Animal Rights: Where the action is?

211 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 19:12
Animal Rights: Where the action is?

I post this as both a vegan and a socialist.

But it seems to me that there is infinitely more militancy and passion in the animal rights movement today than there is in the anti-capitalist Left, at least in North America and Britain. Surely there is a reason why the Animal Liberation Front, and not some modern day Weather Underground, is regarded as the nation's top domestic terrorism threat. Surely there is a reason why, when the FBI employs COINTELPRO-like tactics, they are most often aimed at the animal rights movement (or the radical environmental movement), as opposed to the anti-war movement.

Why do you think this is?

Is it because radicals increasingly see relieving the plight of animals in factory farms more pressing than relieving the plight of proletarians in urban ghettos? Is it because the totalitarian experience of the Soviet Union has temporarily poisoned the well of socialism?

I ask these questions not looking for a debate of the merits of the causes in question. Be respectful.

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
May 23 2010 19:15

I am not sure about the animal rights movement in Britain being more passionate than the anti-capitalist left?

juozokas's picture
juozokas
Offline
Joined: 5-11-07
May 23 2010 19:19

alienation and a little misanthropy

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 19:27

Well the British animal rights movement is generally regarded as more radical than its American counterpart.

After all, it was in England where a Huntingdon Life and Science CEO was attacked outside his home with pick-axe handles and CS gas. It was in England that animal rights militant Barry Horne went on a prison hunger strike that led to his death.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
May 23 2010 19:27
Hughes wrote:
Surely there is a reason why the Animal Liberation Front, and not some modern day Weather Underground, is regarded as the nation's top domestic terrorism threat.

because they're the most prone to arson?

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 19:28
juozokas wrote:
alienation and a little misanthropy

Right. That's what I was hoping to avoid.

no1
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
May 23 2010 19:48

The militant AR people you talk about always remind me of the anti-abortion movement. Both are fueled by alienation, and the lack of a deeper materialist analysis of society and social change, the lack of an understanding of class struggle push them ultimately towards terrorism. I don't see what they have in common with genuine anti-capitalist/socialist/communist tendencies, which may be small but at least relate to concrete material needs of large sections of society.

piter
Offline
Joined: 30-06-08
May 23 2010 19:54

don't know for Britain or the US but in France the communist movement is still stronger than the animal right movement. and no less militant or passionate.

some defenders of animal rights are a bit (or a lot for some) misanthropic but it seems that it cannot be said of Hughes since he present himself as being also a socialist, and wants to discuss with us. so please show some respect...

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
May 23 2010 20:27
Hughes wrote:
Well the British animal rights movement is generally regarded as more radical than its American counterpart.

After all, it was in England where a Huntingdon Life and Science CEO was attacked outside his home with pick-axe handles and CS gas. It was in England that animal rights militant Barry Horne went on a prison hunger strike that led to his death.

I don't think this type of action benefits the working class. Infact the route taken by some of these british zealots is completely a dead end one. Although I understand their concerns I don't think don't this crazy shit is gonna further their cause. Like most groups and struggles that turn to violence as an answer they will get repressed the fuck out of and as revol68 says get infiltrated by loads of informants and spies.

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 20:32

Again, I was not intending to start a debate on the relative merits of socialism and animal rights. Having interviewed Noam Chomsky, written for Z Magazine and the Industrial Worker, I believe my socialist street-cred stacks up to, or exceeds, many of yours.

But the hostility that is attracted merely by bringing up the topic seems to suggest that not only is my initial thesis correct (AR is more militant), but its a sore spot for a jealous, traditional Left.

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
May 23 2010 20:35
Hughes wrote:
Again, I was not intending to start a debate on the relative merits of socialism and animal rights. Having interviewed Noam Chomsky, written for Z Magazine and the Industrial Worker, I believe my socialist street-cred stacks up to, or exceeds, many of yours.

But the hostility that is attracted merely by bringing up the topic seems to suggest that not only is my initial thesis correct (AR is more militant), but its a sore spot for a jealous, traditional Left.

So the fact you interviewed good old Chomsky and have done other stuff means you can slag us off for having differing opinions? AR is maybe more militant in your eyes, but militancy aint all about physical violence and stupid violence. Im not jealous of those arseholes they can go shag sheep.

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
Offline
Joined: 27-07-07
May 23 2010 20:36

In the 50s and 60s in the U.S. they used to say if you wanted to find an F.B.I. agent just go to a Communist Party meeting. Today the same would be true if you said to go to an A.L.F. cell meeting.

How many of the Green Scare busts were stings instigated by infiltrators? 75%? 50%? Less?

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 20:37
allybaba wrote:
Hughes wrote:
Well the British animal rights movement is generally regarded as more radical than its American counterpart.

After all, it was in England where a Huntingdon Life and Science CEO was attacked outside his home with pick-axe handles and CS gas. It was in England that animal rights militant Barry Horne went on a prison hunger strike that led to his death.

I don't think this type of action benefits the working class. Infact the route taken by some of these british zealots is completely a dead end one. Although I understand their concerns I don't think don't this crazy shit is gonna further their cause. Like most groups and struggles that turn to violence as an answer they will get repressed the fuck out of and as revol68 says get infiltrated by loads of informants and spies.

Whether such actions are tactically beneficial is a different question. One could make a similar point regarding Alexander Berkman's attempt to kill Henry Clay Frick. But, right or wrong, such actions are generally reflective of a movement-wide growth in militancy, are they not? That was the point I was trying to make with the examples you quote.

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 20:39

I'm not slagging anyone off for having differing opinions. I was merely responding to a number of incredibly hostile posts which seemed to suggest I was some kind of crazed misanthrope totally removed from "real" Leftist politics.

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
May 23 2010 20:42

Obviously your a clever guy and all, but I didn't like your condencending tone so sorry if my response was abit snappy I realise now that response may not have been aimed at me embarrassed but anyway. Maybe you are right about militancy, but I think its not all about violence. Striking and go slows are more affective than propaganda by the deed which Berkman tried to no avail. I didn't think you were crazed btw.

piter
Offline
Joined: 30-06-08
May 23 2010 20:47
Quote:
One could make a similar point regarding Alexander Berkman's attempt to kill Henry Clay Frick. But, right or wrong, such actions are generally reflective of a movement-wide growth in militancy, are they not?

not necessarily at all. it also can be a result of despair and absence of perspective (in the case of the AR actions you mention I think it is absence of perspective).
and yes more violence is not more militancy. often more violence is less militancy. disdain for the goal of convincing and growing a large scale movement.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
May 23 2010 20:51
Hughes wrote:
Again, I was not intending to start a debate on the relative merits of socialism and animal rights. Having interviewed Noam Chomsky, written for Z Magazine and the Industrial Worker, I believe my socialist street-cred stacks up to, or exceeds, many of yours.

But the hostility that is attracted merely by bringing up the topic seems to suggest that not only is my initial thesis correct (AR is more militant), but its a sore spot for a jealous, traditional Left.

Who cares about street cred unless you want a pissing contest. Equally I don't think that people on libcom are 'jealous' for the most part they've recognised that alienated propaganda by deed style actions are largely ineffective and give the state an excuse to crack down on all dissent (and as has also been mentioned they are heavily infiltrated)

Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
Offline
Joined: 2-10-06
May 23 2010 21:00

Pretty much what revol said. Also, petty crime (arson, assault, etc) like what ALF/ELF people do requires less large-scale coordination and cooperation than working-class struggle, so it's easier to accomplish. And it's also much easier for the police to get a conviction out of, so they're more likely to publicize their capture.

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 21:02

The street-cred phrase was a joke. For all I know, you're all very active outside the internet. Assuming you were armchair class warriors, who only talked tough when preaching to an electronic choir, was wrong.

But, again, in mentioning my history, I was merely responding to a number of incredibly hostile posts which seemed to suggest I was some kind of crazed misanthrope totally removed from "real" Leftist politics.

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 21:16
piter wrote:
Quote:
One could make a similar point regarding Alexander Berkman's attempt to kill Henry Clay Frick. But, right or wrong, such actions are generally reflective of a movement-wide growth in militancy, are they not?

often more violence is less militancy. disdain for the goal of convincing and growing a large scale movement.

It could, but I don't think this is so in the case of the animal rights movement. The modern ARM, which is fewer than 40 years old, could be called the fastest growing political force today.

All of this, again, is not to suggest that terrorism or economic sabotage is an effective tactic. After all, capitalists are merely fulfilling a consumer demand by exploiting animals. Capitalists would be just as happy selling bananas as they would chickens if there was no difference in profit.

Boris Badenov
Offline
Joined: 25-08-08
May 23 2010 21:18
Hughes wrote:
The modern ARM, which is fewer than 40 years old, could be called the fastest growing political force today.

any specific sources to support this claim?

Wellclose Square
Offline
Joined: 9-05-08
May 23 2010 21:22

This was shit 27 years ago, and in my 'self-styled anarchist' phase I couldn't understand why groups like Class War (ok, I was young and naive) pandered to this subculture that aligned itself with anarchism. Cr@ss, the superiority complex, 'Meat Means Murder' (tell me about it - I'm mourning the loss of our chickens to the foxes), the kudos which seemed to be attached to this form of activism, the uniform (combat gear and lots of black and green), the creation of a whole 'right on' milieu (the self-righteous brothers and sisters) who hated people so much most of them got employed in the 'caring' professions so they could continue to boss people about and be superior while still cultivating their radical, elitist pretensions. Fuck off. I say, 'Meat Means Dinner' (especially, I fear, for the foxes...).

Nyarlathotep's picture
Nyarlathotep
Offline
Joined: 26-04-10
May 23 2010 21:23
no1 wrote:
The militant AR people you talk about always remind me of the anti-abortion movement. Both are fueled by alienation, and the lack of a deeper materialist analysis of society and social change, the lack of an understanding of class struggle push them ultimately towards terrorism. I don't see what they have in common with genuine anti-capitalist/socialist/communist tendencies, which may be small but at least relate to concrete material needs of large sections of society.

Yes, believing that sentient beings should not be tortured for the purpose of capitalist commodity production is exactly like believing women should be denied access to basic medical procedures by the state. wall

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 21:24
Vlad336 wrote:
Hughes wrote:
The modern ARM, which is fewer than 40 years old, could be called the fastest growing political force today.

any specific sources to support this claim?

Depending on one's philosophical approach, most trace the origins of the modern Animal Rights movement to the publication of Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" in 1975 or Tom Regan's "The Case for Animal Rights" in 1983.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Nyarlathotep
Offline
Joined: 26-04-10
May 23 2010 21:26
revol68 wrote:
it should hardly be surprising that a movement with a higher degree of moralistic hysterical highly strung misanthropic lunatics would be more likely to do idiotic knee jerk shit.
allybaba wrote:
I don't think this type of action benefits the working class. [...] Like most groups and struggles that turn to violence as an answer [...]

Kind of like what the social-fascists in Germany said about Marinus van der Lubbe or anyone else who actually took a principled stand of resistance against Nazi barbarism

jooball
Offline
Joined: 23-05-10
May 23 2010 21:31

Some thirty years ago I was a leading light in animal rights activism. That was until my partner and I had a severely disabled child. They ran like rats from a sinking ship. Couldn't give a fuck about our suffering and the issues we faced as a family of a child with severe disabilitiies. To say I was cheesed off is an understatement. These people take the moral high ground whilst unable to deal with the real issues. I'm not saying animals don't have rights but it's very easy to attach yourself to these ideals whilst flailing around with the real issues connected to your fellow human beings. Its easy going sabbing once a week and following a vegan diet and looking down on everyone else. Get real. Twenty one years on we're still caring for our disabled son and where are our animal rights friends now - certainly not fighting the battles we have had to fight for our son's rights to a decent life. Much easier raiding the odd vivisection lab.

Boris Badenov
Offline
Joined: 25-08-08
May 23 2010 21:32
Hughes wrote:
Vlad336 wrote:
Hughes wrote:
The modern ARM, which is fewer than 40 years old, could be called the fastest growing political force today.

any specific sources to support this claim?

Depending on one's philosophical approach, most trace the origins of the modern Animal Rights movement to the publication of Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" in 1975 or Tom Regan's "The Case for Animal Rights" in 1983.

What I meant was on what do you base the assertion that the ARM is "the fastest growing political force today"?

jooball
Offline
Joined: 23-05-10
May 23 2010 21:33

If you were in the same room as us we would have punched you. Our son is sitting on the sofa blowing raspberries. How vulnerable is that??? Animal rights? couldn't care less.

Hughes's picture
Hughes
Offline
Joined: 21-05-10
May 23 2010 21:33
Wellclose Square wrote:
This was shit 27 years ago, and in my 'self-styled anarchist' phase I couldn't understand why groups like Class War (ok, I was young and naive) pandered to this subculture that aligned itself with anarchism. Cr@ss, the superiority complex, 'Meat Means Murder' (tell me about it - I'm mourning the loss of our chickens to the foxes), the kudos which seemed to be attached to this form of activism, the uniform (combat gear and lots of black and green), the creation of a whole 'right on' milieu (the self-righteous brothers and sisters) who hated people so much most of them got employed in the 'caring' professions so they could continue to boss people about and be superior while still cultivating their radical, elitist pretensions. Fuck off. I say, 'Meat Means Dinner' (especially, I fear, for the foxes...).

I mean this with respect, but your comment betrays a deep ignorance of, and unwillingness to engage with, animal rights philosophy. It reads like Glenn Beck bloviating against "socialism" as defined by Joseph Stalin.

Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
Offline
Joined: 2-10-06
May 23 2010 21:35
Nyarlathotep wrote:
no1 wrote:
The militant AR people you talk about always remind me of the anti-abortion movement. Both are fueled by alienation, and the lack of a deeper materialist analysis of society and social change, the lack of an understanding of class struggle push them ultimately towards terrorism. I don't see what they have in common with genuine anti-capitalist/socialist/communist tendencies, which may be small but at least relate to concrete material needs of large sections of society.

Yes, believing that sentient beings should not be tortured for the purpose of capitalist commodity production is exactly like believing women should be denied access to basic medical procedures by the state. wall

I remember an animal right's activist around here basically admitting this; he was going to add a sarcastic comparison of Right to Life with Animal Liberation, but it hit too close to home.

Yes, people who think fetuses are people are a lot like people who think that animals are people. Not because these are identical issues but because it attracts the same kind of moral hysteria.

jooball
Offline
Joined: 23-05-10
May 23 2010 21:42

You know what? Fuck off! Last word. (for Obi wanker nobi)

admin - no flaming. This is a warning.