Herding Cats (or How to Organize the Left)


Most activists are on social media to advocate for causes in which they believe. Animal activists, environmentalists, social justice advocates, occupiers, Berners, etc, are all here to make a difference in the world.

They are selfless, by and large, and not interested in personal aggrandizement or popularity. They aren’t selling anything or working for personal gain.

For most, spending time online costs them dearly in family time, lost financial opportunities, missing time with friends, etc.

Beyond the investment of time and energy, animal activists, in particular, must deal with heartbreak and horrors on a daily basis.

Back in the day. I marched to end the war in Viet Nam. I was in the streets. I saw my friends and comrades beaten and clubbed for what they believed. I witnessed police brutality first hand. I burned my draft card in a demo outside the Federal building in Westwood, California and was attacked by the LAPD.

I ran draft resisters to Canada, became a federal fugitive, wanted by the FBI for my anti-war activities.

In running guys to Canada I met brave young men who were willing to put their lives and futures on the line before they would acquiesce to killing other young men half way around the world.

I witnessed bravery, resolve, unsung heroes, and boys wise beyond their years.

I am so proud to have known each and every one of them. So proud to have helped save their lives and the lives of those they might have had to otherwise kill.

But the bravery I came to know in fighting against the war pales compared to the bravery of animal activists who fight daily against the greatest horrors in history.

To me, animal activists are the bravest, most important people in the world.

But every activist claims a piece of my heart and my respect. Environmentalists, social justice advocates, economic justice activists, etc, are all trying to change the world. Each has a calling greater than themselves. Each is a treasure.

Each is helping to shape the future of the Earth and the human race.

Compared to people who do not give a shit, they are saints among sinners.

The very least we can do is to support their efforts online. To share their posts, offer encouragement, help them.

Almost everyone in government and industry is arrayed against us. We have no friends in the political or social establishments. Our messages are revolutionary and seditious. We are the enemies of the status quo. We represent a clear and present danger to the powers that be.

Our goals are revolution and fundamental changes in society, goals which are totally incompatible with the status quo, with politics as usual, with politicians, organizations, or government.

All that being said, we activists are a disparate lot. We usually ignore one another rather than work together. We ignore common goals and alliances in favor of focusing on our differences. We are often dismissive of others’ priorities and disparaging of concerns we do not share.

This observation is neither new nor unique, and the purpose of revisiting it is only to keep us aware of a troubling shortcoming most of us share.

Organizing the political left has often been compared to herding cats. We leftists are notoriously opposed to authority and abjure imposed direction. To compensate for our aversion to discipline and organizational structures, the left must become considerably larger than it is.

To that end I urge my comrades to look to the remarkable pool of Bernie Sanders activists and supporters awakening to the concept of political revolution.

Even at the height of public opposition to the Viet Nam war there was never such broad public awareness of government malfeasance. Never as broad a swath of revolutionary ardor. Never the potential to fundamentally change government and society as we have now.

Millennials support Sanders by an astounding 80%. Over half of people younger than 30 reject capitalism. Half of the Democratic party supports a democratic socialist for president.

Solidarity, comrades! Our day is coming.



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.

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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.

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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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4 thoughts on “Herding Cats (or How to Organize the Left)

  1. “But the bravery I came to know in fighting against the war pales compared to the bravery of animal activists who fight daily against the greatest horrors in history.”

    This type of rhetorical writing is intellectually irresponsible. Also, its assertion reads as a gross opinion, though it seems to claim truth (yes, it is mere opinion).

    “To me, animal activists are the bravest, most important people in the world.”

    The above opinion is often stated by the author of this blog, and its claim rankles me every time I read it, because not all animal activists are the same. Some animal activists work for the rescue of canines, but eat other animals. In fact, I would argue most animal activists eat animals. There isn’t one vegan animal shelter worker in my area–and my area is large and full of shelters and canine rescue organizations.

    Animal activists can’t work together because most of them are meat eaters and canine owners.

    Animal activism, TO ME, if you truthfully contextualize it, is a sham.


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