November 25, 2020
From Activist Journeys
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Part 1 – Identifying a problem

Vegan Neo-Nazis

So I’d like to tell you the story about a pair of ex-anarchists, ex-Animal Liberation Front convicts, Walter Bond and Camille Marino who have launched the website ‘Vegan Final Solution’, a Neo-Nazi platform trying to recruit from the vegan & animal liberation milieu. Here are some of the ideas they promote: [1]

WE ADVOCATE a third position beyond left and right-wing ideology; a third position that encompasses the best of both, and discards the rest.

WE ADVOCATE a hierarchy where those that exercise self-discipline and self-sacrifice for the good of animals and the earth are deemed more deserving of life than the gluttonous, selfish drones that shovel dead animals into their grotesque faces, simply to satiate their lust for rotting meat. With hierarchy, we separate the wheat from the chaff.

WE ADVOCATE a total lack of concern for egalitarian issues. The whole laundry bag of activist, and so called “total liberation” issues, not only seeks to put the focus right back on worthless people, but also undermines the animals’ safety by making society more cohesive and functional.

So classic fascist ideology, plus a bunch of dog whistles to Classical Nazi code-speak: Final Solution, Third Position & Life unworthy of life.

Also letters he would send from prison had nazi propaganda on the back, so that’s always fun. [Video]

Now the case study of groups who supported or continue to support them

Walter Bond was supported by the group ‘Unnoffensive Animal’ in a hopeful disregard for his fascist leanings, they were convinced by his support group that his early fascist writings were just a short lived cause of traumatic prison conditions. They encouraged vegans to send letters of support and buy his book. Allowing their respect for his actions to get in the way of transparency and accountability. [2]

He was and still is being promoted by the North America Animal Liberation Press Office, SupportWalter.org & Forward to Eden. [3][4][5]

And finally listed on the website for people they view as ‘friends & allies’ are Gary Yourofsky (ADAPTT) & Black Rose Belarus. [1]

So what commonalities can we find among all these groups?

Well for one, a strong commitment to vandalism as a campaign tactic and potential tolerance for violence which goes further than that.

Now disclaimer; I’m not saying all graffitiing is wrong or all revolutions are bad. I’m not even saying there’s a risk of thousands of die hard vegan anarchists becoming Neo-Nazis.

I am saying there’s a risk of politically ignorant people who glorify violence (like Gary Yourofsky’s apolitical misanthropy) finding common cause with eco-fascists and not seeing the harm they’re doing promoting this shit.

I think the few revolutionary groups who are promoting this Nazi website should be a wake up call. And so an issue we should work to untangle for how people get duped into first glorifying ‘propaganda by the deed,’ bodily harm and violence, for the animals today – where it would be completely unethical and counter-productive – then find common cause with Nazis.

So I think we need to do a better job of explaining where some direct action goes overboard and becomes both unethical and ineffective. As well as checking in on our friends who look to be going down a bad path and provide them with the support they need.

Part 2 – Solutions

Step 1: Putting social pressure to bear on groups, organisations and content creators

We need to discourage the excuses that could easily lead to this happening again.

People’s appreciation for Gary’s speech turning them and others vegan also got in the way of people condemning him for his support for violence, his wishing rape on people as punishment & calling Palestinians psychopaths and their rights supporters insane. [6]

As well, Anonymous for the Voiceless made a post about the man who took a bunch of people hostage at gunpoint until the President made an online post promoting the movie Earthlings… ‘Just asking the question’ as to whether it was a success or failure for the animals, without clearly condemning his actions. [7]

It’s really worrying that 100s of vegans on Facebook would comment in favour of the Ukraine hostage taker and have their profile public showing police everything about their life. It shows both the level of unethical-ness and the naivety that could likely easily be swayed into promoting an edgy neo-nazi who hides the real outcomes of their politics only slightly.

Finally it’s important to make people aware of when the person they’re following has far-right leanings, so they aren’t sucked down the rabbit hole of bad justifications without realising where the end conclusion is leading. I’ll put a link in the endnotes to an article for further reading on racists in the vegan movement. [8]

Step 2: Deprogramming individuals who glorify violence

How does someone begin to take on beliefs which glorify violence?

Some examples we could think of could be obsessively watching animal cruelty videos, being insulted by friends & family over your vegan diet and not being able to avoid seeing people eat meat.

We could simply do a better job of checking in on newly vegan friends and promoting online spaces for them to find people to talk to.

Remind them they were blindly ignorant once too, so we need to have compassion for the perpetrator too.

How does someone potentially work up to taking unethical violent acts?

Blocking foxes from getting mauled to death, so gaining the confidence to get into stand-offs with fox hunters. Similarly with blocking fascists marching through immigrant neighbourhoods.

Disclaimer; I’m very much pro hunt sabbing and protesting fascists, I’m pro people getting active and feeling invested by protecting each other and foxes.

But, I also know people who get obsessed and all I’m saying is don’t be afraid to bring up with your friend that they may need to take a break or could be turning people away with their not comprehensible rants on Facebook. Get talking to them about other campaign tactics they can engage with for a time. [9]

Remind them the best advocacy tool we have is just shining a light on their cruelty and defending the victims. The few fox hunters we can annoy into not wanting to go on the hunt again pales in comparison as a goal to the amount of people we can get to question their meat eating by just showcasing their cruelty and showing how a fox or multiple foxes lives were life was saved.

Part 3 – What are the philosophical justifications for violence

1. Self-defence by proxy.

Reasonable grounds that when confronting systemic violence, you are preventing the total number or rate at which animal lives experiencing unjust cruelty stay the same or goes up. Not true of today.

Reasonable grounds that there was no way of avoiding injury to the perpetrator or any potential injury would be less than the well-being gained for the lives saved. Not true of today.

You could grant that in a hypothetical future if we were to get to a place where 99% of the world were vegan and less animal products being produced causes a drop in demand, yet we still hadn’t made meat eating illegal, then; you could risk injury to the perpetrator by citizens arresting them, while you free the animals where there was no other option than risking potential injury because the value for the sentient animals being free to live in a sanctuary is greater.

2. Desire for a war of self-determination

Animals can’t conceptualize a tactical war to achieve rights, so they can’t desire it. We aren’t even able to alleviate their suffering like we could human prisoners with the optimistic notion that direct actions done in other places now, may one day lead to an end to their suffering.

You could grant in the socialist case if 99% of society had been fully socialised and a previous factory owner had locked themself in and was refusing to move for wanting to employ only who they like and keep the profits to themself, some force in picking them up and moving them would be acceptable. Obviously revolutions are a lot more complicated than this hypothetical and I do commend cases like the Kurdish uprising in Northern Syria which took power from a regime who had rolled tanks on demonstrators and outlawed teaching of their native language.

But, even in the human case there are key foundations you need to work from, like the probability you won’t just give an excuse for the oppressor committing even worse horrors as was the case with the Rohingya militants who ambushed a police checkpoint, resulting in army & citizen campaign to burn down many villages, plus murder and rape those that couldn’t get away.

As well as a responsibility to put down arms after winning political freedoms and a majority are in favour of diplomacy through electoral politics, like in Northern Ireland today.

Much of the problem I think is animal rights activists confusing these two arguments. But what do you think? What other ways can you think of for talking someone down from their beliefs glorifying violence?

Part 4 – Closing Arguments

Time on earth is the greatest gift we have

Even if it could be argued that a war of terror, killing those involved in animal agriculture was the easiest route to reducing the number of animals bred into living horrible lives… I would still say it’s ethically wrong to be the person who takes another’s life just because it’s the easiest way. You could have worked to become president and outlawed it with one signature, you could have inspired a 1000 liberators to break every cage.

It’s an act of self-harm to treat life with such disregard when you could have been that same deluded person shrouded in the justificatory trappings of society treating your behaviour normally.

What I see is vegans in mourning for the animals, angry and wanting to find an outlet for that anger. After the vegan activist Regan Russell was killed, many ALF actions happened in response, and if taking the risk to slash slaughterhouse trucks’ tires in the dead of night is how you develop stronger bonds with a group of people and gain the confidence to do amazing things like travel the world and learn from other liberation struggles, then I’m all for it…

But, I don’t think the way we win today is treating a cold bureaucratic system with equally cold disregard in whose life we had the resources to be able to intimidate this week. Time on earth is the greatest gift people have, to make mistakes and learn from them, so I could never condone risking injury to people when fighting such a monolith as the animal agriculture industry today.

Let me know your thoughts in a comment down below, all the best, peace.

Endnotes

  1. https://veganfinalsolution.com/
  2. https://www.facebook.com/liberateordie/photos/a.261410787880915/579192992769358
  3. https://animalliberationpressoffice.org/NAALPO/2020/07/28/vegan-final-solution-com
  4. http://supportwalter.org/SW/index.php/2020/07/25/new-website-created-by-camille-marino-and-walter-bond-officially-launched-today
  5. https://www.facebook.com/forwardtoeden/posts/3118564944864698
  6. http://veganfeministnetwork.com/hero_worship/
  7. https://www.facebook.com/anonymousforthevoiceless/posts/3264530266902514
  8. https://philosophicalvegan.com/wiki/index.php/Racism_in_Veganism
  9. https://philosophicalvegan.com/wiki/index.php/Common_Allies



Source: Activistjourneys.wordpress.com