice are basic elements of socialism. Animal Rights are more likely to be embraced by socialist governments than by capitalist ones.
But even socialist governments indifferent to animals would be far more humane than are capitalist governments.
My support of socialism is directly related to the mechanical effect of economics on animal production, exploitation, and consumption. Socialist societies murder and consume half the animals, per capita, as do capitalist societies. The combined effect of removing profit from production, centrally planned and regulated industry, bureaucratic inefficiency, etc, means fewer animals are bred, murdered, and butchered. On a global scale, socialism would mean 30 BILLION fewer animals dying each year on slaughterhouse floors than are murdered now. It would mean one and a quarter TRILLION fewer sea creatures killed each year.
And this would be under socialist societies which did not give a damn about animals. The effect of socialist economics alone would save more lives than thirty thousand of our current animal movements.
I arrive at that figure because over the last 50 years the animal movement has been responsible for saving the lives of a mere million or so animals per year. To have the same effect on reducing animal murder as socialism would have, we would need to be 30,000 times bigger than we are as a movement. Each and every animal activist, rescuer, adopter, transporter, donor, crossposter, emailer, protester, letter writer, phone caller, voter, would need to be multiplied by 30,000!
Capitalist apologists observe that the left is as indifferent to animal suffering as is the right. That is somehow supposed to militate for capitalism? Capitalism is the most evil force ever unleashed by humans. It institutionalizes the basest of human behaviors and instincts, and suppresses the essence of all that is admirable in our species.
The future of humanity, if there is to be one, must be a socialist future. Not because socialism is a more moral system than is capitalism (which it is), but because capitalism will eventually destroy the environment, extinguishing humans, animals, oceans, rivers, rainforests, and the very air we all breathe.
Advocates for animals must join in broad coalitions with advocates for social and economic justice in working toward social revolution.
We must end the economic and legal systems which fuel and protect the Animal Holocaust.
It may come about by violent revolution or through political action. But the Animal Holocaust will never end through private action or recruiting vegans and activists. Our current course of action is ineffective, counter-productive, and doomed to failure.
Socialism is the only hope for animals, short of human extinction.
Revolution is Plan B.
• 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.
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