As most of us know, other animals are being oppressed, exploited, used and abused at rates and in numbers never seen before in history.
Animal agriculture is always looking for ways to increase the profitability of their commodity, and animal abuse/mistreatment cases almost seem to be becoming common place.
As developing nations become richer and their middle and upper class grows, so does their hunger for the excesses of the west, which also includes the over consumption of non-human animal products.
As you read on, please bear in mind that in for the week ending 29 November 2012 the following animals were killed for to be consumed as food. Kill Stats
135,571 Sheep (Qld 9,274); 368,959 Lambs (Qld 5,004); 139,935 Cattle (Qld 71,778); 6,193 Calves (Qld 368); October saw 404,981 pigs killed, and 141,700,000 chickens were killed in the September quarter of 2012
Has The Animal Liberation Movement Lost It’s Way?
At some point in time after the reading of Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation, the movement lost it’s way, to become the social club that it is today. Whether this was a gradual change over time resulting from the loss of momentum or never really having it to begin with, I cannot say.
What I can say though, is that a majority of the Animal Liberation groups in Australia seem to be doing very little in regards to actually liberating animals anywhere. Tending to focus more on the socially acceptable campaign of incremental reform.
Operating Under False Pretenses?
With the exclusion of Victoria, the other Animal Liberation groups in Australia are ‘member societies’ of Animals Australia.
Reading the Who We Are page of Animal Liberation NSW, is the following
Animal Liberation believes all animals (yes humans are animals too) have a right to live how they would normally choose without other species intervention. Just like slaves, women and other minorities in society have been able to challenge views on how they should be treated and what their rights should be, Animal Liberation wants to challenge society on its views of all non-human animals. The way we do this is through educational campaigns, public events and using the media to get our message across.
We appear at music festivals and hold monthly public meetings where information about campaigns and actions are discussed and activists can become more involved through these meeting. We are involved in research and advertising to get the message across to consumers regarding treatment of animals who are commonly eaten.
The animal rights movement is a growing one and we intend to maintain our fight for all the non-human animals on this planet until every last one is liberated from suppression.
From Animal Liberation Qld’s Objectives page.
Animal Liberation Queensland aims to contribute to the animal rights movement and to work towards a more practical and compassionate human worldwide, by:
Lobbying for legislative change at local, state and federal government levels; including collaboration with other state and national animal rights groups on a needs basis to increase the effectiveness of such lobbying.
Nominating animal rights advocates who are suitable to serve on various government and institutional advisory committees.
Promoting veganism as a healthier, more compassionate and more ecologically sustainable lifestyle, and by providing people wishing to change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle with support and information free of charge.
Yet the very actions of these groups seems to be in conflict with what they claim to be for.
A majority of people join and volunteer with these groups because they are under the impression that their actions will lead to the liberation of all animals. Which, funnily enough, is something that these groups don’t actually ask for. If you don’t ask for it, how will you ever get it?
Animal Liberation Groups, Should They Be Answerable To The Animals Or Their Members/Donors?
The biggest, best-funded non profits have an obligation to be leaders in innovation, but sometimes they hesitate.
One reason: “We’re doing important work. Our funders count on us to be reasonable and cautious and proven, because the work we’re doing is too important to risk failure.”
One alternative: “We’re doing important work. Our funders count on us to be daring and bold and brave, because the work we’re doing is too important to play it safe.”
The thing about most cause/welfare non-profits is that they haven’t figured out how to solve the problem they’re working on (yet). Yes, they often offer effective aid, or a palliative. But no, too many don’t have a method for getting at the root cause of the problem and creating permanent change. That’s because it’s hard (incredibly hard) to solve these problems.
The magic of their status is that no one is expecting a check back, or a quarterly dividend. They’re expecting a new, insightful method that will solve the problem once and for all.
Go fail. And then fail again. Non-profit failure is too rare, which means that non-profit innovation is too rare as well. Innovators understand that their job is to fail, repeatedly, until they don’t.
I don’t know of too many supporters or volunteers of an animal liberation group who would be upset about their time or money being spent focusing on liberating animals from suppression, as promised by Animal Liberation NSW.
Instead, they spend their time working on softly softly approaches, aiming for incremental reforms of industry, holding their collective breaths that this may one day lead to an end of animal use. Though as I discussed in a recent article Incremental Reform. Dancing With The Devil, & The Devil’s Leading. this is unlikely to happen.
Why did these groups join forces with Animals Australia, the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union, The Greens, and who knows who else to take part in a Ban Live Export protest?
How is that maintaining our fight for all the non-human animals on this planet until every last one is liberated from suppression?
It wouldn’t happen.
At the 2012 Animal Activists Forum in Sydney Mark Pearson, Executive Director of Animal Liberation, gave a talk titled The Continuum Between Soft Welfarism And No Compromise (Which Is Better For Animals Breathing Today And Those Who Will Be Tomorrow?). Knowing what their aims are, what they claim to be for, and that the group is called Animal Liberation, do you think that the animals coming into the animal agricultural system in the future will be happy knowing that the volunteers and supporters of these groups spent their time asking for a bigger cage, to be fed for 30 hours before slaughter, to be killed in an Australian slaughterhouse as opposed to overseas, etc? Or, will they be bitterly disappointed that they haven’t lived up to their namesake and promise to fight for all the non-human animals on this planet until every last one is liberated from suppression?
Can The Animal Liberation Movement Redeem Itself?
I believe that it can happen, though it will take some work by the members and volunteers of these groups to tell the respective committees that it is time they got back to their roots and started campaigning for Animal Liberation.
It is time to take the fight to those who seek to subjugate animals, using any and every legal means that are at our disposal.
It is time to be proactive, rather than reactive to the animal atrocities that we see on our TV screens.
It is time to take a stand.
To take a stand for Animal Liberation.
Not continual enslavement in bigger cages.
[GARD]Make today in your diaries, because today is the day that the Real Animal Liberation movement was born.
A movement that wants to put itself out of business.
A movement that will do all that it can today, so it doesn’t have to fight another battle tomorrow.
What Can I Do?
Share this article with other people that you know who want to see animals liberated from their cages, not put in bigger ones.
It would also be great if you could leave a comment below, so I have an idea of how many people are coming on board with this idea. Or if you disagree with this entirely. All comments will be published, except for those that are spam or abusive/derogatory.
You can start by demanding that those in the executive or committee positions of these alleged Animal Liberation organisations be true to their name.
Not tomorrow, not in the New Year, not when so and so comes back from their holidays.
It begins today.
If the organisation wont change leave it. You don’t need to give it a chance to prove itself as it should already have done that before you joined.
Don’t be afraid to leave a group and strike out on your own. Remember, Paul Watson did just that, starting Sea Shepherd after a falling out with Greenpeace.
If you can round up enough supporters to join with you, I will help you set one up yourselves.
In closing, i will leave you with this quote from Animal Liberation Qld’s Philosophy page by Peter Singer.
If we have learned anything from the liberation movements, we should have learned how difficult it is to be aware of the ways in which we discriminate until they are forcefully pointed out to us. A liberation movement demands an expansion of our moral horizons, so that practices that were previously regarded as natural and inevitable are now seen as intolerable.