2. World meant for all beings

A DECLARATION OF WAR, Killing People to Save the Animals and the Environment,
Chapter Two


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



    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.


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


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