A TIME FOR
I have explained why liberators believe human nature and
human societies are unalterably resistant to freeing animals and treating them
with respect. I have shown why liberators believe that non-violent resistance is
ineffective in freeing animals, and explained why liberators see physical force
as the only road for saving some of our family members. Yet, despite all the
reasoning presented thus far, I am quite certain that most readers still shun
militant action against animal abusers, but may now be entertaining notions of
violence against liberators.
Thoreau said : ? He who
gives himself entirely to his fellow-men appears to them useless and selfish ;
but he who gives himself partially to them is pronounced a benefactor and
philanthropist.? Liberators give themselves totally to the animals. They
have no doubt that they will be pronounced useless and selfish by some people.
This is not because some of you do not agree with
liberators. My feeling is that many of you do. But who wants to feel that their
struggle is hopeless ?
Liberators explain the average
animal defender’s reluctance to raise arms against human oppression of other
beings by saying that those people are invested in the system. They are not
ready to declare war on humans. Don’t make excuses, liberators say. Admit your
priorities are more with staying a part of the system than in overthrowing it.
Admit your conflict of interest. But please don’t criticize real
Liberators enjoy talking to people who
are brave, honest, and loving enough to place the interests of their family of
creatures over their material and social comforts. When they do, they begin as
follows : ? Welcome, friends. We have some human butt to kick ! ?
First, they explain, let’s get rid of that terrible term,
? animal rights ?. They have used it in discussions for recognition purposes and
because most people who consider themselves defenders of animals call themselves
animal rights activists. But they see many problems with the term. One is that
rights imply a relationship. When you have a right it means that, in your
dealings with others, those others have an obligation to respect your autonomy.
The concept was developed to define the limits of human interaction, making
exploitation of people a crime.
It may seem that animal
rights is just what we want. But do we want to see humans relating with animals
? No, explain the liberators. They want humans to leave animals alone.
They want humans to have nothing to do with non-humans. The concept of
animal rights includes animals in the moral and political community. Mainstream
animal rights activists often fight to get animal rights encoded in the law. The
entire enterprise of gaining rights is an insecure, tenuous one, since laws are
easily challenged and changed, and are seldom enforced. Liberators want
non-humans left out of the human community ! Remember, to them it is a
movement for exclusion of animals from society, not inclusion.
Liberators also remind others that the concept of rights
is also not necessary in order to respect another’s autonomy. If God
appeared, we would not have to give Her rights in order to leave Her alone. We
would leave Her alone out of respect, or fear. We can treat other creatures the
Further, the very term ? animal ?
differentiates humans from non-humans. All labels create distinctions. But
distinctions are based on differences, and empathy is based on identification,
which implies similarities. When someone speaks of animal rights, as distinct
from human rights, there is an implicit assumption that humans are not animals.
A belief that there is a difference between humans and animals can only
hamper the connection and identification necessary for moral
behavior towards other creatures.
Another problem with
the concept of animal rights is that rights are modeled after rules for human
interaction. Philosophers in the movement argue for extending our respect
for fellow humans to other animals in the name of consistency. While liberators
believe they are correct given their assumptions, the implicit problem with
their approach is that they are using human systems and beliefs to model how we
should behave to all other creatures.
rights philosophers argue that so long as we treat people with respect, we
should treat animals with respect, as well. In a subtle way, then animals are
dependent on human sensibilities concerning how to treat other humans. If we
didn’t treat fellow humans well, the argument for treating animals well would be
lost. In fact, many key figures in the animal rights movement have argued that
using animals, say in research, would be acceptable if humans were used in the
same way. They are not against the exploitation of animals, only the unequal
exploitation of animals and humans. Animals are, therefore, not respected on
their own behalf, but merely by logical extension of human respect for other
humans. This is another variant of the anthropocentrism that plagues human
thought and action, and angers liberators.
Finally, rights, legal or moral, are only as good as the intent of the people
constrained to live by them. Black Americans had the right to vote since the
Civil War. But the enforcement of that right was missing until about 80 years
later. Likewise, animals can be declared free tomorrow. However, societal
enforcement of their freedom would never come, according to liberators.
The term liberators use instead of the animal rights
movement is ? The Liberation Movement ?. Those in the movement are,
therefore, called liberators, as opposed to animal rights
activists. Their focus is on human aggression and exploitation of others. The
others need not justify their likeness to humans in order to gain rights. The
burden is on humans to cease their aggression, not on animals to prove
themselves worthy of respect. Implied in this is a naturocentric view of the
world, dethroning humans from their self-justified tyranny over others.
Liberators shift their loyalties from the family of
man, to the family of creatures, or from anthropocentrism to naturocentrism.
It means they no longer automatically put people first, or feel ashamed to
admit that they value some chickens and mice more than some
Liberators believe their approach offers
hope which traditional, human-centered movements do not. To them, hope is
possible, even in their recognition that humans will always be cruel so long as
they exist. Why ? Because they do not hope for impossible things, like changing
society. They hope to free family members, not save the world.
The example they like to use is the following. If you
awaken one day to find that your house is burning down, you don’t just sit there
and cry about it. You get up and quickly rescue whatever living beings are still
in the house, and run like hell. If you manage to save some lives, then you can
feel successful, even if there were some members you couldn’t manage to save.
Saving as many lives as possible was your goal. The fire was not your fault, and
feeling that you failed because there was a fire and some lives were lost is
placing yourself in an unwinnable position, with undeserving blame.
When you define your task in terms of saving or
healing humankind, you focus on the burning house. There is no way
you can win. But when you accept that the house will burn, you can focus
on the lives saved and feel good about what you have done.
The liberators’ secret to keeping a positive outlook is
to know that, no matter how abusive this world has become to animals, they have
been able to rescue some from the blaze of human caused terror and death. They
don’t see every animal liberation, even small ones where only a few animals are
freed, as a battle in an unwinnable war against human cruelty. They see each
liberation as a war in itself, totally won each time a single creature is freed
from human exploitation.
In this way, liberators can keep
their hopes alive, not that people will somehow change their inherent propensity
to abuse animals, but that one person, with the will to succeed, can free a
mouse from a laboratory, or liberate a chicken from a factory farm.
Liberators believe they can win thousands of wars in their lifetimes. They
believe they must, for the animals.
continuing, I am sure some readers are confused about the liberator statement
that humans are to leave animals alone, period. What about humans relating to
companion animals, or other relationships between creatures in which humans are
one participant ?
The liberator position is clear.
All interactions with other creatures should be by mutual consent.
That means that we should not chain horses to plows, or keep cows confined and
milk them, turning their bodies into milk producing machines, and then justify
our exploitation by saying that we feed and care for them. These are examples of
manipulation and human parasitism. Even horses who are ridden, and learn to
accept their rider, had to first be ? broken ?. All intelligent creatures can be
trained to accept, and even masochistically enjoy, their oppression, as some
human slaves learned to do. But this does not make their oppression any less of
an abuse. When a slave accepts his enslavement, he is no less a slave. His
spirit is merely broken.
Liberators realize that it
takes sensitivity and empathy to deal with another creature on mutually
acceptable terms. Humans have never developed those skills. Instead,
they kill and exploit whomever they can, and domesticate, which means
genetically enslave, certain creatures for special purposes, either for laying
eggs, working, producing milk or meat, research, entertainment or companionship.
Companion animals are a difficult problem, the liberators
believe, because we have a responsibility to them for having made them dependent
on humans. We should allow each to live as they must, as freely and happily as
possible. This usually means living in contact with humans, since they are
dependent on us for their basic needs. But this should be a temporary
Ideally, liberators want all domestic
animals to be prevented from breeding, including dogs and cats. This would end
their genetically programmed dependence. To perpetuate domesticated animal
breeds is to continue their enslavement. Humans have created mutant beings,
animals who have become nearly as alienated from their original natures as we
have from ours. Therefore, humans must care for them while they are alive.
But they must prevent their reproduction and terminate their enslavement to
All this may sound crazy coming from lovers and
fellow members of the family of creatures. If it does, you have not yet started
thinking as a liberator, with a naturocentric perspective. To liberators, all
human relationships with other creatures are currently on human terms. We
have made ourselves into their kings. Even many animal lovers support the idea
of human stewardship of the animals, trying to transform the Biblical injunction
of human dominion, i.e., domination over animals, into a more acceptable
concept. But a liberator sees all this as human-centered bullshit !
Stewardship and dominion both say we’re better than other creatures. In both
cases, humans have power over the other animals in the world. Everyone knows
that power corrupts, and absolute power, such as that allegedly sanctioned by
God, or gained through domestication, corrupts absolutely.
Most people can’t imagine relating to fellow creatures
without being in control. However, free, equal relationships with fellow
creatures are possible, and rewarding. Other creatures are not naturally
frightened of humans. Such beings as birds, squirrels, deer, raccoons,
wolves, rabbits, fish, and myriad other members of our family happily accept us
if we do not show them we are going to be their stewards or kings. If we lived
as respecting equals with other creatures, liberators believe, then we would
have many satisfying relationships with them. But they would be mutually
agreeable relationships, something which man, in need of control, cannot seem to
understand or accept.
It takes time to re-orient your
thinking to understand the liberator. You may be accustomed to considering only
other humans as your friends and family members. But look around you ! To the
liberator, every creature that walks, swims, crawls, or flies is a friend and
part of the family. The plants, streams, mountains, fields, and lakes are the
family’s home. Liberators find their love there, among the beings they
consider their true family.
Liberators offer some
strategies for liberating animals. First, they claim that those willing to
defend animals constitute the most compassionate, empathic, and courageous
section of society. That is why they have chosen to sacrifice their personal
comfort to assist their non-human family members.
Liberators use an analogy to explain their role in society. Many anthropologists
and philosophers have compared society to an organism. The roadways that allow
transportation is the circulatory system. The educational system is the brain.
And so on. Given this analogy, who are these conscientious, empathic people ?
They are the white blood cells !
White blood cells spend their lives fighting disease,
infection, and decay in the body. They martyr themselves in the process of
keeping the body going. That is what ethically minded, compassionate people have
historically done. The bulk of humankind has abused itself and the environment,
causing wars, destruction, and suffering. A few brave souls have existed in each
generation to martyr themselves in the name of goodness, to keep the body of
society going. These people have thrown themselves onto the wheels of the
destructive machinery of society, slowing down the evil forces that continue to
grind away at the world. Thanks to this small group of people who care about
moral issues, and put their actions behind their words, society has limped on
through the millennia. Unfortunately, their actions have helped to sustain
society and its oppression of other creatures and the planet.
Liberators firmly believe the best thing that could
happen to the Earth and all of its non-human inhabitants is that human societies
come to an end, along with all people. Human caused destruction to the
environment and to other creatures would end. The tyranny of humankind would be
over. That is a cause for which liberators would gladly martyr
There are two strategies by which
white blood cells can fight the body. One way is passive, the other active. The
passive one is to withdraw from society. It means one does not work for the body
as a white blood cell anymore. That leaves the body defenseless, even to its own
toxins. When good people withdraw from society, the body becomes unable to fight
disease, such as corruption, greed, and selfishness. It will be like a body
without an immune system. Slowly, it will die. By not participating in
society, liberators help make its end come closer to a reality.
It is difficult for some people, who care about human
suffering and feel empathy for other people, to withdraw from society and let it
demolish itself. These people are not thinking with a liberator perspective.
Liberators consider humans to have no greater claim on sympathy and activism
than the animals they abuse. In fact, they believe their victims deserve greater
attention and concern.
Some compassionate people see
cruel individuals as somehow mentally or spiritually ill. They feel these cruel
people should be cared for, not ignored and left to suffer due to their own
illness. On the other hand, these compassionate people would probably agree that
a sociopathic criminal should be locked up and prevented from hurting others. If we define ourselves as part of the family of creatures, as liberators do,
humans who exploit animals are the same as sociopathic criminals. However,
because there are so few liberators, and the cruelty is socially accepted and
encouraged, liberators cannot lock these criminals up. Liberators can, however,
withdraw their support from the social system.
strategy is the use of militant interventionism. Using the white blood
cell analogy, this is like an autoimmune disease. It means that the white blood
cells now regard the body as alien, and attack it as they do other agents of
disease. With time, the white blood cells cripple the body and destroy its
ability to survive.
What form does militant
interventionism take ? It is liberating an abused dog, chained constantly to a
tree, from its human oppressor. It is breaking into a factory farm, damaging the
equipment and cages, and freeing some of the animals. It includes all sorts of
monkeywrenching, from disabling vehicles, to disabling roadways, to disabling
power lines. It also includes direct confrontation with human offenders as you
physically stop them from committing crimes against our fellow creatures.
As the name implies, militant interventionism is an
act of war against society. It recognizes the liberators’ passionate,
forceful, and aggressive intervention into human oppression of our family.
Liberators use any and every tactic necessary to win the freedom of our
brothers and sisters. This means they cheat, steal, lie, plunder, disable,
threaten, and physically harm others to achieve their objective.
Many compassionate people are probably reeling from this
concept of militant interventionism. These are basically a peaceful people,
opposed to violence. They ask whether militant interventionism lowers liberators
to the level of the human oppressors. Can people lie, cheat, steal, and commit
physical harm against others and call themselves moral persons ?
Liberators contend that these questions ignore the
difference between using physical force offensively versus defensively. They
explain their position with the following example.
Stopping a would-be assassin from murdering an innocent child is considered,
even by the most peaceful of us, to be a good, noble deed. Acting as an agent
for the helpless child, it would be an act of defense, not offense. If the
rescuer needed to lie, cheat, or steal from the would-be assassin, we would
still praise his efforts. Lying, cheating and stealing are means of achieving
the end of saving the child. Even if the would-be assassin was shot and killed
to prevent him from killing the child, we would consider the rescuer
praiseworthy and virtuous.
It should also be mentioned
that liberators do not consider themselves punishers. They do not seek anything
but the liberation of animals. If an abuser changes his or her behavior and
adopts a peaceful lifestyle, liberators hold no grudges. What they do not accept
is current crimes against members of our family. While some abusers could plead
ignorance or habit, and while some people have the capacity to change, the fact
remains that our fellow creatures are being tortured and slaughtered directly or
indirectly by these people. Such crimes would not be tolerated by society if
they were committed against humans. Liberators feel the same accountability must
exist in the treatment of all creatures.
The fact that
liberators are at war means that they use whatever force they feel is necessary
to save our family members. They know that people, including the most
bloodthirsty criminals, are never totally good or evil, black or white. But that
fact never stopped people from killing criminals in self defense. Liberators
are not judging people as evil, but their acts as such. If people engage in the
torture and destruction of innocent creatures, their acts make them guilty of
crimes against other creatures, and liberators will try to stop them, even if
that requires physical intervention. To stop the acts liberators feel they must
stop the people. And the way liberators stop people is by using the motivations
of pain and fear.
Some of you may believe that force
will never work in teaching people to respect animal life. Liberators agree.
That is not their goal, however. Liberators are not trying to educate humans.
They have given up on humans and their societies. Militant interventionism is
an approach that capitalizes on the motivation of pain and fear in making people
act in certain ways. When liberators give pain to vivisectors, or
hunters, or fur farm breeders, or butchers, they make their oppression of
animals less pleasurable. Some abusers will stop what they are doing. Of course,
some will get guns and try to defend themselves. A high level of anxiety will be
generated by liberations, which can also be used against the abusers. The more
difficult and painful liberators make abusers’ acts of brutality, the more it
helps our family members.
Let me illustrate militant
interventionism in action, in contrast to traditional methods of working within
the system. Consider ways in which to handle vivisection.
Animal defenders stand with banners outside of a research facility,
chanting : ? What do we want ? Animal Rights ! When do we want it ? Now ! ?, as
media people interview the leader or spokesperson. Across from them is an animal
research support group, consisting of graduate students, researchers, and their
children. They chant slogans back at the media, and are equally represented on
the six o’clock news that evening. An article in the newspaper describes the
demonstration, quoting the parts of the animal rights spokesperson’s statements
that sounded most ? terrorist-like ?, since the public likes an exciting story.
A well respected researcher at the facility is also quoted, as he explains to
the public that animal research is critical for public health, and if animal
research had not been allowed these activists would probably not be alive today.
Meanwhile, behind the research facility’s eight foot fence and barbed wire,
behind the brick walls and metal cages, our family members crouch in fear, pain,
and terror. They didn’t even get to see the nice demonstration on television.
Some activists go home from the demonstration eager to
write their Congressmen, asking for better conditions for lab animals and more
strict regulations of research labs. But the Congressmen are lobbied more
vehemently, and more effectively, by special interests groups invested in animal
research, like the powerful pharmaceutical, medical, animal breeding, pet food,
and meat industries. The fur, leather, and other animal abusing industries also
lobby hard in favor of animal research, since they see any sign of respect for
animals a dangerous precedent that might affect them as well. Some of the
letters to Congressmen ask for enforcement of already passed laws, since
enforcement is an entirely different matter than getting laws passed. So the
animal defenders are left asking for laws to enforce the law. Of course, if
successful, they will then need to ask for laws to enforce the enforcement laws.
Alternatively, imagine a liberator engaging in militant
interventionism. The research facility is carefully staked out. Infiltrators
give information about the locations of accessible animals. One night a break-in
is attempted, and twenty rabbits, forty mice, six dogs, and two chimpanzees are
rescued. Machinery used in experiments is destroyed, along with expensive
computers and other valuable items. The animals are transported to sanctuaries
where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace. Meanwhile, the police
are busy looking for clues to the ? crime ?. Researchers speak to the public
about their outrage over the theft of their animals and the destruction
of their property, and how
medical science has just
suffered a grave setback.
Then, one day, one of the animal researchers receives a
letter asking him to stop his work or suffer the consequences. Of course, the
researcher continues his cruel work. A week later he gets into his car and it
explodes, permanently putting an end to his projects. Other researchers receive
anonymous letters telling them to stop killing animals or they, too, will be
As a result, private and public police
protection is ordered for the researchers. The facility looks like a fortress.
Morale at the facility is low. Researchers feel unsafe even at home. Some decide
to retire early, or leave to another facility. A few of the graduate students
and researchers’ children decide that animal research is too dangerous for their
blood, and choose to pursue another career. Soon, the cost of hiring private
police protection reduces the amount of research that the facility can afford to
conduct, and the public begins to get angry at the facility for using tax money
to pay for public police protection.
We have thus
considered two scenarios in dealing with vivisection. In one, letters were
written, speeches were made, papers were sold, the public was momentarily
amused, and animals still suffered and died. In other, animals were liberated, a
chronic animal killer was neutralized, and terror, demoralization, and financial
pains hampered further animal suffering. (Of course, I, Screaming Wolf, do not
support this or any such fictitious scenario due to its illegality.)
When people say this sounds like too much involvement for
them, liberators ask them to consider what they would say if it was their family
in that facility who was about to be tortured and slaughtered. Would they be
standing outside chanting and writing to Congressmen, or would they be doing
everything they possibly could to stop the bastards from killing their family ?
Liberators contend that if you could imagine yourself doing this for your
human family, then you should be able to imagine yourself doing it for your
family of creatures.
Liberators capitalize on the fact
that death threats, occasionally carried out, can demoralize more than
researchers. Drug company executives, factory farmers, animal breeders,
slaughter house workers, pet store owners, loggers, trappers, hunters, and every
other abuser of animals are targets for militant interventionism. Imagine the
difference between sabotaging a hunt by making noise to frighten away animals,
and sabotaging a hunt by posing as a hunter and blowing away a real one.
Liberators commit themselves to making animal abuse a less pleasurable and
more painful enterprise.
Liberators offer guidelines
for militant interventionism. This is how they explain their philosophy to
interested individuals. I quote them for realism purposes, without implying any
agreement with their principles. The following was delivered anonymously to me
on cassette tape.
? To begin with, not everyone is capable of
militancy. Humans are taught to be compliant and unempowered. They fear
direct action. If that is your situation, but you still believe in the
liberation cause, then withdraw from the system. Do not participate in animal
bloodshed or give society the benefit of your raised consciousness. Withdrawing
from society saves lives, and bleeds the system of the good people it needs to
go on living, and killing.
But if you feel you can practice militant
interventionism, we suggest the following :
participate as little as possible in society.
It is morally imperative that you participate in the
cruelty of society to the least degree possible. We cannot accept the approach
of killing some innocent creatures to save others. You wouldn’t kill your
brother to save your sister. If you could totally withdraw from society you
could minimize participation in its cruelty. But since you have chosen to fight
the system to liberate animals, you must participate in that system to some
extent. Guns, nails, explosives, ski masks, and the transportation of you and
the animals you save all cost money. Money is the medium of the society. You are
therefore making a conscious choice to participate in some of the cruelty to
stop some of it.
This sounds like a moral dilemma.
How can you free the animals but not be a party to killing them by your
participating in the system ?
The answer is that
the animals who are being destroyed covertly by your participation in the
system, say, by your buying gasoline, driving your car, and paying sales tax for
materials you could not steal, are like innocent captives of an armed, murderous
terrorist who is about to kill them. The terrorist holds a child closely to his
side as protection, as a shield. The only way to stop the terrorist from killing
the other innocent captives is by killing the child along with him. You cannot
see any other way of saving the others or the child. They will all die without
your intervention. In this case, you must kill the terrorist and the
child, saving as many other innocent victims as you can.
This is essentially the reality facing our family
members. They are captives to human terrorists. If we do nothing, all will
suffer and be killed. So long as our participation does not add to the suffering
they would have experienced without our intervention, we have done well.
Clearly, then, we must participate in society only
to the extend necessary to carry out our campaigns of liberation. Any other
involvement for personal gain would be losing our moral right to call ourselves
Second, barter with other
liberators and people who have withdrawn from society for essential
This rule follows from the first.
Liberators can benefit from being in the company of like minded souls. In such a
situation, people can share material objects and services by bartering with one
another. This avoids having to go into town to buy the things you need. Try not
to use money if at all possible.
Third, make as
little money as possible to get by.
need some money to get things you can’t barter for. Be careful ! Making money is
participating in the system. On the other hand, it could benefit the cause if
you make money as an infiltrator, say, at a research lab or factory farm. How
about getting a job as a security guard or janitor ? They get lots of keys !
Fourth, live simply.
Avoid the obsession with materialism that plagues our
capitalist world. We are raised to be consumers. The planet needs more
liberation and less consumption. Living simply also helps you avoid needing
money and having to participate in the system.
Fifth, don’t play by society’s rules.
cheat, steal, and do physical damage to abusers and their property, but do it
if, and only if, it serves the needs of liberating our family from human
tyranny. Do not break laws out of mere defiance or personal gain, for that robs
you of your moral position, and it places you in unnecessary risk of getting
It is worth mentioning here that
liberators practicing militant interventionism do not take credit for their
actions. We are not soldiers dressed in uniform facing the enemy head on. We are
more like guerrilla warriors, spies and saboteurs. This is not a time for
self-glorification and proving to the world that we are virtuous and brave. We
do not need to sign our names or give our organizational affiliation, as the
A.L.F. does. All pro-animal groups even the A.L.F., are trying to educate
society and raise attention to their cause. They also want the opposition to
know how strong and powerful they are. This is because they are struggling for
power within the system.
Liberators have an
entirely different agenda. We do not want the media to announce our actions,
since that might make future actions more difficult. (An exception is when the
media can add to the abuser’s paranoia or serve as a tool of sabotage.) We do
not want to educate society, since we know that society will never change. We do
not want to be included in the power structure of the system. We simply want to
liberate family members and monkeywrench the abusive machinery of the
This difference pertains to acts of civil
disobedience, as well. Civil disobedience, as discussed in the previous chapter,
involves obeying all moral laws, and gladly accepting the punishment for
disobeying immoral laws. It is designed to demonstrate your willingness to
participate in society and obey its rules, so long as they are moral ones.
Liberators, on the other hand, recognize that society is immoral and corrupt
throughout, drenched with the blood of our fellow beings. We want nothing to do
with society, except to sabotage its killing ability. Civil disobedience
makes no sense for liberators. It is not an appropriate tactic for war.
The fact that we do not announce our activities adds
to the terror and insecurity we can create, making us more effective. So long as
vivisectors, for example, know that we are after them, that we will attack them
at some time, in some manner, but that the time is for us to decide, and
further, that we will never admit when we have attacked, we will have a ripping,
destructive, demoralizing effect on the paranoid minds of these abusers. Was
that open cage the act of a liberator ? How about that new researcher who just
started ? Is he possibly an infiltrator ? And how about that fire at Dr. Jones’
house ? Its cause never was completely determined.
A guilty mind needs no accuser. Abusers know who they are and will be fearing
our every move. Whenever something bad happens, whenever someone is killed, or
property is destroyed, or a car goes over a hill, or a person is poisoned when
eating meat, liberators will be suspected. With nobody taking the blame abusers
will not know who to trust. They will begin to turn on one another. We can thus
demoralize them and hamper their oppression. Remember, fear is the greatest
motivator of humans. We can generate an environment of fear that will singe the
back hairs on even the most bloodthirsty oppressor.
Sixth, never trust humans without good
Remember, this is a war, and humans are
This also means that you should work
alone or with one or two other tried and true friends. People have been known to
turn on even the closest friends with little apparent provocation. The war you
are fighting might provide life and death reasons for others to turn on you.
It also implies that liberators have no leader. We are
not organized in the traditional sense of the word. We are independent people
accepting the responsibility of freeing our family members from human
oppression. We don’t take responsibility for one another’s actions. We are
empowered to do our own actions in accordance with our own conscience.
Seventh, keep quiet about your beliefs.
Loose lips can get you in deep trouble. Other good
people will receive the message of liberation without your being the one telling
them. You don’t have to be a recruiter as well as a liberator. Lie about your
beliefs, and be sneaky in your operation.
Eighth, wean yourself from needing approval from other humans.
You don’t need people to tell you what a good job you
are doing. Not many people are going to congratulate you for trashing a fur
store and shooting a hunter, except maybe another liberator. Feel your success
in the freedom and pleasure of liberated animals.
Ninth, keep focusing on the positive.
one is a tall order. How can you go through life knowing the enormous cruelty
that exists, and somehow maintain a positive attitude ?
The answer is to realize that you have no control over
that cruelty. As we have said, when you are in a burning house, it makes no
sense to cry over the fact that the house is on fire. You must spend you energy
on saving those who you can from the blaze, and expect that there will be many
more who you cannot save. You must learn to see the blaze as the given, and your
rescue of innocent victims as a boon.
of saving this is using the analogy of a cup with water.
You are familiar with the question of whether a cup containing half its
maximum volume of water is either half empty, or half full. The optimist sees
the cup as half full, the pessimist as half empty. When you hope to rescue
all of the animals and stop all human cruelty, you are choosing impossible
goals. Your cup will always be half empty.
But when you give up on unrealistic goals, you can feel good about every life
you save that would have been destroyed without your intervention. Your cup is
then half full. But even half full is unrealistic, since it still judges
your success by some ideal goal of freeing all our family members. In reality, a
half filled cup is as full as it is ever going to get. You must learn to
see each liberation of an animal as your cup running over.
Another obstacle to feeling positive is that working
within the system, which you may have been doing until now, seems trivial and
impotent when you realize that animals need liberation, not rights. When you
realize that people are thick-headed, cruel beasts, and that the system is
entrenched from top to bottom in animal exploitation, the old tactics of writing
Congressmen, or getting a legislative initiative to stop pounds from selling
dogs to animal research facilities, seem trivial. You now see that Congress
was made to serve men, not animals. And you know that saving pound dogs from
research facilities will only get those dogs killed at the pound, and force the
researchers to buy more expensive dogs from breeders.
It is true, however, that writing Congressmen is
useful in that it costs oppressors of animals more money for their lobbying
efforts. And the more spent on bred dogs, the less money available for research.
But you now realize that these activities, even if successful, are simply
temporary annoyances to abusers, and are ineffective in the long run. Businesses
and researchers spending more money on operating costs will pass on their
expenses to their consumers, many of whom are the animal defenders working
within the system.
When you see the big picture,
you have difficulty being satisfied with old, ineffective tactics. What you need
to do is see the big picture from each animal’s point of view, not from a
human’s. From their points of view, they are suffering and being killed. It’s a
life and death issue. Every time you liberate one from human tyranny, you are
dealing successfully with their big picture.
short, we cannot stop vivisection, but we can stop a vivisector.
We cannot end hunting, but we can put an end to
We cannot cripple the fur
industry, but we can cripple some trappers.
We cannot put a halt to cars and trucks disabling animals, but we can disable
cars, trucks, and roads.
So long as you are
saving animals, you are winning wars ! And winning wars should keep you feeling
These are the basic guidelines for militant
interventionism as explained by liberators in their own words. Liberators feel
it is a broad enough tactic to allow practitioners to pick a comfortable target
and achieve their objective. For ideas, they suggest readers obtain a copy of
Ecodefense : A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching, Second Edition, edited by Dave
Foreman and Bill Haywood, and published by Ned Ludd Books, Tucson, Arizona,
1987. It is a ? how to ? guide for sabotage, and liberators believe it is easily
applied to animal liberation.
Rather than adhering to any
particular form of sabotage, liberators suggest that people be creative.
For example, they suggest people might use
a rubber snake, or some other reptile facsimile, put nails throughout its body
positioned in such a way that a car tire running over the snake would be
flattened, and place the object on the road. Liberators say you’d be amazed how
many people go out of their way to hit a snake. But this is one snake that the
liberators hope will bite back !
Liberators might send
bomb threats to universities and research facilities which use animals. If the
person sending the bomb hasn’t the inclination to carry out the threat, they
suggest he or she ask a trusted and willing friend to do it, which will make
future threats more effective.
They suggest people could
buy a semi-automatic rifle and hunting license and go into the woods during
hunting season to bag a ? pot-bellied beer sucker?.
they might leak information to the media that some meat purchased at the grocery
store was tainted with cyanide.
Liberators say that the possible projects
are limited only by one’s imagination. As they said at the end
of the tape : ?Be careful, have fun, feel the goodness of what
you are doing - and kick some butt ! ?
Liberators believe that people will
discover, as they insist they have, that one can find happiness in this
crazy world living the life of a liberator. In the next chapter I will discuss
how liberators suggest that others can join their cause, and will examine the
obstacles people may have to joining them.
FINDING PEACE IN TIMES OF
Some of you may be agreeing with the liberators’
assessment of human nature, society, and the inadequacy and inappropriateness of
non-violent resistance for the liberation movement. You feel connected, as they
do, to other beings in our family of creatures. You feel you must do something
to defend your family. But the methods of liberation, withdrawing from society
or staying marginally in society to engage in militant interventionism, are too
difficult for you to fully practice at this time, even though you agree with
them in principle. You don’t want to be part of the problem, but you can’t yet
see yourself as part of the liberator solution, which is waging war with humans
and their society. What do the liberators say you can do ?
This is a good time to ask a difficult question. If
liberators believe that humans are irrational, inconsistent, cruel,
near-sighted, greedy, barbarous, alienated from themselves and nature, and
covered from head to toe with the blood of innocent beings, what makes
liberators believe that they are an exception ?
fact is, liberators recognize that they are no different. They, too, are
human, and accept that they suffer from the human condition. They see themselves
as products of society, social creatures who are an integration of culture and
nature. But it is not a black and white situation. When it comes to
assessing one’s involvement in human cruelty and the bloodshed it causes,
liberators believe there are many shades of red.
As the liberators see it, the hunter who seeks out life to kill is deeply
red. So is the researcher, and the drug manufacturer, and the
slaughter house worker, and the trapper, and the furrier,
and the fisherman, and the breeder, and the pet shop owner,
and the highway driver. The list is as long as there are people in
society. Everyone who participates in the cruelty of society bears the stigma
of its bloodletting.
Clearly, as far as the
liberators are concerned, a vegan who doesn’t drive, makes so little money that
she pays no income taxes, and spends her time rescuing animals from local farms
is a lighter shade of red than an animal researcher who hunts on weekends, eats
meat, and pays thousands in taxes to support the killing machine.
When you chose to participate in society, even to
liberate animals through militant interventionism, you are a shade of red. Even
withdrawing from society does not cleanse you of redness. Withdrawal is a matter
of degree. When you withdraw you take with you something from the cruel society,
whether it be supplies or information. As a cultural animal, society is with you
wherever you go. It affects the way you act, think and feel.
On a more tangible note, liberators point out that when
you withdraw from society you are going to be living on somebody’s land. If it
is your own, you will have to pay taxes on it. If it is forest service or
private land, you will probably have to deal with officials. The days of Walden
Pond, where Thoreau left civilization, are over. In fact, Walden Pond is now a
State run facility, and you have to pay a few bucks to go to its beach.
The fact that perfection is difficult to achieve,
however, does not mean that it should be discarded as a goal. Liberators
criticized Gandhi for relying on super-human Satyagrahis for his non-violent
revolution. It could be argued that they, too, are demanding super-human
dedication, clarity and commitment to be a liberator. But they realize that few
people can be committed to a consistent moral position and make the types of
deep sacrifices they are recommending.
suggest that we be realistic. Most people, even the most committed ones, are
going to have difficulty withdrawing from society to the greatest extent
possible. Few people will take their children out of school and leave for
the forest to be self-sufficient survivalists, even though such a life would be
more natural and healthy, not to mention more ethical.
But, as liberators see it, this is the beginning of the liberation
movement. As the few people who are willing to make a sacrifice of their
material and social comforts leave for the wilderness, small communities will
form. It will become progressively easier for people to leave society as these
The fact is, people need other
people. We are social beings. Yet, because of our sensitivities to non-humans,
we feel disgusted and alienated from others who blindly practice the culture of
cruelty. Many people feel, as liberators do, like aliens from another planet
whenever they are out in society.
There are times when we
feel like we have stepped out of reality and into the Twilight Zone, as when we
go to shopping centers and see them filled with blank-faced, mindless consumers,
or when we see restaurants lining the city streets selling the flesh of
slaughtered creatures. The fact that people can live in urban settings, with
traffic jams, pollution, overcrowding, rampant consumerism, and the total
destruction of the natural environment and its replacement with asphalt and high
rise buildings, is testimony to human alienation from nature. Humans are even
alienated from their own natures as animals. We wonder how people can live such
a life. As we reflect on this insanity, we feel alone in the world - like
millions of other people !
Because of our social
natures, however, our distaste for other people and our alienation from them and
their culture does not stop us from feeling a need to be among them to some
extent. How do liberators resolve this ambivalence ?
They realize that they are not alone in their alienation from the insanity of
others. Even now, communities exist in the forests and mountains where
people have withdrawn from society to the greatest extent possible and live a
natural life among other like-minded souls. They have discovered that they did
not need to sacrifice their sensibilities for human companionship.
In truth, such a sacrifice is useless. When we give up
our sensibilities to be with alien people, we become alienated from ourselves,
and loose all chances of finding fulfilling companionship. Remember, the basis
for enjoying others is the ability to find empathy with them. You can’t
empathize with aliens, because, by definition, aliens are those with whom you do
not identify, and identification is the basis of empathy. You are only wasting
your time with people whom you cannot relate to.
illustrate this dilemma with a common example. As a vegan, you feel anxious
every time your family invites you over for Thanksgiving. You know that a member
of your wider family, a turkey, will be slaughtered, disemboweled, beheaded,
plucked, cooked, and eaten for this occasion, and you want no part of it. To
make you happy, the hosts have made some vegetables for you to eat. They expect
you to be content sitting with them as they devour the turkey, as long as you
can eat your vegetables. They expect you to respect their behaviors as long as
they respect yours.
Some people submit themselves to this
abuse each year in the name of civility, friendship, or family loyalty. Of
course, as far as the turkey is concerned, you are not being civil, friendly, or
loyal. To liberators, it is all human-centered bullshit !
Other people have declined such invitations, choosing to
feel lonely rather than disgusted.
Still others have
realized that there are other vegans with the same feelings of alienation who
would love to get together. There is nothing so wonderful as eating a vegan meal
with other vegans, when you finally feel a connection to other humans. Such
community feeling is happening in the liberation movement, even in the
wilderness. Liberators suggest you keep your eyes and ears open for others with
Liberators, then, believe that people can
withdraw from society without having to miss quality human companionship. It’s
just a matter of finding the right, like-minded people. As for militant
interventionism, liberators suggest that people who currently decide to stay
within society can capitalize on their situation and become saboteurs. A
committed individual can lower his or her standard of living in order to consume
as little as possible, can drive as seldom as possible, and can eat a vegan
diet. This will lighten their shade of red. As far as liberators are concerned,
acts of militant interventionism, from a brick through a pet store window and
the liberation of animals, to the slashing of animal transport vehicle tires,
will lighten their shade even further.
Two people who
read this book and agree with its principles can work together, recommend
liberators. One can work as an infiltrator in a lab, or a slaughter house, or a
grocery store, and feed the other information for militant intervention. If
someone makes more money than they need, liberators suggest that they can
support someone else who wants to spend all of his or her time in sabotage.
What liberators believe this shows is that people can
participate in the liberation movement without needing to be perfect human
beings. Realizing that we are not perfect is like realizing that we cannot
change society. It makes no sense to lament what we can not be; but we can
find optimism and hope in realizing what we can become. Liberators hope
we, too, can engage in animal liberation to the greatest degree possible, all
the time trying to become more consistent, more militant, and further removed
from society. According to liberators, we can all engage in the life long
process of becoming a lighter shade of red.
what about the multitudes of people who feel sympathy for the liberation
position, but simply oppose any form of force against humans ? The majority of
people who care for animals are simple, compassionate folks, wanting to make the
lives of animals more pleasant at the hands of human tyrants. They are never
going to drop out of society, break the law, or even go to a rally against
vivisection or fur. They will, however, send money to animal groups, treat their
pets well, and feel guilty every time they eat a steak. These people are the
bread and butter of the animal defender constituency. What role do liberators
see these people playing ?
This is an important
question. The fact is that few people will take up the life of a liberator.
Liberators hope that those who do not join them can at least admit to themselves
that such a life, with its strategies of withdrawal and militant
interventionism, is the most consistent position to take if one wishes to
live as a true animal defender, and the most effective method for
liberating our family of creatures from human oppression. If they admit this
to themselves, and consider the liberation ethic an ideal, liberators hope they
can also admit it to others.At the very least, they can stop condemning
liberation activities, such as Animal Liberation Front raids, as unacceptable
acts of ? terrorism ?.
This is a real issue that is
currently splitting the animal defense movement. Most large animal organizations
are quick to condemn A.L.F. raids in the hope of maintaining an air of
respectability. They know that A.L.F. activities cause the public, the
opposition, and the media, to paint the entire movement with one brush, calling
all animal defenders ? terrorists ?. Knowing that moderate members, like the
ones just described who oppose illegal activity of any sort, will stop sending
donations to groups which support such activities, these groups are eager to
take a loyalty oath to society and denounce any illegalities committed in the
name of animal liberation.
A.L.F. activities are not
only to be praised, according to the liberators, but the people doing these
raids should be encouraged to be more confrontational and destructive to
oppressive humans, a position which the A.L.F. publicly denounces.
Liberators hope to persuaded all those who wish to engage in A.L.F.
activities to practice militant interventionism in a broader form.
It is not the liberators’ intention to belittle people
who cannot accept the full commitment of becoming a liberator. Their premise
that people are extremely imperfect demands that they be sensitive to human
frailty. People participating in the system are a darker shade of red than a
liberator. The liberators state that they can slightly compensate for their
participation by assisting the liberation movement as much as possible.
These people, according to liberators, can influence that
12 % of the public who care about ethical issues, but would be alienated by the
more rigorous and extreme position of the liberator. People change slowly, and
there is a place in the movement for people to assist others in moving towards a
liberation ethic. The more people who become sympathetic to the liberation
cause, the more the animals will be helped.
that standard tactics of writing to Congressmen, holding a rally, writing
letters to the editor, and talking with friends, fellow workers, and family,
have their place in the eyes of liberators. These tactics will not free animals,
but they will cause the oppressors some grief as they scramble to maintain
control over consumer’s behaviors.
Remember, according to
liberators, trying to improve the moral fiber of society is a lost cause.
Efforts must be focused on monkeywrenching the abusive system, creating
obstacles to oppression. Anything that causes the animal abusers difficulty in
carrying out their oppression is a good deed. Spending money on lobbyists,
television commercials, and lawyers makes animal abuse more painful and less
In other words, these standard tactics
are annoyances to the powerful abusers, not a prevention of their
activities. There is no way to stop them on a large, societal scale. But
liberators feel they can stop them on a small,
individual scale. To do this they believe they must practice
Their position on non-violent
tactics is that they work minimally, but are better than nothing. However, they
should not be used with the hope of transforming society. They believe that no
one will ever change society in any meaningful way in favor of animal respect.
Non-violent tactics should be used, say the liberators, with the intent of
monkeywrenching the system, not changing it. The more people feel that
non-violent efforts will change the system, the less willing they will be to
revolt against it. This is why liberators feel non-violence is dangerous if
practiced for the wrong reason. False hopes that i can work will hurt the
animals in the long run. It perpetuates a belief in the system and a commitment
to working things out with abusive humans and their abusive social machine.
In short, liberators ask that animal supporters make
their best contribution to the liberation movement, and support those who are
willing to be extreme in their approach. Supporting them is supporting the
animals that they are rescuing.
Liberators have a
positive outlook about their work and their approach. They hope their positive
outlook is contagious, for there is much to feel positive about. The motivation
for their actions are based on their feelings, particularly their empathy for
all beings in our family. Liberators are loving people. But love does not
have to be manifested only in our suffering for abused family members. They
can also have empathy for free, happy members. Empathy is a flexible tool for
connecting with others. It allows us to feel another’s pains or pleasures. As
empathic beings, liberators feel they can also find true happiness in the world,
even as they work to relieve suffering.
the more pain you feel the more pleasure you can also feel. Empathy makes
liberators passionate people. They feel they can cry with the oppressed and
laugh with the free. An ability to empathize and feel a connection to others
is essential for feeling love, since love is the ultimate form of connection.
Liberators say they do not have to limit themselves to loving only those who
The example they use to explain this
is that, if you had many brothers and sisters, and some of them were being
tortured and murdered, you would dedicate your life to liberating them, However,
that would not limit you from receiving pleasure from the love for your other
brothers and sisters who are free.
What this all boils
down to is that liberators feel it is all right to enjoy life, despite the
carnage that surrounds them. Liberators believe their empathy makes them
capable of feeling true love. They claim that they are probably the most
fulfilled, loving, self-actualized people on Earth.
For those willing to enter the process of becoming a liberator, liberators offer
more words of encouragement. These were included on the cassette.
? Your emotions are powerful, not only in making you
receptive to love as well as suffering, but in sustaining your commitment to
liberation. Many people are motivated by their heads. They have become so
alienated from nature that they allow themselves to get caught up in mind games,
and give their heads preference over their hearts. Hearts are intuitive, while
the intellect needs reasons and explanations that intuition cannot provide.
These head trip people are the ones who read books
like ? Diet for a new America ?, by John Robbins, and intellectually appreciate
the importance of becoming a vegan. They might even try it for a few weeks, or
maybe even a few months, and then give up because it was too difficult to eat in
restaurants, or because they really love eating turkey flesh on Thanksgiving and
Christmas. Some will go back to eating meat when they read another book, by
another self-proclaimed expert, telling them that meat is necessary for good
health. Head trippers have no staying power. The mind is a fickle organ.
We do not expect head trippers to ever become
liberators. It takes commitment and lots of heart to do our job. You may have
the heart that it takes. Be proud of yourself and your ability to feel if you
have this rare sensitivity.
You might feel
alone in your commitment to liberation. You are not. Realistically, we must
expect that most people will resist the messages in this book. People suck !
There’s no getting around that fact. But there will be others like ourselves
who will recognize these truths, and who will join our cause. Our numbers will
always be few compared to the abusers and cowards. Our small numbers make each
of us even more valuable and special. But our numbers will grow, as our efforts
reinforce and validate others who feel the way we do. And many thousands of
people feel as we do.
The fact that we do not
announce our activities as do standard groups makes our numbers uncountable. One
liberator can seem like hundreds, as the paranoid minds of abusers reap the
bitter harvest they have sown. Take pride in your courage, and feel confident in
your effectiveness. The animals are benefiting from our efforts. To the
liberated animal we mean the difference between life and death. Every liberator
is a true hero. ?
This book was written to explain
the intellectual justification used by those who believe in animal liberation.
The issues are complex, as you have discovered. I have tried presenting them
clearly and concisely. Please re-read this book, understand what has
been said, and decide on its validity.
reading this book is an animal abuser, according to the liberators. For that
reason, if for none other, we should all be concerned about their message and
approach. Chances are that violence will accelerate over the years as people
become increasingly disenchanted working within the system. At the same time,
the growing human population virtually guarantees increased animal abuse. The
situation is becoming critical.
In the meantime, millions
of our brothers and sisters are dying each day. Right or wrong, liberators have
empowered themselves to do what they feel is right for our family. For them, the
war has begun !
About The Author
I am sure that many of you would like to know who I am. My
identity is something I expect to never reveal. Those who abuse animals for a
living, or for pleasure, or just out of habit, will want to hunt me down to
prove that they have the power to continue their oppressive lifestyles. Those
who call themselves animal rights or welfare organizations will want to squelch
my presentation of the liberators’ condemnation of the human-centered status
quo, in which they prosper. In short, I expect very few people will receive my
words of truth with honest delight and acceptance.
event that someone tries to capitalize on my pseudonymous state and claims that
he or she is Screaming Wolf, perhaps in an attempt to discredit my work, or to
gain personal notoriety, please check with the publishers of this book. They do
not know who I am at present, but I will reveal myself to them first, before any
public statements are made. It is through them that I shall speak.
Original publisher’s note : The text of this book was printed in the form
in which it was received on a computer disk. No editing of its contents has
occurred. All emphases are those of the author, Screaming Wolf. We are not
responsible for its contents, and its publication is not meant as an endorsement
of any of its statements, policies, or positions.