Animal Rights Advocates are Significantly Left of Marx, Engels, and Lenin

 

I believe animals have as much right to life as do humans.

 

I do not believe animals should be bought, sold, owned, bred, imprisoned, enslaved, killed, or consumed.

 

I believe animals should have the same rights to liberty and to freedom from abuse and cruelty as we humans claim for ourselves.

 

Oddly, this is a position rejected by almost all of humanity.

 

Most people have no objections to enslaving animals. No objections to torturing them. No objections to murdering them or to eating their flesh.

 

Industrialized slaughter practices in the US mean that 7% of cows, steers, and calves are still conscious when their legs are cut off with chainsaws.

 

Most Americans have no clue, but those that do seem not to care.

 

Pigs and chickens are boiled alive in US slaughter houses.

 

American consumers do not give a shit.

 

Nine billion animals every year die on the killing floors of US slaughterhouses.

 

Sixty billion die on slaughterhouse floors around the world.

 

That works out to a Nazi Holocaust every hour of every day of every year.

 

To oppose the horrors means one is standing against most of the human race.

 

Standing against every government on Earth. Against all the major religions, and most of the minor ones.

 

Indeed, believing that animals have rights that should be recognized and protected by governments is the most radical idea in human history.

 

And while such an idea seems logical and compassionate to those who espouse Animal Rights, it is the most seditious concept ever advanced in defiance of human civilization.

 

Most people who advocate for the rights of animals seem not to fully comprehend how radical their positions are.

 

Consider: Animal Rights challenges the beliefs of every major religion. It repudiates Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

 

Animals Rights would require an overhaul of every legal system in the world. It would bring down every government on Earth.

 

Animal Rights would dismantle human civilization.

 

Hard to come up with a more radical concept.

 

Animal Rights makes the most radical political positions seem conservative in comparison.

 

Indeed, Animal Rights advocates are substantially to the left of Marx and Lenin.

 

Animal Rights requires the destruction of capitalism, as it is the profit motive which is responsible for most animal cruelty and exploitation. There are those who argue that human slavery ended without requiring the end of capitalism, and that animal ownership and enslavement could similarly be brought to an end under capitalism. That argument ignores the stark differences between human and animal bondage. Only a tiny fraction of the populace owned slaves. Abolition impacted very few people, while animal slavery and animal consumption is practiced by almost everyone.

 

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.

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.

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 care a whit 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

Reaction to my contention that Animal Rights will only be won through revolution has been mixed, but much more positive than I had expected.

This is indicative of either a growing sophistication of Animal Rights activists or that the ranks of activists are swelling with those possessed of political acumen. Making my assertions even a few years ago would have elicited far different comments.

Negative criticism was dwarfed by positive responses, although that is hardly a scientific measure. Of the negative remarks a common theme emerged: Current and recent socialist societies were as brutal to animals as any capitalist ones, the logical conclusion then drawn being that the problem is people, or technology, or civilization, or something other than an economic system.

This is also the general rationale proffered by those Animal Rights activists who choose to remain apolitical. The usual canned response is that there is no difference between liberals and conservatives on animal issues.

I believe socialism to be the only economic system that has a chance of embracing Animal Rights. And that is because socialism offers no incentives to exploit, enslave, or murder animals.

Unlike capitalism, socialism embraces a moral worldview. A moral compass suggests that the potential to extend compassion to animals is much more likely under socialism than it would be under a system which is immoral to its core.

Those on the political left have championed every advance in education, in democracy and freedom, in human rights. They have fought for the poor, the disenfranchised, and the exploited. In opposition to them on all these concerns have been conservatives, who always defend the status quo.

The liberals of 200 years ago fought against slavery but they were not ready to embrace racial equality. One planning on ending segregation would have found little support for the idea amongst 19th Century liberals. But it is quite obvious that liberals would have been the target audience for integration long before they embraced the cause, as it was a position naturally growing out of their social worldview.

Similarly, while it is true that today’s socialists and liberals have abysmal records on animal issues, we should not extrapolate those positions into the future. They are much more likely to embrace Animal Rights in the future than are conservatives.

Evolving standards of decency, senses of compassion, and perceptions of justice all drive society to embrace an expanding circle of concerns about oppression, inequities, intolerance and exploitation.

Over time, the entire body politic moves ever to the left. Today’s conservatives are more liberal than were the liberals who ended slavery.

Tomorrow’s conservatives will be left of today’s liberals.

 

 

Editor’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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8 thoughts on “Animal Rights Advocates are Significantly Left of Marx, Engels, and Lenin

  1. “This is indicative of either a growing sophistication of Animal Rights activists or that the ranks of activists are swelling with those possessed of political acumen. Making my assertions even a few years ago would have elicited far different comments.” – Nailed it.

    Well written. Love the angle. Though I think it is important to respectfully explain my disagreement in pieces with, “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.”

    I think political action and “Peaceful” revolution are the keys to the castle so to speak. To note, fundamentally violence is the antithesis for most who are advocates of animal rights. Inciting the likes of monks to shoulder bazookas is just as unrealistic as expecting the singularity of the current course of action to end the Animal Holocaust. In regards to Recruiting vegans and activists, is that any different than recruiting troops in one vein or another? A necessary step in any fight against the status quo? Every Vegan recruit can now be another ally of support for the needed political action ahead.

    I completely agree that Private action in itself is not how macro change happens if such change is an individual’s pursuit, but it should not be diminished as essentially worthless and “counter-productive.” All of us posting here now were at one point a child drooling on our mother’s breast, imagining a world where there was butterflies and rainbows making sweet innocent love. (Strange Imagination) It took us awhile to even get to the point we are now of mere vocal opposition to extreme cruelties of sentient beings. And Animals Rights Advocacy has never had Social Media, Internet and Technology at its disposal to such a degree prior to 10…15 years ago – surely a variable that is not regularly considered, but has boosted the numbers of Activists on all fronts substantially – and booming. I think a better way to look at the point working to be made is that the “Leadership” of the Animal Rights Activists needs to rally behind the political action movement, make it easy and accessible to their cause and supporters, WHILE reaching out to newcomers and building a stronger and stronger back line. Battles are not fought in a single handed way. There is much nuance and gray area. Yes, we need to take up political action as the forefront of Animal Activism, but just as much we need to strengthen our numbers for the gargantuan fight ahead.

    Again, strong read. Good article. Much needed angle for Animal Rights Activists to digest. “Peaceful” Revolution though. Even if only in principle. Otherwise, we end up becoming the thing we gave everything to depose.

    No protest, just sparking conversation. Two thumbs up!

    Like

    • Thank you for that in depth analysis and your perspectives. And for your very kind words. If you would like to edit your comment into a stand alone article, I would like to publish it on the Armory.

      Like

  2. This is a great discussion of why animal rights will not be won by incremental changes within capitalism. Working around the margins is not enough in a system so powerful, one that derives enormous profits from the exploitation of animals.

    If justice for nonhumans depends upon revolution and the destruction of capitalism, then the revolution lies in the future. In the meantime, animal advocates need to keep motivated to work for a victory they will not likely see in their lifetime.

    Helping bring about a revolution by joining forces with other groups seeking justice may help since there is strength in numbers. Animal rights activists also need methods that allow them to be active individually and to stay motivated by attacking the source of harm.

    I have a favorite method: Undermining/withholding.

    One way to destroy a structure or a system is by damaging its foundation, and a way to weaken the foundation of capitalism is to attack consumerism by refusing to participate, by ignoring the temptations of Madison Avenue, and by directing money to charitable organizations instead.

    For example, activists can undermine by not replacing cars unless necessary. That saves hundreds of dollars of monthly expenses in loans and the more costly insurance for new vehicles. There are many other items we may consider as needs but are actually wants and could be avoided.

    Of course General Motors, Nordstrom’s, and WalMart would not feel much pain even if every vegan in the country did not buy new cars, new clothes, and assorted stuff—even lots of stuff—on regular shopping sprees. But if people donated the money to shelters and sanctuaries, the animals would definitely note a difference.

    Charitable contributions can be deducted from income tax, and the refund can be recycled to more shelters and sanctuaries. In the meantime, we can have the satisfaction of knowing that we not helping maintain an economic system that destroys the beings we care about and that we are actively doing our part to help.

    Cutting back on consumption and saving money could also allow people to reduce work hours and devote time to organizations, shelters, and sanctuaries. Most of them desperately need volunteers so that their funds can go to animal care rather than to paid help.

    There are multiple groups whose philosophy is against capitalism and consumerism. Adopting some of their tactics could be useful. For example, the Freegans’ goal is to stop waste and reduce consumption. Animal advocates don’t have to engage in dumpster diving, as some of the Freegans do, but the group has other suggestions in how to withdraw support from corporate America.

    Roland notes the following: “Efforts to promote compassion and veganism cannot change human nature or human behavior.” However he notes later that “evolving standards of decency, senses of compassion and perception of justice all drive society to embrace and expand the circle of concern about oppression, inequities, intolerance, and exploitation.”

    As advocates, we can advance those changes toward a more humane society. We can continue to write letters to the editor of local newspapers to raise awareness of issues and to our legislators to promote laws. We can disseminate literature for organizations and sign petitions demanding severe punishment for abusers. We can work to ensure a loss at the next election for judges and authorities who will not act for animals.

    If the standards of decency in this culture are to change, we must let it be known more widely that there is a constituency driving and demanding that change. One way is through comments sections in animal-related news.

    For example, egregious examples of abuse that get national and international attention, such as the deaths of Cecil and Harambe, present an opportunity to speak up. Personally, I go to the liberal media such as the New York Times and Huffington Post to add to the comments sections and, in these instances, condemn trophy hunting, zoos, and human carelessness and cruelty.

    But I also target the conservative/religious news organizations to let them know that some of us in this society take animal suffering and deaths seriously. I assert that animals are not here for our exploitation and that speciesism should no longer be tolerated any more than the other “isms” we have outlawed. (Be ready for outraged replies in comments sections from the religious/conservative groups when challenging dominionism and God-given human supremacy.)

    In a world so full of animal suffering, advocates cannot give up.

    The revolution may be in the future, but the time to prepare is now.

    NOTE: There is actually a book now on undermining: Underminers: A Practical Guide for Radical Change by Keith Farnish. You can get a free download from https://archive.org.

    Liked by 1 person

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