Orrin Pratt on Nov 16, 2011
Jesus Radicals Conference 2011 Carries talks about her struggles being an activist including being imprisoned and offers some wisdom for activists in training.
At the request of Anthony Nocella II, I have composed a summary of Bite Club’s campaign to stop primate vivisection at the University of Kansas Medical Center. This summary will also appear on Lib Now!
In late 2009, I became aware that the University of Kansas Medical Center (aka KU Med or KUMC) had a primate vivisection program. While the census of their “test subjects” (primarily macaques and squirrel monkeys according to information available through the USDA and KU Med’s website) is relatively small compared to other vivisection facilities, what cried out for Animal Rights activist intervention was the fact that they had been cited by the USDA for 160 violations of animal welfare laws, a staggering number.
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Banging out this essay on my laptop as Delta Airlines ferries me from Kansas City to Portland, I’m once again preparing to table for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office at the Let Live Conference. It was about this time last year that I attended this same conference and met fellow press officers Jerry Vlasak and Camille Hankins for the first time. I also attended several demonstrations with some local Portland activists (for whom I have a great deal of admiration) and listened to several inspirational talks by powerful activists.
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Two weeks ago, as I was figuratively staggering through the worst existential pummeling I’ve endured since my self-imposed sentence to Dante’s Inferno in the early 90’s, I had a profound (recovering) alcoholic’s moment of clarity.
Alone and grappling with the unwelcome silence of solitude, my mind conjured remembrances of sad and broken people pouring out their souls to other equally broken people, smoke lingering so heavily in the air that one could readily “catch” cancer without taking a drag from a cigarette, the comforting aroma of coffee (a recovering addict’s best friend) wafting through the air , streams of tears flowing like tiny rivers whose headwaters had emerged from the thunderstorms of human pain, raw emotions unflinchingly revealed to a pack of strangers (where does that happen besides AA?), obliterated dreams and shattered lives vividly displayed in Technicolor supported by Dolby Sound, and enough street psychology espoused that an industrious writer could have readily filled the shelves of Barnes and Nobles’ self-help section.
MLK embodied the immense power that spirituality brings to a social justice movement….
Preface: While I recognize that there are many atheists in the Animal Rights Movement who adhere to veganism, and that people of many different religions and philosophies advocate and fight for nonhuman animals, my personal spirituality is the backbone of my veganism and my activism. I want to make it clear that I’m not questioning the commitment of vegans or activists who aren’t spiritual and I also want to clarify that I am not a theologian. I merely want to use this essay as a vehicle to comment on the nature of my spirituality and to express the immensity of the strength it provides me.
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.
“As we devour them to satiate our appetite for power and wealth, we devour ourselves, making for a bizarre act of self-cannibalization.”
Our dominant culture, in which I fully admit to participating (despite my significant efforts to minimize my involvement) is wreaking havoc on this “pale blue dot” we call Earth. Climate change, scarce and tainted water, devastating levels of toxins in the environment, rampant consumerism that generates truckloads of fetid refuse per second, massive deforestation, and the Sixth Extinction implicate humanity, and our socioeconomic/cultural construct we euphemistically call “civilization,” as nothing short of the living embodiment of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Our species, by virtue of our chosen ways of interfacing with the world, personifies Death, Famine, War, and Pestilence. Despite our numerous worthwhile attributes and accomplishments, humanity specializes in slaughter, mayhem, abject cruelty, genocide, ecocide, and all manner of destruction.
Sent to DS by the author; thanks, Tricia.
by Tricia Orr
Guest Writer, Dandelion Salad
August 9, 2009
Last night, I went to see the documentary everyone is talking about – Food, Inc., which clearly juxtaposes modern, industrialized agriculture with local, organic agriculture. Or at least that’s what I thought going into the film.
Now, most people would already agree that organic, pesticide-free vegetables are preferable to chemically-treated vegetables, and that farmers should be allowed to save their own seeds without Monsanto trying to sue them. The film’s focus on organic vegetables as a superior food source is not controversial.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated, allied, aligned, or connected with the Transformative Studies Institute, the Institute for Critical Animal Studies, Anthony Nocella II, or Richard Kahn. While I am a press officer for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office and am an associate of Jerry Vlasak and Steve Best, I am penning this piece independently of NAALPO and all of my allies. This essay is philosophical in nature and is not intended to incite or encourage illegal or violent acts.
Immersion in an emotionally intense experience impacts the human psyche in a poignant and profound way. Marginalized as we are by the war my fellow activists and I are waging against the dominant culture, it’s an elating and uplifting experience to meet and engage those fellow activists, comrades, and allies. My six days of nearly constant interaction with similar-minded individuals and the chanting, shouting, and raging at primate torturers and their enablers at the nexus of the UCLA vivisection wars in a raucous, vociferous, militant demonstration served both as a cathartic outlet and a source of potent spiritual and intellectual inspiration.