Animal Rebellion

Why 10,000 Animal Rebels are Occupying Smithfield Market in October

*Originally published 21 August 2019* The Official Animal Rights March on Saturday 17th August was an incredible day, being both uplifting and motivating, heart-breaking and full of love. It was also our launch, the official first action of Animal Rebellion. And as a wholly new movement, there were of course many questions about who we are and what we’re about. Some of these ranged from: why is an animal justice movement foregrounding climate breakdown, and not the animals? Why aren’t we talking about cruelty to animals more? Do we only care about farmed animals? And why announce Smithfield Market as the October target so soon? We’re going to answer all of these questions. As a brand-new organisation, it’s incredible how quickly we’ve grown. While those involved[…]

What is Animal Rebellion’s Relationship with Extinction Rebellion?

*Originally published 6 September 2019* Our origins Animal Rebellion came into being to make sure that everyone who cares deeply about animals and the planet knows that, in the coming October Rebellion, there is a group representing them. A group made up of all of us. Many of you were already asking: what about the animals? Many of you were waiting for Animal Rebellion to come along. So here we are. Most of us who formed Animal Rebellion were already involved in other animal justice groups such as Save, Animal Justice Project, AV, Hunt Sabs, and local action groups, as well as animal advocates from academia, the media, and other walks of life. We knew that, as people who care[…]

“I’m in. Are you?” Leigh Venus’ Account of Animal Rebellion at Vegan Camp Out 2019

*Originally published 9 September 2019* On the final, hot weekend of August, Animal Rebellion made a huge impact at the world’s largest vegan camping festival, the Vegan Campout 2019. At their colourful stall, sunflower-yellow flags flapped in the breeze, people queued for guerrilla t-shirt printing, and volunteers signed up en-masse to join the rebellion. Here on Saturday morning, amongst nearly 7,000 campers from across the world, I kicked off a day of activism talks to a room packed with nearly 1,000 people who took time out from the food, music and sunshine to hear from a range of speakers about getting active for the animals. Speaking on behalf of animal rights organisation Anonymous for the Voiceless (AV), I talked about the street conversations[…]

What Anti-speciesist Rewilding Looks Like — and How to Get There

*Originally published 10 September 2019* Okay, imagine it is year X, when animal products are almost universally seen as unnecessary, unhealthy and a product of a particularly cruel period in our relationship with the planet and its other inhabitants. This is the year when most people shudder in disgust at what only recently was accepted as the norm. The food production system is being completely restructured, with fishers continuing their transition from killing marine animals to planting and harvesting kelp, while farmers are now producing plants for human consumption only. We no longer breed animals in their billions, we no longer subject them to a life of enslavement, and we no longer sentence them to death on the grounds that[…]

Animal Rebellion’s Strategy to Ensure Climate and Animal Justice Is at the Forefront of a Sustainable World

*Originally published 12 September 2019* Animal Rebellion’s announcement that Smithfield Market, the UK’s largest and oldest market servicing the animal agriculture industry, would be our primary site for the October International Rebellion made complete sense to the animal justice community. For others, locating our primary site away from Westminster wasn’t in line with the bigger picture. If we are to stand together in a Movement of Movements then our individual specific demands should be swept aside to make it clear the government, the system, is our target. We’ll reveal more of our plans in the next few weeks but in the meantime we’ve listened to the concerns of those in the Rebel Alliance, including the views of XR. That’s why we announced[…]

Preparing for a Peaceful Rebellion: What You Really Need to Know about Protesting Overnight on the Streets of London

*Originally published 22 September 2019* In mid-Autumn, when the evenings grow darker and temperatures fall, Animal Rebellion wants you to leave your safe and cosy homes to spend several nights camping on London’s streets. Yes, there’s a certain romanticism about abandoning the comforts of ‘normal life’ and committing to the cause for a few days. ‘Drastic times call for drastic measures’ and in our most fervent fantasies, we’re all hypothetically willing to partake in such noble but extreme acts. Even though we’ve been promised a peaceful and joyful time — of community-building and self-development, social activities, training, talks and entertainment — and water, food and toilets too — however vibrant, colourful and playful the site may be, this is by no means[…]

Civil Disobedience Doesn’t Have to Lead to Arrests… but Be Prepared.

*Originally published 25 September 2019* Animal Rebellion’s October action promises a major transformation in the way we talk about a plant-based society and a colourful, creative vision of what a just and sustainable food system should be. We are in a climate and ecological emergency. If we want life to continue, the only viable option is an end to the industries responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, animal suffering and environmental destruction. Ending the animal farming and fishing industries won’t be easy and requires the courage of our rebels to openly challenge our toxic system in civil disobedience. Of course, this means breaking the law but, as our friends at Extinction Rebellion say, “If your house is on fire, you break[…]

Rebel for the… Badgers? Animal Agriculture’s Lesser-Known Impact on Biodiversity

*Originally published 28 September 2019* Ask someone in the street for their views on dolphins, tigers or polar bears — used the world over to symbolise majesty and grace — and you’ll likely be met with an enthusiastic, awed response. But cows? Sheep? Chickens? Not so much. Wild animals somehow elicit more passion in people. We all feel we have a stake in nature; wildlife is viewed by most people as part of ‘their’ world, something that ‘belongs’ in a sense to us all. Wildlife visits our gardens and is seen in our fields and on our streets, whereas the 10.6 million pigs farmed annually in the UK are rarely seen. As Compassion in World Farming chief executive Philip Lymbery[…]

Because Humans Are Animals Too

*Originally published 8 October 2019* As Animal Rebellion march on Westminster, let’s look at the toll animal agriculture takes on humanity. Did you or anyone you know live in the UK between 1980 and 1996? If so, did you also know that you cannot legally donate blood anywhere in the world except in Britain? And that the reason is down to animal agriculture? Most people are aware of variant CJD and its link to BSE in cattle due to the scandal of ‘Mad Cow Disease’ in the 1990s. But how many are aware that in December 2012, the medical journal ‘The Lancet’ reported that 1 in every 2000 people alive today may be incubating the disease due to eating infected meat or[…]

The People’s Rebellion: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

*Originally published 10 October 2019* Animal Rebellion’s change of plans over Smithfield was controversial and we have listened to the valid and thoughtful criticism that it was undemocratic. The reason for the change of plans has been explained elsewhere so here we will focus on how we can improve our democratic decision making over the Rebellion. Due to a combination of different factors — time pressures, safety concerns, being a very young organization, the Rebel Alliance, our strategy and the limitations of our small but dedicated team of volunteers — it was not possible to open this decision up to the wider community. Decentralized decision making has always been the aim. We believe that the best way to achieve this is via People’s Assemblies. This is[…]

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