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SHAC7 Trailer

SHAC 7 Trailer from Sparrow Media on Vimeo.

I credit Will Potter as the catalyst for shifting my focus away from critiques of other activists and activist groups (particularly his post, "While the Government Continues Attacks on Activists, Animal Rights Groups Protest Each Other" back in 2008). I'm not saying that criticism of PETA, or any other group, isn't warranted. And there certainly are some loud voices doing that criticizing. But when our First Amendment rights have been diminished as an activist group and we're being unfairly targeted and called "terrorists" and not afforded equal protection, it feels strange to protest against other vegans. Despite the fact that I don't necessarily disagree with some of the criticism, I simply can't get behind the endless vegan versus vegan debates when we are all the same to the government.

But that's me.

If you're in NYC on March 23, support "Muzzling A Movement" at my alma mater, New York University at 7pm (presented by the NYU Student Animal Legal Defense Fund).

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. I doubt the government (or more specifically, law enforcement) would see me as more or less the same as, say, Steve Best (if they had any idea that I existed). I think that’s true in most cases of so-called “pacifists” like me compared to people who promote and engage in illegal direct action.

    As for aboveground versus underground criticism, I have to observations:

    1) The underground is far more antagonistic, angry, and hatful against the aboveground than the aboveground is against the underground. The aboveground simply expresses its rational opposition to illegal activities (as an aboveground sector would normally do). The underground engages in hateful, angry name-calling and ridiculing against aboveground individuals (as an underground sector would normally NOT bother to do).

    2) It is positively bizarre and dysfunctional to have an underground sector that spends so much of its time and energy begging and pleading with the aboveground for public approbation and getting so angry and abusive when the opposite happens. Even if having an underground were a good thing (and I believe it is not), a minimally functional underground would quietly go about its monkey business and not care one iota what the aboveground thinks of it. There would never be any engagement from the underground because they’d realize how silly and useless it is to appeal to the aboveground for approval or criticize the aboveground for expressing its disapproval.

    March 10, 2010
  2. P.S. — I did not mean to imply in my first paragraph above that Steve Best engages in illegal direct action. Yes, he promotes it like Walmart promotes everyday low prices, but from a standpoint of legal consequences, there is a big difference between promoting certain activity and engaging in it, and as far as I know, Best denies the latter.

    March 10, 2010
  3. John #

    One of the reasons the current system allows things to happen is because… guessed it! It's legal!! It's legal to slaughter animals for food, it's legal to slaughter them for a coat, a hat, a pair of shoes, it's legal to use them for entertainment purposes. Morally wrong in a vegan's mind? Of course! But hey, it's legal so should we do something to fight that wrong that may be construed as being illegal? I think it comes down to a personal decision.
    So basically, society put together a bunch of laws, rules, regulations and said this and that is legal and you will be offered the protection to perform these things. If someone tries to forcefully stop or threaten you from doing these things we will call that illegal and that person or persons will suffer the punishment that we deem necessary.
    A country can bomb a village, kill civilians along with the "bad guys," offer up an apology and perhaps pay out some $$$ to the surviving family members and call it legal. Who's the terrorists? A well paid scientist poking needles in a helpless animal trying to figure out why a certain detergent causes skin allergies in humans. Who's the terrorists?
    I don't agree will all the laws, rules and regulations and I wasn't always allowed to vote for them or voice my opinion over them. Do I obey them to avoid punishment? Most of them yes. For the others who are willing to take the risk and possibly serve time because of their utmost passion in wanting to be a voice for the voiceless I take my hat off to them.
    As far as vegans disagreeing and debating over what is the right or wrong way to go about ending the exploitation of animals..that is a waste of time.

    March 10, 2010
  4. I applaud ALF and Bite Back. Rescuing animals from laboratories, slaughter houses, fur farms, and factory farms is illegal. Torturing animals is legal. Who are the real terrorists? As far as vegans fighting other vegans, I, personally am thrilled when I meet a vegetarian and ecstatic when I meet a vegan as there are so few of us, so in fighting is ludricous. We all want the same thing – to end the exploitation of all beings.

    March 11, 2010
  5. Dan #

    Constructive criticism: When advocates disagree with each other and state clearly and unequivocally why they disagree without juvenile pranks, name-calling, and personal attacks.

    In-fighting: When advocates engage in juvenile pranks, name-calling, and personal attacks, such as “cult follower”, “Franciombie”, and “worshipper” instead of addressing the points of fact and reason in a calm, thoughtful manner.

    I’m all for constructive criticism. I’m against in-fighting.

    Intelligent, peaceful vegan education is the only road to justice. Align means and ends. Go vegan and encourage others to do so.

    March 11, 2010
  6. babble #

    Oh, I'm largely done with trying to reach any of the committed, on either side, here. If there's an actual underground, as Dan correctly points out, it's not engaged in endless argument with the "aboveground." That said, the aboveground has better things to do, honestly. The whole thing gets magnified – massively – by the online echo chamber that results in a fairly small number of people running into each other again and again and again. It makes the whole thing seem much more than it actually is, I'm more than willing to bet.

    March 13, 2010
  7. Babble wrote: "The whole thing gets magnified – massively – by the online echo chamber that results in a fairly small number of people running into each other again and again and again. It makes the whole thing seem much more than it actually is…"

    True dat.

    March 14, 2010
  8. I agree, Tricia. The animals suffering and dying right now in slaughterhouses, vivisection labs, and other places of horror can't wait until legal slavery and murder is banned, they want liberation now. The selfless underground activists who put their liberty on the line to save the lives of other animals should be applauded.

    Recommended reading:

    "You Don't Support the ALF Because Why"–Support%20ALF.htm

    March 14, 2010
  9. babble #

    Brandon: That's perhaps a fair point, but it MISSES what I think is the actual point: an extended pissing contest between [this faction] and [that faction] who argue endlessly over the abstract question (or the set of them, if you rather) doesn't really have anything to do with promoting, or working on either strategy.

    I accept that there's an underground that's doing things I wouldn't do. They're not asking for my permission, and they don't care in the least that I have some ethical and some practical objections to things like property destruction, and they probably don't NEED to care. I accept all of that.

    The sum total of THAT discussion is happening in a completely disconnected, abstract way that in the end doesn't have anything to do with anything. It's not going to change pacifists like me who object to violence on moral grounds, and it's not going to change the actions of the *actual* underground who are *doing* things like lab liberations…instead of merely arguing about them online.

    March 17, 2010
  10. Since lawbreaking for nonhuman animals will continue until justice is won, I believe animal rights advocates should support (or at a minimum, not condemn) such actions. I would hope that if humans were the victims, everyone would support any means necessary to stop threats to innocent life; it's speciesist to deny the same consideration to other animals. Pacifist legalism is the death of the movement.

    Another article worth reading on this issue:

    "Beyond Pacifism" by Daniel Peyser

    March 18, 2010
  11. "I simply can't get behind the endless vegan versus vegan debates when we are all the same to the government."

    Well said, Mary.

    March 18, 2010

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