This post is the first in a series that will cover Animal Rights Activism from as many angles as possible. Tactics, techniques, methods, historical figures, current controversies, inspirational essays-quotes-graphics, campaigns, movements – from education, agitation, resistance to revolution.
|People don’t care if you’re upset. They care when you organize.
- Al Sharpton
It was Gandhi who said “if you do nothing, there will be no result“, so, the time for talking is over.
Now is the time to act. It’s time to get organised.
First, you have to make the decision that you want it… no, it’s more than that, you NEED it, you NEED to be an Active participant in the struggle for Animal Rights.
For many ARA’s (Animal Rights Activists) that I have met, they can’t live any other way. They simply cannot live a life without putting the fight for animal rights front and centre of almost everything they do.
Today, is about making that decision. You know you want to, have to be an Activist. You can no longer sit by and do nothing while animals are suffering. You have reached a point in your life where you must do something.
If you hear about some unspeakable horrendous act of cruelty against an animal, or you hear about the billions upon billions of animal killed for food each year, or any other act of abuse and you find yourself saying “Somebody must do something… and I think that somey will be me.” then it’s time to learn, act, think, agitate and bring about changes in the world.
And if you already are an AR Activist, then you will know that you have made the right decision.
For Animal Rights Activists, there are two questions:
- What do we want?
–2–How will we get it?
This can be summed up simply as “Objectives” and “Tactics“.
1. Objectives (the ENDS)
What those Objectives / Goals are may vary between individuals; long term education or short term direct action*, local or global, educate one person or agitate for a change in legislation.
2. Tactics (the MEANS)
Tactics, strategy, methods, plans, to-do-list, techniques – using the most appropriate method for your personal circumstance and objectives. This will vary depending on the desired outcome.
Although, I will cover these in more depth in a follow up piece soon, ‘Planning a Campaign’, a few quick words about Objectives and Tactics.
Getting 5000 names on a petition isn’t an objective, a petition is a tactic to achieve the specific goal. If spending time, money and energy on doing something doesn’t get you close to your goal, then why are you doing it?
Raising awareness is not an objective – you raise awareness, and then what? – you raise awareness so that people will change their behaviour, raising awareness is a tactic.
Networking, socialising, hanging out on social networks are not objectives, that are part of a tactic. Ah, you say, but I like hanging out with my friends. Ok, we all need down-time, some hours to switch off and recharge the brain, let go of the negative tension.
|Knowledge without action is useless; action without knowledge is dangerous. – D. L. Chu|
Once you have your Objectives and planned your Tactics, then comes another crucial part of all . . . ACTION.
Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military and political leader said: “A Revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.” (or as I say: A revolution is a theory with an army.)
Or to paraphrase a leading animal welfare advocate “The philosophers can debate the revolution, but the Bandits must carry it out”.
This is not a suggestion that violence is necessary for a Vegan Revolution** – instead, after all the theorising about Animal Rights, the thinking, planning, debating, in the end, the work still needs to be done.
The military call this “boots on the ground” – those people will to carry out the plans, physically do the work – and often times in AR Activism, the person deciding the plan of action is the same person who is carrying it out.
Activism doesn’t require a lot of people, just dedicated people doing what needs to be done.
As Margaret Mead said: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Do it, and don’t be distracted by people who would tear you down. The haters for some reason are unable to act on their own, and so seek to destroy those who are.
|Lead, follow, or get out of the way. — Thomas Paine|
Time to stop Feeding the Trolls.
I think most of us have met an ARA at some point, who you just know doesn’t do anything practical, they are “Facebook Crusaders”, you know, the kind of person who says to you:
‘See here, in this 1984 essay you wrote, you said “factory farm”, but all farms involve cruelty… what are you some kind of enabler or something, you are as Evil as a viviesector’.
The Anti-Activists attack you, and other ARAs all of the time, they follow you from blog to blog, from forum to social network, always reminding you of the time you said “factory farm” not “farm”.
They never work on a campaign of their own. You start to think – is this All that you do? have all the animal exploiters suddenly disappeared, and left you with so much free time that you can launch character assassinations on people who are actually doing something for the animals!
And then finally when you tell them you are not wasting any more of your time debating them, you are walking away – they declare they have “won”.
Facebook is not the battle, Facebook is a tool. If these TROLLS think they have “won” something by harassing animal rights activists, then they are not in it for the Animals.
And, what do you “WIN” by continuing to engage with them – nothing much.
If the Anti-Activists are distracting you, they are stealing your time and energy that you could use saving animals. See the trolls for what they are – COLLABORATORS.
|You can accomplish a lot of good in the world if you don’t care who gets the credit for it. – Myles Horton|
Next post in this series: Rules For Radicals
The phrase “Vegan Bootcamp” comes from the book, ‘Vegan Bootcamp: Guide to Animal Rights Activism’, it inspired me to do a series of posts on AR activism.
Although some people think direct action means ‘violence’, that is not necessarily so:
Lee Hall “Veganism is direct action“.
**Revolutions can be peaceful.
There are some who hear the word “revolution” and think Molotov’s and Kalashnikov’s, balaclavas and bombs, however, Revolutions can be peaceful, they are simple a change. It could be a change in government, it could be a change in thought process.
Post 2011 ‘Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance’. Copying and distribution of this entire article, text and / or graphic, is permitted in any medium, but please include the credit:
Written by RedGlitter of VALA http://redglitterx.wordpress.com/
or at least a link to this page, that would be nice