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A DECLARATION OF WAR
Killing People To Save Animals And The Environment

  

This book is dedicated to the animals who have been killed by human greed, selfishness, and bloodlust. In their names, and in the names of current and future generations of innocent beings who will suffer and die as a result of human brutality, the liberators are striking back. Our fellow creatures who have been mutilated, slaughtered, burned, poisoned, strangled, gassed, shot, electrocuted, microwaved, run over, skinned, eaten, enslaved, and domesticated are now being defended. Humans, beware !
- Screaming Wolf -

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Table Of Contents

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CHAPTER 1: THE LIBERATORS

CHAPTER 2: THIS WORLD IS MEANT FOR ALL BEINGS

CHAPTER 3: HOMO DESTRUCTUS

CHAPTER 4: THE EVERYDAY HOLOCAUST

CHAPTER 5: THE MYTH OF NON-VIOLENCE

CHAPTER 6: A TIME FOR WAR

CHAPTER 7: FINDING PEACE IN TIMES OF WAR

 

Preface from the original editors  

A MESSAGE FROM THE UNDERGROUND

My husband and I are animal rights activists. For the past ten years we have been in trenches fighting for the animals. But we have always fought legally. We have used the system to its fullest, coordinating various educational, legislative, and litigious campaigns.

If you would have asked us how we felt about our work, we would have told you that our struggle for animal rights and a more humane world was finally becoming mainstream and acceptable. We really believed that our message was beginning to be heard.

However, on the morning of January 18, 1991, our lives were turned upside down.

Included in our mail was a small package with no return address. Inside was a computer disk. There was no explanation of what this disk was for, or who had sent it to us. We looked at the postmark on the envelope, but it was faint and illegible. With no clues as to its contents, we decided to put it in our computer and see what was on it.

The  disk  had  one  file on  it  called, A Declaration  of  War . We opened the file, and the following message appeared.

    � This manuscript explains the philosophy of a group of individuals throughout the world who call themselves, ‘Liberators’. They believe in a revolution to liberate animals and, if necessary, to kill their oppressors. They say such extreme action is needed to stop the horrible human caused suffering of animals and the destruction of the world. They believe that nothing short of a total overthrow of this system will free our brothers and sisters. Please see that this 'Declaration of War’ is published for the world to read and understand.

Signed - Screaming Wolf �


Our curiosity kept us glued to the computer for the next four hours, as we read this bold manuscript. When we finished, we were extremely disturbed. What kind of person could be responsible for this, we wondered. At first, we couldn’t understand why we were chosen as the recipients of this ‘Declaration of War’. After thinking it through, we assumed it was because of some similarities in our personal philosophies. We, too, see humans as the destructive force in the world. We feel that this planet was not put here for humans to exploit, and that nature and other animals, not humans, are at the center of our moral thinking.

But what was this talk of killing oppressors ? We never promoted or defended violence. Why did Screaming Wolf decide to contact us ? The answer to that question is still a mystery, But the reason for our selection is a moot point. We have been selected and must now deal with this terrifying manuscript.

Screaming Wolf explains the reason why ‘Liberators’ feel that they must declare war on society. We expect that many activists in the animal rights and environmental movements agree with much of what the ‘Liberators’ have to say, but would seldom admit these deep and frightening thoughts, even to themselves. Feelings of frustration, feelings of alienation, feelings of love and hate and anger and fear, all of these, and more, are common to all of us working within the system for change.

However, the ‘Liberators’ go beyond these feelings, and describe real or proposed actions : actions which the public will immediately decry as terrorism, actions which the ‘Liberators’ defend as heroism. According to Screaming Wolf, who apparently is a spokesperson for these ‘Liberators’, these terrorists are a branch of the A.L.F. (Animal Liberation Front). This group has claimed responsibility for breaking into laboratories and factory farms, rescuing animals and damaging equipment. However, the A.L.F. has maintained a commitment of nonviolence towards all living beings, including humans. Liberators, according to Screaming Wolf, have decided to end their commitment of non-violence towards human life. These people actually feel that violence against humans is the only way to make a real difference for the animals.

After reading this manuscript, our anxiety and fear almost prompted us to toss it in trash. We were looking for any excuse to forget what we had just read. However, we concluded that Screaming Wolf’s message is too important to simply dismiss. People must know what ‘Liberator’ believe, and can come to their own conclusions about what it means, how they feel about it, and what they want to do about it.

We know that publishing a book like this is risky, despite the alleged First Amendment rights of freedom of press. People in this country are allowed to purchase and bear arms, but not to announce a call to arms. We expect some people to construe our publication of this book as an endorsement of violence, despite our disclaimers to the contrary. We looked into the laws regarding publication of literature concerning terrorism and realized at once that the risk in publishing this book is real. We expect to be slapped with dozens of lawsuits, and probably death threats as well. As one lawyer put it, our publishing this book may be totally legally defensible, but we will most likely have to repeatedly prove that fact over the next decade, costing us a fortune in legal fees, and draining our energy and time as we deal with the legal system.

The situation, as we see it, is that we have been the recipients of a manuscript that describes a terrorist group of people declaring war on humans to save animals and the environment. If we ignore the manuscript, the public will not know of this threat to its safety. People need to know that ‘Liberators’ exist. We also feel that everyone who believes in working within the system needs to engage in open and honest dialogue about all ways of seeing a problem and its possible solutions, including the solution offered by the ‘Liberators’. This applies to activists and those invested in the status quo. The message of ‘Liberators’ affects all of these people.

We concluded, therefore, that we must accept the responsibility of publishing this manuscript. In the name of truth and honesty, people must hear this message of the ‘Liberators’.

In an attempt to protect ourselves from criminal prosecution, we, the publishers, would like to make the following direct disclaimer. We do not endorse or support any of the illegal, terrorist activities described by Screaming Wolf or the ‘Liberators’. We present this book for informational purposes only.

The entire manuscript of Screaming Wolf could have been printed with quotation marks from the first word to the last, since all that follows this preface are the words of that individual and his or her presentation of the ‘Liberator’ position. We have excluded such quotation marks for the purpose of clarity.

This is a glimpse into the world of animal liberation terrorism. We suspect that the life and message of a ‘Liberator’ will be a difficult one for most people to understand. But we feel that the public has a right to have this information. After all, if the ‘Liberators’ continue to carry out their tactics, it may be a matter of life and death.

The Publishers
February, 1991.
 
 MAJOR DISCLAIMER by Screaming Wolf
 

    This book describes the opinions and feelings of a group of people who were once members of the Animal Liberation Front.

They have broken off from the Animal Liberation Front and now support the use of violence against humans to save animals. It is my, Screaming Wolf’s, understanding that the law considers animals to be property, not persons. Only persons are protected under the law. Killing people to save animals, then, would be completely unacceptable and unjustifiable under the laws of this land. I have been told that it is illegal to support terrorism against humans in the name of freeing animals.

I, Screaming Wolf, would never commit an illegal act or encourage others to do so.

The discerning reader may find places where I clearly agree with liberators, particularly concerning human nature and the nature of societies. However, all statements that even remotely sound terrorist are the liberators’, not my own.
 
 

Chapter One
 

THE LIBERATORS

    Who are the liberators ? What events have transformed these compassionate animal defenders into terrorists ?

My reason for writing this book is to let the public know why groups like the Animal Liberation Front, or A.L.F., and eco-saboteurs exist. What possibly possesses people to become so extreme that they are willing to engage in terrorist activities for the cause of saving animals and the planet on which they live ?

Animal abusers have already felt the effect of actions directed against property. A.L.F. raids are notorious for their success in freeing animals, destroying property used in animal abuse, while maintaining a position of non-violence to all life, including humans. A fire at University of California at Davis destroyed an unfinished animal research building, causing almost $5 million in damage.

However, extremists are extending such activities, from destroying property used in the murder and torture of animals, to attacking the real causes of the abuse : people.

This issue is clearly important, given the recent car bombing in England of an animal researcher’s vehicle. These activities have begun in the United States with the attempted assassination of  the president of U.S. Surgical Corporation, a business that demonstrates surgical staples on dogs. And some eco-saboteurs do equally extreme acts to end what they regard as the raping of the planet by logging companies, mining companies, and other � natural resource � exploiters.

I must explain what this book is not about. This is not an attempt to convince you why animals should have their freedom respected. Liberators don’t believe anyone can use words to convince others of moral principles, as explained later. You either believe that we are all animals with an equal claim to life and that human animals must respect those claims, or you believe that humans are non-animals, special beings who have every right to use others as they wish.

Liberators believe that a human has a no greater claim to life than a mole or a sea bass. They feel that humans are the lowest form of life, and that the world would be a much better, more peaceful place without them. If you agree with this position, then you will love this book.

If you believe that humans are the chosen species or the highest point of biological evolution, and that this somehow gives them a right to abuse other creatures, then this book is important to you, too. It will let you know that you are a target for animal liberators. Every time you abuse another creature, look over your shoulder. Through liberators, the animals are now fighting back.

There are some of you who locate yourselves between these extreme positions. You believe that animals should be treated well, but you still place humans on a throne. Conflicted by your empathy for other creatures and your need for control, you play the moderate. You try cooling down extremist animal defenders, calling for non-violence and dialogue, and you try increasing the sensitivity of animal abusers, calling for larger cages and � humane slaughter �. You will find this book disturbing. According to liberators, there is no room for moderation and compromise when it comes to moral principles concerning life and death. And liberators are concerned with life and death.

To give you an idea of who these liberators are as people, I will trace the development of an average person into a liberator.

There was a time in the lives of liberators when they would have killed an animal to save a human. And they would have thought nothing about loggers cutting roads into virgin timberland.

At one time, they weren’t even aware that the food on their plates was once an animal. They gave no thought to wearing fur or leather, and enjoyed seeing animals behind bars in zoos. While they always loved animals, they still regarded human life as more valuable and worthy than non-human life.

Yet, despite their socially programmed bias for human animals, liberators found themselves more comfortable in the company of squirrels and birds than people. Like most people, they lived the contradiction of abusing other beings while at the same time loving them.

Liberators, after all, are human. Humans have a great capacity for fooling themselves. We feel one way, but think another. We feel that animals should be free to live their own lives, but we think that such freedom would unreasonably conflict with our lifestyles. We like drugs, and meat, and other products of animal exploitation, but we feel sick when we learn exactly what happens to the animals during the production of such products. That’s why  slaughter houses are out of public view, and research lab doors are kept closed. It helps people keep their heads in the sand, closing their eyes to all the cruelty around them.

Some people turn off their feelings to suffering animals, and fabricate ideas to justify their acts of animal abuse. Society supports this, since it values thoughts over feelings. These people learn to suppress what they really feel when they see animals suffering. Separating thoughts from feelings is a part of the process of alienation that plagues humankind.

Because if this alienation, most people have no sense of where they belong in the world, or who they themselves really are. Pop psychology and self-help books overflow on the shelves of bookstores, as these confused, frightened, and lonely people seek help from pieces of paper, hoping to put some meaning and love in their lives. But it takes more than words to change people’s lives and re-integrate alienated humans into a balanced, natural world. Despite the encouraging writings of     self-appointed gurus, their abuse of animals, and of themselves, continues. These people never become liberators.

The people who do become liberators examine personal feelings and thoughts, and discard ideas that don’t fit the world in which they want to live. They realize that ideas are no more than justifications of feelings. Getting in touch with their feelings helps them avoid the alienation that leads to so much human pain and suffering. As they keep in touch with our feelings, they abandon animal   abuse,  and    transform   their   way   of   life   into   a   more compassionate one.

They then join support groups. They join out of a sense of helplessness and a growing need to do something, to change the world. They sometimes fight with old friends who still support animal research or hunting, while trying to find new friends. Meanwhile, they adopt a vegetarian lifestyle, since they don’t believe in eating their non-human friends. This makes them social pariahs, and even their families can’t wait until they get through this new � phase � that they are in.

After a few years, the � phase � is considered an unhealthy obsession. They are taking this animal issue to extremes, they are told. Nobody likes extremists. Extremists take their beliefs seriously and practice them consistently. Most people are frightened by consistency. It takes too much work. As a result, friends are not as easy to locate as before. The problem is that they begin to feel comfortable only with other animal � extremists �, and such people tend to like animals more than they like people.

There is a reason why people who become liberators turn to animals for affection. There is an honesty about non-humans. They don’t play games. They are direct. And they are never intentionally cruel.

Eventually, they grow frustrated as their efforts for saving animals seem impotent in making a big difference. They get donation pitches in the mail each week from animal welfare and animal rights organizations, telling them how much the organizations have done for the animals, how much still needs to be done, how the opposition is mounting a counter-offensive, and how little money there is to fight back and preserve whatever advances have been made. They ask themselves whether these organizations, some with millions of dollars in investments and executive directors earning six figure incomes, have become permanent institutions in our cruel society, more invested in maintaining the status quo than in freeing animals.

They start questioning whether animal abuse will ever stop given current approaches. Basic beliefs come under scrutiny, as they examine whether humans can ever be the agents for liberating animals. Questions like, � Can we ever change the system from within ? �  pop into their minds. And for the first time, they do not answer automatically in the affirmative. They reflect on their feelings about people, society, animals, and the way things have been done in the past. They begin to even wonder if the concept of animal � rights � is what the animals really need.

These increasingly frustrated individuals examine their assumption that educating the public about what is really happening to the animals will somehow lead to the termination of the cruelty. That assumption demands a faith in the fairness and compassion of human nature that these people no longer take on face value. They begin to question whether showing people movies and photos of monkeys with electrodes in their heads, or wolves caught by steel-jaw leghold traps, or calves immobilized in dark, claustrophobic veal crates, or chickens crowded and stressed by factory farm conditions, will motivate the common person to change their consumption patterns and other abusive behaviors.

At one time, the common person would hunt, slaughter, skin, and beat animals as a regular part of life. It is an illusion of contemporary society that people today are more compassionate than in that cruel past. Actually, the general public has simply become unaccustomed to killing animals themselves. The dirty work is left to � specialists �, like butchers, trappers, animal researchers, and animal shelter workers.

History has shown, however, that humans have an enormous capacity to revert to barbaric behavior at the first sign of potential personal gain. The same insensitivity that allows � specialists � to kill would allow the average person to kill, as well. At the current time, this insensitivity allows people to be comfortable in the knowledge that others are doing the killing for them. If people today are sensitive to pictures of animal abuse, then the interest people have in the products of that abuse will simply cause them to turn away from the pictures, or to accept that such acts against animals are � a necessary evil �.

So these developing liberators conclude that, in the long run, showing the public pictures of animal abuse will only further desensitize people to animal suffering. Humans can adapt to all assaults to their sensibilities, especially when they are committed to certain behaviors.

They  then  try  to  appeal   to  the  public,  legislators,  product manufacturers, and others in power, through letter writing, boycotts, rallies, demonstrations, and marches. But their efforts get them nowhere. Every small victory is challenged. Despite years of lobbying and writing to Congressmen, the only major legislation passed in recent history for animal protection was the Federal Animal Welfare Act, designed primarily to protect animals exploited in research. Yet, before the ink could dry on the new legislation, animal abusers clamored to water down its already compromised and weakened impact.

As a result of lobbying by animal abusers, farm animals are exempt from the act, as are rodents. When you consider that about 90% of animal research is done on rodents, it’s easy to see that the effect of the Act on animal suffering is minimal. Further, any acts of terror can be committed against any and all animals in the name of research, so long as it is deemed � necessary � for the research project. Since farm animals are exempt from the Act, many researchers now target pigs and sheep as totally unprotected subjects. It’s hard to keep a cruel researcher down !

The increasingly angry animal defenders passionately hold onto their dubious victories to convince themselves that those victories are substantial and meaningful. They demand to legislators that the Act is enforced, a difficult task since the Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for its enforcement, has too few inspectors, and too little interest, in doing its job. This leads these soon-to-be liberators to the sad realization that laws are only as good as the intent to obey them.

Recognizing these failures, they look to other signs of success to bolster their optimism. We see that vegetarianism is more acceptable than before, with more vegetarians in this country than in the past. Further examination reveals that many so called � vegetarians � eat fish and poultry. Almost all of these � vegetarians � eat dairy and/or eggs, which is merely exchanging solid flesh for liquid flesh.

At most, only 3% of the population say they are � vegetarians �. When we consider a population of 270.000.000 people, 3% seems a great amount of vegetarians, surely enough to generate a market for special products and magazines. But there are still 262.000.000 people eating animal flesh, and the numbers of animals killed for food continues to increase. Put differently, 97 out of every 100 babies born  in this country are being raised as flesh eaters.

They turn their attention to the fur issue, an area where they can feel certain success. After all fur is no longer a fashionable commodity. Unfortunately, they discover that fur stores have opened up in Asian countries, so that the industry has simply generated new markets to replace the old ones it has lost. They also learn that fur is unfashionable primarily in the United States and England, but is still popular in some European countries. And knowing how fashions come and go, these people, increasingly anxious about making a difference for the animals, develop a uneasiness over the current fur taboo, wondering when fur will again become a desirable commodity.

Finally,  they   turn   their  attention   to  cosmetic  and  household product testing on animals. Feeling certain that the general public will never sanction such blatant animal abuse, they boycott the companies selling these products of death. When some of the companies agree to stop animal testing, the animal lovers rejoice at the news. They feel vindicated in their approach of working within the system and fighting with their pocketbooks.

To maintain their feeling of success, however, they try to ignore the fact that many of the companies, who say they no longer use animal tests, are farming out the tests to other companies, or are buying animal tested ingredients from suppliers to use in their allegedly cruelty free product line.

Eventually, they begin to realize that fighting for the animals is like trying to put out thousands of brush fires. Tremendous effort and time is spent focusing on one fire, which may or may not be extinguished, while ten others are being started. It is a never ending battle fighting this way. And it is a losing proposition.

Eventually, these animal extremists step back from the smoky field, and reflect on the causes of the fires. If they can eliminate some of the causes, they conclude, then they wouldn’t have to fight so many flames.

In short, these people move towards greater and greater extremism as they find all their efforts to help the animals frustrated by the abusive system with which they are fighting. They examine and question all their assumptions and approaches, and for once they feel that they are really beginning to get in touch with the depth of the problem, and with possible solutions. Finally, they come up with bold, revolutionary ideas. In fact, they conclude that a revolution is essential for freeing the animals.

Let me summarize this conclusion of people who have come to call themselves animal liberators. It will be direct, challenging, uncompromising, and frightening to all animal abuser and others invested in the system.

Liberators believe in killing humans to save animals !

If  an  animal  researcher  said :  �  It’s  a  dog or a  child,  � a liberator will defend the dog every time. A liberator also believes that disposing of a few researchers will save even more dogs from their cruelty.

Liberators have come to one unavoidable conclusion : HUMANS WILL NEVER MAKE PEACE WITH ANIMALS ! It is not in their natures or in the natures of the societies they have created. In fact, liberators believe that if people really want to save the animals, they must stop wasting their time trying to improve the human race and its societies. They must declare war against humans. They must join in this revolution !

Liberators believe this is the only logical, consistent, and morally correct conclusion stemming from a true belief that animals should be free to live their lives unshackled from human exploitation. They believe that the nature of human society and its laws are implicitly and irrevocably immoral. Liberators are people of conscience who feel morally obligated to break those laws and revolt against this oppressive regime.

But this revolution by liberators will not be like any other in the history of the world.

Normally, revolutions seek to gain privileges within society for a disenfranchised group of people. The civil rights movement, for example, was dedicated to gaining protection and enforcement of those rights blacks were assured in the Constitution since the Civil War. It was a movement for inclusion in society. The same thing goes for the gay rights movement, or the feminist movement.

The liberation movement to end animal exploitation is nothing like these others, as the liberators see it. And according to them, this difference has made the struggle for freedom for animals, as it has been practiced to this day, to be nothing more than an impotent whimper in the face of gross inhumanity.

Liberators feel this movement demands a different approach because human groups fight for inclusion. The movement to free animals must fight for exclusion. Oppressed people want to be accepted as equals into society. Oppressed animals want to be left alone by society 1.

This difference, according to liberators, dictates different strategies for the animal rights activist than for any other social reformer. For one thing, it makes non-violent tactics, as modeled by Gandhi or King, inappropriate.

Liberators believe that only physical harm will dissuade people from abusing animals.

Their message is not simply that we should shoot hunters, kill vivisectors, trap trappers, and butcher butchers in order to free the animals. They believe we are morally justified in doing these things, and that we must do it to free some animals. But liberators do not believe that it will change the world and result in the freedom of all animals.

Liberators hold that nothing will result in the freedom of all animals, short of the extinction of human species. People will abuse other creatures so long as the human species exists. This is an observation liberators base on human nature, and they believe human nature is not about to change.

Liberators are not simply pessimists in making this statement. To them, it is a realistic appraisal of the history of human blood lust and speciesism. It is their bold acceptance of what they feel many people really know deep in their hearts. But liberators expect few people will acknowledge what they feel in their hearts. Who wants to accept the fact that their efforts and hopes are useless ?

The liberators feel it’s time for animal defenders, and those concerned about the environment, to open their eyes and admit that they shall never overcome.

In short, the liberators believe that history has shown that working within the cruel system and winning small battles for the animals will soon prove irrelevant. The carnage against animals continues. The opposition is stronger, better financed, and more numerous than animal defenders. Gains made are easily reversed. Animal abuse will go on until mankind becomes extinct, or the planet is destroyed.

According to this extremist position, it follows that people who want to help the animals must not use their energy trying to change the system - that’s impossible. They must focus their efforts on rescuing as many animals as they can and give animal abusers as much trouble as possible - they must be liberators of animals ! The purpose of this revolution would not be to discard the old powers and put in the new. According to the liberator philosophy, no human system will ever treat animals with respect. The animals simply need a continuous revolution to consistently, repeatedly, and uncompromisingly liberate them from human oppression. They need a revolution against human society because it is intrinsically oppressive. So long as there are people, animals will need this revolution.

Liberators believe a technique called militant interventionism is a necessary measure for animal liberation, given the natures of society and people. Liberators believe that working within the system will never work for the animals, and that non-violent resistance is completely inappropriate for the animal liberation movement. In this book, I will explain their reasons for these conclusions.

I will also give some examples of how they might try to monkeywrench the system. And I will explain how these individuals, dedicated to this revolution, committed to sabotage, believe that they can still find love and peace in their lives.

 


1 According to Liberators, the need for exclusion from human society applies to all animals exploited by humans, including wild life and animals raised for food, research, entertainment, or any other human defined purpose. It also includes domesticated household animals, such as dogs and cats, who have had their spirits genetically broken, since they have been bred to be dependent on humans. They live on human terms, in human communities, and are trained to suppress any remnants of their natural instincts. They are slaves who have become dependent on their slavery. See page 80 for a further discussion of the � pet � problem.
 
 

Chapter Two
 

THIS WORLD IS MEANT
FOR ALL BEINGS

To make clear their position regarding animals, liberators make the following statement :

ALL BEINGS ARE EQUAL ! HUMANS DESERVE NO SPECIAL PRIVILEGES OR CONSIDERATION, IN FACT, HUMANS ARE THE ONLY CREATURES WITH THE CAPACITY FOR EVIL �.

Non-human animals are living, feeling beings entitled to enjoy their own lives as they see fit, free from human interference. Non-humans are sentient, which means they are conscious of their interests and needs and whether or not they are fulfilled. Humans have no right to interfere with other creatures as they try to fulfill their needs, just as we expect to be free to fulfill our own.
   Liberators believe that environmental issues are connected to animal issues. They feel this connection should be obvious. If you respect animals, then you must respect their homes. Cutting down a tree destroys part of the living space of other creatures. In some cases, it is the home of many other beings, such as birds, small mammals, and insects. Of course, liberators know that there is a reason why people cut down trees. They believe it is because people see the world as a � natural resource �, as a means to human ends.

As a liberator sees it, the world has been defined by man to be for man. Placing man at the center of the world is called anthropocentrism. It allows humans to regard animals as � natural resources �, objects for human use and consumption. These self-serving notions are even glorified in religious writings, such as the Bible, imbuing these violent practices with alleged divine acceptance, and insulating them from reflection by erecting impenetrable walls of faith. Bloodthirsty humans need little justification for their massacre of nature, but armed with faith they are a non-stoppable, self-promoting holocaust.

This anthropocentric view of the world has also resulted in environmental destruction. Mountains, rivers, and even entire rainforests are nothing more than objects to satisfy man’s hunger for control and material possessions. And this subjugation of the world and its inhabitants to human desires has not exempted people from slaughtering one another, as well. This is because the connection between non-humans and humans is irrefutable. We are all animals. If non-human animals are exploitable and expendable, then so are human animals.

Anthropocentrism is similar to egocentrism. When someone behaves as though he or she is the only person whose interests and needs mattered, we call that person self-centered, or egocentric. Such a person thinks nothing about the needs of others. The world and all its inhabitants are there for his or her amusement and use. Analogously, when people think of humans as the only beings who matter, we can call those people human-centered, or anthropocentric. Both egocentrism and anthropocentrism result in abuse of others, since they are self-serving perspectives. In fact, all egocentric people are also anthropocentric. To them, the world is for their use. These egocentric people, who see themselves as the center of the human world, will see humans as the center of the natural world.

The reverse is not true, however. Many people consider themselves altruistic lovers of mankind, willing to die on the cross as their hero, Christ, had done to atone for man’s sinfulness. These people would not be considered egocentric. Yet, they put the interests and needs of humans at the highest priority. They put mankind on a pedestal over all other creatures, and consider the world to be man’s resource base. Liberators believe that the saints of mankind are still the sinners of the world.

Using this line of thinking, liberators conclude that anthropocentrism alienates humans from the rest of the natural world. Anthropocentric people consider humans separate from nature and the environment, a reality experienced by millions of people living in asphalt and cement cities. In most cities, nature is limited to urban landscape designs, where an occasional tree is planted in a cement pot or in a small opening in the sidewalk. The only feature of the natural world left untouched is the weather, although people hide in their environmentally controlled buildings to minimize this affect of nature on their lives.

When anthropocentric people feel affection for animals or nature, their feelings are always tainted by their human-centeredness. When they say they love animals, they mean they like animals for what they offer people. Usually, they prefer domestic animals. Domestication is a process whereby animals are bred for human manipulation and control. Dogs, cats, and other � pets � are objects of affection for people who think about animal life in relation to human needs.

When it comes to loving nature, these people see the great outdoors as a rejuvenating getaway from urban life. They enjoy the tall trees, clean air, and clean rivers and lakes. They value the way nature makes them feel. They believe in saving a forest, because they like to hike in them. They plead for saving a particular river, because they like to fish in it. They cry for saving the rainforests, because their planet depends on it.

Rainforests, in fact, are a primary concern for anthropocentric environmentalists for many reasons that reveal their human-centered bias. Besides the greenhouse effect resulting from rainforest destruction, they complain that species of plants and animals are becoming extinct as the forests are destroyed. Why is that important ? It is because we way lose potentially beneficial medicinal plants. Also, loss of animal species reduces the world’s gene pool and robs humans of rich, varied biological resources. They do not care about the lives of individual animals. All they care about is endangered species, and the effect of such a loss on humans.

The anthropocentric perspective has led environmentalists and animal defenders to be at odds with one another. These animal lovers care more about cats and dogs than about redwoods, while these environmentalists care more about keeping the wild available for human recreational use than about animals. Such environmentalists support the practice of adding animals to wildlife areas, as the state Fish and � Game �2 Departments do, to sustain the population at a level that will allow hunters to have fun killing animals every season.

The anthropocentric approach makes animal and environmental issues seem like two separate issues. This is no surprise. Alienated people, who are themselves apart from nature, see animals unconnected to their environments, as well.

Liberators see things differently. They see the environment as an integration of beings with their surroundings. Animals are extensions of the trees, rivers, grasses, rain, snow, earth, air, clouds, and all of the planet. The entire planet is one system. And the whole of the planet is greater than the sum of its animal, vegetable, and mineral parts. To separate animals from the environment is a human mental construct. It has nothing to do with reality.

All animals and plants come from the earth. They all return to the earth. They are composed of the same ingredients. They are different manifestations of the same oneness of the world.

To live by this view, liberators have adopted a naturocentric ethic, in which they see the human place in the world from the perspective of the entire natural world. This view sees humans, not as the center of the planet, but only as one participant among a majority of others. Man is not even the most important participant. Why should he be ? Elephants, otters, sea bass, spiders, and vultures have as much a right to be on this planet as humans.

A naturocentric view is holistic. As such, it joins the animal and environmental movements into one movement of liberation of the world from human tyranny and exploitation. Liberators believe they must care for the environment, not because it has value to humans, but because it is the home of their non-human brothers and sisters.

To liberators, having an animal movement without a defense of the environment is absurd. Animals need a place to live, and a destruction of the environment is actually a destruction of the animals.

To have an environmental movement without a primary concern for animals is nothing more than human self-centeredness. To be concerned about the environment without a concern for its animal component is to see the environment only on human terms.

Only with a naturocentric ethic can animal lovers and environmentalists come together to combat human oppression of others and the destruction of the world. This naturocentric ethic considers environmentalism a component of the animal movement. Liberators care about the environment because it is where their brothers and sisters live. The animals are their environment. Defending the environment is defending the animals.

By considering environmental protection an animal issue, liberators are not suggesting that such life forms as trees don’t matter. They certainly do matter. They believe that the more we get in touch with our natures as animals, the more we can feel a connection to all life forms. We can stand next to a tree and feel its life force and strength. A naturocentric ethic focuses on such connection.

When a tree is cut down, we feel part of ourselves destroyed. Our connection has been severed. This feeling of a loss of connection is what motivates liberators to respect trees and other aspects of the environment of which they are a part. They defend the environment, therefore, as they defend themselves and the other creatures connected to it.

For liberators, environmental defense is an extension of animal defense. If no animals were connected to or affected by an environment, it wouldn’t matter what happened to it. Environments matter when they are the fountainheads of living beings to whom life matters. This is another way of saying that the environmental movement is a subsidiary of the animal movement.

A liberators’ commitment to non-human animals is deeper than mere lip service. They have a spiritual connection with all beings, a feeling of oneness with all of creation. What happens to the armadillo being, or the deer being, or the dove being affects liberators, since they are the liberators’ family and loved ones. These other beings are the liberators’ brothers and sisters, and the liberators treat them with respect, integrity, and loyalty. And when they say that the other beings are their  family, they mean that they will defend them as they would their blood brothers and sisters.
Loving animals, for a liberator, is more than getting pleasure playing with a puppy or kitten. It’s a commitment to respect animal beings in all personal actions, and to stand by them to fight all humans who would oppress them.

Many people proclaim a love for animals. Hunters say they love wildlife, even as they empty their semi-automatic weapons into anything that moves. Trappers insist they love animals, too, and maintain that the leghold traps they use are not excessively painful to the animals unlucky enough to be crunched by them. Even animal researchers boast a love for animals, and insist that the tortures they submit our brothers and sisters to are necessary for human health.

The self-serving, human centered beliefs of hunters, trappers, and researchers should be obvious even to people disinterested in animals. But to liberators, some alleged � animal lovers �, and even members of � humane � organizations, are equally laughable in their view of animals. These alleged animal defenders and lovers are hypocrites, as liberators see it. They still consider animals objects for human exploitation. Only, please, exploit them in a humane way, these hypocrites ask. Torturing and killing animals in laboratories is justified if it is for � necessary � research, provided it is done with compassion. Even eating animals is acceptable, so long as they are � humanely slaughtered �.

To liberators, who see animals as family, the concept of � humane slaughter �, for any cause, is a perversity. It shows how confused humans are in what it means to be humane. Humane slaughter is an oxymoron, like military intelligence. Liberators feel that killing an innocent being, human or non-human, who does not want to die, is never humane.

The example liberators use is the following. Would you ever regard the murder of your brother or sister as humane ? What if the murderer pleaded with you that he killed your sister lovingly, with an overdose of barbiturates, or with electrocution ? Would you smile and agree that her murder was humane ?

Liberators believe that the real reason for calling animal slaughter � humane � is that it makes the process easier for the killers. Making murder easy for people is what liberators say many � humane � organizations are all about. They point out  that  15 million dogs and cats are killed in � shelters � every year. The public doesn’t want to think that their unwanted pets are being killed with two-by-fours crashed over their skulls. It is more humane to people to kill the animals more discretely, say, by injection. Never mind that the destroyed animals are murdered for no other reason than human negligence and unwillingness to change the system, like shutting down pet shops, making breeding illegal, and mandating neutering.

Liberators are disgusted with many animal and  environmental defense groups who have fat bank accounts, and who willingly accept that they will probably never change the system. Some of these organizations have existed for over 100 years. Meanwhile, animal abuse has grown steadily.

Do these organizations reflect on the obvious inadequacy of their approach ? No, exclaim the liberators ! They simply look ahead to the next 100 years of working within the system.

Liberators scoff at people who beat their chests in defense of animal welfare, and even some who say they believe in animals rights, but who have no problem with the killing of animals. These people oppose the suffering of animals, not their murder. They are against factory farming, where animals are treated as machines and are confined to dark, limited, overcrowded spaces. Yet, they have no objection to killing animals for food if the creatures are raised on old fashioned family farms before the slaughter. So long as the animals are treated well while alive, there is nothing wrong with killing them. Death is natural, after all.

Liberators ask whether these people would adopt the same attitude if someone was coming after their five year old brother to slaughter and eat him ? Would they allow him to be murdered if it was assured that he would feel minimal pain at his moment of death ? Or would they say he has a life to live, which nobody has a right to end. If the killers reason that the child has had a good life, would it make his murder more acceptable ? Of course not, the liberators exclaim !

Some murderers of animals justify their actions by agreeing that humans are animals, too, and animals kill one another. Humans are simply living according to the rule of the jungle. They do not explain why, as animals, humans choose to act like parasites and aggressive carnivores, rather than like peaceful herbivores. They also don’t explain how, as ruthless beasts killing and exploiting other creatures, humans can be expected to behave humanely and respectfully towards other humans. When challenged for an answer, they reflexively say that humans are not the same as animals. Humans somehow deserve more respect. To liberators, that statement reveals a prejudice, called speciesism, which involves a belief that non-human species are inferior to humans, as racism is a belief that some races are inferior to others.

Treating animals as inferior and having less value than humans is a feature of even some staunch animal rights defenders, liberators believe. As an example, they refer to the words of the self-proclaimed guru of the American animal rights movement, Dr. Tom Regan. In his Case for animal rights, Regan states that the life of a dog is less rich and valuable than that of a human. Regan concludes that the death of a dog would be a lesser harm to the dog than the death of a human would be to the human. Liberators feel that, with friends like this, the animals need no enemies.

Humans have no business assessing how much value or quality a dog, or any creature, has in his life. Liberators consider such assessments to be anthropocentric. From their naturocentric ethic, they believe that humans have no business passing judgment on the quality and value of the life of another creature. Further, what relevance does such a judgment make ? It makes no difference what we assume to be the value or quality of a neighbor’s life when it comes to our respecting his right to live. And it makes no difference whether that neighbor is a dog being, snail being, fly being, human being, bat being, or giraffe being.

Most people have difficulty not putting the interests of humans before other animals. Liberators believe that if people treated animals like loved members of a family, then they would all be vegans (strict vegetarians who use no animal products at all, including milk or eggs), would not drive cars, would participate in society to the least degree possible, and would not be afraid to showing disdain for animal abusers. They would wash their hands of all animal exploitation, and would focus their activities on freeing animals today, rather than trying to convince people to free them tomorrow. Most people, however, are not willing to take these consistent steps. After all, they don’t want to be labeled � extremists � by their animal abusing friends.

Liberators hold that the animals do not need a human education movement. They need an animal liberation movement. They are engaged in a war with society to defend their family from attack. They believe that they will never win the war, but it is the only way to rescue individual family members from human tyranny.

In defending their position, liberators ask, what would you do if your sister was being raped each day ? Would you have a peaceful talk with the rapists, or write your Congressmen, who is also a rapist ? Or should you take a gun and blow the bastards’ balls off ? Liberators know what their sister would want them to do.

For  liberators,  it’s time  to save what animals  they can, enabling these innocent beings to live their lives as nature, not man, intended. Liberators celebrate their good fortune of being alive at a time when animals can still live in the wild, limited as it is. They feel they can make a difference, and for each animal they save, they feel it’s the difference between life and death.

 



2 The use of the word � Game � in this agency’s title is testimony to the anthropocentrism
 
 

Chapter Three
 

HOMO DESTRUCTUS

Liberators have given up on humans. For them, the goal of converting humans into more ethical, sensitive beings, capable of respecting the rights of animals to live, is impossible. They have two reasons for coming to this conclusion. The first is that it is not in the nature of most people to respect non-human life. Second, animal abuse is an intrinsic feature of our society. In this chapter I will explain the first reason, and leave the second for the next chapter.

When we think of the way we should be treating animals, we are thinking about ethical principles. Ethics is usually presented by philosophers, who appeal to people’s minds with reasoned arguments about how people should behave. However, liberators believe that an intellectual approach towards changing people’s ethical, or moral, beliefs is doomed to failure. This is because ethics really has little to do with the mind.

All the reasoning in the world will not get through to a person invested in a particular behavior. The human mind has a tremendous capacity  to close itself off from all reasoning, and insulate itself from moral argument.

People act from their hearts, not their heads. Every salesperson knows this. They sell the feelings that the purchased item will bring. Children know this technique, too. A tearful eyed plea is much more effective than reasoning in getting parents to comply with wishes.

Humans do things which feel good and avoid things which feel bad. They merely use their minds to justify their feelings.

It’s no different for ethicists. Philosophers, like everyone else, begin with a feeling of what is right, an intuitive sense of what should be, and then try to develop arguments to justify those original feelings. Non-philosophers in the general public, who care about ethical principles regarding how to behave towards others, are attracted to those philosophical theories and arguments which reflect and confirm what they already feel is right.

Intellectual arguments, then, are not effective in persuading people to treat non-humans with respect, unless the people already feel that non-humans deserve that respect 3.

Most people don’t even respond to intellectual arguments concerning ethics. When asked why they are eating animals, for example, they will say, � I like the taste. � When you push them against the wall with words, showing them that they are inconsistent in their treatment of humans and non-humans, that they are merely being speciesists, they will say, � So I’m speciesist. I’m inconsistent ! I’ll accept that. � Even after you show them what is done to animals in factory farms and by slaughter houses, and even after you explain to them that billions of animals are destroyed that way each year, they still continue to eat flesh, perhaps averting their eyes when passing a particularly grotesque butcher shop. Clearly, their behavior is not a matter of ignorance. Yet your words fell on deaf ears. Why ?

Arguments don’t change people’s behaviors. Only changes in feelings can.

As a simple illustration of this truth, liberators use the example of slaughter house workers. It’s clear that these workers know what they are doing. Telling them the facts of animal destruction makes no sense. They live those facts. Yet they still slaughter animals. Why do they continue to do it ?

Liberators contend that it is because, while they know what they are doing, they don’t feel what they are doing.

As a result, liberators hold that it is useless using ethics to � prove � that animals should or shouldn’t be respected in their right to live . All one can say is that one feels it is wrong to exploit animals, or that one feels it is acceptable to use animals for human ends. The rest of the argument is window dressing, mind games to justify that one’s feelings are correct.

This is why liberators conclude that we will never free the animals by talking to abusers about ethics.

At the risk of seeming philosophical themselves, liberators have considered the question, � Why do some people respect animals and others don’t ? � To answer this they know that they must address the deeper question, � What makes a person ever consider the needs of others ? �

Liberators believe a person only considers others when it affects that person’s feelings, specifically, his or her feelings of pain or pleasure.

If we like someone, it gives us pleasure to be with them. Our behavior towards them is motivated by the pleasure they give us. On the other hand, we will be motivated to avoid a person who gives us pain.

So long as someone can please or harm us, so long as he affects our lives, we will consider how we treat him.

If pain and pleasure are both motivations, it could be asked which is the stronger. Liberators point out that the work of moral development theorists like Maslow, Erikson, and others, suggest that people must first achieve a level of safety and have basic needs met before higher levels of personal fulfillment and happiness can be attained. This means that people need to have their stomachs full and have warmth and shelter as prerequisites for a happy life. Without these basic requirements being met, people will feel pain and its associated feeling, fear. Consumed by pain and fear, people cannot truly develop into happy, fulfilled human beings.

Also, pain and fear can cause a highly morally developed person  to act on the lowest level of selfish, basic need fulfillment. The most generous, compassionate, friendly person can turn into a murderous beast under the right conditions of fear and pain. This, liberators conclude, is because pain is a greater motivation than pleasure on a basic, fundamental level.

They say that personal reflection supports this point. The example they use is that you cannot enjoy very much when you have a headache. The pain overwhelms the pleasure. Also, when you are sick and in pain your consideration of others melts away, revealing a basic self-interest in getting yourself better. This makes good biological sense. Pain tells the organism that he or she is in danger of being damaged, with the ultimate threat of death. Pleasure becomes a luxury that an organism cannot afford until its basic survival needs are again satisfied.

Liberators, therefore, believe that pain is more powerful than pleasure in motivating people. Fear is a component of pain, and is an extremely efficient means of controlling people’s behaviors. Fear is a form of emotional pain. Unlike physical pain, fear can motivate people without being accompanied by physical contact. And fear is used all the time to keep humans under control.

For example, the fear of going to jail keeps many people from disobeying laws. Peer groups control members through the fear of rejection. The Internal Revenue Service controls taxpayers through the fear of an audit. Advertisers try to create a need for a product in the minds of consumers, and use fear when they suggest that people will suffer without fulfilling that need.

Of course, sometimes people are pushed in opposite directions by their fears. For example, someone may believe that eating meat is unhealthy, and wishes to avoid meat for fear of getting ill. On the other hand, that person may fear losing her meat eating spouse by seeming too different and extreme. For that person, it comes down to which fear is greater.

All those interested in influencing people’s behaviors use fear as a manipulation tool. Exploiting this observation of human nature, liberators feel that changing people’s behaviors requires that the fear, and, hence, the pain, of doing the undesirable activity must become greater than the pain and fear of not doing it.

In terms of stopping animal abuse, liberators feel it makes more sense to have people fear what will happen to them if they continue to abuse animals, than to debate with them over the ethical ramifications of their actions.

To liberators, then, fear and pain are the primary motivations of people. Moving on to the weaker, but real, motivating force of pleasure, it is clear that people get pleasure from those they like, and treat them differently from those they dislike. What makes people like or dislike others ?

Liberators believe it is our ability to identify with others, which  is  another  way  of  saying  our  ability to  empathize with them, that determines whether we will like them or dislike them.

Empathy is a feeling we get when we believe we can feel what another is feeling. It has nothing to do with the mind, but with the heart, and is therefore real and powerful in its effect on our behavior. It is the way we see our connection to others, and identify with their reality.

Without empathy we cannot feel affection for others. It is the basis of friendship and love. It feels good. And we need it.

According to liberators, love, the most pleasant form of empathy, is the second greatest motivator of humans, second only to pain and fear.

Liberators say that the reason we need love and empathy is because we all feel alone in the world. Humans are an alienated species, unsure of their connection with the rest of nature. It’s a frightening world when you have no real clue how to act, no internal instincts telling you what is healthy or harmful. If we had such knowledge, we wouldn’t need ethics or religion to tell us how to live. Both try to address human behavior and our place in the world. Ever since there have been people, there have been religious and moral codes trying to make sense out of the chaos of the human condition. This basic human existential uncertainty makes people lonely and frightened. Friendship is welcome relief.

On the other side of this existential coin is the need to feel control in the world. Liberators believe that power and control issues dominate most people’s lives. If people can’t be in control over their own lives, then they will try to be in control over the lives of others.

People fear being out of control, because being out of control is painful. We try to feel we will be okay in the world, that the environment is not hostile, and that our needs will be met. Seeking control over others is one way humans achieve an illusory peace in their minds that the world is a safe, manageable place.

Love for others and power over others are mutually exclusive. You cannot love someone you exploit, or exploit someone you love.

The way most people handle this paradox is by loving some and controlling others. And since control is often exploitative, it requires that you feel little or no empathy for those controlled, so you can avoid suffering along with them as you exploit them.

To illustrate this point, liberators use the example of Nazi doctors who conducted heinous experiments on Jews during the day, while acting as loving husbands and fathers at night. Humans label a group as � other �, using race, nationality, sex, or species as the basis for the distinction, and consider that group unworthy of empathy and, therefore, a reasonable target for exploitation. So long as humans have some other group with whom they can identify and find empathy and love, they can satisfy their need for affection. By splitting groups this way, people allow themselves the pleasure of love with some groups, and the reduction of pain through the exploitation of other groups.

The groups they are kind to consist of human beings, particularly those of equal of greater power. The ones exploited are typically powerless, unable to reciprocate aggression, which is the case with non-human beings.

This is an important point about the liberators’ beliefs that deserves emphasis. The conflict between fear and pleasure, control and empathy, plays out in the following way. If you have power over others, then you will not fear them. This means you can treat them any way you like, whether it be exploitatively or fairly, and they will simply have to accept it. If treated exploitatively, then they have no recourse but to suffer. If treated fairly, then they have the choice of reciprocating your fairness. Most likely, since you have more power, they will always treat you fairly, or even give you more than you deserve, which is a form of self exploitation, regardless of your treatment of them. In short, you have all the power and you call the shots.

On the other hand, if the others have equal or greater power than you have, the tables are turned. Your treatment of them is tempered by the constant awareness that they can reciprocate kindness or aggression, and you may lose if it is aggression. Fear of reprisals keeps you in check. Of course, if you like the more powerful individuals and wish to treat them fairly, all the better. But you would not treat them in anything but a fair manner, and you may even chose to exploit yourself and give them more than they deserve as an insurance policy to soothe your fears.

What this boils down to is that those in power have the option of treating others as they wish, with no fear that the others might reciprocate evil for evil. Those out of power are moved by fear to comply with the wishes of the powerful. Another way of saying this is that humans interact with one another according to a pecking order. What this means is that treating others with liberty, fraternity and equality are not natural human tendencies. For most people, it’s a peck or be pecked world.

When people chose groups to exploit, the least powerful are the easiest target. Non-human animals have no power by themselves to respond to human aggression and exploitation. Animals are helpless to suffer the fate of human power over their lives.

Because humans consider animals to be objects undeserving of empathy, they do not recognize the pain they are causing them. They have disqualified animals as feeling beings capable of suffering and having interests of their own. These people are, therefore, numb to their cries and pain. This numbness allows abusers to sleep at night, and kill during the day 4.

Liberators believe that people consider the needs of others only when it affects their pleasure or pain. Those with empathy for animals respect the animals. They get pleasure identifying with non-human beings, and enjoy seeing them free. People, such as liberators, respect all beings as equal members of the family of life, entitled to their moment on the planet. Instead of seeing animals as objects of control, they see them as objects of love. Liberators satisfy their need for control by focusing on their own lives, and committing themselves to a lifestyle consistent with a respect for all creatures.

Why do some people develop empathy for animals while others don’t ? Liberators believe it depends on who they are, what their life experiences have been, how open their hearts are, and how seduced they are by cruel social institutions. What makes some people racist or sexist ? The same forces are at work in our dealings with animals.

To liberators this means that, if you don’t have empathy for animals, at least to some degree, then you will not understand any argument for respecting their autonomy. Further, animals are helpless and easy prey for human control, since they can’t fight back.

Liberators believe these two factors are major obstacles to changing people’s behaviors towards animals. The impact of these obstacles has made human history a non-stop legacy of animal abuse and exploitation. Human brutality to animals, and even to humans who can’t fight back, has been a fact of life since the beginning of recorded time. It is clear to liberators that the obstacles to humans developing a sensitivity to animals are insurmountable.

The lesson liberators draw from their study of human nature is that the only way to stop oppression of animals is by creating a fear of reprisals for such acts. Animals cannot do this by themselves, but need liberators to act as their agents.

In other words, they believe that reasoning will not help, since people are motivated by their hearts, not minds, to oppress others. Reprisals are the only effective means. The fear and pain of reprisals can offset the existential fear that control over the animals was meant to satisfy. Only when the weak become strong will exploitative humans mind their manners.

Either animals will be respected because people love them, or they will be respected because people are afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t treat them with respect. That is the rule liberators use for understanding how humans deal with others. Since animals can’t retaliate for human aggression and exploitation by themselves, it is up to liberator agents to do so for them.

Let me deal with some objections to the liberator argument. One objection may be that many people can � love � animals, yet still be willing, and eager, to kill them for food. For example, I know a farmer who raises pigs, and � loves � the piglets all the way to the butcher shop. She also gets calves as pets for two years, and then � puts them in the freezer. � Can’t people � love � animals and exploit them at the same time ?

Of course not, say the liberators ! What these abusive humans feel for animals is not love. People are motivated by self interest as they try to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. If letting a pig grow is pleasurable, then the pig will survive. But once eating the pig gives someone more pleasure than letting it live, watch out pig.

This question also raises an important point about empathy. Liberators feel that many so called � animal lovers � are not actually identifying and empathizing with animals, but are merely projecting onto animals their own beliefs about what the animals should be feeling.

I have a personal experience to illustrate the liberators’ point. Some horse � lovers � were sad that a horse was being underfed by some irresponsible people, and were angry that the police were refusing to do anything about it. They seemed to be people sensitive to horses’ needs. Yet they surprised me when I asked : � How do you feel about the carriage horses that are worked up and down this street giving rides to tourists ? �

They did not go into a tirade, explaining that such treatment of horses is slavery and an abomination. Instead, they responded : � Those horses are cared for. They are fed well and nicely groomed. And they’re work horses. I don’t think they would be happy if they couldn’t work. �

Liberators would interpret this example as an illustration of how humans can fool themselves into thinking that they are feeling empathy, when all they are really doing is projecting onto others their own feelings and assumptions of how the other should be feeling.

How many times have you felt intense emotions after some stirring event, and someone tells you, quite erroneously, that he knows exactly how you feel ? That’s projection. It’s dealing with others in one’s own reality, instead of trying to get into their reality. Most people haven’t the slightest clue how others feel. They use their minds and assume that they know who you are and how you should be reacting to certain situations.

But empathy is not a mind trip. It is a way of communicating that takes place without words. It is intuitive. For a society that underrates intuition and overrates intellect, liberators feel it is no surprise that people have not developed their empathic skills.

This is why someone can love pigs and still say that it’s all right to kill them for their flesh. If they feel it’s all right, and project that feeling onto the pigs, then they can feel that the pigs somehow feel it’s all right, too. Further supporting this illusion is the inability of the pigs to answer  back verbally, explaining  that the feeling attributed to them was mistaken.
Liberators believe that true empathy with others is difficult. It takes patience, a quiet mind, and a willingness to see reality differently, as others see it. This task is difficult enough with other humans. We are reminded how little we understand others whenever we come into contact with another culture. Suddenly, our assumptions about behaviors don’t work. But dealing with other human cultures is easy when compared to dealing with non-human cultures. The behaviors of mice beings, bat beings, and mink beings are truly foreign to human beings.

Liberators assert that seeing the world as a non-human being sees it requires that we leave our anthropocentric way of regarding other beings and things, and develop a naturocentric perspective. Such a view would place common features among animals as a foundation for understanding, and thereby empathizing, with them. We may not understand the behaviors of all other creatures, but we do know that they are living on the same planet as we are, and have the same physical reality as we have.

The more we see ourselves as animals, connected with other creatures, as well as with plants, streams, rocks, clouds, and all of nature, the greater our effectiveness in truly gaining insight into the feelings of our brothers and sisters.

Liberators think that this is a tall order for most people to fill. Liberators believe that most people live in their own worlds, and don’t even know how to relate to other humans. This is all a function of their alienation from nature, including their own natures as human animals. The more alienated people are, the less they can identify with others, be they human or non-human. That is because identification requires self-understanding. In common parlance, you must understand yourself before you can understand others.

To make human empathy with non-humans even more improbable, people are told how different they are from other animals. We have souls, animals don’t. We have thoughts and feelings, animals don’t. We are made in God’s image. We have dominion over other animals. We are the chosen creatures.

Even the distinction human/animal, which is institutionalized in the � animal � rights movement, implies that we are different from non-humans. In effect, humans see themselves as non-animals. How can anyone develop empathy with others who are by definition different ? Liberators claim it’s impossible.

Liberators believe empathy is needed for moral behavior. The obstacles to developing true empathy make moral behavior towards non-human beings difficult for even conscientious individuals, not to mention for disinterested people.

Another objection might arise at this point. If liberators say that self-alienation is at the root of human cruelty, perhaps animal lovers should address human pain with the hope of somehow � healing � humankind ? The result of people being healed might eventually trickle down to help oppressed animals. Another way some people put this is that we can’t help the animals until we first address human needs.

Liberators say that there are two false assumptions used for this objection. One is that people are basically good. The ridiculousness of this notion will be addressed in the � Myth of non-violence � chapter. The second assumption is that such healing of human nature is possible, usually through education, reasoned debate, unconditional love, and patience. We have already discussed this fallacy.

To liberators, this approach is anthropocentrism in disguise. Attempting to � heal � humans to save non-humans is useless.

First, liberators consider that the pain which causes the need for control arises from a deep human existential crisis, something that has not been solved since recorded history. Humans have never felt at home on this planet. Our alienation is almost definitional of what it means to be human. We just don’t have the answers to this existential  question, and we never will. That is the cause of our eternal anxiety, and our desire for control. It is not about to go away by debate and education.

Second, taking the time to try and � heal � humankind is a luxury animals cannot afford. They are suffering today, even as you read this, not in the thousands, but in the millions and millions. If liberators truly wish to help animals defend themselves, they believe they must do what the animals need right now. And to the liberators, that means liberation, not counseling and unconditional love for their oppressors.

You may still not understand the liberators view of the use of militant tactics to stop animal oppressors. Let me explain their position with an example that they like to use. People believe that the use of force, even deadly force, is acceptable when being attacked, as a form of self-defense. People also expect an innocent bystander to assist a victim of assault if that victim is in need of help, even if that assistance must be the use of deadly force. In both of these cases, people allow the use of force on the basis of self-defense, whether the force was executed by oneself or by the agent of the victim. Liberators believe they are simply using force in self-defense as agents for animal victims of human oppression.

To the liberators, the animals are being brutalized. They are helpless. Liberators feel that they have every moral right to defend them. And they believe humans will not stop abusing non-humans without militant intervention.

Some readers may disagree with the liberators, and insist that dialogue with abusers is potentially valuable. In response to this, liberators point out that, even if people were persuaded by ideas instead of force, the fact is that most people care nothing about moral issues. Fighting with words instead of force is a waste of time. People who hope to use words to change abusers do not like to think that their efforts have been useless. But look at the evidence.

The Meyers/Briggs Test is a personality profile test, well recognized, respected and used by psychologists. It has helped psychologists determine that the general population of this country falls into the following approximate personality categories :

- 38 % of the people are action oriented, deeply committed to an activity while they are doing it. They seek the � gusto � in life. They live in the present, and tend to have physical occupations. Intense, active involvement is important to them.
- 12 % are interested in their intellectual competence. They usually get jobs in the sciences. Ideas and rigorous thinking are important to them.
- 38 % are duty and responsibility focused. They are concerned with their place in the society, they respect laws and authority and they are loyal to the system. Accountants, bankers and administrators fit into this category. Maintaining the status quo is important to them.
- 12 % are concerned with self-actualization and spirituality, and question the significance of life and their place in the world. Ethical issues and interpersonal relations are important to them.
    Naturally, nobody is purely one category or another. Overlap does occur. But in general, there is a small section of the public, about 12 %, that even cares about the animal issues raised in this book. Of course, 12 % of the 270 million people in this country amounts to about 30 million people, which is a significant number That some of these people are awakening to the fact of animal abuse has given the animal movement a great surge of growth and support. It has been estimated that 10 million people are members of animal organizations. When you consider that these issues were a rarity only a decade ago, the momentum of the movement seems great, indeed.

Liberators believe that as a result of these newly interested people in the movement, certain businesses have become willing to change their ways. Vegetarian food is more available than before. (although most alleged vegetarian items have milk products or eggs.) Some cosmetic companies have decided to stop animal testing on their premises. And even newspaper, magazine, television and radio coverage of animal issues has increased, reflecting a rise in awareness. Changes have certainly been made as a result of efforts to influence and educate this 12 % of the population.

Such changes, however, are more window dressing than substance, according to the liberators. Restaurants, cosmetic companies and the media will adapt to consumer demand. If there is a profit in catering to the interests of animal lovers, then some businesses will rush to fill that niche.

Before we give the non-violent approach more credit than it deserves, liberators ask that we reflect on some actual changes. Vegetarianism has become increasingly popular, although still to a very small segment of the population, primarily because of its apparent health benefits to humans. In other words, they are vegetarian for anthropocentric and egocentric reasons.

So long as people change their behaviors for personal gain, rather than for ethical reasons, there is always the possibility that they will change again, listening to the next salesman of health and beauty. The meat and medical industries know this. Liberators feel that is why these industries are fighting back to maintain animal abuse. They use the message that lean meat is good and essential for health. They know that health minded people will eat flesh again if told it is good for them.

And they are successful in pushing their message. Witness how many � vegetarian � people revert to a meat based diet for fear of protein or calcium deficiency. Most vegetarians strike a bargain, hoping to get the best of both camps’ advice, by eating dairy products and eggs. Is this really a victory for the animal movement, liberators ask ?

As another example, consider the cruelty free shoe market. Stores like Payless Shoe Stores offer plastic and canvas shoes. Non-violent animal lovers are quick to claim this as a success of their approach. But, liberators ask, how many people in the movement still wear leather and put fashion before ethics ? Is the success of stores like Payless due to the support of animal lovers shunning leather ? Or is it that plastic and canvas shoes are cheaper than leather ones ? Liberators feel people today are attracted to low cost merchandise. Payless and others stores like it appeal to budget minded people. That’s why it’s called � Payless � and not � Cruelless �. Does that qualify the stores’ increased popularity as a victory for the animals, liberators wonder?

On the other hand, liberators state, little has changed in the area of animal research. If anything, things have gotten worse. The creation of genetic engineering techniques have opened up new avenues for animal exploitation. Strains of mice can now be produced, and are being patented with certain genetic derangements. The biomedical carnage against animals has continued unabated, except for some increased paperwork that vivisectors must complete. Liberators point out that, despite the growing awareness of such abuses, however, animal lovers still flock to physicians who are trained by bloodthirsty vivisectors, and buy drugs which were tested on animals.

Another failure of non-violent movement raised by liberators is the hunting situation. According to liberators, virtually nothing significant for animals has been achieved over the past decade when it comes to hunting. In fact, there are now hunter harassment laws preventing animal supporters from going into the woods and interfering with the killing.

Why have vivisection and hunting been resistant to progress, while other areas have been more flexible to change ? To liberators, the answer is simple. Consumers have an effect on the balance sheet of consumer oriented companies, like restaurants and cosmetic manufacturers. It is no skin off of their noses to add a cruelty free item to their list of products, as when Burger King sells vegeburgers along with its Whoppers.

However, the drug and medical industries know that people will consume their products regardless of animal testing. As discussed above, when people are in pain, their morals often go out the window. As for hunting, that is an isolated business, unaffected by the common person’s interests and biases. Hunters buy guns and ammunition from specialty shops, and pay licensing fees to support government agencies overseeing their hunting grounds. The general public has little impact on their activities.

In short, liberators ask that animal lovers be realistic in assessing the successes of the non-violence approach in making a difference for the animals. True, some changes have been made. But liberators insist that people assess those changes in the context of other societal influences, such as the economy, and consider the fickle interests of self-centered consumers whose main concern is personal health and longevity.

According to liberators, all changes that have been made for the animals have been a direct result of an appeal to human self-interest. The popularity of vegetarianism is one example of this fact.

Many groups fighting animal research tell the public that such research is bad for human health. Stop vivisection because it kills humans ! Hans Reusch’s approach is purely of this type, as he exposes the various ways in which people have been killed by animal research.

Legislative initiatives against trapping have to appeal to the risk of animal traps to innocent children or people’s pets, rather than to the wildlife they are intended to kill !

Attempts to stop pound seizures, in which pound animals are sold to research labs, have to address whether or not using those animals in research can help improve human health. As a result, those trying to stop pound seizures argue that animals from pounds have poor health and uncertain medical backgrounds, making them unsuitable for any scientifically valid, reproducible study. Groups like the Medical Research Modernization Committee specifically attack animal research for its ineffectiveness in helping humans.

The cosmetic industry seems at first glance to be an exception to this requirement that the animal movement appeal to self-interest to get changes. Actually, it is no exception at all. Cosmetic products are sold for the feelings and images they create for their users. To fight against animal testing, pictures of blinded rabbits and other animal abuses are shown to consumers, associating cruelty with certain cosmetic products. On the other hand, pictures of gentle, beautiful people caressing warm, fuzzy animals are used to associate kindness and compassion with products not tested on animals. Consumer self-interest in looking beautiful motivates some people to buy products unassociated with animal cruelty, since animal cruelty is clearly not beautiful.

To liberators, this need for animal groups to appeal to human self-interest means that these groups are really working on a human-centered movement, rather than an animal movement. Any gains for the animals comes as a fortunate outcome of the process.

The most positive statement which liberators feel can be made about the non-violent approach is that it can educate some people in the 12 % of the public who are interested in moral issues. Some of these people will constitute a new market for animal-friendly consumer goods and services. But in the broader picture, this is a drop in the bucket, and there is no good reason to believe that the trend is irreversible.

To liberators, the sad fact is that not many people want to help the animals. Most people are happy enough getting through the day in one piece. They don’t have the energy, or inclination, to address social or moral issues. They constitute the majority of humans in this country, and probably in the world. Liberators know the saints were always fewer than the sinners.

What this means is that moral arguments coming from proponents of various, opposing positions are competing for the attention of that small 12 % of society who care about such issues. Working with this target audience to generate behavioral changes is not easy.

Liberators recognize that people hate to change. Humans are habit forming creatures. Someone can see The Animals Film, with its graphic display of animal slaughter, agree that the scenes are disgusting, and still eagerly devour a veal cutlet or piece of fried chicken. � I’ve eaten meat all my life, � they rationalize.

Psychologists explain that people have a narrow tolerance for change. If they are pushed too far, exceeding that tolerance, they rebel and go in the opposite direction. This is why some activists believe that we must change people slowly, allowing their tolerance limits to adjust as they move along in the right direction.

Forces tear at people in every direction trying to manipulate them. Animal abusers outnumber people concerned about animals by 100 :1, and can just as easily outspend their opposition in advertising and propaganda. People will ultimately be pulled away from supporting animals, as humans are brainwashed by Madison Avenue executives.

Also,  people have to be willing  to  change.  Animal abuse  is  a large part of everyone’s life in this society, as the next chapter will discuss. The inertia against change is tremendous.

Finally, even if we could get people to change a little in their behaviors, there must be some way of reinforcing that change to prevent people from having a relapse of old behaviors. Many people say they used to be vegetarian, or even vegan, but lost interest, or got into a relationship with a meat eater, causing them to return to flesh as food. Liberators believe that, with society entrenched in animal abuse, making a cruelty free lifestyle an effort to maintain, such behavior reinforcement for respectful treatment of animals is not forthcoming.

Liberators know that people, even the 12 % of society interested in moral issues, are weak, stubborn, frightened, irrational, habitual, spiteful, inconsistent, angry, vicious creatures. Dialogue may or may not have any effect on reaching the 12 % of the population; but it is certainly a waste of time for the other 88 %. We may be able to battle with words for the 12 %; but the animals need liberators to battle with force to influence the other 88 %.

Liberators ask that animal lovers be realistic and consider what must be done to save animals. They ask what you would do if your sister or brother was imprisoned in a torture chamber, soon to be executed. Would you talk to the prison guards and torturer about human rights ? Would you write your Congressman ? Hell, no, they exclaim ! You’d be doing everything in your power to rescue your family member. To liberators, talk is cheap, and when it comes to ethics, they feel talk is bullshit !

They believe the animals are helpless without them. It is up to human beings to defend them, to truly act as their agents. Speaking on the animals’ behalf will not suffice - it hasn’t helped oppressed human groups to just speak about their freedom. Liberators feel we must act for the animals. We must do for them what we believe they would do for themselves.

And what do liberators believe the animals would do ? They would escape from their captors. They would shoot back when shot at. They would destroy the cages that confined them, so they could not be used again. They would damage roads that made way for the destructive force of automobiles. They would burn down research facilities, and kill animal researchers, who daily destroy their kin for profit and amusement. They would form an underground of saboteurs  to  disrupt  the machinery of  the  vast  human  killing machine called society.

If people had the courage to live up to their commitment to be agents for the animals, then they would do all the above, say the liberators. Indeed, liberators are already doing it !

If it is hopeless to try changing people, perhaps we can change society ? What do the liberators say about that ? Let’s talk about that issue next.

 



3 Liberators recognize that there are exceptions to this rule. Some people change their feelings regarding animals as a result of education concerning the forms and pervasiveness of animal abuse. Such transformations are rare, however, and are only possible for a small percentage of the population, as discussed later in this chapter.
4 The inability of some people to relate to animals is made clear when they ask : � Don’t plants have rights, too ? � All animal activists have heard that question. Liberators believe such a question is never asked by someone who is truly concerned about plants, or animals. The point of the question is to show that animal defenders are inconsistent in drawing a line between animals and vegetables. The questioners assume that there is no morally relevant difference between asparagus and giraffes, so that killing asparagus is morally equivalent to killing giraffes. Naturally, the questioners have no doubt that humans are different in a morally significant way from both animals and vegetables, and, therefore, deserve special consideration. In actuality, then, their question reflects their own bias in considering animals to be the same as vegetables. This is evidence of their deep alienation from animals. Such people have no hope of identifying with animals, just as they can never identify with plants (unless they themselves are vegetables !)
 
 continued--War 2
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