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Words Without Action Are Wrong

Camille Marino | 29.12.2009 16:41 | Animal Liberation | Repression | Social Struggles | World

As 2009 closes, animal liberationists need to take a hard look at ourselves and enter 2010 understanding that we need a revolution. Those of us who are serious and committed need to come together and close ranks amongst ourselves.

“Let’s face facts: After decades of environmental struggles, we are nevertheless losing ground in the battle to preserve species, ecosystems, and wilderness. Increasingly, calls for moderation, compromise, and the slow march through institutions can be seen as treacherous and grotesquely inadequate. In the midst of predatory global capitalism and biological meltdown, ‘reasonableness’ and ‘moderation’ seem to be entirely unreasonable and immoderate, as ‘extreme’ and ‘radical’ actions appear simply as necessary and appropriate.” (Steven Best, Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of The Earth)



By Camille Marino

Negotiation is Over has a new tagline: “Words Without Actions Are Wrong.” I heard this statement recently, uttered by true revolutionaries who were willing to die for their values. Empathizing with the struggle of the oppressed is insufficient; we must be willing to die for their freedom… otherwise we need to find a hobby. These ideas resonated with me. They are the lens through which my own inadequacies become magnified and glaring. Animal terrorists demand an equal and opposite response from animal liberationists and, thus far, I have not — we have not — delivered. The extreme violence systematically visited upon nonhumans cannot be addressed with moderation and civility.

We have no revolution. We have no movement. We have welfarists and pacifists — equally complicit in the holocaust by virtue of their unconscionable tolerance, timidity, and tacit approval; “abolitionists” who have co-opted a term, eradicated the spirit of revolution, and armed themselves with spatulas and aprons. And here I am, as culpable as the weakest activist, but naked with no rationalizations to defend myself. I know that vegan cupcakes do nothing for the animals confined in bloody misery. I understand that sadists will not become decent human beings if we simply ask them nicely enough. So if I do nothing to stop the abusers, then I am guilty. And if we as a movement fail to take decisive action, then everyone shares this guilt. If the innocent could defend themselves, their tormentors would be dead. Animals are terrorized, mutilated, and murdered on an incomprehensible scale and with exquisite precision in far greater numbers than the humans who succumbed to the Rwandan death squads and the RUF in Sierra Leone combined. Yet we do nothing.

I have difficulty understanding why some people tell me I inspire them. I have done nothing remarkable and have only just begun to clear my own path… some rescues, some fostering & re-homing, a few adoptions, and a ton of impotent campaigns. Protests do nothing. Letters do nothing. Words do nothing — but they are all I have for now. The abusers still have free reign to torment and torture at will. My disgust is palpable and my rage is seething. But I have stopped no one. Why? Let’s face it. I have no desire to go to prison. One armed activist is a terrorist; dozens of armed activists is a revolution. And we need a revolution.


“Politics as usual won’t cut it anymore. We will always lose if we play by their rules rather than cast a pox on their house and invent new forms of struggle, new social movements, and new sensibilities. Causes require decisive and direct action: logging roads need to be blocked, driftnets need to be cut, and cages need to be emptied. But these are defensive actions; new social movements must be built, ones that incorporate both social and ecological issues in multiracial and global alliances.

How much more corruption, violence, repression, and exploitation is necessary before people wake up and begin to act? How many more species have to pass into oblivion? How many more rainforests have to fall? How many more polar bears have to washed up drowned on the shores? How much more must the planet heat up?” – Steven Best


I am not delusional and I am not calling for armed revolt – necessary and inevitable as it may be. I do want every single one of us, however, to look in the mirror and, as we enter 2010, acknowledge that there needs to be a correlation between our words and actions. When we look into the face of a vivisector, imagine that it is our parent, child, sibling or companion animal being obscenely tortured for fun and profit. What is the appropriate response? We all need to answer this question for ourselves. But before any real change can be effected, we need to assess ourselves in the context of the war for animal liberation..

Fear is a tool that the state uses to control us and contain the potential threat. And a movement of above-ground activists that cowers before the oppressors is a disgrace. Let’s get passed this simple obstacle and reclaim our voices and power. Last month, we launched a Facebook group with the subtitle, “Total Liberation By Any Means Necessary.” While the new visions, possibilities, and discussions revolving around Dr. Best’s Manifesto for Radical Abolitionism excited many of us, I was appalled at the overwhelming number of people who were openly afraid to be associated with this group — AFRAID OF THE TERM “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY”!!! While nonhumans are being chopped up with ruthless efficiency, their defenders are too fearful to take a public stand. This utter weakness is intolerable and inexcusable. Newsflash: if you are an animal rights activist, your name is probably already in a file maintained by the police state. Who are we hiding from? We MUST be louder, more visible and infinitely more abrasive – not pathetic, cowardly, and timid. This mentality is embarrassing.

Some people in this movement compromise professional glory to remain true to their ideals and champion the interests of nonhuman victims. Others become more militant and relentless with each visit from the FBI. And still more have realized that exposure and the inevitable knock on the door are the price of effectiveness. The enslaved animals we fight for cannot escape their terror and, therefore, we are not allowed the luxury of fear and indecision.

While there are activists who contribute impotent blogs to the struggle, the trail of reference letters littering the path to their professional aspirations belies a sickening opportunism absent from those engaged in the struggle. Animal liberationists are routinely penalized – financially, professionally, and socially – because we fight for the victims who’s only value is measured in their commodified corpses. Pacifists and opportunists need to stop criticizing welfarists and militant direct activists as their exclusive fetishized problems. Their tolerance and sterile debate are the antithesis of revolution. They are a part of the problem hiding under a thinly-veiled disguise.

As 2009 comes to a close, the animal liberation movement needs to bury its own inconsistencies and come to terms with the fact that this is a war — a bloody, violent, and disturbing landscape that we did not create, but it is up to us to navigate. The ruthless sadists and the corporate-state complex that protects them depend on our fear and they laugh every time one of us submits… just like animal terrorists who are amused by their victims’ agony. We have finished tolerating the degenerate abusers. We will go forward defiant and unafraid. And, together, we can ignite this revolution.


Camille Marino, Founder & Publisher. Negotiating with abusers is an exercise in futility and veganism is essential. The only action that matters to the imprisoned is the one that imparts freedom. It is a moral obligation to protect the innocent whenever we can — and direct action, sabotage, or subduing the violent with violence is a acceptable and effective. Free speech must be exercised or it shrivels up and dies. Oppression needs to be resisted.

Camille Marino
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Hide the following 21 comments

nice one

29.12.2009 20:03

i think i agree with pretty much every thing you said in your article. i also think that 'by any means necessary', is one of the most inspiring slogans ive heard since the anti-capitalist slogan of 'we are winning' in seattle WTO meetings.

total revolution, now!


Excellent article

29.12.2009 22:18

This is exactly what has needed to be said, and for a very long time. An extremely well written, thought-provoking and startlingly true piece of writing that rings true to how things are at the moment.

I'm very worried about the future; we need revolutionary tactics but instead are faced with people who can barely be bothered to do enough demonstrations, organise themselves or think independently towards animal liberation. If we can't even achieve this, how will we ever progress?

The truth is, it WOULD be possible, if every person who shouted 'animal liberation' on a demo truly meant this in their hearts and actually spent time and effort to achieve it.



30.12.2009 05:14

The article mentions everything about tackling people doing the killing but says nothing about those who demand the product. It's the public that craves meat for their plates, sacrifices for their drugs, leather for their shoes, honey for their toast, wool for their jumpers, animals in their homes, and things to look at in their zoos.

When are people going to address the real causes of abuse? It is not the person that directly harms the animal that is the cause of the abuse, far from it. They are but a symptom of the system which is driven by the consumer, it is the consumer that demands a product, the one who funds it, the one who provides the financial incentives to induce harm that is the real cause.

Throwing bricks through the windows of butchers does jack shit, when Tesco's is opening a new store a week all of which are stocked to the ceilings with animal products. Trying to piss off vivisection companies in the UK does jack shit when multinationals are increasingly sourcing product testing to China and India where it's undertaken for a fraction of the cost with substantially worse welfare conditions for the animals too.

There was another article posted on Indy earlier about the state of veganism and the rise of meat consumption I urge everyone to read it. Direct action has been happening since the 70's yet where has it gotten us? Meat consumption is rising rapidly year after year after year after year. The number of animals being killed for human consumption is going to rise make no mistake about that. The movement is deluding itself if it thinks targeting butchers is going to do a jot of difference to the statistic.

This whole relying on old tactics purely out of tradition and for the satisfaction of our egos is getting us no where. We do not have the numbers in order for our actions to be effective, you'd have to burn down every abattoir in Britain to make any noticeable difference and even then new ones would soon open and meat would continue to be imported from abroad. Why? The consumer demands it, they crave it. They'll fund it to the ends of earth if they have to in order to satisfy their desires for meat.

We are going to get nowhere if we keep tackling the symptoms without targeting the cause. That is what we need to debate. We cannot make progress without first understanding the system which drives it.

Fact is we're loosing. Cold sobering words but true none the less. We are loosing. The rainforests will be all but gone in 20 years, consumers demand meat, paper, and wooden furniture. Even if we tried to shut down companies directly, the incentive that is provided by the consumer in the form of capital will always outweigh our actions. In some countries they shoot poachers on sight, yet in Tanzania & Kenya poaching for wildlife continues despite direct application of lethal force to deal with those killing animals. Why does the poaching continue even with direct intervention? Western and increasingly East Asian demand for exotic animal products like ivory and skins.

Until we find a way to deal with the direct cause of animal abuse i.e. the consumer who funds and demands it. We'll constantly be fighting a loosing battle.

People need to be frank, they need to be honest, and they need to be truthful. Is targeting a farm or abattoir going to bring about the glorious victory and revolution whilst consumer demand continues to boom? We have less than half a century til the rainforests are all but gone, 40 years til our climate goes down the shitter, 40 years til life as we know it is devastated. Is throwing bricks through the windows of labs an effective use of our time? Will such tactics stop the damage before it is too later? Will the world and its ecosystems be devastated before we can save it? All because people were too afraid to tackle the ones who demanded the product.

Targeting labs, suppliers, and farms is getting us nowhere, in a consumer capitalist society we need to start targeting the real causes.

A vegan

need to target both demand and supply

30.12.2009 09:37

@a vegan: This is a false dichotomy: you need to target both demand and supply.

There's no point arguing about whether direct action or education is the way forward - we need both! Each person should do the action they feel is best for them.


Response to 'a vegan'

30.12.2009 09:49

I think 'a vegan' brings up some really good points, and while I both agree and disagree with everything said, it is very beneficial to discuss these issues and we should be discussing this a lot more.

It is true that the source of the problem is demand through consumption. But I would say it was not the only source. We must also remember that people are living within a capitalist system - they are TOLD what to want, what to buy, what to crave, through years of socialisation in a system which benefits only big business. I'm not saying people don't have free will to pick and choose, or to make their own preferences, but I'm saying that while the consumer is responsible, the companies producing these items are more guilty than perhaps your commentary implied. They are the ones making the product, marketing the product, creating manuipulating adverts to sell it, spreading false information about the 'benefits' of their products, and concealing any negative information about the true cost of what they want everyone to buy.

What you say IS true - but I think it comes down to this: both the consumers and the companies are responsible. Perhaps not in equal share, but they are both to blame. But rather than trying to convince a 6 billion population to go vegan and live in harmony with our world, it is technically a better move to tackle the companies and stop these products altogether. There are far more people than companies, and while it sounds harder to take down the companies, personally I see it harder to convince the global population. The reason being, if you want to do this, then you are technically taking on the global elite, the media, the papers, the tv channels, the radios, the entire mentality of a society, the societal values that people teach and share from birth... the list is endless. You would be working to change a society that is based on making money from the exact companies you are asking everyone to stop buying from - in world where the power lies with the few rich, I just don't think the message will really be able to get out there while we have a capitalist system. People are subjected daily to an onslaught of manipulation by dominant societal values right from birth, and by wanting to make everyone change, you are taking on these systems - they can change, but societal change takes an extremely long time, as we've seen from past struggles. In the end, change was brought about by tackling the problem directly through protest and direct action.

You said yourself about the urgency of the problems we face, and sadly this is all true; but I do feel that trying to get 6 billion people to go vegan in this time is near impossible. For this, handing out pamphlets on a saturday each week is like a drop in an ocean; you would have to change the core values of society in order to reach this many people, these are the values that brought them up thinking using animals in abusive ways was acceptable. People's values reflect society's need to make money to maintain capitalism. To create change on such a wide scale, you are looking at hijacking mainstream media, overthrowing politicians, radical changes to all business.

I am not disagreeing with spreading awareness in the population as a means of dealing with our desperate problems, though. Ideally, we should get a happy balance, of activists spreading the word and activists taking action, but as you already said there are not enough people currenly willing to do anything. That way, you would achieve people targeting the companies and people working with the rest of the population; both sources of the problem are covered in some way.

If it came down to a choice between one or the other in terms of effectiveness though, I would say though that campaigning is what would have the effect, for the reasons that I mentioned above - while targetting companies involved in abuse may seem like a bigger and more impossible task, in reality changing the population is the most difficult of all.

Feel free to disagree with me though of course, I am open to discuss everything I have said here and welcome your opinion. Like I said, this is a really important debate and well worth discussing.

Another vegan :)

Admit that you're a speciesist, then you may use the words "honest" & "truthful"

30.12.2009 11:09


1) First and foremost, please admit that you are a speciesist and not a defender of the animals. I am unimpressed that you are a vegan. It is the absolute minimum you are obligated to do...

If the victims were human, you would be concerned with rescuing them, not defining some theoretical oblivion in which you complacently rationalize your own disinterest. If it were your mother being mutilated in a cage, would you excuse her tormentor with this gem: "It is not the person that directly harms the animal that is the cause of the abuse, far from it"? Please! .

Clearly, the issues of ethics and conscience that animal liberationists navigate are foreign concepts. So, for your benefit, let me explain what my essay is about. Animals are being tortured and murdered as I type. And I am painfully aware that explaining the facts of life to you is doing nothing to save anyone. For those of us who are engaged, we know that for every action we take, another remains undone. I know I am not doing enough and am ashamed of my own failure. Your smug, ignorant, pathetic diatribe, on the other hand, sickens me.

2) Human and nonhuman animals are enslaved by the same institutions of oppression that orchestrate the rape and murder of the planet. I'm glad that you are aware that systematic problems exist, even though their nature and significance eludes you.

You suggest that it is the individual who is the key to unlocking restraints. It is clear that you do not understand that those chains are the product of, among other things, a capitalist growth imperative that by its very nature is exploitative and demands victims; social & institutional heirarchies that are rooted in the flesh and blood of nonhumans; and, yes, a collective social speciesism that allows the individual to fulfill his role in the machine.

You said:

"the system which is driven by the consumer, it is the consumer that demands a product, the one who funds it, the one who provides the financial incentives"

So, vegan, you want to argue that the individual who is serving a distinct function -- responding to the demand that is generated by industry -- is responsible for the system? That's precious!

I know you. You represent every activist who has heard a Gary Francione podcast and been infected by the pacifist malignancy. Are you truly comfortable regurgitating gary-speak with absolutely no critical faculties in place? (part 1 of 2)

Camille Marino
mail e-mail:
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Admit you're a speciesist (part 2 of 2)

30.12.2009 12:30

(part 2 of 2)


Let me clue you in about something. Gary Francione refuses to address the inconsistencies and glaring flaws in his theories. But if you choose to parrot the words, perhaps you are willing to address a few issues that he cannot:

1- The “demand-only” model necessarily excludes every other factor in the equation. If you’re Francione, you simply yell “WELFARE” to evade a discussion of economics. But, vegan, you said that we need to address the root problems. Does it sound logical to you that complex issues and intricacies are being reduced to a single issue and complete responsibility is being assigned to the individual.

For the record, I am a huge proponent of self-determination, free will, and individual responsibility. But I stop short of magical thinking.

2- If you want to focus on demand, please explain to me how, with over 11,000 new meateaters being born every single day in the U.S. alone, how you plan to shift the paradigm with a vegan convert here and there.

3- I understand that the canned response is that the “abolitionist approach” is in its infancy and it will take time to take root. Personally, I’m hoping for crib death. But if it survives, how much time to you think we have to play games? 50 years? 100 years? 200 years? Have you heard about the ecocrisis? Do you know that our leading experts on climate change have said that we are rapidly approaching the point of no return. Do you have anything to say about the fact that, all other things remaining equal, China’s exploding demand for flesh threatens earth’s natural resources within ten years?

4- So simply tell us all how much time you have to waste. Those of us who are in touch with reality act with a sense of urgency and an acknowledgement that we may be the last generation with a window of opportunity in which to act.

5- If you personally convert 1,000 meateaters to veganism this week – and I acknowledge that each and every vegan convert is a victory – are you aware that, if your activism does affect demand for animals, the govt steps in with subsidies to protect agribusiness products. Any change in demand will be absorbed through subsidies which will maintain profit margins and simply redirect animal products to schools, welfare programs, and foreign trade/deficit reduction.

Now, Francione said recently that this basic argument represents a “woeful ignorance of economics.” I suggest that basing an entire theory on a third-grade model of supply and demand – and deluding activists in the process – is criminal. The argument goes that if the demand was for bananas, that what capitalists would supply. So, vegan, are you beginning to see how sophomoric, flawed, and dangerous this course is.

If we want to shift the demand to bananas then, again, how long do you honestly think we have to pursue impotent avenues?

I really want everyone to understand that this single-issue fantasy (magical abolition) is not grounded in reality and is utterly impractical. AND THIS IS THE MALIGNANT MANIFESTATION OF GARY FRANCIONE AND HIS ABOLITIONIST GOSPEL. Activists parrot gary-speak, they become pacifist pod people, critical thought eludes them and the net effect is that an otherwise-productive activist THAT WE DESPERATELY NEED TO BE EFFECTIVE is reduced to a hostage of the abolitionist approach, bound and gagged with flawed ideas, and useless to the animals.

Gary Francione is responsible for the corrupting activists with the precise nonsense that Vegan was kind enough to articulate.

Camille Marino
mail e-mail:
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abolition through direct action

30.12.2009 13:35

Abolition is the only way forward - simply calling for better welfare for animals we use is extraordinarily speciesist and pacifist.

Get out and fight for the animals, bring about abolition both with (direct) actions and by not using animals in your life & encouraging others to do the same.


It's not hard

30.12.2009 13:41

"2- If you want to focus on demand, please explain to me how, with over 11,000 new meateaters being born every single day in the U.S. alone, how you plan to shift the paradigm with a vegan convert here and there. "

With each new vegan is a potential new family of little vegans who may go on to have more little vegans. The 11,000 meat eaters will drop.

Supply and demand will reduce and wait for it, this is where the magic comes in, demand for meat products the capitalist machine will move to a vegan capitalist world.

This woman offends me, crawl back under that rock you share with Best.

Looking in


30.12.2009 14:04

i think camille marino deserves more support for this article and the 'general' gist of it. we've allowed ourselves, already, within hours of the article being published, to be riddled with petty this and thats about animal lib. we know complete and utter liberation for all animals, human and non-human, is the only lasting aim of the true revolutionary. so we settle for the next best thing til that comes along, yeah?

so please can we just maybe, if we can be bothered, maybe just discuss ways to build on the key points of the article, instead of going on about 'franciones', who most of us dont give a shit about.....?

thats my pennies worth, anyway - hope i dont offend anyone.....


The problem with the internet...

30.12.2009 14:32

I have to agree with you there francesca, but this is the internet. We'll never be able to discuss things properly on here.

Those of us who are interested in doing something for the animals will be doing so, and some of us will get a chance to have the discussion you suggest at local/national AR gatherings. IM is too full of corporate stooges, state assets and trolls who have no interest in the movement. At least at a AR meeting the trolls won't bother coming to disrupt - for state or corporate infiltrators all we can do is be vigilant.

In Solidarity.


I offend you? Well, trust me, I'm shattered!!!

30.12.2009 14:34

Looking In,

If you want to take a swipe at me, please feel free to do so.

I have much more respect for honest emotion than for your pathetic attempt to contribute to a subject that appears to be beyond your grasp.

Look, I'll go out on a limb here and assume we all made it through the third grade. Okay, so when demand goes up, there is a corresponding increase in supply. And when demand drops, production will be adjusted accordingly.

See that? I'm right there with you... no economic theory, no market dynamics, just a basic third-grade definition of supply and demand.

Now, please take the time to read what I wrote and then, try to follow me.

I'll ask you the same question I posed on ARCO Abolitionists (a pacifist indoctrination forum) last year, and the same question I asked Vegan...

How much time do you have to waste, Looking? 50 years? 100 years? 200 years?

If we had all the time in the world, this imbecility would not be as pressing an issue. Are you seriously prepared to defend converting vegans while the planet is dying around us?

I thank you for admitting that you're counting on "magic."

Look, I realize that you don't fully understand that you are promoting certain death, but it seriously disturbs me that a single fundamentalist virus is an epidemic, paralyzing our movement. We have activists running around with no idea that they are brainwashed. My anger is misdirected at you. I'm sorry.

But seriously people. We all need to wake up. Francione promotes a fantasy. Reality is where we need to ground ourselves and come to terms with the fact that we are out of time.

And, back to the essay, while the nonhumans are being carved up with ruthless efficiency at this moment, am I really the only one believes we need a revolution?

Camille Marino
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

am I really the only one believes we need a revolution?

30.12.2009 14:52


Most ARA I meet (in the UK at least) understand that Total Liberation is the only way forward - which is why the animal rights movement is so closely linked to the anti-capitalist and anti-fascist (albeit less than it used to be).

Total Liberation will only be brought about by revolution, and we need to start to free ourselves (and any others, human or non-human) to help bring about that revolution. It isn't something that will suddenly start one day - it is something that needs to be worked on by us all.

Finally freeing ourselves and the exploited the world over will be the true-revolution.


I apologise if the reply is rather long and clogs the comments section

30.12.2009 15:13

It's easy to be hasty with generalisations when you have no evidence for them, I've never read or heard anything from Gary Francione, nor do I intend to. I tend not to busy myself such things. Now that we've just deleted a good proportion of your posts which simply served as a tangent Camille we can get down to discussion.

I've been a vegan since I since I was 16ish back in the early 1980's. I used to be involved a lot with the hunt sabs (I've had my fair share of busted lips and black eyes from toffs on horses), I remember the days when the ALF office was based within the BUAV's building, and the days when hundreds of activists could be called up a couple of days in advance in order to raid a lab. I've been broken into buildings, attacked cars belonging to vivisectors, and nearly gotten myself busted on a couple of occasions from almost getting caught red handed on Ken Shynn's fur farm on the Isle of Wight before it closed. Before you jump to conclusions of pacifism perhaps you should evaluate why you are so quick to jump to assumptions without evidence? It's bad practise.

In response to your first reply I openly admit that I am speciesist and always make a point of admitting it when asked as it is important to do so, I try my hardest not to be but I am. However the same is true of all individuals, very few people on this earth are born free of it (if any) and those who wake up to it spend their whole lives fighting it (rightfully so). It is impossible to not be speciesist in a society with condones & supports animal abuse, the very simple action of us continuing to live and exist inevitably ties into the great web of speciesism in one way or another. It is important for us all to admit it, without doing so we cannot move past square one. We cannot hope to progress without first addressing our own demons. It's no different to being sexist or racist, every single one of us is both of these too whether we choose to deny it or not. However we have a choice whether to continue the path we were born on, or affect change within our own lives in an effort to fight that which lays within first. We will never totally be free of it, however we can try our hardest to continually fight it where humanly possible.

To deny that the consumer is mostly responsible for animal abuse is to deny that there is a problem all together. It denies that humans are responsible, it shifts simply shifts the blame to the anonymous 'other'. Fighting production which comes from the inevitable demand, is akin to pissing on a bush to stop a fire storm. It's not effective. This is the conclusion I have come to after nearly 30 years and countless action. I've watched people come and go in the movement, friends (myself included) begin to inevitably grey and wrinkle, I've watched as our numbers of active activists has fallen whilst the number of meat eaters has increased in proportion. And from it I've realised that we have spent 30 years, nearly a third of a century wasting our time. What do we have to show for 30 years of action? Whilst we've been putting bricks through the windows of peoples cars, rescuing a the odd chicken here and there, and lighting the odd fire we've constantly failed to capitalise. It is only with hindsight & introspection that I say these things. Whilst we've been pissing on bushes to stop the fire, more fuel has subsequently grown, and the fire has gotten larger and larger. You yourself admit "11,000 new meateaters being born every single day in the U.S. alone", how does our attacking a building or threatening Brian Cass combat this? 11,000 potential enemies are born each day. If Hitler had had that on his side we'd all be up shit creek right now. Blaming other entities for these peoples desire for meat is nonsense pure and simple. They were born speciesist and they'll live a speciesist lifestyle. For as far back as humans have been crafting sticks with pointy ends we've been eating flesh, let us not deny that first and foremost. This consumption of flesh began in a time before the concept of capitalism thus to assume that the producers are creating the demand is somewhat silly when the demand has always . The consumption of meat is being passed from parents to their children, parents consuming flesh in front of their children normalise such actions and reinforce the internal thoughts that speciesism is acceptable. Against I ask, how does torching an abattoir or cutting the fences of a boar farm break this cycle of consumption and demand being passed from parent to child?

Before you jump to assumptions that I'm a pacifist I do support direct action, however these days unfortunately to a certain degree one must play the devils advocate in order to provoke debate and response. It's sad that it boils down to this, but many these days are unwilling to engage in debate unless someone rattles the cage a little. It's healthy to debate and argue, it stops the rot from setting in. We've been stagnating within a self imposed cage we need a paradigm shift, and we need it fast. I agree that we have limited time to act, I stated in my post that the rainforest will be non-existent in 20 years or so, and in the grander scheme the climate royally fucked in 40. With such little time to act it is imperative that we engage in action yes, however it must be actions that work, if they don't... we're fucked basically. We have no room for mistakes, the slightest miscalculation and its goodnight and goodbye.

In my lifetime we've already wasted 30 years, time passes so quickly. In another 30 I'll be 76... heck might not even be alive then to see whether we succeeded or whether we failed. We can't waste more years on actions that might not work, we need solid answers. We need to debate specifics, what has failed, what has succeeded, what actually constitutes a victory, how much time we have, and how we're going to utilise what little time we have.

Without getting the majority of people on our side our fight is simply futile, it doesn't take a great insight to realise this. Does smacking Brian Cass (whilst satisfying for ones anger) actually attract people to the movement or does it repel them? If it repels them we create more problems, more enemies, more issues to deal with, thus greater division of our potential time, thus higher chance of failure.

I must confess Camille if I may use your first name, I do admire your determination. The movement was once full of people like you, however with my own eyes i've seen them leave, they had families, distractions, they frittered their time, and eventually they basically left. They gave up their internal struggle against speciesism, let their demons defeat them, and despite my desire to still seek friendship with them I have to admit to myself that they now constitute part of the problem, one of those who fights against us as an inevitable consequence of their personal choices and actions. Thus Camille and everyone else who reading these posts how do we address the problems of people leaving the movement, how to we get more people involved as opposed to appearing cultish or like a clique, and how do we move forwards from the rot and stagnation that has plagued the movement?

I apologise if the post was too long, but I felt it necessary.

A vegan

Some of my anger was misdirected; I hope you will excuse me

30.12.2009 16:59


I appreciate your thoughtful post and I respect your honesty. I will respond appropriately as soon as I can give you my attention.

But first I need to apologize to those of you I offended.

I make no excuses. I was wrong. But I want you to understand that I hear the EXACT same ideas being promoted from every corner of the movement with increasing frequency.. I understand that in Europe, militants are the norm. In the US, we have welfarists and pacifists, as well as a few scattered radicals.

I know that it is difficult to see through my eyes when you have never even heard o Francione. But I'm asking you to try. I want every single activist to be aware, engaged, and defiant. Every single day there are more valuable individuals succumbing, swallowing a placebo, and becoming marginalized. We need to be rallying each other, not silencing each other.. It kills me that our movement is infected by a specific single-issue fundamentalist ideology.

We are activists. Identifying and addressing problems is what we do. And this movement, at least in the U.S., has a serious problem.

But, again, I apologize for my behavior.


Camille Marino
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Great article

30.12.2009 17:10

As always Camille has written a thought provoking and passionate article with some great contributions in the comments section.
In my view many activists are never going to be revolutionaries. If all someone can do is make cup cakes such as someone who has been through a 3 month trail and is severely depressed then I see nought wrong in that especially if they give me some!!. What we need primarily is solidarity with one another, honest and frank debate about our differences/tactics/etc, hope for without that we are doomed and above all the will to fight bloody hard.

Regarding violence, quite frankly we are not violent enough. I don't mean frothing at the mouth screaming "scum" at someone eating a McDonalds, nor do I mean grabbing some guns and shooting vivisectors. I mean a disciplined and appropriate use of force when it is necessary.

This year alone like many activists I have been punched, kicked and arrested for nothing on a number of occasions by animal abusers and police officers although I have offered no violence or even verbal abuse myself. It would be stupid to hit back in some cases, but for goodness sake I am thick enough to report violence which if it is against us or those we seek to defend is always ignored. In many cases we need to hit back hard, why should we accept being punched or driven at at a circus demo and then allow ourselves to be portrayed as violent? We need to be intelligent about it but many really nasty people do need to be taught a lesson. AND this is a problem we are not really violent but the public perceives us to be violent and animal abusers as non violent which is how the state has cracked down as it always will against threats to profits.

We have been a threat to capitalism and I agree that the quest for profit and the commodification of life i.e capitalism is our enemy.
For millennia animals (and I include humans) have been treated as chattels. Justification from the Judeo/Christian/Islamic mindset has made its way into human consciousness that it is a "fact" that humans are all little deities, used to just be white men but now we can all feel good about being top of the food chain, apparently.

We are challenging this myth, after all the argument that we were handmade by God and given the Earth 4500 years ago has been dis-proven, taking away peoples' toys and making them feel guilty. Many people quite frankly just want to get on with their lives and do not want to hear about how what they do kills others and the planet; we are the bearers of bad news, deprivation, change and making an effort it is easy for politicians to lambaste us as extremists and come up with toothless laws which do nothing to really stop animal abuse.

What do we do? No idea but to do what others have done through the ages ... keep the flame of resistance burning and remember unlike those who went before we do not face being burnt at the stake or have our fingernails ripped out. The vast majority of actions are part of this spirit of resistance, we can not unlearn what we have learned,we have to keep going but not give in to despair or apathy.

Lynn Sawyer

negativism of old burnt-out activists

30.12.2009 17:21

Reply to "a vegan": I'm assuming you are genuine as you don't seem like a troll. I've been in the animal rights movement quite a long time and my experience has been that there are always a few old-timers who moan about how things aren't as good as they were back in the day, etc. etc. That's just because they are taking a back seat and don't see what is going on at the coalface.

Positive criticism is all very well, but when it becomes negativism it can be damaging. There is lots of great inspiring stuff being done for animal rights all the time, all round the world, both illegal and legal. I am very optimistic with how things are going. But there's always room for more, so if you feel vegan outreach is better for you than direct action, go for it, I'm fully supportive.

No-one ever thought animal rights would happen overnight, it is a long process, but we are slowly getting there with each generation. Animal abuse is highly entrenched in society, so it's no wonder it feels like a hard slog fighting it.

Just think back 20 or 30 years and how you had to go to obscure health food shops for soya milk. Now every supermarket and corner shop sells gallons of it! That's just one measure of how things have changed.



30.12.2009 17:24

Oh dear, we have a nihilist. "all humans are all bad. we can't help it, we are born racist, sexist and speciesist".

What a load of bollocks. You maybe, some others also. That doesn't make the entire human race as pathetic and worthless as you.

Vegan? Somehow I doubt it

Uncle ALF

anon and uncle alf

30.12.2009 21:25


"No-one ever thought animal rights would happen overnight, it is a long process, but we are slowly getting there with each generation." It's all well and good saying we're making progress one generation after another... however animal rights isn't just about animal rights. This is the rot that plagues us, this thinking of independence when we should be seeking closer ties with other radical movements. We're on a delicate tipping point, I'm sure everyone's aware that the planet cannot continue to support the raping of resources indefinitely, the rate of devastation of the rainforests around the world is accelerating, in Canada they're ripping up the landscape in order to get at the tar sands in an effort to feed the dependence upon oil, in South America indigenous peoples, their homes, and the animals which share the landscape are being swept away by the blades of encroaching bulldozers hoping to get at deposits of copper and iron. In another couple of generations time, there isn't going to be anything left to save. It will all be bare earth, concrete, and glass. Interspersed with oil palm plantations. We all want animals to thrive and exist in their natural habitats, am I right? If we destroy them, where exactly are they supposed to go? Refugee camps? Some would call these zoos.

We need to stop this thinking of we'll make progress generation after generation, it is stagnation. I'm sure you recognise that the ecosystems of this planet which support the animals we wish to save do not have the luxury of waiting for another 3 or 4 generations. They'll be gone by then. What pray do tell will be left for us to save?

"Just think back 20 or 30 years and how you had to go to obscure health food shops for soya milk. Now every supermarket and corner shop sells gallons of it! That's just one measure of how things have changed" This too is not change, that is capitalism reinforcing it's grip upon the individual. It is not a victory and it is not progress, it is the very thing that abolitionists warn us about. Not to fall into the trap of believing that changing capitalism will result in the victories which we desire. Large agro-companies and multinational supermarkets having a strangle hold over the food supply is a further erosion of what we are fighting against. By buying your soya milk from a supermarket you are actively participating in the web of consumerism that drives and facilitates speciesism. The money you spend in Tesco/Asda/Sainsburys on soya milk all goes towards the collective profits of the company which are inevitably fed back into the death trade. We must not shy away from acknowledging this.

@ uncle ALF

It's not called nihilism, it's called realism. All humans are inherently speciesist/sexist/racist by virtue of their existence and participation within the capitalist paradigm. Capitalism is discrimination, make no mistake about it. You don't have to be a marxist or even a hardcore anarchist to realise this. By virtue of your existence within the capitalist system, you as a consequence of your actions inevitably fund and facilitate speciesism/sexism/racism. You, me, every user on Indymedia, and all the citizens of this country and others are cogs in the great big murder machine. It is not a personal attack against you, it's merely the realistic truth. Once you accept that you are a part of the system until such a time the system is destroyed, then and only then can you affect change within yourself and ultimately others.

You need to look beyond anger, and try self reflection in order to understand your place. Once you know your position within the great machine you can begin to sabotage it.

Again I reiterate, everyone on earth is inherently speciesist/sexist/racist by virtue of their existence within the capitalist system. There are 3 ways to escape this fate... 1) living an entirely subsistence lifestyle away from 'civilisation' and completely free from the products of capitalism, 2) smashing capitalism in its entirety thus removing oneself and hopefully others from the systemic abuse, or 3) ultimately killing oneself (not exactly the most popular option). So what will it be uncle ALF? Are you going to keep denying that you are yet another cog in the murder machine? Are you going to deny that you yourself are ultimately a part of the system that you so despise? Or do you accept that you have a role in it all, however one which you can hope to sabotage?

Doubt whether I'm vegan all you like, your approval or disapproval of what I say does not change the fact that I am one.

We need to look beyond the anger.

A vegan

@a vegan

31.12.2009 00:17

"It's all well and good saying we're making progress one generation after another... however animal rights isn't just about animal rights"

No one ever said it was, we all realise animal rights, human rights, environmentalism are all interlinked.

"I'm sure you recognise that the ecosystems of this planet which support the animals we wish to save do not have the luxury of waiting for another 3 or 4 generations. They'll be gone by then."

I think humans will die out long before the ecosystem dies out. Humans are just a small blip on the Earth's radar. But either way, change is slow but may speed up as the urgency of the problems becomes more apparent to people in general. You don't have a magic solution to achieving animal liberation overnight, so we all keep doing whatever it is we feel is effective.

"[re: supermarkets selling soya milk] This too is not change, that is capitalism reinforcing it's grip upon the individual. It is not a victory and it is not progress"

That's why I said it was a measure of how things have changed. We all know supermarkets are scum but the point is that the fact they sell so much soya milk is a sign that there is a much increased demand for it. That is a good sign.

Fuck me but you're a depressive negative Nellie! I'm not sure how your energy-sapping pessimism is helping anything at all.


Lots of words

01.01.2010 17:38

Lots and lots of words.
In 2007,8 and 9 there were only words as those who acted were rounded up and imprisioned.
Lets see who wishes to test the boundry between words and actions in 2010.

Word count