by Camille Marino
We have many dedicated activists in this movement who have made major strides toward animal liberation. We have many successful campaigns. We have many groups of activists from whom we can learn a lot.
But we have far more people who are simply here for the social club. Let them do what they do, but understand that they will not help us fight this war.
The Mainstream Vegan Community is Incapable of Resistance
A lot of activists are beginning to understand that if we wait for vegans to mobilize and act, we will remain catatonic. This community is largely composed of privileged whites who are far too comfortable to understand or concern themselves with the world outside. While the animals are dying, they impress one another with intellectual debates about inconsequential minutia. I hope the animals are as impressed as I am by the big words they use.
Only a vegan who has never experienced exploitation, oppression or violence is content to debate theories about animal liberation while the animals keep dying. It’s an enjoyable pastime.
Only an insulated vegan who has never gone hungry a day in their lives, can be pretentious enough to chastise impoverished peoples for subsistence hunting from the sanctity of their four-bedroom home. While the animals keep dying, some appear fixated on an unattainable purist ideal and exclusivity.
Elitist vegans know nothing about fighting to survive. Yet they pretend to be warring for radical change online from their recliners. Do they even understand why we’re all here?
The Mainstream Population Only Cares About that Which the TV Advises
The mainstream vegan community is a microcosm of mainstream society. They have lived an existence far too insulated and/or privileged to understand struggle and they are comfortably apathetic. Roughly 75% of this country’s population is white and people of color comprise 90% of the prison industrial complex; homeless people sleep in gutters outside middle-class homes; unseen children go to bed and wake up hungry every day in every state; to save a few pennies, we enthusiastically buy commodities produced by children and slave labor from impoverished foreign countries; and racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination remain systemic and institutionalized – albeit largely unnoticed… it’s easier to pretend we’re all equal. Oppression and exploitation are inextricably woven into the fabric of our culture but it is too inconvenient for most to acknowledge.
Let’s accept the reality in which we operate. We are in a war to save lives and the animals are doomed if we focus on changing “hearts and minds.” We’re not going to make complacent vegans into activists and we’re not going make the rest of society give a damn.
The compliant herd-like masses are mindless. Their thoughts, beliefs, and desires have been instilled in them by the corporate-industrial puppeteers. The collective social consciousness is relentlessly manipulated by all facets of conventional society. Have you ever listened to two people debate politics. It’s analogous to pro-wrestling. In one corner you have the Fox News viewer and, in the other, is the MSNBC loyalist. Clearly, neither understands that whether you like the “good guy” or the “bad guy” is an irrelevant distraction. No one seems to notice that their favorite politicians are all controlled by the same corporations.
Considering the pervasive mindlessness endemic in mainstream America, it’s time to admit that animal liberation will never gain any traction. It’s just not entertaining. The same way people look away from the human suffering all around them is the same way they look away when we try to talk about industrialized animal abuse or veganism. Americans do not care about anything except their own well-being.
They want to keep eating decomposing cadavers with barbecue sauce, they aspire to make enough money to buy coats made of fur ripped from the bodies of live animals, and they could not care less about barbaric lab experiments because some disembodied voice told them they benefit from animal research. Do we seriously want to keep debating science for 200 more years with people whose attention span is equipped to handle little more than a Jerry Springer episode?
Building Our Own Culture of Resistance in Animal Liberation
We have many activists who are frustrated and discouraged because they want to act, but can’t find a single vegan “activist” willing to leave their cyber prisons. It’s not going to happen. We need to stop hoping for that point of critical mass when the paradigm will shift and people will crawl out from the depths of mediocrity where they wallow.
Let’s do this ourselves. Only we can do it. We must learn to fight more effectively if we intend to bring down the system and liberate the victims from the holocaust.
Many of us have started.
And the time for all like-minded vegans to take a giant step forward together is now.
We recently coined a phrase: “We are NIO.” Personally, I don’t care is you identify with us or not, but “NIO” is our attitude. And everyone needs to adopt an attitude of resistance.
Injunctions won’t stop us. Bans won’t stop us. The oppressors’ laws won’t stop us. An apathetic vegan community won’t stop us. Fundamentalist peace freaks won’t stop us. We’d rather do it with you, but we’re prepared to do it alone. This is a war. We’re here to win. We are NIO!
We are above-ground activists. We do nothing illegal. But we are not puppets. We do not yield to repression and we do not fear the enemy’s authority. Some of us do not even recognize their unjust laws. We understand that the oppressor controls us with fear or, more accurately, we allow ourselves to be controlled. Every one of us has seen activists at protests who will not even leaflet if a cop orders them to stop. These are the activists we need to distinguish ourselves from. They mean well and, hopefully, they will reach one or two people. I’m not a big fan of the hit-and-miss theories (e.g., “we never know who we touch,” “maybe outreach will change someone’s mind here or there,” etc.). Yet we continue to let the timid, fearful, wishful, and passive, lead us in our supposed fight on behalf of the tormented animals.
If we allow this to continue, we have betrayed the animals.
We don’t let some civil servant with a badge tell us what we can and cannot do. We have rights and they are non-negotiable. We do no acquiesce. We defy. They tell us we can’t leaflet. We say, “No, we can. Watch!” They use their courts to repress us and squash our rights, we tell them we don’t recognize their laws. And we certainly do not yield to arbitrary intimidation tactics.
We stand our ground. We must be guided by our own conscience. If we are fighting this war for an animal in a cage who will be skinned alive tomorrow, then the petty consequences of our actions are inconsequential. The victims need us to be defiant and aggressive. And if we need to fight a court case here and there, we are obligated to try to win it for every one of our comrades who will follow.
There is a misconception among some activists that being arrested or going to jail is indicative of being effective. It is not. Going to jail simply means that an activist is a victim of state repression. But we must not fear doing what is right because they threaten us with their impotent, desperate, authoritarian, corporate-designed, police state laws.
It is our job to forge a vegan resistance. The mainstream vegans call us thugs and radicals. I call them pathetic, weak, and embarrassing.
I’m drawing a line and I am encouraging everyone to step over it. Adopt an attitude of defiance grounded in your own morality and conscience. Do not be influenced by the pacifists who’ve taken this movement and modeled into a tupperware party for vegans.
The animals are dying. If we really care, then we have no choice!
We are the above ground vegan resistance.
We’re Going Off In Our Own Direction
The beauty of admitting that most vegans can’t help us and that society is compliant and malleable is that we now are limited only by our imaginations. We can take this movement anywhere we want. WE have the power.
While I choose to not elaborate on specific models at this moment, many of us have accepted that people are selfish, self-absorbed, narrow, and indifferent. However, the masses are extremely malleable when we hit that one nerve to which they all react – self-interest.
We are talking less and less about animals rights because we need the masses to get behind us despite themselves. They don’t care about how much animals suffer until they understand that they are paying for it. They don’t care about how much animals suffer until they learn that the psychopath in the slaughter is the same derelict who just got out of prison for raping and murdering his neighbor’s 7-year old daughter.
Many of us will be more specific about these ideas and various campaigns in the coming months. But for now, just think about this….
How far have we gotten trying to influence people by appealing to their compassion? We’ve gone backward and this alleged movement is on life support. If we can get the mainstream behind us by appealing to their greed, selfishness, or vanity and start shutting down pieces of the exploitation industries one-by-one, does it really matter how we do it?
If people become incensed that their tax money is being wasted and abused by vivisectors, and they start undoing the NIH grant system here and there, the vivisection industry begins to disappear. I don’t care if people are ethically or morally evolved. I care that we have a job to do – liberate the animals by any means necessary.
We are driven by our conscience. We must learn to be defiant on all fronts.