Many, if not most, animal activists are unclear what Animal Rights actually means. It is usually used in an exclamatory context to emphasize one’s support for animal issues or to oppose animal cruelty and exploitation.
But one can be an animal activist, support animal issues, and oppose cruelty and exploitation, without supporting Animal Rights.
The closest parallel to Animal Rights is human rights. Both are legal concepts. Both require societal and governmental recognition to exist. Both demand the basic rights to life, to freedom, to be free of exploitation, of slavery, of abuse, of murder..
Rights must be enforceable or they are meaningless. Unless rights can be legally enforced, they are indistinguishable from one’s personal sense of morality.
Human rights are recognized by most world governments, in varying degrees. However, no government yet in existence recognizes the rights of animals. Animal Rights is a goal. A very distant one.
Animal Rights means an end to ownership of animals. An end to breeding, an end to animal agriculture, an end to slaughter. No more meat, dairy, eggs, leather, or fur.
It means an end to animals in entertainment, in zoos, in aquatic parks, in aquaria. It means an end to dog and horse racing, bullfighting, rodeos, dog sledding.
No more animal testing, no more vivisection, no more experiments.
Animal Rights means government enforcement of those rights.
Animal Rights means that animals have as much right to live as we have. The same right to be here on Earth. Animal Rights asserts that all sentient beings have the same rights to be free of exploitation, cruelty, abuse.
If one supports Animal Rights, a number of positions must logically also be accepted.
If animals have the same right to life as we have, we may not kill them.
If people do kill animals they are murderers.
Most of the world is complicit in the Animal Holocaust, and while most people do not personally kill animals, if they consume them, they are in effect hiring others to do their killing.
Animal Rights activists are at odds with all human society and most of the human race. They are enemies of every government on Earth, and almost every religion.
Animal Rights is the most revolutionary concept in history.
Believing in Animal Rights is not the same as working toward Animal Rights. To work for Animal Rights means to either be working on changing law and government or to be recruiting for revolution.
There are only a handful of activists actually working on changing law for the recognition of rights for non-humans, mostly legal teams attempting to gain personhood status for apes, led by law professor Steven M. Wise.
All other Animal Rights activists are working on political revolution, and recruiting and radicalizing animal activists to join in the struggle. And there are precious few of those.
Which doesn’t mean Animal Rights activists are only working on revolution. They are also rescuing, adopting, fostering, liberating, transporting, sabotaging, demonstrating, organizing, educating, emailing, crossposting, and blogging.
The animal movement has many activists who support Animal Rights. But not enough.
The animals will only win when Animal Rights are achieved. A long term goal in the distant future, one that can only come about by ending the existing legal and political systems which condone the horrors we humans inflict upon animals.
My purpose online, indeed, my purpose in life, is to radicalize the animal movement.
Animal Rights has been my full time avocation for over twenty years.
I am not here for self-aggrandizement or personal popularity. I run campaigns and my blog out of own pocket. Everything I do is for the animals. And I have enough mileage on me, and experience, to offer constructive suggestions and strategic analysis of the movement. For most of my professional career I have been a political strategist.
The direction the movement has followed for 50 years is clearly a failure. More animals are dying in slaughterhouses, more are being cut up in laboratories, more are being killed for fur, than at any time in history.
The enemy is more than just the indifferent consumer and the ignorant neighbor. It is more than the factory farmer and the slaughterhouse owner, the supermarkets, the restaurants, the puppy mills, the racetracks, the zoos, aquatic parks.
The enemy is the system.
The religions which condone animal use and exploitation.
The legal systems which allow it.
Capitalism which rewards it.
And the governments of the world which protect the investors and businesses which profit from it.
Basically, the enemies of animals are just about everyone. Not looking too good for the success of the animal movement.
Which is why the movement needs to be radicalized.
Radicalization means working toward the dismantling of capitalism.
It means supporting the victims of capitalism. Participating in broad leftist coalitions. Supporting social justice causes and campaigns, allying with the peace and occupier movements, women, LGBTs, people of color, the poor and working poor, teachers, students, environmentalists, and every enemy of the capitalist states.
Our society is awash in the blood of innocents. Our friends, families, neighbors support the Animal Holocaust. Even many animal activists do so as well. Only a small percentage of us are vegan.
We take our friends and allies as we find them. Those who care about animals will not stop doing so because I have offended them on topics of religion, politics, or veganism. They will continue to rescue, to adopt, to foster, to transport, to donate, to cross-post.
But if by offending a thousand people, I am successful in recruiting one revolutionary, I am succeeding in changing the world.
The key to achieving our goals is more rescuers, more animal activists, and a movement of political revolutionaries.
Ending kill shelters, ending puppy mills, stopping bullfighting, sealing, whaling, rodeos, etc, will all require many more activists in the struggle than we presently have.
Achieving Animal Rights will require political revolutionaries. And those revolutionaries will come from the ranks of animal activists.
Long term, ending the Animal Holocaust and banning slaughter, animal consumption, and animal ownership cannot ever succeed without a huge contingent of revolutionaries willing to defeat the capitalist system which thrives on the corpses of our fellow beings.
Where do we find them? How do we recruit them? What do we tell them?
Most animal activists started out being animal rescuers.
More animal rescuers means more animal activists.
Not everyone who rescues dogs and cats becomes an animal activist. But many do.
Not all animal activists graduate to becoming political revolutionaries. But many do.
To begin to swell our ranks we must start with recruiting rescuers. Those who care enough about animals to foster a dog or cat that would otherwise be killed. Those who will donate, transport, adopt. Those who will share their hearts and their homes with animals who need them. These are our friends, our comrades-in-arms, the future of the Animal Rights movement and the salvation of animals.
Whether they know it or not, most people who love animals are revolutionaries in their hearts.
Most of us who love animals and value their lives believe animal’s lives are more important than people making profits on them.
We believe that animals are more important than anyone’s “right” to own them, exploit them, kill them, or sell their corpses.
We believe animals are more important than any government, any economic system, any belief system.
We believe animals have as much right to be here as humans have. As much right to live. As much right to be free of exploitation, cruelty, and murder.
When you think about it, there’s not a big leap from saving dogs from dying in kill shelters to saving calves and lambs in slaughter lines.
The question is not whether we should stop the murder, but how.
The “how” is bringing down the capitalist system.
Capitalism is responsible for 99% of all animal cruelty and deaths.
Capitalism’s Holy Grail is the concept of private property, and the “freedom” to do what one wishes with property one owns. And capitalism posits that animals are mere commodities to be owned, bred, slaughtered, butchered, and sold.
In the bright light of day, the capitalist system trades on the most despotic of human emotions: Greed.
Capitalism rewards cruelty, abuse, greed, avarice, and indifference. Capitalism is the institutionalized opposite of compassion, charity, brotherhood, empathy, and civility.
Capitalism sells itself as the “American Way,” as “individual freedom,” and as “progress.” In fact, it is the most despicably evil system ever to have been visited upon the Earth.
Only by destroying capitalism will we end the horrors of the Animal Holocaust, which claims the lives of a billion animals per week in slaughterhouses.
Six million an hour. 24/7.
That’s the entire Nazi Holocaust every 60 minutes, around the clock.
In the time it has taken you to read this much of this article, half a million animals have been murdered on slaughterhouse floors.
A million if you are a slow reader.
In order for the animal movement to succeed, we need to join forces with every constituency that opposes capitalism and injustice. Among those constituencies are environmentalists, occupiers, social justice advocates, anti-war activists, people of color, feminists, the LGBT community, ex-convicts, and urban gangs.
We may not succeed for decades. But there is no higher calling for compassionate people than to bring down capitalism, to end the Animal Holocaust, and to build a world that is free of cruelty.
Animal activists do wonderful things. They save lives, find homes, alleviate suffering. But they are losing the fight for the animals.
The only hope for the animals is revolution. And every revolutionary awakened hastens the day we storm the halls of government. Invade Wall Street. Arrest the animal abusers. Burn down the slaughterhouses. Drag lobbyists into the streets.
It may not happen in our lifetimes, or in our grandchildren’s.
But unless we recruit revolutionaries, it will never happen.
• 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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• 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