Anarchism and animal rights

The anarchist philosophical and political movement has some connections to elements of the animal liberation movement. Many anarchists are vegetarian or vegan and have played a role in combating perceived injustices against animals. They usually describe the struggle for the liberation of non-human animals as a natural outgrowth of the struggle for human freedom. [ [ Anarchism - MSN Encarta ] ]

Early history

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a vegetarian, pacifist and Christian anarchist. In "On Civil Disobedience" he wrote: "A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral."

Direct action

Direct action, an important philosophical component of anarchism, is also common within the animal rights movement. Groups like Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), Animal Liberation Front (ALF), Animal Rights Militia (ARM), and Justice Department use direct action techniques, including animal liberation and property destruction, and occasionallyndash in the case of ARM and the Justice Departmentndash violence against people.

The decentralized and leaderless structure of the Animal Liberation Front could be seen as an example of anarchistic organizing.Or|date=December 2007

Major figures and events

Rod Coronado is an eco-anarchist and is an unofficial spokesperson for the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. On February 28, 1992, Coronado carried out an arson attack on research facilities at Michigan State University (MSU), and released mink from a nearby research farm on campus, an action claimed by the ALF, and for which Coronado was subsequently convicted.

In 1997, the editors of "Green Anarchist" magazine and two British supporters of the Animal Liberation Front were tried in connection with conspiracy to incite violence, in what came to be known as the GANDALF trial.


Objectivism, frequently cited as a branch of anarchism called "minarchism", opposes the ideas of animal rights. Objectivists believe that rights are derived from the ability of an organism to reason, and argue that animals are incapable of reason and rational thought. []

See also

* Animal liberation movement
* Green anarchism
* Eco-anarchism
* Food Not Bombs
* Green Scare


External links

* [ Animal Liberation and Anarchism]
* [ Anarchist Ethics: A Utilitarian Approach] An anarchist perspective on the ethics of animal liberation
* [ The Domestication of Animals…and of Man] (an essay by CrimethInc.)
* [ Veganism] (another essay by CrimethInc.)
* [ Animal Liberation Through Trade Unions?] , a Wobbly perspective
* [ Infoshop Review: Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights]

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