A DECLARATION OF WAR, Killing People to Save the Animals and the Environment,
Who are the liberators? What events have transformed these compassionate animal defenders into terrorists? ?
My reason for writing this book is to let the public know why groups like the Animal Liberation Front, or A.L.F., and eco-saboteurs exist. What possibly possesses people to become so extreme that they are willing to engage in terrorist activities for the cause of saving animals and the planet on which they live? ?
Animal abusers have already felt the effect of actions directed against property. A.L.F. raids are notorious for their success in freeing animals, destroying property used in animal abuse, while maintaining a position of non-violence to all life, including humans. A fire at University of California at Davis destroyed an unfinished animal research building, causing almost $5 million in damage. ?
However, extremists are extending such activities, from destroying property used in the murder and torture of animals, to attacking the real causes of the abuse: people. ?
This issue is clearly important, given the recent car bombing in England of an animal researcher’s vehicle. These activities have begun in the United States with the attempted assassination of the president of U.S. Surgical Corporation, a business that demonstrates surgical staples on dogs. And some eco-saboteurs do equally extreme acts to end what they regard as the raping of the planet by logging companies, mining companies, and other “natural resource” exploiters. ?
I must explain what this book is not about. This is not an attempt to convince you why animals should have their freedom respected. Liberators don’t believe anyone can use words to convince others of moral principles, as explained later. You either believe that we are all animals with an equal claim to life and that human animals must respect those claims, or you believe that humans are non-animals, special beings who have every right to use others as they wish. ?
Liberators believe that a human has a no greater claim to life than a mole or a sea bass. They feel that humans are the lowest form of life, and that the world would be a much better, more peaceful place without them. If you agree with this position, then you will love this book. ?
If you believe that humans are the chosen species or the highest point of biological evolution, and that this somehow gives them a right to abuse other creatures, then this book is important to you, too. It will let you know that you are a target for animal liberators. Every time you abuse another creature, look over your shoulder. Through liberators, the animals are now fighting back. ?
There are some of you who locate yourselves between these extreme positions. You believe that animals should be treated well, but you still place humans on a throne. Conflicted by your empathy for other creatures and your need for control, you play the moderate. You try cooling down extremist animal defenders, calling for non-violence and dialogue, and you try increasing the sensitivity of animal abusers, calling for larger cages and “humane slaughter”. You will find this book disturbing. According to liberators, there is no room for moderation and compromise when it comes to moral principles concerning life and death. And liberators are concerned with life and death. ?
To give you an idea of who these liberators are as people, I will trace the development of an average person into a liberator. ?
There was a time in the lives of liberators when they would have killed an animal to save a human. And they would have thought nothing about loggers cutting roads into virgin timberland. ?
At one time, they weren’t even aware that the food on their plates was once an animal. They gave no thought to wearing fur or leather, and enjoyed seeing animals behind bars in zoos. While they always loved animals, they still regarded human life as more valuable and worthy than non-human life. ?
Yet, despite their socially programmed bias for human animals, liberators found themselves more comfortable in the company of squirrels and birds than people. Like most people, they lived the contradiction of abusing other beings while at the same time loving them. ?
Liberators, after all, are human. Humans have a great capacity for fooling themselves. We feel one way, but think another. We feel that animals should be free to live their own lives, but we think that such freedom would unreasonably conflict with our lifestyles. We like drugs, and meat, and other products of animal exploitation, but we feel sick when we learn exactly what happens to the animals during the production of such products. That’s why slaughter houses are out of public view, and research lab doors are kept closed. It helps people keep their heads in the sand, closing their eyes to all the cruelty around them. ?
Some people turn off their feelings to suffering animals, and fabricate ideas to justify their acts of animal abuse. Society supports this, since it values thoughts over feelings. These people learn to suppress what they really feel when they see animals suffering. Separating thoughts from feelings is a part of the process of alienation that plagues humankind. ?
Because if this alienation, most people have no sense of where they belong in the world, or who they themselves really are. Pop psychology and self-help books overflow on the shelves of bookstores, as these confused, frightened, and lonely people seek help from pieces of paper, hoping to put some meaning and love in their lives. But it takes more than words to change people’s lives and re-integrate alienated humans into a balanced, natural world. Despite the encouraging writings of self-appointed gurus, their abuse of animals, and of themselves, continues. These people never become liberators. ?
The people who do become liberators examine personal feelings and thoughts, and discard ideas that don’t fit the world in which they want to live. They realize that ideas are no more than justifications of feelings. Getting in touch with their feelings helps them avoid the alienation that leads to so much human pain and suffering. As they keep in touch with our feelings, they abandon animal abuse, and transform their way of life into a more compassionate one. ?
They then join support groups. They join out of a sense of helplessness and a growing need to do something, to change the world. They sometimes fight with old friends who still support animal research or hunting, while trying to find new friends. Meanwhile, they adopt a vegetarian lifestyle, since they don’t believe in eating their non-human friends. This makes them social pariahs, and even their families can’t wait until they get through this new “phase” that they are in. ?
After a few years, the “phase” is considered an unhealthy obsession. They are taking this animal issue to extremes, they are told. Nobody likes extremists. Extremists take their beliefs seriously and practice them consistently. Most people are frightened by consistency. It takes too much work. As a result, friends are not as easy to locate as before. The problem is that they begin to feel comfortable only with other animal “extremists”, and such people tend to like animals more than they like people. ?
There is a reason why people who become liberators turn to animals for affection. There is an honesty about non-humans. They don’t play games. They are direct. And they are never intentionally cruel. ?
Eventually, they grow frustrated as their efforts for saving animals seem impotent in making a big difference. They get donation pitches in the mail each week from animal welfare and animal rights organizations, telling them how much the organizations have done for the animals, how much still needs to be done, how the opposition is mounting a counter-offensive, and how little money there is to fight back and preserve whatever advances have been made. They ask themselves whether these organizations, some with millions of dollars in investments and executive directors earning six figure incomes, have become permanent institutions in our cruel society, more invested in maintaining the status quo than in freeing animals. ?
They start questioning whether animal abuse will ever stop given current approaches. Basic beliefs come under scrutiny, as they examine whether humans can ever be the agents for liberating animals. Questions like, “Can we ever change the system from within?” pop into their minds. And for the first time, they do not answer automatically in the affirmative. They reflect on their feelings about people, society, animals, and the way things have been done in the past. They begin to even wonder if the concept of animal “rights” is what the animals really need. ?
These increasingly frustrated individuals examine their assumption that educating the public about what is really happening to the animals will somehow lead to the termination of the cruelty. That assumption demands a faith in the fairness and compassion of human nature that these people no longer take on face value. They begin to question whether showing people movies and photos of monkeys with electrodes in their heads, or wolves caught by steel-jaw leghold traps, or calves immobilized in dark, claustrophobic veal crates, or chickens crowded and stressed by factory farm conditions, will motivate the common person to change their consumption patterns and other abusive behaviors. ?
At one time, the common person would hunt, slaughter, skin, and beat animals as a regular part of life. It is an illusion of contemporary society that people today are more compassionate than in that cruel past. Actually, the general public has simply become unaccustomed to killing animals themselves. The dirty work is left to “specialists”, like butchers, trappers, animal researchers, and animal shelter workers. ?
History has shown, however, that humans have an enormous capacity to revert to barbaric behavior at the first sign of potential personal gain. The same insensitivity that allows “specialists” to kill would allow the average person to kill, as well. At the current time, this insensitivity allows people to be comfortable in the knowledge that others are doing the killing for them. If people today are sensitive to pictures of animal abuse, then the interest people have in the products of that abuse will simply cause them to turn away from the pictures, or to accept that such acts against animals are “a necessary evil”. ?
So these developing liberators conclude that, in the long run, showing the public pictures of animal abuse will only further desensitize people to animal suffering. Humans can adapt to all assaults to their sensibilities, especially when they are committed to certain behaviors. ?
They then try to appeal to the public, legislators, product manufacturers, and others in power, through letter writing, boycotts, rallies, demonstrations, and marches. But their efforts get them nowhere. Every small victory is challenged. Despite years of lobbying and writing to Congressmen, the only major legislation passed in recent history for animal protection was the Federal Animal Welfare Act, designed primarily to protect animals exploited in research. Yet, before the ink could dry on the new legislation, animal abusers clamored to water down its already compromised and weakened impact. ?
As a result of lobbying by animal abusers, farm animals are exempt from the act, as are rodents. When you consider that about 90% of animal research is done on rodents, it’s easy to see that the effect of the Act on animal suffering is minimal. Further, any acts of terror can be committed against any and all animals in the name of research, so long as it is deemed “necessary” for the research project. Since farm animals are exempt from the Act, many researchers now target pigs and sheep as totally unprotected subjects. It’s hard to keep a cruel researcher down! ?
The increasingly angry animal defenders passionately hold onto their dubious victories to convince themselves that those victories are substantial and meaningful. They demand to legislators that the Act is enforced, a difficult task since the Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for its enforcement, has too few inspectors, and too little interest, in doing its job. This leads these soon-to-be liberators to the sad realization that laws are only as good as the intent to obey them. ?
Recognizing these failures, they look to other signs of success to bolster their optimism. We see that vegetarianism is more acceptable than before, with more vegetarians in this country than in the past. Further examination reveals that many so called “vegetarians” eat fish and poultry. Almost all of these “vegetarians” eat dairy and/or eggs, which is merely exchanging solid flesh for liquid flesh. ?
At most, only 3% of the population say they are “vegetarians”. When we consider a population of 270.000.000 people, 3% seems a great amount of vegetarians, surely enough to generate a market for special products and magazines. But there are still 262.000.000 people eating animal flesh, and the numbers of animals killed for food continues to increase. Put differently, 97 out of every 100 babies born in this country are being raised as flesh eaters. ?
They turn their attention to the fur issue, an area where they can feel certain success. After all fur is no longer a fashionable commodity. Unfortunately, they discover that fur stores have opened up in Asian countries, so that the industry has simply generated new markets to replace the old ones it has lost. They also learn that fur is unfashionable primarily in the United States and England, but is still popular in some European countries. And knowing how fashions come and go, these people, increasingly anxious about making a difference for the animals, develop a uneasiness over the current fur taboo, wondering when fur will again become a desirable commodity. ?
Finally, they turn their attention to cosmetic and household product testing on animals. Feeling certain that the general public will never sanction such blatant animal abuse, they boycott the companies selling these products of death. When some of the companies agree to stop animal testing, the animal lovers rejoice at the news. They feel vindicated in their approach of working within the system and fighting with their pocketbooks. ?
To maintain their feeling of success, however, they try to ignore the fact that many of the companies, who say they no longer use animal tests, are farming out the tests to other companies, or are buying animal tested ingredients from suppliers to use in their allegedly cruelty free product line. ?
Eventually, they begin to realize that fighting for the animals is like trying to put out thousands of brush fires. Tremendous effort and time is spent focusing on one fire, which may or may not be extinguished, while ten others are being started. It is a never ending battle fighting this way. And it is a losing proposition. ?
Eventually, these animal extremists step back from the smoky field, and reflect on the causes of the fires. If they can eliminate some of the causes, they conclude, then they wouldn’t have to fight so many flames. ?
In short, these people move towards greater and greater extremism as they find all their efforts to help the animals frustrated by the abusive system with which they are fighting. They examine and question all their assumptions and approaches, and for once they feel that they are really beginning to get in touch with the depth of the problem, and with possible solutions. Finally, they come up with bold, revolutionary ideas. In fact, they conclude that a revolution is essential for freeing the animals. ?
Let me summarize this conclusion of people who have come to call themselves animal liberators. It will be direct, challenging, uncompromising, and frightening to all animal abuser and others invested in the system. ?
Liberators believe in killing humans to save animals! ?
If an animal researcher said: “It’s a dog or a child,” a liberator will defend the dog every time. A liberator also believes that disposing of a few researchers will save even more dogs from their cruelty. ?
Liberators have come to one unavoidable conclusion: HUMANS WILL NEVER MAKE PEACE WITH ANIMALS! It is not in their natures or in the natures of the societies they have created. In fact, liberators believe that if people really want to save the animals, they must stop wasting their time trying to improve the human race and its societies. They must declare war against humans. They must join in this revolution! ?
Liberators believe this is the only logical, consistent, and morally correct conclusion stemming from a true belief that animals should be free to live their lives unshackled from human exploitation. They believe that the nature of human society and its laws are implicitly and irrevocably immoral. Liberators are people of conscience who feel morally obligated to break those laws and revolt against this oppressive regime. ?
But this revolution by liberators will not be like any other in the history of the world. ?
Normally, revolutions seek to gain privileges within society for a disenfranchised group of people. The civil rights movement, for example, was dedicated to gaining protection and enforcement of those rights blacks were assured in the Constitution since the Civil War. It was a movement for inclusion in society. The same thing goes for the gay rights movement, or the feminist movement. ?
The liberation movement to end animal exploitation is nothing like these others, as the liberators see it. And according to them, this difference has made the struggle for freedom for animals, as it has been practiced to this day, to be nothing more than an impotent whimper in the face of gross inhumanity. ?
Liberators feel this movement demands a different approach because human groups fight for inclusion. The movement to free animals must fight for exclusion. Oppressed people want to be accepted as equals into society. Oppressed animals want to be left alone by society 1. ?
This difference, according to liberators, dictates different strategies for the animal rights activist than for any other social reformer. For one thing, it makes non-violent tactics, as modeled by Gandhi or King, inappropriate. ?
Liberators believe that only physical harm will dissuade people from abusing animals. ?
Their message is not simply that we should shoot hunters, kill vivisectors, trap trappers, and butcher butchers in order to free the animals. They believe we are morally justified in doing these things, and that we must do it to free some animals. But liberators do not believe that it will change the world and result in the freedom of all animals. ?
Liberators hold that nothing will result in the freedom of all animals, short of the extinction of human species. People will abuse other creatures so long as the human species exists. This is an observation liberators base on human nature, and they believe human nature is not about to change. ?
Liberators are not simply pessimists in making this statement. To them, it is a realistic appraisal of the history of human blood lust and speciesism. It is their bold acceptance of what they feel many people really know deep in their hearts. But liberators expect few people will acknowledge what they feel in their hearts. Who wants to accept the fact that their efforts and hopes are useless? ?
The liberators feel it’s time for animal defenders, and those concerned about the environment, to open their eyes and admit that they shall never overcome. ?
In short, the liberators believe that history has shown that working within the cruel system and winning small battles for the animals will soon prove irrelevant. The carnage against animals continues. The opposition is stronger, better financed, and more numerous than animal defenders. Gains made are easily reversed. Animal abuse will go on until mankind becomes extinct, or the planet is destroyed. ?
According to this extremist position, it follows that people who want to help the animals must not use their energy trying to change the system – that’s impossible. They must focus their efforts on rescuing as many animals as they can and give animal abusers as much trouble as possible – they must be liberators of animals! The purpose of this revolution would not be to discard the old powers and put in the new. According to the liberator philosophy, no human system will ever treat animals with respect. The animals simply need a continuous revolution to consistently, repeatedly, and uncompromisingly liberate them from human oppression. They need a revolution against human society because it is intrinsically oppressive. So long as there are people, animals will need this revolution. ?
Liberators believe a technique called militant interventionism is a necessary measure for animal liberation, given the natures of society and people. Liberators believe that working within the system will never work for the animals, and that non-violent resistance is completely inappropriate for the animal liberation movement. In this book, I will explain their reasons for these conclusions. ?
I will also give some examples of how they might try to monkeywrench the system. And I will explain how these individuals, dedicated to this revolution, committed to sabotage, believe that they can still find love and peace in their lives.
According to Liberators, the need for exclusion from human society applies to all animals exploited by humans, including wild life and animals raised for food, research, entertainment, or any other human defined purpose. It also includes domesticated household animals, such as dogs and cats, who have had their spirits genetically broken, since they have been bred to be dependent on humans. They live on human terms, in human communities, and are trained to suppress any remnants of their natural instincts. They are slaves who have become dependent on their slavery. See page 80 for a further discussion of the “pet” problem.