You May Think You’re an Animal Rights Activist. But You’re Not


Most everyone in the Animal Rights movement would like to see an end to the suffering of animals trapped in the food system. But some actually believe that embracing efforts to alleviate some of the pain, suffering, and horrible treatment of those poor creatures is tantamount to supporting the Animal Holocaust.

They even suggest that “animal welfare” is at odds with Animal Rights.

Before we can intelligently discuss the issues it is important that we are all conversant with the terms we are using.

We call ourselves the Animal Rights movement, but we are actually the Animal Protection movement.

Of the tens of thousands of animal activists, barely a handful are working on Animal Rights. All the rest of us are engaged in animal welfare, or, if you prefer, animal protection.

Those working on Animal Rights are doing one of two things: Either working to change the laws to grant personhood status to animals (which is being pursued in the courts in New York by a few Animal Rights lawyers trying to have personhood declared for a chimpanzee) or educating potential revolutionaries for a future overthrow of the system that denies rights to animals.

Those doing EVERYTHING else are working on animal welfare. And yes, that includes being vegan, recruiting vegans, hunt sabbing, liberating mink, rescuing dogs, opposing sealing, whaling, rodeos, etc.

All of it is animal welfare. It is what I do every day of my life. In all likelihood, it is what you do as well.

Animal Rights is a legal concept. It is government recognizing that animals have the rights not to be owned, exploited, or murdered. Only governments or society can recognize Animal Rights. And no government on Earth is close to doing so. Animal Rights is a distant dream, and one that you are likely NOT working on.

Some of our activist friends are unclear on the concept. They think recruiting vegans is working for Animal Rights, and to do anything short of that is to be a welfarist, which they deride as evil.

The fact is that there will be hundreds of generations of animals in the food system before we can end the Animal Holocaust. We owe it to them to alleviate their suffering. To self righteously refuse to try to help is to condemn them to more misery than they must endure. It is flawed reasoning and premeditated cruelty.

The Animal Rights movement has two goals; one is short term, the other is long term.

Our short term goal is the alleviation and prevention of suffering of animals in the here and now. These are the aims of animal welfare.

Our long term goal is to secure for animals the rights not to be enslaved, exploited, or murdered. These are the aims of Animal Rights.

Most everything we do on a day to day basis is in service of our short term goal. We rescue, we work to pass legislation which will eliminate cruelty, we engage in demos and direct acion, we impact corporate and public policies, we educate, proselytize, and organize.

Working toward our long term goal is almost exclusively a function of education. Animal Rights will only be secured when we have a political climate receptive to the concept and our numbers have reached a critical mass sufficient to ignite and sustain a political drive powerful enough to ensure the adoption of Animal Rights by whatever government is then extant.

It is possible we can achieve Animal Rights politically, but I seriously doubt it. To succeed politically means we must overcome human greed and self interest. It means people voluntarily giving up profits, pleasures, and comforts in favor of ethics and compassion.

I don’t see it happening. I believe the only solution is revolution. But revolution fomented exclusively by Animal Rights advocates is not a likely scenario. To sustain the widespread moral imperative necessary to topple governments will require broad popular support addressing a host of grievences and inequities.

To achieve our long term goal I believe we need a socialist government in place. A capitalist one will not allow animals more deference than profits, and capitalist governments have proven their hostility to both animal rights and animal welfare.

Our long term goal is truly long term. It won’t be realized in our lifetimes, perhaps not for centuries.

Our short term goal similarly requires a receptive political atmosphere. In the US the political choice is between conservative Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats, unfortunately, are not all liberals, but the Republicans are exclusively conservatives. And conservatives are the enemies of all we do in the Animal Rights movement. Local city and county conservatives oppose no-kill shelters, bans on pet shop animal sales, mandatory free spaying and neutering, neutering and release; at the state levels they are advocating new horse slaughterhouses, wolf and bear hunts, opposition to bans on puppy mills, etc.

At the national level, conservatives carry water for the slaughter industries, environmental polluters, loggers, coal and oil companies. They oppose the Environmental Protection Agency and the listing of endangered species. The favor wolf kills, Mustang roundups, the killing agenda of the infamous Wildlife Services, a wholly owned government subsidiary of the cattle industry.

Conservative politicians are the enemies of animals, even if our conservative friends don’t know it!

Like every social movement in history, ours is a political one. And we cannot win protection for animals, or ever achieve rights for animals, without winning their political struggles.

And both short term and long term, that means the success of the political left.

Armory 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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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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13 thoughts on “You May Think You’re an Animal Rights Activist. But You’re Not

  1. Many accept that mankind evolved from ape- like creatures over a few million years by means of natural selection. At first there were were quite a few humanoids cross breeding and we all have Neanderthal DNA. Homosapiens came out top dog and left Africa about seventy thousand years ago. We were part of the food chain eating and being eaten and meat was part of our diet. Some thousands of years ago we developed consciences which made us moral creatures at war with our own natures. We have to eat ; should we opt out of the food chain?and if so at what point ? Should we stop feeding our dogs meat ? or our cats? Should we condone meat eating in nature now we have consciences?


  2. One of your Facebook friends self righteously objects to winning money for the San Diego Humane Society on the grounds that they fund-raise at meat-centric restaurants, but admits to working for a company that manufactures vitamins out of animal products.


  3. As I agree, so you see, that everythings is linked together – protection is a kind of doing, that someone is superiour, like humans for animals, man for woman, rich for poor. So I would prefer a “Life rights activism”, that leads to a good life for all, including all living beings and the earth, that we depend on. All of us.


  4. I believe I’m back on now. Thank you. I’d like to add to what’s already been well spoken. I believe that both
    rights of animals and humans are one and the same and, yes, longterm goals. Not to get off topic, but there is a human Holocaust occurring of which people are, also, unaware. Proof is that groups are still chanting “Never again” as it’s happening again or never stopped rather. I agree with all said about the animal Holocaust but have difficulty seeing that one Holocaust can be stopped without stopping the other simultaneously. Rights of all must be enforced. As already said, we are all sentient beings and suffer and were created by God or whatever one chooses to believe the origin of life. I don’t claim to know this for any
    reason other than it is what’s by logic and rational thought to be good and true and right.


    • Your asking for consistency but nobody dead or living is totally consistent in word thought and deed. Rational thought is claimed by every opinion it’s not a good guideline.


  5. Yeah, if I remember correctly Lee Hall objected to prop 2 (see below) for that very reason that you refer to.

    In 2008, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2, a ballot measure that – among other things – requires that by January 1, 2015, egg-laying hens raised in California be able to stand up, lie down, turn around, and fully extend their wings.
    Cage Free California


  6. I understand that animal rights is a legal concept in that it would give animals a new standing in the law and courts. But what about the welfare/rights distinction as a philosophical/moral concept? Some people want to help animals but still believe that their value is less than that of human beings and that we have the right to own them and abuse some categories of animals for food, research, etc., if there is human benefit. Some of us believe that we do not have that right and do not devalue animal lives, although the law has not gotten there yet. This may seem like debating over a minor point, but I have noticed in comments sections in articles such as Harambe’s and Cecil’s stories that the responses are very different from those who care about animals but do not accord them significant value (not to mention the ones who think the “fuss” over their deaths is stupid) and commenters who value animal lives highly. I think it is important to get that viewpoint known.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a plethora of views within the animal movement regarding the relationship we should have with animals. Those who subscribe to animal rights believe all sentient life is equally valuable and should be protected by law. The utilitarians believe that the question is not sentience, but “can they suffer.” Others believe we have a moral duty to the animals, but that it is secondary to humans.
      Among those who care about animals, the largest contingent only values companion animals and eats others. Veganism is in the minority among animal activists. Most dog and cat rescuers are not even vegetarians.
      I am not sure that empathy can be taught or learned. It may be innate, and reached through information, or it may be present in precious few humans.
      The movement must proceed with well defined objectives and goals. We seek to alleviate the suffering in the present and establish rights for animals in the future. The long term goal may not even be possible. Humans may never embrace compassion in sufficient numbers to grant rights to our fellow creatures.
      One thing is abundantly evident: the status quo is worse for animals than anytime in recorded history.
      Disrupting, opposing, and ending the status quo is an imperative.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Roland, TODAY there 3 to 4 Billion Christians. Right. The Bible say Christians have a CHOICE to STOP, or to carry-on-regardless being “meat eaters”. Right.

    Will you promote the Book ‘CRY OUT’ which proves 100% that TODAY JESUS would NEVER EVER be “a meat eater”. Will you help to approach Christians to influence them to STOP and to follow JESUS NOT Satan Re this very very Important ‘Subject’.

    ” The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything “. Albert Einstein.

    “ To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God “. Pope Francis.

    ‘“ TODAY I would NEVER EVER be “ a meat eater ”’ – 27th May 2013 JESUS said to me.

    The Holy Spirit of GOD says : ‘ The Righteousness of a man/woman covers over much Sin ‘.

    Do you want 100% PROOF that JESUS would be a Vegan TODAY Roland ? :

    Read ‘CRY OUT’. Read it WITH your Bible. It is a FREE READ at eBook :…/10042317

    Thank You for signing my Petition to the BIG BIG Church Leaders and Evangelists and their Congregations :

    Lord Bless, love Michael (heart).


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