People say that an aspect to racism is when you push an ethnic group harder and harder to the wall, until the point its members break and begin to rebel. Then you can justify your actions and hatred towards them because of their unsettled behavior. This definition might not match to every form of racism we have encountered throughout the years, but if we replace the word “Racism” with every other form of hatred and bigotry towards a certain group, we can match reality in a better way.
When I wrote about the visit my friends and I had in different dairy farms, I wrote that I have never seen cows from such a close distance before. Only few days ago I have suddenly remembered, I have no idea how did I forget, that about five years ago I was traveling to the north of Israel, when suddenly a herd of cows slowly passed just next to me. I never got to touch them, but I remember that one of them suddenly stopped, and when I got near her I realized she stopped because of an old marking strip that was stretched about three centimeters above the ground, yet served a perfectly good barrier for her. I lowered it to the ground and the cow moved on. I remember now I thought how easy you can direct and stop that cow (I assume other cows might behave differently, or else we wouldn’t have high fences around dairy farms) with a marking strip that doesn’t mean anything and doesn’t do anything, a marking strip that was left in the open and did not really set any barrier between any two areas. One that did not have any meaning except it’s own empty one. Today I think about us, humans, who are being lead to think in the same way, and even worse.
Before Gary Yourofsky arrived to Israel for a series of lectures, the local internet websites were boiling with blessings, curses and accusations. The fact Yourofsky is considered a terrorist was used as the main weapon for those who declared themselves as ones who “have nothing against Veganism, only against giving stage for violent people”. After we stopped chasing after witches and after the communists, it is time for the anarchists and the terrorists (Truly violent terrorists should be caught, of course, but I am talking about blind accusations in the spirit of old fashioned McCarthyism and not about real ideologies). I have read a comment by someone who asked, cynically, how come every terrorist organization refers to itself as “__X__Liberation Front”, referring of course to the Animal liberation front in relation to terrorist organizations names. The answer is simple, opposite and sad. Many organizations of people who want to set certain groups to freedom are called terrorists since the government does not feel comfortable with the release of these groups. Indeed, people who physically harm other people should be prosecuted, but do we give that title to every group of people who acts in this manner? Do their actions enforce the title “Terrorists” on their heads, or is it our ideology that does it? What about people who acted in violence in order to release our people from conquest or a hostile regime? Do we consider our heroes as terrorists for their action?
Our decision about who is considered a terrorist and who isn’t is completely subjective (what about the innocent Iraqi civilians who were killed by US troops?). I will add another critical detail, as far as I am concerned. The Animal Liberation Front is dedicated to avoiding harming people or animals, so how come we dare put them in the same category with people who murder other people?
No one wakes up one morning and decide to be a terrorist, meaning to harm innocent people for the sake of harming them. I do not justify this action under no condition, but I understand that these people are doing these vile deeds in order to promise freedom to other people or to themselves. A freedom fighter and a terrorist are the two sides for the exact same coin, and while repressed people will see them as heroes, the regime will see them as dangerous people. Notice how the global riots have led the media to attempt and make us hate human rights organizations, making us think that they are dangerous. So what about people who break the law in order to rescue animals from death?
In the beautiful speech that Walter Bond gave in court, after he burned down a leather factory and before he went into prison, the problem is described perfectly. We live in a culture that considers goods over life, even the lives of its members. We all know that over 100,000 Iraqi citizens died for oil and not for any other imagined partnership in a terrorist activity over some twin towers, and we all accept it as we participate in a game that says – money and riches are worth more than we do. To us, this is one of the silliest marking strip ever made, and this strip is stretched few centimeters above the ground in order to lead us through a specific way. Bond will get his punishment, but how the hell did we, the public, agree that his actions, which favored life over the murder for the profit of the murderer have earned him the title “Terrorist”? isn’t this a mere definition that we had learned never to walk past? How come the following statement over his arrest even sound logical to some people, once we understands Bond’s motives?
“Terrorism in the name of animal rights is every bit as dangerous and destructive as the other threats facing our country today,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis. “The actions of Mr. Bond resulted in significant property damage and worse, could have resulted in the loss of life. The FBI, along with the ATF and our other Joint Terrorism Task Force partners are committed to working together to ensure that citizens of this country are safe from terrorist threats of all kinds.”
Another marking strip was laid on 2011, in the form of law HF589, or in it’s’ more common name, the Ag Gag. This law prohibits all form of documentation of slaughterhouses or labs and prevents, as well as any form of inspection about the “quality” of the meat, the information about the torture and killing of animals within the bloody walls, in order to make us forget that meat does not come from packages in the Supermarket. This law, and the laws that will follow it, is designed to remove any knowledge or even the mere terms used to describe cruelty to animals from our lexicon, in the vilest Orwellian way, so profit can flow to the hands of the tormentors freely. We, who are afraid of terrorists the same way we were afraid of Communists in the sixties might even forget what we are even fighting about freedom to animals when we cease to know anything about them besides the fact that they are the ingredients to our dinner. The documentation about the mass tortures will fade until the point we will have to question its validity. This is what we are educated to do, and this is what the obedient herd that we are will do.
I saw this picture, of the laughing woman holding a tortured monkey for the first time on this video –
Are we standing before the day when a terrorist will also be a person who is holding a camera? Those of us who are active in the many global riots over our own greedy economy will tell you that this day is already here. Maybe instead of being shocked by the vast amount of “terrorists” (again, I am only talking about people who never physically harmed other people) we should start doubting the quality of the system that forces this misleading title on their heads?
If we’re talking about Skinny Puppy, I can’t end this post without their cry to keep the camera alive.
On August 2012, 70,000 chickens died in three different batteries when a drunken man accidentally shut the electricity down for several minutes, thus disconnecting them from food, drink and cooling fans. That person is being considered a vandal at best, since his action has no agenda. He did not set these chickens free, but killed them before their slave master could profit enough from them. My friend Tome Shmaya pointed out an important question that slipped my mind for the first few minutes, as I read this sad article. In what sort of conditions are these poor chickens being held, if they all died after just few minutes without electricity? If you ask me, there’s a terrorist in this story, and it’s not the drunken man. But you don’t.