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Bite Club Leader Jason Miller Fights Against Speciesism



Feb. 17th, 2010

By Joe Lambe

Jason Miller, leader of the offbeat fight against the Shawnee Mission Park deer cull, seems like a typical Johnson Countian. He lives in a house in Lenexa, drives an SUV, works as a supervisor at a call center and is an Eagle Scout. But there’s a lot more to the 43-year-old Miller, who calls himself a “recovering suburbanite,” an anarchist and has an anti-capitalist Web site promoting “veganism” and denouncing “speciesism” — the belief that humans are the dominant species and can do whatever they want to animals.

The logo on his Web site, “Thomas Paine’s Corner,” features a picture of a Boy Scout. But look closely — an anarchist flag flies behind him. The scout is a symbol of indoctrination into a world Miller says he stepped away from about four years ago.

Miller and his animal-rights group, the Bite Club of KC, surfaced over the summer when the Johnson County Park and Recreation board approved a plan to employ sharpshooters and bow hunters to solve the problem of too many deer in Shawnee Mission Park. The losing fight against the deer cull by Miller and his Bite Club — its motto is “activism with a bite” — was the first more extreme animal fight in the area, Miller said recently in interview at his home.

His tactics, such as brandishing a bloody deer head he named Victoria and dumping cow’s blood on himself, are “tactile activism,” Miller said. He recently used another variation near the University of Kansas Medical Center, where the group demonstrated against using animals for scientific research.
Miller shut himself into a big dog cage with his fiancee’s Weimaraner. Using a bullhorn, he dared researchers to try to perform experiments on them and shouted to passing cars.

Earlier this month, Miller and a few supporters protested at a De Soto meat market that ground the culled Shawnee Mission Park deer into sausage for the poor. He carried a severed pig’s head named Wilbur, which he wrote is “a tactile, macabre symbol of the face of the billions of murder victims slain by the meat industry.”

At his home, Miller said, “I want to bring non-humans into the moral sphere and treat them as equals.” There are at least a few thousand people like him connected on Internet sites, he estimates.

Some, like the anonymous and leaderless group called Animal Liberation Front, destroy property, free caged animals and have been branded terrorists by the federal government.

At home last week with his fiancee, three dogs and three cats, Miller spoke softly, a mild-mannered anarchist when not on attack. He promotes being a vegan but doesn’t push it on people, he said, and he just went from vegetarian to vegan less than two years ago himself. That means he does not eat or use any animal products except leather or wool items he had from the past. He also is a former alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in 15 years, he said, and he doesn’t use drugs or smoke.

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