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The Relationship of
Anarchism and
Animal Rights

By Punkerslut

From RadicalGraphics.org
Image: From "Animal Liberation" Gallery from RadicalGraphics.org

Start Date: September 10, 2009
Finish Date: September 10, 2009

"...the lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, &c., when playing together, like our own children. Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber, who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies."
          --Charles Darwin, 1871
          "The Descent of Man," Chapter 3

     Under Capitalism and the state, there is a bitter tyranny. The laborer must sell his labor, at a tremendously exploited rate, only because all of the land and machinery is owned by a few. Land and machinery that was made useful not by hired laborers -- but by slaves, serfs, and indentured servants. Slavery became unnecessary when all the land and tools were hoarded up, and the masses could be exploited by their own need for bread. So, too, with government -- a miserable institution that has behaved like the Capitalist. It has lived off of taxes that it did not produce, while imprisoning and persecuting the poor, the weak, and the outspoken of its herd. Thus we have our all-permeating tyranny: based on property and violence.

     But the are other tyrannies, as well. We have seen patriarchy, the violent and cruel rule of a man over the household of his family -- the subordination and domination of the female gender. And beneath this, too, we find a tyranny of the children. They are picked, poked, prodded, and put through every miserable situation, driven at once by the priest, paddled next by the teacher, and finally beaten by mother or father. The education of government begins and ends with violence. But, beneath, this, too, we have even more tyranny. We find a tremendously greater and wider tyranny: that of humanity over the whole of all animal life.

From Anarchist Image Archive
Image: From Anarchist Image Archive

"This system, in which mother and children are brought up to fear the father; in which school-children are brought up to fear the teacher; in which 'every German is there to be kicked by another German, and has, below him, another German to kick,' has, without any doubt, a strong bearing on the mentality which expresses itself over and over again in the shrugging phrase, Befehl ist Befehl -- 'Orders are orders.'"
          --Edward Crankshaw, 1956
          "Gestapo: Instrument of Tyranny," Viking Press, page 233

     This is not an abstract, unrealistic idea. It has been demonstrated and observed that animals have consciousness -- they have an idea of suffering, and even the "lowest" has been able to show sympathy. Humanity, being supplied with an abundance of healthy food that comes from the earth, has thrown away its harvest, and made a diet of other conscious beings. Governments and capitalists oppress and exploit us; sexist societies abuse and disempower women; parents and "teachers" beat and torture children. But, from beginning to end, every individual partakes in this mass slaughter: from child to president, every level of society contributes to a yearly murder rate exceeding ten billion.

     Anarchism is the only social philosophy that naturally treats Animal Rights, logically and thoughtfully. We cannot simply fight the government, if we are to remove sexism; and we cannot simply fight sexism, if we are to remove child abuse. All of these things are interconnected. They are each layers of society that seek to impose and control others. Each of them are based upon two primary concepts: the use of coercion, and the idea of property. It is government and capitalist creating poverty and assassinating unionists; man isolating woman in a society where she can own nothing and do nothing; and parents providing a cup of rice between beatings and punishments. It is not just the violence that is employed; it is that they have claimed possession of all, and this maintains the violent relationship.

     Property and violence. This exactly describes humanity's dominion over the world. There is no corner of the globe unpolluted by toxins, lead, mercury, carcinogens, depleted uranium, radium, or polonium. Every fish contains mercury, every city's dust contains lead, every particle of air has been contaminated with factory emissions. And the violence is unbelievable. Cows and chickens, for instance, are reared in tiny cells, deprived of nutrients to control the color of their flesh, and before they are executed, they are beaten, kicked, and tazed. It is a test of conscience if a human being is offended by the images of inside the slaughterhouses; if you cannot sympathize with those that suffer exactly like humans, how can you sympathize with humans?

     Today, Animal Rights activists are approaching capitalists, senators, governors, interest groups, universities, and every other foul aspect of our social order. These are the people they are going to in order to "change the world." That is, to make laws of this or that degree, or to prosecute this or that individual. In a world where the few control everything, they have appealed to the elites.?

     It is a vain effort. Who is more likely to understand and listen to the ideas of Animal Rights? The Capitalist who benefits from the destruction of the Earth -- the investor who reaps mountains of profits in exchange for valleys of the dead? Or the worker, the common individual, who has built everything, who has lived through the greatest misery, and who is always endowed with greater sympathy? If you approach the government and Capitalist, they will take away what they give you when it becomes convenient. But if you approach autonomous, cooperative associations, you'll have the real tool of social change.

From WikiMedia Commons
Image: "Vegan Anarchy" Symbol,
From WikiMedia Commons

"The State is government from above downwards of an immense number of men, very different from the point of view of the degree of their culture, the nature of the countries or localities that they inhabit, the occupation they follow, the interests and the aspirations directing them--the State is the government of all these by some or other minority; this minority, even if it were a thousand times elected by universal suffrage and controlled in its acts by popular institutions, unless it were endowed with the omniscience, omnipresence and the omnipotence which the theologians attribute to God, it is impossible that it could know and foresee the needs, or satisfy with an even justice the most legitimate and pressing interests in the world. There will always be discontented people because there will always be some who are sacrificed."
          --Mikhail Bakunin, ~1870's
          "Marxism, Freedom, and the State," chapter 3

     When you fight the capitalist system, how would your political party compete? It would go to the campaign and the election. That is, you get into a money race with the wealthy class, who can afford more propagandists, more glamorous supporters, more posters and commercial time. And the working class, in a money war with the rich, will always lose. This is why Socialist Parties with real, revolutionary programs have always been marginal and unheard-of. It also explains the success of other Socialist Parties, such as those holding seats in many European nations. They have all completely abandoned their socialization ideal, in making compromises with capitalists, in attaining their support.

     The Socialist Party, where it is thoughtful and intelligent, draws no supporters; but where there tremendous votes for the reds, the leaders of the party always make compromises with the masters of industry. These are tactics of failure and submission, and we should not allow them into our struggle for animal liberation. Only Direct Action can work!

     All social movements are accelerated by liberty; they are only hindered by changing forms of slavery. That is not to say that we must only achieve anarchy in order to create perfect, social harmony. It is only to say that social movements produce greater and more effective change in anarchy. Where they use liberty and non-exclusion, those seeking justice for all are the most powerful. And where social movements use authority and coercion, they become an enemy of social progress.

     Many activists have said this or that politician supports our cause, whether it is Feminism, Socialism, or limiting authority. But animal rights lobbyists asking for sympathy for animals from those who don't even have sympathy for man. If you really believe in the advancement of progressive causes, then support nobody for office!

From RadicalGraphics.org
Image: From "Animal Liberation" Gallery from RadicalGraphics.org

"Slavery and servility have produced no sweet-scented flower annually, to charm the senses of men, for they have no real life: they are merely a decaying and a death, offensive to all healthy nostrils. We do not complain that they live, but that they do not get buried. Let the living bury them; even they are good for manure."
          --Henry David Thoreau, 1854
          "Slavery in Massachusetts"


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