Devin Listrom, Kyle XVX, Judy Junior, and Jason Miller in a Bite Club protest against vivisection at KUMC….
Meat-eating, racist, homophobic, capitalist-loving white men can openly tote guns and threaten violence if the government dares to spend tax money on “Socialist” health care reforms (ironically, the same angry white men are fine with hundreds of billions of dollars more of our money going to our murderous, imperialist military industrial complex).
And yet an unarmed, calm and rational-acting Animal Rights activist faces police harassment and the threat of arrest for disseminating provocative (yet legal) fliers that promote an end to cruel, barbaric, and torturous experiments on primates by a public university using our tax money.
Yes indeed, the dominant culture is an inverted pyramid that is becoming increasingly wobbly and unstable. Some of us pray that it crashes quickly so that we can begin the world anew, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes.
Tonight I got yet another taste of the moral inversion that passes for reality in the prevailing paradigm. Acting on Negotiation is Over’s call to take to the streets, and on my personal craving for some more “on-the-street” activism, I decided to visit the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) and its surrounding business district and neighborhoods to educate people about KUMC’s creepy obsession with abusing nonhuman animals. Unfortunately, my activism tonight was lone wolf, as my few local hard-core allies were unavailable and Kyle XVX was unable to make the three hour trip from Springfield.
While the “Wanted Poster” flier, which we featured in a previous essay, is admittedly provocative, it is protected by the First Amendment. In a semi-sane world the two hours I spent leaving fliers on cars and engaging people on the street to inform them of the enslavement and torture of primates at KUMC would not have warranted law enforcement taking notice, let alone four officers descending upon me, searching me for weapons, photographing me, questioning me, and writing me a criminal trespass warning that states that if I return to KUMC, a PUBLIC university in a state where I reside and pay taxes, I’ll be arrested.
Had I been carrying one of my 12 gauge riot guns and a sign that read “If Brown can’t stop health care reform, Browning can,” I would’ve gotten a free pass from law enforcement. But since I dared to challenge the ‘we have a right to torture and murder nonhuman animals for our pleasure and convenience’ status quo, which includes large moneyed interests and a cultural belief in dominionism that runs deeper than the Mariana Trench, I was detained, intimidated and harassed for shedding light on the truth. Armed with those fliers, I probably smashed some shackles of speciesist indoctrination and alerted some members of an ill-informed general public to the horrors that KUMC inflicts upon monkeys using hundreds of thousand of their tax dollars. Careerist vivisectors could get knocked off the ladder and the NIH grant gravy train could be derailed. The horrors! No wonder they sent four squad cars to my “crime scene.”
While the Green Scare implications are troubling, what I find most disturbing about this incident is the fact that while I walked away with my freedom, the primates at KUMC remain imprisoned, facing torture and death at the hands of empathy-deficient monsters masquerading as “good people” who purport to selflessly labor to advance human medicine. While some of their findings may help diseased or ill human beings, there are many alternative ways to mitigate human suffering that don’t involve torturing and murdering other sentient beings. And these overpaid careerists are anything but selfless.
As our ultimate objective is to liberate our nonhuman brethren from sociopaths like the vivisectors at KUMC, we need to press on in spite of fear. Remember the words of Peter Young, “Conversations on the AETA in any context other than how to have it overturned usually focus on how legal, above ground activists can “protect” themselves from prosecution. This is the intention of the AETA: to instill fear. To place a cop inside all of our heads, intimidating us into inaction. I don’t want to advocate a defensive stance in response to the AETA. I want people to nullify the AETA by continuing to fight for animals, regardless of its vague threats.”
Jason Miller, the Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious vegan abolitionist and animal rights activist who lives in Kansas. He has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly an autodidact, but he studied liberal arts and philosophy at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In early 2005, he founded the widely read radical blog, Thomas Paine’s Corner. Jason is an accomplished, prolific essayist and his writings on social and political issues have appeared on hundreds of alternative media websites over the last few years. He is a press officer for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, an editor for The Right to Have and Arm Bears and Canine Crusaders, and the founder of Bite Club of KC, a grassroots animal rights activist group which he started in Kansas City in 2009 and through which he and his allies give animal exploiters some serious hell. He is married to Kiantha Shadduck. You can reach him at email@example.com.