What is Animal Rebellion?
Animal Rebellion is a mass movement of volunteers from all walks of life that calls for a transition to a just, sustainable plant-based food system, and an end to the animal farming and fishing industries. We recognise that we cannot end the climate emergency without first ending the animal emergency: only by transitioning to a plant-based food system can we halt mass extinction, minimise the risk of climate breakdown and prevent social collapse and future crises, including pandemics. We advocate in solidarity with animals, insisting that a sustainable world should be one where individuals of all species can flourish, free from exploitation.
Who can join Animal Rebellion?
Animal Rebellion is a decentralised network, so anyone can take action in the name of Animal Rebellion as long as they believe in our demands and act according to our values, both of which can be found on our website. To sign up to volunteer, click here.
Who created Animal Rebellion?
Animal Rebellion was started by long-time animal justice advocates who were inspired by the success Extinction Rebellion achieved through their strategy which focused on systemic demands, and their tactics which centred around nonviolent civil disobedience. Animal Rebellion was created to broaden society’s conversation around the climate emergency by highlighting the destructive role played by the animal farming and fishing industries, as well as ensure that animals’ voices are included as we work towards a just, sustainable future.
What is your relationship to Extinction Rebellion?
We have a signed agreement in place with Extinction Rebellion which positions us as allies in a “Movement of Movements”, working in solidarity to motivate the public of the dire need to act, and demand the government act now on the climate emergency. As Animal Rebellion, we broaden the climate conversation by asserting that animals should be included in the just, sustainable future that we strive for, and that we cannot tackle the climate emergency and human health crisis without transitioning to a plant-based food system.
What is your relationship with the police?
In line with our principle of nonviolence, Animal Rebellion maintains an attitude of peace towards the police. We are also open with the police about our planned actions on many occasions. We do this to minimise the risk of violence manifesting at our events and actions, and therefore to make our events accessible to as many people as possible. Beyond informing the police of our actions and maintaining nonviolence, we do not collaborate with the police in any way.
What are your demands?
Animal Rebellion has the same three demands as Extinction Rebellion. Our interpretation of these demands is that the government must recognise the animal farming and fishing industries are leading contributors of climate breakdown and ecological collapse, that it must end the animal farming and fishing industries and lead a transition to a just, sustainable plant-based food system, and that a Citizens’ Assembly must have the mandate to discuss and legislate for that transition.
What is your position on animal justice?
We are an anti-speciesist organisation. We believe in a world where all individuals of all species can flourish, free from exploitation and the worst threats of the climate emergency, and a world where we work consciously to ensure no individual is seen as a commodity. As such, we believe we need a political system rooted in collective decision-making made with and alongside our multi-species kin, where creativity and compassion are prioritised, and where the diversity of gifts among all species are recognised and celebrated.
What is your position on veganism?
Animal Rebellion is supportive of organisations who promote veganism, and we recognise that vegan advocacy has played a key role in the animal justice movement to date. By having a message that focuses on creating system change to a plant-based food system – rather than individual change towards vegan lifestyles – we’re seeking to add to the important work already done by those who advocate for veganism, building a system-focused mass movement made up of animal justice advocates from all different campaigns and groups. You can read more about our position on veganism here.
How is Animal Rebellion funded?
Animal Rebellion is funded through a mix of donations from a private foundation, crowdfunding and private community donations.
Can I be part of other groups and be part of Animal Rebellion?
YES! All action is needed and we support all organisations and groups working a better world. Animal Rebellion frequently participates in solidarity actions with other groups and members are often part of other groups and causes. The only thing we say is to take care of each other and make sure you’re taking time for yourself to rest and regenerate!
What’s the best way to get involved?
Animal Rebellion is holding talks and trainings which provide an introduction to who we are, what we do and how to get more involved. You can see upcoming trainings as well as actions via our events page. You can also find out more by checking out our website where you can sign up to our mailing list, sign up to volunteer with us or donate.
How can I find an Animal Rebellion group in my country/city/community? Can I start my own group?
You can find a list of our current local groups on the Communities page of our website. To learn more about starting a new group in the UK or internationally , email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why don’t you tell people to go vegan?
See above what is your position on veganism? When we tell people to go vegan or have strong vegan messaging at our actions (e.g. chanting at people attending an action to go vegan, showing graphic imagery which encourages individual diet change), we believe that we are actually doing damage to those organisations who do focus on individual change as it makes us less effective in fulfilling our unique role in the animal justice ecosystem, which is to focus on systems change. All kinds of action are important and we do not believe ours is better or more effective. We believe simply that it is needed, just like the activism other groups do that focus on lobbying government bodies or asking people to go vegan. In fact, many people involved in Animal Rebellion are also involved in those other groups!
Why do you block roads and cause disruption?
Non-violent civil disobedience is at the core of Animal Rebellion’s Theory of Change or, the way we believe change occurs in society. One of the key elements of this strategy is disruption as this makes it clear that the current way things are operating is broken and needs to change. If we don’t disrupt we’re tacitly agreeing that everything is fine. Many people ask why we disrupt individuals (e.g. by blocking traffic) when we are trying to achieve systems change and there are many answers to that question. One reason is that we believe that power comes from the people, so in order to achieve systems change we need to mobilise as many people as we can. If everything we’re doing is happening behind closed doors no one will know where to go if they also want to see change happen. So we take to the streets and encourage everyone to join us. Another reason is that when we disrupt we cause polarisation which means that people who are not sure if they agree with us or not are forced to pick a side. This encourages conversation around a topic that wouldn’t otherwise happen and forces issues out into the open.
We encourage people who are interested in learning more about disruption and our strategy to attend an Animal Rebellion DNA training. Upcoming events can be found on our events page.
Why do you talk about the environment instead of animals?
Animal Rebellion aims to be an antispeciesist movement that brings animals voices into the conversation about the climate emergency and future global crises. We aim to never talk about environmental or human health issues without also talking about animal issues to demonstrate that you can’t solve one without solving the other. In this same light, we also don’t talk about animal issues that aren’t connected to environmentalism or human health issues meaning that our main focus remains on ending animal farming and fishing. The reason for this is to fulfil our unique role in the animal justice movement ecology of acting as a bridge between the animal justice and environmental justice movements.
Who plans the actions? Can I plan an action?
At every level of Animal Rebellion (National group, local groups etc.) there will likely be someone or a team of people responsible for actions. They aim to provide trainings on important elements of actions such as action design, deescalation, action wellbeing etc. and support people to plan their own actions, as well as planning actions as a team. Anyone can plan an action in the name of Animal Rebellion and use Animal Rebellion’s logos, posters etc. as long as the action is in line with our principals and values which can be found on our website.
You can also create an affinity group which is a group of people who take action together. For information on how to start an affinity group contact email@example.com
What do you mean by a just, sustainable plant-based food system?
You’ll often hear that Animal Rebellion is demanding a transition to a just, sustainable plant-based food system and you might wonder what this actually means? First off, we want to see a full transition to a plant-based food system which means a food system where no animals are used whatsoever. We know that this is not only possible but necessary to prevent or lessen the impact of future crises including the climate and ecological emergency and human health crises. Secondly, we want this transition to be just and sustainable. This means that it is a proper transition which includes support for farmers and their families who will need to make a transition to a new way of earning a living, support and care for animals who remain after they are no longer raised and killed for food and consideration of the land, what is grown on it, how it is treated and who makes these decisions.
Can farmers actually transition from animal agriculture to plant-based agriculture and still make money??
While transition may seem like something that might happen in the future, it’s actually already happening. Organisations in the UK such as Refarm’d, Farmers for Stock Free Farming, Grainwaves and both the Grow Green Campaign and the Milk: this is your moment campaign are already showing us that farmers can transition to plant-based agriculture while still being financially sustainable. These come in addition to similar transitions happening in other places around the world through initiatives such as the Rancher Advocacy Program, Mercy for Animals Transfarmation and Transformations.
In the UK Individuals such as Jay Wilde show what it looks like to transition from beef farming to sustainable, organic vegan farming. You can find Jay’s story on the Refarm’d website or by watching the short film 73 Cows.
Could the UK actually sustain itself from plant-based agriculture alone?
We know that animal farming and fishing are major contributors to the climate and ecological emergency with research such as the 2019 IPCC report showing us that it may be a case of transitioning or perishing. However, people still worry that a plant-based food system is impossible. These quick facts might help:
- If we all went vegan, the world’s food-related emissions would drop by 70% by 2050 according to a recent report on food and climate in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study’s authors from Oxford University put the economic value of these emissions savings at around £440 billion.
- A study from Harvard University found that the UK would be able to sustain itself by returning a portion of land used for animal agriculture back to forest. It showed that converting land currently used for grazing and growing animal feed crops to forest could soak up 12 years’ carbon emissions.
- The UK imports 90% of its fruit and vegetables and we currently grow 50% of what we eat nationwide. Beans and other pulses are very efficient crops to grow in Britain – as they have nutritional and environmental benefits – and could be grown in place of animal feed, in addition to a range of fruit and vegetables.
- The land footprint used to produce the UK food supply is made up by 62.7% grasslands for animal agriculture, 21.8% for cropland grown for animal feed and 15..5% for crops grown for direct human consumption.
- Only 48% of protein and 32% of calories consumed by the UK are provided from animal based products grown using 85% of the UK’s total food supply land footprint.
What does Animal Rebellion say about regenerative farming?
Animal Rebellion demands an end to animal farming and fishing and a transition to a just, sustainable plant-based food system. We know that animal agriculture is a leading cause of the climate and ecological emergency and that rapidly transitioning to plant-based agriculture is a key step that needs to be taken in order to prevent future crises.
Animal Rebellion listens to the science and we know that meta analysis by the Food Climate Research Network has shown the potential of grazing livestock to contribute to soil carbon sequestration is small, time limited, reversible and outweighed by the GHG they generate. Ruminants (cows and sheep) contribute 80% of total livestock emissions, and even with careful grazing management the report found that this would only offset between 20-50% of annual emissions of ruminants.
We encourage farmers to transition to plant-based agriculture knowing that the use of animals in our food system will always be damaging to the environment and to animals.
Why does Animal Rebellion ask for so much personal information in its volunteer/sign-up forms?
All the information we collect is key to building an informed, connected social movement. We collect phone and email information so that we can contact you about the Rebellion and other important information related to Animal Rebellion. We ask for location information so that in future we can alert you about events, trainings and actions near you. Finally, we ask people if they are willing to get arrested so that we can gauge how to best enact nonviolent civil disobedience in order to achieve our strategy, based on the numbers we have.
What policies does Animal Rebellion advocate in order to achieve a plant-based food system?
We do not advocate for specific policies to achieve a plant-based food system. only that policymakers and the future Citizens’ Assembly work to bring about this transition urgently and in a just manner. We believe the specific policy mix involved in the transition should be decided in conjunction with evidence and consultation from key experts in various fields. We recognise that the policy mix for the transition would need to be multi-faceted, including but not limited to policies like redirecting subsidies away from animal farming and towards plant foods, creating funds and services to help farmers transition away from animal agriculture, and initiatives to educate the public about plant-based nutrition.