[Greece] Animal rights or animal liberation?

Some scattered thoughts on liberation, anarchy and life.

Individuals, activists, and organization members within the animal rights or liberation movement oftentimes express distinct opinions and different critiques on the rights issue on the one hand, and the liberation issue on the other. In order to have a clearer view of this fact, we have to take a closer look at both of these meanings. To begin with, the common notion of “rights” is to give someone the legitimate right to do or to have something. In other words, rights need to be institutionalized first, so that they can be granted later on. Many such activists get self-trapped in the sense and idea of animal rights and democracy. First of all, democracy presupposes the existence of the State, the laws and institutions that make this very establishment legit—no matter if democracy is direct or indirect; it still constitutes a democracy, a state sovereignty and enforcement. But our struggle cannot be entrenched in the narrow limits of democracy. We carry out an anarchist fight aiming at exactly the opposite, i.e. the abolishment of democracy, capitalism and the State, as well as a deconstruction of every kind of oppression and domination. Thus the idea of rights in its turn presupposes the continuation of the same or of a different system of governance, legislation and enslavement. Animal and human rights are in need of legislations and institutions, and ultimately of those deemed competent to lay down the law, so they place much reliance on dominators and rulers. We therefore come to the conclusion that animal rights is the idea of granting more freedom to animals—that is, larger cages, more humane methods of animal slaughtering, and so forth. Animal rights activists wish animals to be granted a sense of freedom that never opposes the root cause of their exploitation: the oppression by humans and their civilization, their nations, states, laws, machines, factories, shopping malls, fur shops, or their peaceable households. And above all, the rights that such alternative activists of legitimacy want to institutionalize for the sake of animals are always anthropocentric, just like the system that they serve and really need. Sometimes, this specific cause can also be extremely monothematic. Since they have become vegetarian or even vegan, they stop right there, they see this as an end in itself, as if they have done their part, as if this practice is their “struggle” in itself. They have boycotted the meat and dairy industry, and started to worship the vegan industry, which is in fact another capitalist industry raping the Earth and exploiting human workers. So these alternative, bourgeois animal friends tend to feel completely compassionate as they turn their love for animals into a goal in itself, taking part in peaceful protests, pickets, consumer boycotts, and signing petitions for the solution of various problems—of course, working always within the system. Besides that, many of them are characterized by their mudslinging against a militant animal liberation movement, in which individualities or groups put their own freedom at risk for animal and earth liberation as they go out to torch company properties, to hold combative demonstrations that clash with law protectors, to set animals free and, thus, give them a right to self-determination of their own lives, and generally take direct actions that represent a real threat to the capitalist system, which values everything based on money and material damage only.

Animal liberation on the other hand, or only liberation for that matter, is the idea of fighting not simply for freedom but much more than this: the liberation of our selves, animals and our environment from the malady called the State, oppression, domination, and civilization. Animal liberation cannot be a single-issue fight, because it is inextricably connected to earth and human liberation as well as the total liberation movement. It is in no way related to the legalization of some sort of rights, or to the superiority of someone to decide who and what is going to be freed, or not, in our desired free world. It is instead a war towards life outside the watertight of oppression, slavery, domestication, misery, and the shattering of our dreams and desires. We categorically reject the civil rights granted to us; we rather recognize one and only right in this world: to live our desired life as free beings, without having someone of something hanging over our heads and controlling our choices. Liberation in its very sense and essence goes beyond every ideology and political study. We do not wish to demand more freedom for non-human animals from their oppressors, just as we do not wish to haggle over our personal liberty from any kind of boss or dominator. The utmost right we recognize—a primeval right, in fact—is to grab freedom on our own. We are not seeking to liberate our selves, or anyone else, through and within their system but through the destruction of their states, their laws, their institutions, their industries and their civilization, which domesticates the wild impulses for a perpetual war on any type of domination and alienation from freedom itself. Even if we wisely know that our dreams will not be realized in their entirety, we are more than confident that our struggle is our very life; within ourselves reigns a necessity to diffuse the fire of liberation, the thoughts of our individual desires, and direct action against our enemies, that have always made it patently clear who they really are.

The history of humanity within its creation of a civilization has shown clearly to us that oppression, domestication and possession of every acre across the planet are some of the causes of exploitation of all living beings. The suffering caused by the human species cannot be summarized in one article, or even highlighted into a volume, nor would this necessarily be functional or essential to do. To demonstrate the misery and pain caused by their deadly civilization is only a small part of the raging war. It can only serve as a psychological and theoretical basis on which our feet have to firmly stand to carry out further action against everything that keeps us captive—not only us but other beings on this planet, too. Really, no Power will ever be crushed with words or papers, but rather with actions and rebellions. We should not settle for anything less than a total liberation of Earth, animals and humans, nor should we ever haggle over a freedom that already belongs to us all. We are born to be free, yet we are born in a prison-civilization. Thus the only option that comes naturally from within is the dedication of our lives to this war for liberation, to destroying all of their edifices, and resuming our true desires in the here and now. Nothing less and nothing more.

For Anarchy


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