Tag Archive: speciesism


This is a video recording of the talk I gave in the opening plenary panel at the US National Animal Rights Conference, on July 10, 2014. I was asked to speak on the meaning of animal rights, and I contrasted it to animal welfare, contextualized both in the setting of modern capitalism, and underscored the subversive and revolutionary nature of animal rights. I hope you enjoy it.

 

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This new, short, militant animal rights movie is a moody, brooding, provocative, bold, and brilliant film about a woman who comes to an awakening about the radical extent of speciesism and the unremitting war on the animals. A snippet of my words, from a September 2011 speech in Germany, appear about 5 minutes into a film dominated by action and image. The ending may shock some, but I praise the filmmakers for the courage to dramatize what I call “extensional self defense” — the defense of animals under attack, by any means necessary, as they would defend themselves were they capable (and sometimes they are). This is “One” hell of a film by Devi Rose and brilliantly acted by Samrina Sabri. Let us hope for more like it.

See the film, “One,” here:

 

Another hopeful sign of how moral progress and animal advocacy continues in the 21st century version of the “cultural revolution” in contemporary China.

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MSN News, May 22

 China animal cruelty: A farmed brown bear with a metal corset

Courtesy of Peter Li. In China, bears are kept in tight cages and farmed for their bile.

More and more Chinese, especially young people, are calling out cruel practices, such as bear bile farming, in China.

Bile extracted from caged bears. Stray animals abused and neglected. Sharks‘ fins lopped off for soup.

Most people’s perception of China’s animal rights record is as grim as the fates of some of the animals living there. But a movement has quietly risen to challenge that.

“‘Animal welfare’ was a foreign term,” Peter Li, who works in China for Humane Society International, told MSN News in an e-mail. “It is now a well-known concept in China.”

In February, China Daily reported that the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine said at a press conference that “the process of extracting bear bile was as easy, natural and painless as turning on a tap. After the operation was done, bears went out to play happily.”

Bear bile is used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes, such as preventing gallstones, but experts disagree over whether it works.

China animal cruelty: School children protest animal cruelty.

Courtesy of Peter Li. Young people in China have been particularly active in protesting animal cruelty.

After the association’s comments, a video went viral in China showing a much less sunny version of the bile extraction process. Animals Asia says the practice is cruel and invasive.

“Over the years, the campaign against bear bile farming has often been a sensitive one, but today it is clear that the issue is finally mainstream and even schools are engaged and involved, with support and numbers growing all the time,” Animals Asia Founder and CEO Jill Robinson said in a statement.

That response is one sign of a larger animal-welfare movement in China, Li believes. He said the country has “changed beyond recognition.”

According to Li, ordinary people in China, especially young people, are pressuring the government for anti-cruelty legislation. Even pet ownership has changed. Li said that regulations on pet ownership have softened and that dog culling has abated.

“The movement is strong and will grow stronger,” he wrote.

It’s not just young people motivating the changes. Animal rights in China has been endorsed by some of the country’s best-known celebrities.

Jackie Chan . . . has been speaking for tiger protection and against cruelty to farm bears,” Li wrote. “Yao Ming . . . is a towering moral figure. He calls on the Chinese people to stay away from shark fin soup, from ivory products and bear bile products.”

China animal cruelty: A government cat shelter in China

Courtesy of Peter Li. Stray animals are often abused in China, but that is changing now.

Groups like Humane Society International and Animals Asia are still pushing, however.

“The explosion of newspaper, TV, radio and Internet stories in China about bear bile farming has seen a massive online outcry demanding justice for the bears,” Robinson said. She said in the statement that when Animals Asia was working on its campaign against bear bile farming, the group was “inundated by people who wanted to take part.”

But Li sees a lot more work ahead if things like bear bile farms and the hunting of endangered species is going to end.

“A lot needs to be done, admittedly,” he said. “But, today, it causes a strong reaction when animal abuse is exposed.”

Environment News Service, January 14, 2013

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Record rhino poaching death statistics released by the South African government Friday reveal a grim picture – 668 rhinos lost their lives to poachers in 2012 – up from 14 rhinos killed by poachers in 2005. Conservation scientists report that corrupt game industry insiders are now poaching rhinos alongside other criminal groups – all well organized, well financed and highly mobile.

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Rhino horns taken from a carcass

The 668 rhinos killed across South Africa in 2012 is an increase of nearly 50 percent from the 448 rhinos poachers killed in 2011. Five more rhinos were killed by poachers just since the beginning of this year.

A 2012 report by the international wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, calls these rhino killings “an unprecedented conservation crisis for South Africa,” which until recently has had a stellar rhino conservation record.

TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of the global conservation group WWF and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, which maintains the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The methods used in the most recent rhino killings show a new, very worrying dimension, says the TRAFFIC report, “The South Africa – Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus,” co-authored by Dr. Jo Shaw, rhino co-ordinator with the South Africa chapter of WWF, and Tom Milliken of TRAFFIC.

“Typically, rhinos are killed by shooting with guns, usually AK-47 assault rifles. More recently, however, a growing number of rhinos have been killed by a single shot from a high-calibre weapon characteristically only used by wildlife industry professionals or, less frequently, have been darted with immobilization drugs and had their horns removed,” Shaw and Milliken report.

“The use of such equipment, and other evidence that has even suggested the presence of helicopters at crime scenes, represents a completely “new face” in terms of rhino poaching,” they write.

“Such developments underscore the emergence of corrupt game industry insiders into rhino poaching. Rogue game ranch owners, professional hunters, game capture operators, pilots and wildlife veterinarians have all entered the rhino poaching crisis and become active players,” write Shaw and Milliken.

“This is a unique and devastating development in South Africa, severely tarnishing the image of a key stakeholder in the rhino equation even if the majority of private rhino owners and wildlife industry personnel remain committed to protecting rhinos and supporting rhino conservation.”

A majority of the 2012 rhino deaths, 425, happened in Kruger National Park, South Africa’s premier safari destination, the new government statistics show. Poaching incidents in this park rose sharply from 252 in 2011.

In the TRAFFIC report, Show and Milliken write, “…the complicity of South African national and provincial officials undertaking or enabling illegal trade has been documented.”

“In terms of killing rhinos, four government rangers were arrested in Kruger National Park in 2012 and, at the Atherstone Nature Reserve in Limpopo, the reserve manager committed suicide after allegedly being implicated in five rhino deaths. Provincial administrators have repeatedly turned a blind eye to “pseudo-hunting,” especially in North West and Limpopo provinces, and allowed rhino hunts to transpire that violate TOPS [Threatened or Protected Species] regulations,” the TRAFFIC report states.”

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A White Rhino, Ceratotherium simum simum, cow and calf

“The most shocking aspect of the illegal trade in rhino horn has been the poaching of live rhinos on a brutal scale. For 16 years, between 1990 and 2005, rhino poaching losses in South Africa averaged 14 animals each year.”

“In 2008, this figure rose to 83 and, by 2009, the number had reached 122 rhinos. In 2010, poaching escalated dramatically throughout the year, nearly tripling the toll and reaching 333 rhinos killed. In 2011, the total again climbed to a new annual record of 448 rhinos lost,” they report. Last year, 668 rhinos were killed across South Africa.

Arrests of suspected poachers and smugglers in South Africa also increased in 2012, with 267 people now facing charges related to rhino crimes.

In November, a Thai man was sentenced to a record 40 years in prison for conspiring to smuggle rhino horns to Asia.

Rhino horns are believed to have medicinal properties and are seen as highly desirable status symbols in some Asian countries, notably Vietnam, whose native rhinos have recently been pushed into extinction.

While rhino horn is composed entirely of keratin, the same substance as hair and nails, and no medicinal value has been proven, the increased commercial value placed on rhino horn has drawn well-organized, well-financed and highly-mobile criminal groups into rhino poaching.

“Vietnam must curtail the nation’s rhino horn habit, which is fueling a poaching crisis in South Africa,” said Sabri Zain, TRAFFIC’s director of advocacy.

“Viet Nam appears to be the only country in the world where rhino horn is popularly gaining a reputation as an aphrodisiac,” the TRAFFIC report states, adding that the use of ground powdered rhino horn by wealthy Vietnamese to detoxify after drinking too much alcohol is “probably the most common routine usage promoted in the marketplace today.”

“Rhinos are being illegally killed, their horns hacked off and the animals left to bleed to death, all for the frivolous use of their horns as a hangover cure,” said Zain.

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Vietnamese man drinks from a rhino horn grinding bowl

In December, Vietnam and South Africa signed an agreement aimed at bolstering law enforcement and tackling illegal wildlife trade, including rhino horn trafficking.

The agreement paves the way for improved intelligence information sharing and joint efforts by the two nations to crack down on the criminal syndicates behind the smuggling networks.

“Whilst we commend South Africa and Vietnam for signing a Memorandum of Understanding regarding biodiversity conservation, we now need to see a joint Rhino Plan of Action being implemented, leading to more of these rhino horn seizures,” said Dr. Jo Shaw, rhino co-ordinator with the South Africa chapter of WWF.

“There is also an urgent need to work closely with countries which are transit routes for illicit rhino horn, specifically Mozambique,” said Dr. Shaw.

Two Vietnamese men were detained in separate incidents earlier this month in Vietnam and Thailand for smuggling rhino horns, which were believed to have been exported from Mozambique.

Both Mozambique and Vietnam have been given failing grades by WWF’s Wildlife Crime Scorecard for failing to enforce laws meant to protect rhinos.

The TRAFFIC report explains that all animals alive today of the southern subspecies of White Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum simum originate from a remnant population of 20 to 50 animals that have been protected in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve since 1895.

South Africa now conserves 18,800 White Rhinos, which represents nearly 95 percent of Africa’s total White Rhino population.

“The remarkable recovery of the Southern White Rhino via Natal Parks Board’s “Operation Rhino,” which pioneered wildlife translocation and other important management strategies, remains one of the world’s greatest conservation triumphs,” write Shaw and Milliken.

The report credits the country’s private sector who account for a growing proportion of the national White Rhino population. Estimates from 2010 indicate that approximately 25 percent of all White Rhinos in South Africa are privately owned.

The Southern White Rhino is now listed in the IUCN Red List’s Near Threatened category and, although conservation dependent, the subspecies is no longer regarded as a threatened or endangered species.

But Africa’s other rhino species, the Black Rhinoceros Diceros bicornis, has been nearly wiped out. The estimated 100,000 Black Rhinos in Africa in 1960, before the first catastrophic rhino poaching crisis, were reduced to just 2,410 animals by 1995, the report explains.

Since then, numbers have more than doubled to 4,880 animals in 2010, but this species is still listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List.

In South Africa, Black Rhino numbers have shown a steady increase since the 1980s. South Africa now conserves an estimated 1,915 Black Rhinos – more than any other range state – and nearly 40 percent of all wild Black Rhinos alive today. Again, the private sector has played a major role in Black Rhino conservation, holding approximately 22 percent of South Africa’s current population.

“But the country’s superlative conservation record of more than a century is under threat,” write Shaw and Milliken.

They recommend that South Africa ensure that those arrested for rhino crimes are prosecuted and punished.

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See Also:

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/kenyan-officials-impound-two-tonnes-ivory-police-185942068.html

http://www.bloodyivory.org

Recorded in Barcelona, Spain, September 2012

Recorded in Barcelona, Spain, September 2012

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A powerful speech on pathological humanism, the escalating war on animals, and its suicidal and destructive consequences.

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A good overview of the viciousness and pervasiveness of speciesist violence and domination in modern society, as the animal holocaust that began ten thousand years ago with the transition to agricultural society — indeed, which dates back 60,000 years or more perhaps with the invention of the spear and organized hunting of megafauna that resulted in the extinction of the major large land animals in prehistory.

Unfortunately, this minor catalogue of horrors reported below represents but a drop of  pain in an ocean of suffering. To even list the infinitely varied ways in which twisted human minds sadistically and unconscionably torture, exploit, and murder every animal it can would itself take volumes.

But the evidence presented here is damning enough to convict Homo sapiens of being sociopathically violent, disturbed and deranged, and unfit for co-habitation with creatures more beautiful and worthy than them and for life on a planet whose stunning beauty cannot withstand the hideous human soul, the pernicious parasites and multiplying monstrosities whose immanent demise would be cause for planetary joy and celebration.

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by Jonathan Reynolds

The exploitation of non-human animals is prominent within nearly every country on earth. However, unlike issues such as gender or racial equality, non-human animal welfare seems to be one of the most invisible forms of oppression quietly and consistently operating in the background of society.

Being born human hardly grants us the moral authority to subject other sentient creatures beyond the realm of our species to cruel experimentation, brutal traditions, and a life of involuntary servitude for our mere entertainment.

Non-human animals have been routinely subjected to the worst kinds of scientific experiments.

For instance, in 1944, toxicologist John D. Draize invented the Draize Test, which was used to evaluate the risks of human exposure to cosmetics. The procedure involved applying a small amount of the substance being studied to an animal’s eye (usually rabbits) or skin for several hours, and then observing whether irritation occurred. In most cases, regardless of the results (blindness, infection, pain, or nothing at all), the animal subjects were put to death upon completion of the test.

In 1946, pigs, goats, guinea pigs, rats, and mice were placed on the lower and upper decks of US-owned naval vessels in the Pacific. Shortly after, an atomic bomb was set off nearby. Roughly 2-3 days later, most of the animals involved exhibited cases of anorexia, bloody diarrhea, and extreme irritability. Lesions observed during autopsy were of three types: hemorrhagic, infective, and degenerative, resulting in ulcers of the gastro-intestinal tract and tonsils.

Eleven years later, pigs were unloaded off trucks into the desert and subjected to a nearby atomic bomb blast. The lucky ones quickly perished, while the less fortunate who managed to survive were fatally burned and sickened by large doses of radiation, left to suffer slow, agonizing deaths.

During the 1960’s, tobacco companies used animals in experiments to instill doubt in consumers by delaying and confusing links between their products and cancer. In one experiment, nearly 20 dogs (Beagles) were trained to smoke up to 12 cigarettes a day. Within the first two weeks, the dogs began suffering from a variety of ailments. Eventually, autopsies revealed that the dogs had slight changes in the tissue around their lungs, with advanced cancer cells present.

During the mid 1970’s, monkeys were trained by the US military to manipulate a joystick by maintaining a constant positioning of it to simulate the operation of an aircraft. Then, to determine their efficiency while flying “under attack,” the animals were subjected to medium and larges doses of radiation. According to the military’s report, the monkeys demonstrated mouthing, retching, and productive emesis (vomiting).

Throughout the 1980’s, about 19,000 dogs, rabbits, pigs, ferrets, rats and mice were butchered during various automobile safety tests performed by General Motors. Experiments resulted in skin shredding, chest injury, and polluting of the lungs via auto emissions.

More recently, in 2006, the New York Times reported that the military regularly traumatizes animals to prepare medics for combat. Said one officer: “The idea is to work with live tissue. You get a pig and you keep it alive. And every time I did something to help him, they would wound him again. So you see what shock does, and what happens when more wounds are received by a wounded creature. My pig? They shot him twice in the face with a 9-millimeter pistol, six times with an AK-47, and then twice with a 12-gauge shotgun. And then he was set on fire. I kept him alive for 15 hours. That was my pig.”

In 2009, USA Today reported that military researchers dressed live pigs in body armor, strapped them into Humvee simulators, and then detonated them with explosives to study the link between roadside bomb blasts and brain injury.

What would the public’s reaction be if it were one day leaked that the military kidnapped random people, loaded them on to boats, and then detonated a thermonuclear weapon nearby to test the outcome? How would we feel if certain individuals were treated like lifeless dummies, forcefully subjected by auto companies to brutal car crashes? Would we be okay with strapping human babies to Humvee simulators and then blowing them up? Obviously, such ideas would be out of the question, which is exactly the reason why non-human animals have been used in their place.

Experimenting on other humans without their consent has — at least in recent years — become largely frowned upon in modern societies. Still, such logic is somewhat puzzling. The non-human animals used so often are selected precisely because of their physical and emotional similarities with humans. Like us, they experience fear, pain, and suffering. The only substantial difference between them and us is their lack of humanity, but is that really a justifiable excuse to subject them to such types of of brutal experimentation?

Aside from becoming the victims of scientific testing, non-human animals are needlessly and regularly killed around the world for sport, tradition, and entertainment.

In South Africa, one particularly controversial practice known as “canned hunting” allows hunters to pay for entry to an enclosed area where “trophy animals” — such as lions — are trapped, hunted, and eventually gunned down. The hunter walks away with a rare animal hide to show off, and the “canned hunt” operators walk away with a fatter wallet. Everyone but the slaughtered animal benefits from the exchange.
 
Elsewhere, in places such as Japan, thousands of dolphins are butchered every year under the guise of tradition. Hunters use loud noises to confuse their hypersensitive sonar, drive the dolphins into coves sealed by nets, and then slaughter them with knives and spears. Once all the animals are killed off, their corpses are loaded on to boats and taken to warehouses for processing.

As with dolphin hunting, bullfights are continued today largely because of tradition, even though the practice is perhaps one of the most barbaric on the planet. In 1996, 40 million spectators attended bullfights and bull-related festivals in Spain, with a record 650 fights and 3,900 dead bulls. Essentially, the bull is taunted, slowly weakened with tiny barbs, and finally, after much suffering, stabbed in the heart. Once the bull is killed, the carcass is dragged from the arena, quartered, and dressed. Sometimes the bull’s meat is given to the poor, but usually it is sold on the market.

Whereas bullfighting is human v. non-human, dogfighting is purely non-human v. non-human, and although the practice has been outlawed in most parts of the world, it nonetheless remains popular in Latin America, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, and clandestinely in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. A database run by animal advocacy group Pet-abuse.com shows reports of dogfighting cases increasing from 16 in 2000 to 127 in 2006. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that at least 40,000 people are involved in the industry domestically. Because fight dogs have been bred to attack and kill, almost all of them are euthanized when dogfighting rings are broken apart.

Perhaps the luckiest non-human animals (which isn’t saying much) are those locked away in zoos and circuses for human entertainment. These animals not only tend to be mistreated by their handlers, but the animals themselves often exhibit behaviors unnatural to them, such as depression and hostility, primarily due to being taken out of their natural environments. As reported by the New York Times: “The typical zoo enclosure for a polar bear is one-millionth the size of its home range in the wild, which can reach 31,000 square miles.” Elephants abducted in to the entertainment industry have also become a cause of concern. Linda Huebner, Deputy Director of Advocacy for MSPCA-Angell — a non-profit animal welfare group — writes: “The use of bullhooks and restraints is extremely cruel, causing painful injuries and adding to these animals’ already intense suffering. Moreover, they do not mitigate the huge threat to public safety inherent to forcing large wild animals to perform unnatural tricks in front of large crowds of people.”

The non-human animals which avoid becoming victims of experimentation and needless exploitation will perhaps find themselves born into one of the worst hells imaginable: the industrial farm. In the United States alone, 10 billion land animals are slaughtered every year in feces-crusted, disease-ridden factories which make even the worst Holocaust camp look like Disneyland. Sentient, non-humans spend short lives in such facilities wallowing in painful misery, getting sick and fat with nothing to look forward to except a gruesome death. Most of these places are so horrible that it only takes showing the public what’s inside to drastically lower meat demand, according to researchers at Kansas State University. Perhaps that’s why the meat industry has been lobbying so hard in recent years to increase legal penalties for undercover investigations at these types of establishments.

Not too long ago, there was a point in human history when taking the lives of non-human animals may have been necessary for our survival. In some places around the world, that may even still be the case. But in modern societies, sentient, non-human beings are being needlessly and brutally over-slaughtered in an unrecognized genocide, subjected to torture, suffering, and death for outdated traditions, entertainment, sport, and profit.

Recognizing the indiscriminate cruelty against non-human animals is the first step towards ending it. So long as we remain blind to the ongoing oppression — whether by choice or ignorance — it will continue to take place, and millions of innocent souls will pay the ultimate price as a result.

“You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”-Malcom X

Blendeskil is a cutting-edge hardcore band that promotes radical politics and animal liberation. As the video above illustrates, they have taken the message of militant animal liberation, captured it in song, and are bringing it to the masses. Dr. Steve Best & Blendeskil will tour in September.

To download Loser, click HERE.

In a war between humans and bears. I’d take the side of the bears.” John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club

by Steven Best, Ph.D

The most interesting front in the multifaceted war of position to influence the outcome of the future for the planet – in the most tempestuous and consequential struggles of the day involving the politics of nature — as it becomes ever-clearer to elephants, primates, and birds that human aggression and invasion has reached crisis proportion, awakening survival instincts and precipitating vengeance.

Giving this dynamic the sustained attention it merits, Jason Hribal’s essays and recent book, Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance, chronicle acts of rebellion, defiance, resistance, and revolt within the animal kingdom against their human oppressors.[1] A systematic study of anecdotal reports, Hribal goes beyond the established facts of mental, emotional, and social complexity among animals to argue that they have agency. One finds numerous accounts of animal personhood and agency in the field of animal studies, but Hribal takes this disciple to task as well for its abstract and one-dimensional treatments that ignore the political dimension of animal action and the pervasive phenomena of resistance to oppression and slave rebellion.

In an earlier essay, “Animals, Agency and Class: Writing the History of Animals from Below,” Hribal describes the various forms of slavery nonhuman animals are subjected to, such as endured by urban transport animals:[2]

In the cities, the production situation was even more precarious. Animal-powered carts, wagons, carriages, cabs, street-cars, and omnibuses filled the streets of the 19th century … For urban horses and mules, it took two years to become properly trained for this type of work. For coachmen, it took three years. Shifts lasted on average eight to 14 hours per day. The work week ranged from six to seven days. As populations continued to grow, traffic and congestion increased. By the early 20th century, the number of horses and mules working in American cities stood at approximately 35 million — an increase of six-fold from the beginning of the previous century. There were more and more vehicles on the road. The intensity and volume of work continued to accrue — more emphasis on speed, more night-work, greater distances, more routes, fewer breaks, longer shifts, heavier loads, and more starts and stops.

In the 17-19th centuries, with the agricultural and urban exploitation of animals, humans could see domination of animals in its sordid tyranny and ubiquitous evil:

Over the course of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th century, an ever increasing number of animals were working. Humans witnessed this agency everyday. Some participated in it — as fellow laborers. Some profited from it — as farm, factory, or market owners. Few, if any, could ever avoid dealing with it. Oxen, bulls, cows, and goats were producing the leather industry. Sheep were producing the wool industry. Cows were the ones who produced the milk, cheese, and butter industries. Chickens produced the egg industry. Pigs and cattle produced the flesh industry. This was the labor of reproduction: feeding, clothing, and reproducing a continuously growing number of humans with their skin, hair, milk, eggs, and flesh.

On the agricultural farms, it was oxen, horses, mules, and donkeys, as well as the occasional cow, ewe, or large dog, which pulled and powered the plows, harrows, seed-drills, threshers, binders, presses, reapers, mowers, and harvesters. In the mines, they towed the gold, silver, iron-ore, lead, and coal. On the cotton plantations and in the spinning factories, they turned the mechanical mills that cleaned, pressed, carded, and spun the cotton. On the sugar plantations, they crushed and transported the cane. On the docks, roads, and canals, they moved the carts, wagons, and barges of mail, commodities, and people. In the cities, they powered the carriages, trams, buses, and ferries. On the battlefields, they deployed the artillery and supplies, they provided the reconnaissance, and they charged the lines. This was the labor of production: producing the power necessary to propel the instruments of capitalism. Indeed, the modern agricultural, industrial, commercial, and urban transformations were not just human enterprises.

The history of capitalist accumulation is so much more than a history of humanity. Who built America, the textbook asks? Animals did.[3]

As political agents, animals did not just labor and suffer mindlessly and helplessly, rather they frequently refused work and exploitation, at least past a given limit, and subsequent labor had to be negotiated in some way and to varying degrees. Increased production only meant increased resistance, especially notoriously stubborn and rebellion-prone animals such as donkeys. Hribal adds to an already rich account of animal resistance to human oppression, describing a wide range of animal resistance tactics from intentional sabotage and property destruction to revenge killing and popular violence.[4]

Faking ignorance, rejection of commands, the slowdown, foot-dragging, no work without adequate food, refusal to work in the heat of the day, taking breaks without permission, rejection of overtime, vocal complaints, open pilfering, secret pilfering, rebuffing new tasks, false compliance, breaking equipment, escape, and direct confrontation, these are all actions of what the anthropologist James C. Scott has termed “weapons of the weak”…Hence, while rarely organized in their conception or performance, these actions were nevertheless quite active in their confrontation and occasionally successful in their desired effects. For our purposes, these everyday forms of resistance have not been historically limited to humankind — as each of the above listed methods have been used by other animals.

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