The tactic of animal rights (AR) street activism – as in protests, rallies, marches, etc. – typically inspires either sneering contempt or undying devotion.
Personally – while outcomes and outreach vary widely from campaign to campaign – I view hitting the streets as an ideal way for activists to connect face-to-face within an often alienating culture.
It’s where the best brainstorming happens. It’s how solidarity is cultivated. It’s when friendships form. Thus, for those reasons (and others), I attend more than my share of demos.
That said, I’m guessing the next wave of AR activism lies less in holding signs and chanting and more in breaking bread and connecting with potential allies in oppressed communities.
Such an evolution not only creates even more fertile ground for the aforementioned brainstorming, solidarity, and friendships but also gives AR activists a much-needed opportunity to:
- Listen to more than an echo chamber
- Form essential new alliances
- Exponentially grow the movement
- Gain a deeper perspective on oppression
- Discover how veganism sounds to those in un-privileged communities
In the name of doing my small part to move this evolution along, I will continue to write and post and speak on related issues. For now, I’d like to share some articles on…
And this short video:
Racism, sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, ableism, ageism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, white supremacy (and more) are real. If we do not connect our struggle against speciesism to these anti-oppression struggles, we are failing ourselves, our fellow humans, and the non-human animals in a major way.
The lesson we must learn, the message we must convey: Becoming a vegan/animal rights activist is not a righteous path towards a singular focus on non-humans. Rather, it’s a journey capable of teaching us invaluable lessons about recognizing and challenging oppression in its myriad forms. All our grievances and all our solutions are connected.
(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)