Thinking of Ways to Disrupt Speciesism
From Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies Articles Archive

FROM Kecia Doolittle
August 2020


I need YOU to help me figure out what new strategies and tactics it will take to make a speciesist sign like this as embarrassing and shameful as racist caricatures are now.

weasel caricature

A friend of Facebook sent this picture to me today. How can we find everyday ways to disrupt speciesism that are *significant* and not just symbolic?

My little weasel friend here is considering not flying Frontier (and frankly, I could tell you some stories about why you shouldn't do that anyway, for your own sake!) but individual boycotts unless they're at a very large scale and very well-publicized aren't very effective.

Basically, a lot of the small-scale activism that's commonplace and easy to execute/consists of well-known tactics (like making a FB post like this one) doesn't really disrupt the system. We need more aggressive tactics. What I mean by aggressive is non-violent but not polite. Not hollow. When the world doesn't want to listen to you, you can't sit back and hope they'll have a change of heart because you made a pitch that they stop using the identity of non-humans as a platform for derogatory comparisons.

One of my goals with Project Counterglow is to focus on finding ways to make not listening to the anti-speciesist message really, really painful for our institutions- if something is truly unacceptable, it's just as important to call it out in the context of a sign at the airport as it is to do a lockdown at a factory farm (on principle, I mean different tactics and scales of action situationally make more sense in some cases than others.)

The key question on my mind is, how do we take action against everyday speciesism in a way that's higher leverage than just communicating the message to a few individuals in the airport or on the street, or using a few Tweets/emails/a petition that will disappear under the surface of the pond with barely a blip? How can a small number of people get BIG, LOUD, and impossible to ignore about speciesism? Civil disobedience and direct action are like a lever that can turn a small amount of force into the shifting of a massive boulder.

It might seem like this isn't a big deal, because it's just a sign, while billions of farmed animals are suffering night and day in factory farms around the world. But the root of all that is speciesism.
Factory farming is one outcome of systemic discrimination that we can see EVERYWHERE once our eyes are open. We don't need to focus on getting people to stop eating certain foods, we need to focus on getting them to wake up to why they, and the world at large, think it's acceptable for anyone to be treated like an object, have their identify reduced to a joke, or their rights ignored.

And I need YOU to help me figure out what new strategies and tactics it will take to make a sign like this as embarrassing and shameful as racist caricatures are now (unfortunately those are still common, but companies have to a large extent wised up about how idiotic they're going to look if they use them willy-nilly).

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