6. Time for War

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

    I have explained why liberators believe human nature and human societies are unalterably resistant to freeing animals and treating them with respect. I have shown why liberators believe that non-violent resistance is ineffective in freeing animals, and explained why liberators see physical force as the only road for saving some of our family members. Yet, despite all the reasoning presented thus far, I am quite certain that most readers still shun militant action against animal abusers, but may now be entertaining notions of violence against liberators. ?

    Thoreau said:

“He who gives himself entirely to his fellow-men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them is pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist.”

Liberators give themselves totally to the animals. They have no doubt that they will be pronounced useless and selfish by some people. ?

    This is not because some of you do not agree with liberators. My feeling is that many of you do. But who wants to feel that their struggle is hopeless? ?

    Liberators explain the average animal defender’s reluctance to raise arms against human oppression of other beings by saying that those people are invested in the system. They are not ready to declare war on humans. Don’t make excuses, liberators say. Admit your priorities are more with staying a part of the system than in overthrowing it. Admit your conflict of interest. But please don’t criticize real liberators. ?

    Liberators enjoy talking to people who are brave, honest, and loving enough to place the interests of their family of creatures over their material and social comforts. When they do, they begin as follows:: “Welcome, friends. We have some human butt to kick!” ?

    First, they explain, let’s get rid of that terrible term, “animal rights.” They have used it in discussions for recognition purposes and because most people who consider themselves defenders of animals call themselves animal rights activists. But they see many problems with the term. One is that rights imply a relationship. When you have a right it means that, in your dealings with others, those others have an obligation to respect your autonomy. The concept was developed to define the limits of human interaction, making exploitation of people a crime. ?

    It may seem that animal rights is just what we want. But do we want to see humans relating with animals? No, explain the liberators. They want humans to leave animals alone. They want humans to have nothing to do with non-humans. The concept of animal rights includes animals in the moral and political community. Mainstream animal rights activists often fight to get animal rights encoded in the law. The entire enterprise of gaining rights is an insecure, tenuous one, since laws are easily challenged and changed, and are seldom enforced. Liberators want non-humans left out of the human community! Remember, to them it is a movement for exclusion of animals from society, not inclusion. ?

    Liberators also remind others that the concept of rights is also not necessary in order to respect another’s autonomy. If God appeared, we would not have to give Her rights in order to leave Her alone. We would leave Her alone out of respect, or fear. We can treat other creatures the same way. ?

    Further, the very term “animal” differentiates humans from non-humans. All labels create distinctions. But distinctions are based on differences, and empathy is based on identification, which implies similarities. When someone speaks of animal rights, as distinct from human rights, there is an implicit assumption that humans are not animals. A belief that there is a difference between humans and animals can only hamper  the connection and  identification  necessary for moral behavior towards other creatures. ?

    Another problem with the concept of animal rights is that rights are modeled after rules for human interaction. Philosophers in the movement argue for extending our respect for fellow humans to other animals in the name of consistency. While liberators believe they are correct given their assumptions, the implicit problem with their approach is that they are using human systems and beliefs to model how we should behave to all other creatures. ?

    Essentially, animal rights philosophers argue that so long as we treat people with respect, we should treat animals with respect, as well. In a subtle way, then animals are dependent on human sensibilities concerning how to treat other humans. If we didn’t treat fellow humans well, the argument for treating animals well would be lost. In fact, many key figures in the animal rights movement have argued that using animals, say in research, would be acceptable if humans were used in the same way. They are not against the exploitation of animals, only the unequal exploitation of animals and humans. Animals are, therefore, not respected on their own behalf, but merely by logical extension of human respect for other humans. This is another variant of the anthropocentrism that plagues human thought and action, and angers liberators. ?

    Finally, rights, legal or moral, are only as good as the intent of the people constrained to live by them. Black Americans had the right to vote since the Civil War. But the enforcement of that right was missing until about 80 years later. Likewise, animals can be declared free tomorrow. However, societal enforcement of their freedom would never come, according to liberators. ?

    The term liberators use instead of the animal rights movement is “The Liberation Movement”. Those in the movement are, therefore, called liberators, as opposed to animal rights activists. Their focus is on human aggression and exploitation of others. The others need not justify their likeness to humans in order to gain rights. The burden is on humans to cease their aggression, not on animals to prove themselves worthy of respect. Implied in this is a naturocentric view of the world, dethroning humans from their self-justified tyranny over others. ?

    Liberators shift their loyalties from the family of man, to the family of creatures, or from anthropocentrism to naturocentrism. It means they no longer automatically put people first, or feel ashamed to admit that they value  some chickens  and mice more than some humans. ?

    Liberators believe their approach offers hope which traditional, human-centered movements do not. To them, hope is possible, even in their recognition that humans will always be cruel so long as they exist. Why? Because they do not hope for impossible things, like changing society. They hope to free family members, not save the world. ?

    The example they like to use is the following. If you awaken one day to find that your house is burning down, you don’t just sit there and cry about it. You get up and quickly rescue whatever living beings are still in the house, and run like hell. If you manage to save some lives, then you can feel successful, even if there were some members you couldn’t manage to save. Saving as many lives as possible was your goal. The fire was not your fault, and feeling that you failed because there was a fire and some lives were lost is placing yourself in an unwinnable position, with undeserving blame. ?

    When you define your task in terms of saving or healing humankind, you focus on the burning house. There is no way you can win. But when you accept that the house will burn, you can focus on the lives saved and feel good about what you have done. ?

    The liberators’ secret to keeping a positive outlook is to know that, no matter how abusive this world has become to animals, they have been able to rescue some from the blaze of human caused terror and death. They don’t see every animal liberation, even small ones where only a few animals are freed, as a battle in an unwinnable war against human cruelty. They see each liberation as a war in itself, totally won each time a single creature is freed from human exploitation. ?

    In this way, liberators can keep their hopes alive, not that people will somehow change their inherent propensity to abuse animals, but that one person, with the will to succeed, can free a mouse from a laboratory, or liberate a chicken from a factory farm. Liberators believe they can win thousands of wars in their lifetimes. They believe they must, for the animals. ?

    Before continuing, I am sure some readers are confused about the liberator statement that humans are to leave animals alone, period. What about humans relating to companion animals, or other relationships between creatures in which humans are one participant? ?

    The liberator position is clear. All interactions with other creatures should be by mutual consent. That means that we should not chain horses to plows, or keep cows confined and milk them, turning their bodies into milk producing machines, and then justify our exploitation by saying that we feed and care for them. These are examples of manipulation and human parasitism. Even horses who are ridden, and learn to accept their rider, had to first be “broken”. All intelligent creatures can be trained to accept, and even masochistically enjoy, their oppression, as some human slaves learned to do. But this does not make their oppression any less of an abuse. When a slave accepts his enslavement, he is no less a slave. His spirit is merely broken. ?

    Liberators realize that it takes sensitivity and empathy to deal with another creature on mutually acceptable terms. Humans have never developed those skills. Instead, they kill and exploit whomever they can, and domesticate, which means genetically enslave, certain creatures for special purposes, either for laying eggs, working, producing milk or meat, research, entertainment or companionship. ?

    Companion animals are a difficult problem, the liberators believe, because we have a responsibility to them for having made them dependent on humans. We should allow each to live as they must, as freely and happily as possible. This usually means living in contact with humans, since they are dependent on us for their basic needs. But this should be a temporary situation. ?

    Ideally, liberators want all domestic animals to be prevented from breeding, including dogs and cats. This would end their genetically programmed dependence. To perpetuate domesticated animal breeds is to continue their enslavement. Humans have created mutant beings, animals who have become nearly as alienated from their original natures as we have from ours. Therefore, humans must care for them while they are alive. But they must prevent their reproduction and terminate their enslavement to humans. ?

    All this may sound crazy coming from lovers and fellow members of the family of creatures. If it does, you have not yet started thinking as a liberator, with a naturocentric perspective. To liberators, all human relationships with other creatures are currently on human terms. We have made ourselves into their kings. Even many animal lovers support the idea of human stewardship of the animals, trying to transform the Biblical injunction of human dominion, i.e., domination over animals, into a more acceptable concept. But a liberator sees all this as human-centered bullshit! Stewardship and dominion both say we’re better than other creatures. In both cases, humans have power over the other animals in the world. Everyone knows that power corrupts, and absolute power, such as that allegedly sanctioned by God, or gained through domestication, corrupts absolutely. ?

    Most people can’t imagine relating to fellow creatures without being in control. However, free, equal relationships with fellow creatures are possible, and rewarding. Other creatures are not naturally frightened of humans. Such beings as birds, squirrels, deer, raccoons, wolves, rabbits, fish, and myriad other members of our family happily accept us if we do not show them we are going to be their stewards or kings. If we lived as respecting equals with other creatures, liberators believe, then we would have many satisfying relationships with them. But they would be mutually agreeable relationships, something which man, in need of control, cannot seem to understand or accept. ?

    It takes time to re-orient your thinking to understand the liberator. You may be accustomed to considering only other humans as your friends and family members. But look around you! To the liberator, every creature that walks, swims, crawls, or flies is a friend and part of the family. The plants, streams, mountains, fields, and lakes are the family’s home. Liberators find their love there, among the beings they consider their true family. ?

    Liberators offer some strategies for liberating animals. First, they claim that those willing to defend animals constitute the most compassionate, empathic, and courageous section of society. That is why they have chosen to sacrifice their personal comfort to assist their non-human family members. ?

    Liberators use an analogy to explain their role in society. Many anthropologists and philosophers have compared society to an organism. The roadways that allow transportation is the circulatory system. The educational system is the brain. And so on. Given this analogy, who are these conscientious, empathic people? ?

    They are the white blood cells! ?

    White blood cells spend their lives fighting disease, infection, and decay in the body. They martyr themselves in the process of keeping the body going. That is what ethically minded, compassionate people have historically done. The bulk of humankind has abused itself and the environment, causing wars, destruction, and suffering. A few brave souls have existed in each generation to martyr themselves in the name of goodness, to keep the body of society going. These people have thrown themselves onto the wheels of the destructive machinery of society, slowing down the evil forces that continue to grind away at the world. Thanks to this small group of people who care about moral issues, and put their actions behind their words, society has limped on through the millennia. Unfortunately, their actions have helped to sustain society and its oppression of other creatures and the planet. ?

    Liberators firmly believe the best thing that could happen to the Earth and all of its non-human inhabitants is that human societies come to an end, along with all people. Human caused destruction to the environment and to other creatures would end. The tyranny of humankind would be over. That is a cause for which liberators would gladly martyr themselves. ?

    There are two strategies by which white blood cells can fight the body. One way is passive, the other active. The passive one is to withdraw from society. It means one does not work for the body as a white blood cell anymore. That leaves the body defenseless, even to its own toxins. When good people withdraw from society, the body becomes unable to fight disease, such as corruption, greed, and selfishness. It will be like a body without an immune system. Slowly, it will die. By not participating in society, liberators help make its end come closer to a reality. ?

    It is difficult for some people, who care about human suffering and feel empathy for other people, to withdraw from society and let it demolish itself. These people are not thinking with a liberator perspective. Liberators consider humans to have no greater claim on sympathy and activism than the animals they abuse. In fact, they believe their victims deserve greater attention and concern. ?

    Some compassionate people see cruel individuals as somehow mentally or spiritually ill. They feel these cruel people should be cared for, not ignored and left to suffer due to their own illness. On the other hand, these compassionate people would probably agree that a sociopathic criminal should be locked up and prevented from hurting others. If we define ourselves as part of the family of creatures, as liberators do, humans who exploit animals are the same as sociopathic criminals. However, because there are so few liberators, and the cruelty is socially accepted and encouraged, liberators cannot lock these criminals up. Liberators can, however, withdraw their support from the social system. ?

   The active strategy is the use of militant interventionism. Using the white blood cell analogy, this is like an autoimmune disease. It means that the white blood cells now regard the body as alien, and attack it as they do other agents of disease. With time, the white blood cells cripple the body and destroy its ability to survive. ?

    What form does militant interventionism take? It is liberating an abused dog, chained constantly to a tree, from its human oppressor. It is breaking into a factory farm, damaging the equipment and cages, and freeing some of the animals. It includes all sorts of monkeywrenching, from disabling vehicles, to disabling roadways, to disabling power lines. It also includes direct confrontation with human offenders as you physically stop them from committing crimes against our fellow creatures. ?

    As the name implies, militant interventionism is an act of war against society. It recognizes the liberators’ passionate, forceful, and aggressive intervention into human oppression of our family. Liberators use any and every tactic necessary to win the freedom of our brothers and sisters. This means they cheat, steal, lie, plunder, disable, threaten, and physically harm others to achieve their objective. ?

    Many compassionate people are probably reeling from this concept of militant interventionism. These are basically a peaceful people, opposed to violence. They ask whether militant interventionism lowers liberators to the level of the human oppressors. Can people lie, cheat, steal, and commit physical harm against others and call themselves moral persons? ?

    Liberators contend that these questions ignore the difference between using physical force offensively versus defensively. They explain their position with the following example. ?

    Stopping a would-be assassin from murdering an innocent child is considered, even by the most peaceful of us, to be a good, noble deed. Acting as an agent for the helpless child, it would be an act of defense, not offense. If the rescuer needed to lie, cheat, or steal from the would-be assassin, we would still praise his efforts. Lying, cheating and stealing are means of achieving the end of saving the child. Even if the would-be assassin was shot and killed to prevent him from killing the child, we would consider the rescuer praiseworthy and virtuous. ?

    It should also be mentioned that liberators do not consider themselves punishers. They do not seek anything but the liberation of animals. If an abuser changes his or her behavior and adopts a peaceful lifestyle, liberators hold no grudges. What they do not accept is current crimes against members of our family. While some abusers could plead ignorance or habit, and while some people have the capacity to change, the fact remains that our fellow creatures are being tortured and slaughtered directly or indirectly by these people. Such crimes would not be tolerated by society if they were committed against humans. Liberators feel the same accountability must exist in the treatment of all creatures. ?

    The fact that liberators are at war means that they use whatever force they feel is necessary to save our family members. They know that people, including the most bloodthirsty criminals, are never totally good or evil, black or white. But that fact never stopped people from killing criminals in self defense. Liberators are not judging people as evil, but their acts as such. If people engage in the torture and destruction of innocent creatures, their acts make them guilty of crimes against other creatures, and liberators will try to stop them, even if that requires physical intervention. To stop the acts liberators feel they must stop the people. And the way liberators stop people is by using the motivations of pain and fear. ?

    Some of you may believe that force will never work in teaching people to respect animal life. Liberators agree. That is not their goal, however. Liberators are not trying to educate humans. They have given up on humans and their societies. Militant interventionism is an approach that capitalizes on the motivation of pain and fear in making people act in certain ways. When liberators give pain to vivisectors, or hunters, or fur farm breeders, or butchers, they make their oppression of animals less pleasurable. Some abusers will stop what they are doing. Of course, some will get guns and try to defend themselves. A high level of anxiety will be generated by liberations, which can also be used against the abusers. The more difficult and painful liberators make abusers’ acts of brutality, the more it helps our family members. ?

    Let me illustrate militant interventionism in action, in contrast to traditional methods of working within the system. Consider ways in which to handle vivisection. ?

    Animal defenders stand with banners outside of a research  facility, chanting: “What do we want? Animal Rights! When do we want it? Now!” as media people interview the leader or spokesperson. Across from them is an animal research support group, consisting of graduate students, researchers, and their children. They chant slogans back at the media, and are equally represented on the six o’clock news that evening. An article in the newspaper describes the demonstration, quoting the parts of the animal rights spokesperson’s statements that sounded most “terrorist-like”, since the public likes an exciting story. A well respected researcher at the facility is also quoted, as he explains to the public that animal research is critical for public health, and if animal research had not been allowed these activists would probably not be alive today. Meanwhile, behind the research facility’s eight foot fence and barbed wire, behind the brick walls and metal cages, our family members crouch in fear, pain, and terror. They didn’t even get to see the nice demonstration on television. ?

    Some activists go home from the demonstration eager to write their Congressmen, asking for better conditions for lab animals and more strict regulations of research labs. But the Congressmen are lobbied more vehemently, and more effectively, by special interests groups invested in animal research, like the powerful pharmaceutical, medical, animal breeding, pet food, and meat industries. The fur, leather, and other animal abusing industries also lobby hard in favor of animal research, since they see any sign of respect for animals a dangerous precedent that might affect them as well. Some of the letters to Congressmen ask for enforcement of already passed laws, since enforcement is an entirely different matter than getting laws passed. So the animal defenders are left asking for laws to enforce the law. Of course, if successful, they will then need to ask for laws to enforce the enforcement laws. ?

    Alternatively, imagine a liberator engaging in militant interventionism. The research facility is carefully staked out. Infiltrators give information about the locations of accessible animals. One night a break-in is attempted, and twenty rabbits, forty mice, six dogs, and two chimpanzees are rescued. Machinery used in experiments is destroyed, along with expensive computers and other valuable items. The animals are transported to sanctuaries where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace. Meanwhile, the police are busy looking for clues to the “crime.” Researchers speak to the public about their outrage over the theft of their animals and the destruction  of  their  property,  and   how  medical   science  has  just ?suffered a grave setback. ?

    Then, one day, one of the animal researchers receives a letter asking him to stop his work or suffer the consequences. Of course, the researcher continues his cruel work. A week later he gets into his car and it explodes, permanently putting an end to his projects. Other researchers receive anonymous letters telling them to stop killing animals or they, too, will be stopped. ?

    As a result, private and public police protection is ordered for the researchers. The facility looks like a fortress. Morale at the facility is low. Researchers feel unsafe even at home. Some decide to retire early, or leave to another facility. A few of the graduate students and researchers’ children decide that animal research is too dangerous for their blood, and choose to pursue another career. Soon, the cost of hiring private police protection reduces the amount of research that the facility can afford to conduct, and the public begins to get angry at the facility for using tax money to pay for public police protection. ?

    We have thus considered two scenarios in dealing with vivisection. In one, letters were written, speeches were made, papers were sold, the public was momentarily amused, and animals still suffered and died. In other, animals were liberated, a chronic animal killer was neutralized, and terror, demoralization, and financial pains hampered further animal suffering. (Of course, I, Screaming Wolf, do not support this or any such fictitious scenario due to its illegality.) ?

    When people say this sounds like too much involvement for them, liberators ask them to consider what they would say if it was their family in that facility who was about to be tortured and slaughtered. Would they be standing outside chanting and writing to Congressmen, or would they be doing everything they possibly could to stop the bastards from killing their family? ?Liberators contend that if you could imagine yourself doing this for your human family, then you should be able to imagine yourself doing it for your family of creatures. ?

    Liberators capitalize on the fact that death threats, occasionally carried out, can demoralize more than researchers. Drug company executives, factory farmers, animal breeders, slaughter house workers, pet store owners, loggers, trappers, hunters, and every other abuser of animals are targets for militant interventionism. Imagine the difference between sabotaging a hunt by making noise to frighten away animals, and sabotaging a hunt by posing as a hunter and blowing away a real one. Liberators commit themselves to making animal abuse a less pleasurable and more painful enterprise. ?

    Liberators offer guidelines for militant interventionism. This is how they explain their philosophy to interested individuals. I quote them for realism purposes, without implying any agreement with their principles. The following was delivered anonymously to me on cassette tape.

“To begin with, not everyone is capable of militancy. Humans are taught to be compliant and unempowered. They fear direct action. If that is your situation, but you still believe in the liberation cause, then withdraw from the system. Do not participate in animal bloodshed or give society the benefit of your raised consciousness. Withdrawing from society saves lives, and bleeds the system of the good people it needs to go on living, and killing.

?But if you feel you can practice militant interventionism, we suggest the following: ?

    First, participate as little as possible in society. ?

    It is morally imperative that you participate in the cruelty of society to the least degree possible. We cannot accept the approach of killing some innocent creatures to save others. You wouldn’t kill your brother to save your sister. If you could totally withdraw from society you could minimize participation in its cruelty. But since you have chosen to fight the system to liberate animals, you must participate in that system to some extent. Guns, nails, explosives, ski masks, and the transportation of you and the animals you save all cost money. Money is the medium of the society. You are therefore making a conscious choice to participate in some of the cruelty to stop some of it. ?

    This sounds like a moral dilemma. How can you free the animals but not be a party to killing them by your participating in the system? ?

    The answer is that the animals who are being destroyed covertly by your participation in the system, say, by your buying gasoline, driving your car, and paying sales tax for materials you could not steal, are like innocent captives of an armed, murderous terrorist who is about to kill them. The terrorist holds a child closely to his side as protection, as a shield. The only way to stop the terrorist from killing the other innocent captives is by killing the child along with him. You cannot see any other way of saving the others or the child. They will all die without your intervention. In this case, you must kill the terrorist  and  the child,  saving  as many other innocent victims as you can. ?

    This is essentially the reality facing our family members. They are captives to human terrorists. If we do nothing, all will suffer and be killed. So long as our participation does not add to the suffering they would have experienced without our intervention, we have done well. ?

    Clearly, then, we must participate in society only to the extend necessary to carry out our campaigns of liberation. Any other involvement for personal gain would be losing our moral right to call ourselves liberators. ?

    Second, barter with other liberators and people who have withdrawn from society for essential needs. ?

    This rule follows from the first. Liberators can benefit from being in the company of like minded souls. In such a situation, people can share material objects and services by bartering with one another. This avoids having to go into town to buy the things you need. Try not to use money if at all possible. ?

    Third, make as little money as possible to get by. ?

    You may need some money to get things you can’t barter for. Be careful! Making money is participating in the system. On the other hand, it could benefit the cause if you make money as an infiltrator, say, at a research lab or factory farm. How about getting a job as a security guard or janitor? They get lots of keys! ?

    Fourth, live simply. ?

    Avoid the obsession with materialism that plagues our capitalist world. We are raised to be consumers. The planet needs more liberation and less consumption. Living simply also helps you avoid needing money and having to participate in the system. ?

    Fifth, don’t play by society’s rules. ?

    Lie, cheat, steal, and do physical damage to abusers and their property, but do it if, and only if, it serves the needs of liberating our family from human tyranny. Do not break laws out of mere defiance or personal gain, for that robs you of your moral position, and it places you in unnecessary risk of getting caught. ?

    It is worth mentioning here that liberators practicing militant interventionism do not take credit for their actions. We are not soldiers dressed in uniform facing the enemy head on. We are more like guerrilla warriors, spies and saboteurs. This is not a time for self-glorification and proving to the world that we are virtuous and brave. We do not need to sign our names or give our organizational affiliation, as the A.L.F. does. All pro-animal groups even the A.L.F., are trying to educate society and raise attention to their cause. They also want the opposition to know how strong and powerful they are. This is because they are struggling for power within the system. ?

    Liberators have an entirely different agenda. We do not want the media to announce our actions, since that might make future actions more difficult. (An exception is when the media can add to the abuser’s paranoia or serve as a tool of sabotage.) We do not want to educate society, since we know that society will never change. We do not want to be included in the power structure of the system. We simply want to liberate family members and monkeywrench the abusive machinery of the system. ?

    This difference pertains to acts of civil disobedience, as well. Civil disobedience, as discussed in the previous chapter, involves obeying all moral laws, and gladly accepting the punishment for disobeying immoral laws. It is designed to demonstrate your willingness to participate in society and obey its rules, so long as they are moral ones. Liberators, on the other hand, recognize that society is immoral and corrupt throughout, drenched with the blood of our fellow beings. We want nothing to do with society, except to sabotage its killing ability. Civil disobedience makes no sense for liberators. It is not an appropriate tactic for war. ?

    The fact that we do not announce our activities adds to the terror and insecurity we can create, making us more effective. So long as vivisectors, for example, know that we are after them, that we will attack them at some time, in some manner, but that the time is for us to decide, and further, that we will never admit when we have attacked, we will have a ripping, destructive, demoralizing effect on the paranoid minds of these abusers. Was that open cage the act of a liberator? How about that new researcher who just started? Is he possibly an infiltrator? And how about that fire at Dr. Jones’ house? Its cause never was completely determined. ?

    A guilty mind needs no accuser. Abusers know who they are and will be fearing our every move. Whenever something bad happens, whenever someone is killed, or property is destroyed, or a car goes over a hill, or a person is poisoned when eating meat, liberators will be suspected. With nobody taking the blame abusers will not know who to trust. They will begin to turn on one another. We can thus demoralize them and hamper their oppression. Remember, fear is the greatest motivator of humans. We can generate an environment of fear that will singe the back hairs on even the most bloodthirsty oppressor. ?

    Sixth, never trust humans without good cause. ?

    Remember, this is a war, and humans are the enemy. ?

    This also means that you should work alone or with one or two other tried and true friends. People have been known to turn on even the closest friends with little apparent provocation. The war you are fighting might provide life and death reasons for others to turn on you. ?

    It also implies that liberators have no leader. We are not organized in the traditional sense of the word. We are independent people accepting the responsibility of freeing our family members from human oppression. We don’t take responsibility for one another’s actions. We are empowered to do our own actions in accordance with our own conscience. ?

    Seventh, keep quiet about your beliefs. ?

    Loose lips can get you in deep trouble. Other good people will receive the message of liberation without your being the one telling them. You don’t have to be a recruiter as well as a liberator. Lie about your beliefs, and be sneaky in your operation. ?

    Eighth, wean yourself from needing approval from other humans. ?

    You don’t need people to tell you what a good job you are doing. Not many people are going to congratulate you for trashing a fur store and shooting a hunter, except maybe another liberator. Feel your success in the freedom and pleasure of liberated animals. ?

    Ninth, keep focusing on the positive. ?

    This one is a tall order. How can you go through life knowing the enormous cruelty that exists, and somehow maintain a positive attitude? ?

    The answer is to realize that you have no control over that cruelty. As we have said, when you are in a burning house, it makes no sense to cry over the fact that the house is on fire. You must spend you energy on saving those who you can from the blaze, and expect that there will be many more who you cannot save. You must learn to see the blaze as the given, and your rescue of innocent victims as a boon. ?

    Another way of  saving this  is using  the analogy of  a cup with water. You  are familiar with the question of whether a cup containing half its maximum volume of water is either half empty, or half full. The optimist sees the cup as half full, the pessimist as half empty. When you hope to rescue all of the animals and stop all human cruelty, you are choosing impossible goals. Your cup will always be half empty. ?

    But when you give up on unrealistic goals, you can feel good about every life you save that would have been destroyed without your intervention. Your cup is then half full. But even half full is unrealistic, since it still judges your success by some ideal goal of freeing all our family members. In reality, a half filled cup is as full as it is ever going to get. You must learn to see each liberation of an animal as your cup running over. ?

    Another obstacle to feeling positive is that working within the system, which you may have been doing until now, seems trivial and impotent when you realize that animals need liberation, not rights. When you realize that people are thick-headed, cruel beasts, and that the system is entrenched from top to bottom in animal exploitation, the old tactics of writing Congressmen, or getting a legislative initiative to stop pounds from selling dogs to animal research facilities, seem trivial. You now see that Congress was made to serve men, not animals. And you know that saving pound dogs from research facilities will only get those dogs killed at the pound, and force the researchers to buy more expensive dogs from breeders. ?

    It is true, however, that writing Congressmen is useful in that it costs oppressors of animals more money for their lobbying efforts. And the more spent on bred dogs, the less money available for research. But you now realize that these activities, even if successful, are simply temporary annoyances to abusers, and are ineffective in the long run. Businesses and researchers spending more money on operating costs will pass on their expenses to their consumers, many of whom are the animal defenders working within the system. ?

    When you see the big picture, you have difficulty being satisfied with old, ineffective tactics. What you need to do is see the big picture from each animal’s point of view, not from a human’s. From their points of view, they are suffering and being killed. It’s a life and death issue. Every time you liberate one from human tyranny, you are dealing successfully with their big picture. ?

    In short, we cannot stop vivisection, but we can stop a vivisector. ?

    We cannot end hunting, but we can put an end to some hunters. ?

    We cannot cripple the fur industry, but we can cripple some trappers. ?

    We cannot put a halt to cars and trucks disabling animals, but we can disable cars, trucks, and roads. ?

    So long as you are saving animals, you are winning wars! And winning wars should keep you feeling positive.”

    These are the basic guidelines for militant interventionism as explained by liberators in their own words. Liberators feel it is a broad enough tactic to allow practitioners to pick a comfortable target and achieve their objective. For ideas, they suggest readers obtain a copy of Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching, Second Edition, edited by Dave Foreman and Bill Haywood, and published by Ned Ludd Books, Tucson, Arizona, 1987. It is a “how to” guide for sabotage, and liberators believe it is easily applied to animal liberation. ?

    Rather than adhering to any particular form of sabotage, liberators suggest that people be creative. ?

    For example, they suggest people might use a rubber snake, or some other reptile facsimile, put nails throughout its body positioned in such a way that a car tire running over the snake would be flattened, and place the object on the road. Liberators say you’d be amazed how many people go out of their way to hit a snake. But this is one snake that the liberators hope will bite back! ?

    Liberators might send bomb threats to universities and research facilities which use animals. If the person sending the bomb hasn’t the inclination to carry out the threat, they suggest he or she ask a trusted and willing friend to do it, which will make future threats more effective. ?

    They suggest people could buy a semi-automatic rifle and hunting license and go into the woods during hunting season to bag a “pot-bellied beer sucker”. ?

    Or they might leak information to the media that some meat purchased at the grocery store was tainted with cyanide.

?Liberators say that the possible projects are limited only by one’s imagination. As they said  at  the end of  the  tape:

“Be careful, have fun, feel the goodness of what you are doing – and kick some butt!”


    Liberators  believe  that  people  will  discover,  as they insist they have, that one can find happiness in this crazy world living the life of a liberator. In the next chapter I will discuss how liberators suggest that others can join their cause, and will examine the obstacles people may have to joining them. ?  ?


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