A Statement from the NIO Editorial Collective
When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.
We all watch, as investigation after investigation demonstrates the gratuitous torture routinely visited upon imprisoned nonhuman animals. Each time we think we see the worst of human barbarity, a new tape reveals another depth of depravity that embraces even greater sadism and evil. As the endless images and sounds of torment and suffering become integrated into the society of the spectacle in which we are taught to be passive, not active, many consumers, not producers of our own lives and society, grow numb and tune out. Others mechanically issue the same press releases, tepid denunciations, and meaningless petitions, pleading to politicians and bureaucrats to provide stiffer penalties for the most overt acts of torture inflicted on nonhuman animals within the inherently oppressive conditions engineered by humans.
Sometimes, however, the evil is so horrific that people, starved for change, are aroused and an irrepressible anger burns stirring them to action in the street. This happened with Michael Vick and could have been a turning point for the animal protection movement, but sadly was not. For, perversely, once this unconscionable killer had been transformed into a sympathetic figure and crusader for the animals by Wayne Pacelle and H$U$, a“rehabilitated” Vick returned to his professional football career, his million-dollar fortunes, and has since collected countless rewards and accolades.
The animal protection movement lost an important opportunity with the Vick case, but another opportunity to resuscitate a movement flatlined with fear, complacency, opportunism, and collaborationism came with the recent expose of atrocities at the Conklin Dairy Concentration Camp in Ohio. Shot by Mercy for Animals, the tape took the media and internet by storm and some of the most horrific images captured on tape prompted wails of grief, sorrow, disgust, and anger. As a result, large segments of our community reached a breaking point and are finally saying “ENOUGH“!!! One of the first calls to break with petitions, politicians, and business as usual and to ratchet up resistance to an appropriate level came from renowned vegan educator, Gary Yourofsky. In a widely circulated open letter to the animal rights movement, he declared:
“I am asking everyone who cares about justice and injustice to bring bolt cutters, bats, crowbars, pitchforks, hammers and wrenches to help destroy every piece of equipment the farm has, and tear down the sheds. Even as a pacifist, you CAN do this. Dr. King and Gandhi were RADICAL LAW-BREAKERS who CONSTANTLY BROKE UNJUST LAWS. I am not asking you to harm anyone if it is NOT in you to harm someone … although those who wish to will have my FULL SUPPORT. Also, you might want to bring a weapon or be prepared to use the device you bring to protect yourself (SELF-DEFENSE) from Conklin, his violent cohorts and the police department. Whatever you are comfortable with.”
The depraved indifference of sadists cannot be mediated by signing petitions, orderly protests, or even laws, given the corporate domination of the state. Laws exist to facilitate capitalism, protect corporate interests, and ensure that the flesh and blood of commodified beings will remain a main fuel for an insatiable economy organized around growth and profit. Laws serve the oppressors, never the oppressed, and they are passed to foster the illusion of protection and “animal “welfare” that depends on responsible government-industry monitoring.