This is the second talk I gave at the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg, on September 14 2013, regarding the need for an alliance politics that transcends the rigid divisions among the animal/human/environmental liberation movements.
Tag Archive: alliance politics
“Interview with Steve Best,” Asinus Novus
“Steve Best in Italy: From Philosophy to Action,” by the blog (and more), Asinus Novus. The writers provided a nice summary of my talks and main ideas.
A Key Meeting,” Arielvegangfashinblogspot.com; a refreshingly intelligent, fair, and incisive essay on my work, thank you Ariel.
“Now Enough,” Barbara Balsalmo
I wish to thank everyone in Italy for inviting me to speak again this year, and for being such gracious hosts, fantastic activists. and amazing people. There are dozens, perhaps over a hundred of people who made this tour possible and joyful. I cannot possibly name them all. I do however, wish to offer a very special thank you to:
Kostia Troinia and Barbara Balsamo for inviting me and being the principal organizers of my talks in Rome. You are the best!
Marcos Aragao for your excellent photos.
VeggieChannel.com for your tremendous effort in interviewing me, taping my lectures in Turin, Rome, and Latina, and for having the courage to post my talks on your channel.
The kind women at Asinus Novus for showing enough interest in my work to summarize my talks and interview me; it was a pleasure, thank you.
Per Animalia Veritas; thank you for your activism, support, and bold defense of militant direct action!
The ReWild Cruelty Free Club; you guys rock and make the best vegan food!
Paolo Trono and his club, Vegan Città di Latina (a former abattoir transformed into a space for music, lectures, and culture!) in which I gave my final speech in the Rome area before moving north to Brescia; thank you for your kindness, the great audience, and the great free food and beer!
Piercarlo Paderno for inviting and hosting me in Brescia. You are a great new friend and did amazing work to help liberate the Greenhill dogs.
The Occupy Greenhill movement (see here and here) for their bold act of liberation that will go down in history as one of the most important actions of this century. In their post-Greenhill reorganization, the group is now called Animal Amnesty, and will keep opening chained fences and locked doors!
A long analysis, but well worth the read. Williams makes the connections between the ongoing, mutually reinforcing crises in the social and natural worlds, as brought about by capitalism, class society, corporate globalization, and animal agriculture — by which of course I mean the industrialized, profit-driven, chemicalized system designed principally to produce feed (for animals) not food (for humans), and which unconscionably treats animals as flesh/dairy/egg machines and spares them no discomfort in the use of intensive confinement and violent murder. This piece demonstrates how market anarchy leads to social struggle and chaos, how the impersonal profit imperative results in mass suffering and death, and how veganism and animal liberation are central to any sane, humane, and ecologically sustainable future — a future I personally have an increasingly difficult time imagining systemic change is possible, given the indifference of social movements to veganism and animal liberation and the insular, marginalized, elitist, single-issue, consumerist, and corporatized and/or paralyzed state of vegan and animal advocacy “movements” worldwide. The combination of increasingly aggressive corporate plunder policies, the growing crisis of climate change, and the inability of various social movements to grasp the big picture and unite to overturn corporate hegemony, global agribusiness, and slaughtering hundreds of billions of land and sea animals to feed seven billion people (often barely for two billion of these) portends utter disaster for humanity, animals, biodiversity, and an inhabitable planet.
Chris Williams, Counterpunch, August 3-5, 2012
More than 50% of counties in the United States are now officially designated “disaster” zones. The reason given in 90% of cases is due to the continent-wide drought that has been devastating crop production. 48% of the US corn crop is rated as “poor to very poor”, along with 37% of soy; 73% of cattle acreage is suffering drought, along with 66% of land given to the production of hay.
The ramifications of the drought go far beyond what happens to food prices in the United States. With the US producing half of all world corn exports, as corn and soy crops wilt from the heat, without coordinated governmental action we can expect a replay of the disastrous rise in food prices of 2008, which caused desperate, hungry people to riot in 28 countries. In that instance, food was available, but hundreds of millions of people couldn’t afford to buy it. Should food prices increase to anywhere near the levels of four years ago, it will be a catastrophe for the two billion people who are forced to scrape by on less than $2/day.
The poor in developing countries spend 80% of their income on food, much of it directly as grain, rather than as manufactured products like bread or cereal, and so any increase in the price of basic necessities immediately puts them in dire food distress. In the US, prices for a loaf of bread or a corn muffin are unlikely to see major increases because, in a nod to capitalist priorities, the cost of those products is largely determined by packaging, advertizing, transportation and storage costs – and ultimately the labor that is embodied in those activities, not the cost of growing the corn or other natural base material.
However, because about one third of corn in the US goes to feed animals, the US dept. of agriculture predicts that the price of animal products such as beef, dairy products, chicken, eggs and turkey will increase by 4.5% or more, depending on just how bad the harvest turns out to be. There will be a similar impact on vegetable oil due to the dire predictions on soy production, though these effects will likely not be felt until early 2013. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) publishes its monthly Food Price Index figures on August 9th. Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the FAO commented, “It will be up…How much up is anyone’s guess”, ominously, he adds; “It would really surprise me if we didn’t see a significant increase.” Continue reading