Animal Liberation and Anarchism

A few words for the anarchist not concerned with animal liberation:

I think the major reason why many of us are anarchists is because we don't want to see people suffer--under government or capitalism. Or, because we don't want to see ourselves suffer, a more selfish view. It's rather easy to see then why (I think) a disproportionate amount of anarchists are concerned with animal liberation compared to the general population. You just extend your compassion from one species of animals to all species of animals. Easy. Other animals have just as much a right to live and not be tortured as humans do, so why don't most people care about them? Who knows? Personally I think it's just too hard for most people to open their minds this much, or that their tastebuds rule their lives. Boo hoo. The meat (any kind) that ends up on your dinner plate has been systematically tortured in factory farms or in some other way. Again, people are not the only ones who suffer. And animals suffer FAR more than humans do.

A few words for the animal liberationist not concerned with anarchism:

Animals are exploited every day: be it for food, for material for humans to wear, for experimentation, etc. Why are animals "raised" in factory farms? Why are they trapped for their pelts? Why are they tortured in cruel ways? Because money is to be made out of doing so. Because profit is sought. Until the system of profit, capitalism, is destroyed, animals will always be exploited, tortured, killed. Though causes more specific to those of animals' plights are extremely important, the final goal of ending animal exploitation will not be realized until capitalism is understood to be at the starting point of animal suffering, and people seek to eliminate this root cause and incorporate it into their analysis of animal exploitation.

The following (replacing "straight edge" with "animal liberation", for relevancy) is from the anarchosyndicalist faq at Class War Online (formally known as Anarcho-Syndicalism 101):

The forms animal cruelty tends to take -- testing makeup on monkeys, cooping up chickens to the point where they can't move for their entire lives, cutting off their beaks, etc. -- are, one might argue, closely tied to the profit system; that is to say, that animal testing exists because there's money in it. It seems fairly reasonable to argue that the straight edge movement views animal cruelty as a particular evil of society, rather than as a natural end result of the system of production for profit, as an anarcho-syndicalist [or, just plain anarchist] might. It also seems fairly reasonable to assume that the straight-edge movement fails to connect this particular form of oppression to others, including those that straight-edgers might experience themselves (wage-slavery, to take an obvious example). If anarcho-syndicalists happened to be sceptical about the straight-edge movement, it could possibly very well be for this reason. The fact that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian, and that one of the first laws the Nazis passed when they got into power was to outlaw vivisection, illustrates rather clearly how limiting the failure to make this causal connection can be (if we are opposed to murder of people as well as animals, of course).

The following is from the pamphlet (a must read!) "Animal Liberation and Social Revolution", made available from the Veganarchy Homepage:

There is no question that the state is on the side of those who exploit animals. With a few exceptions, the law is decidedly anti-animal. This is demonstrated as much by government subsidization of the meat and dairy industries, of vivisection and military use of non-humans, as by its opposition to those who resist the animal exploitation industry. The politician will never understand why the state should protect animals. After all, every sphere of social life condones and encourages their abuse. Acting in the present "interests" of (human) constituencies will always translate, however absurdly, into acting against the interests of the animal kingdom, a vast constituency which has yet to receive the right to vote.

Here is an article that was written for Torch!, the magazine of the Young People's Socialist League, concerning animal liberation: Don't Kill Your Comrades, by Ross Johnston.


Suggested Readings

Download "Nailing Descartes to the Wall/(Liquid) Meat is Still Murder", the second track from Propagandhi's Less Talk More Rock.

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