You Say You Want a Revolution

The Beatles’ “White Album” (arguably their finest, next to Revolver, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, Abbey Road or Let It Be) includes a laid back acoustic version of their hit song, “Revolution,” titled, “Revolution 1” (not to be confused with the bazaar, surely drug-induced “Revolution 9”). Of course, they sound like they’re on some kind of drugs (probably downers) in “Revolution 1;” they added an exaggerated, mockingly mellow “shoo be do” between “don’t you know it’s gonna be” and “alright.”

But the main difference between that song and the well-known standard, top-40, rock version of “Revolution” (which was released at the same time as “Hey Jude”) is that in “Revolution 1,” after the line “but when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out” John Lennon can be heard in the background adding the word “in” (almost as an afterthought).

This brings up an issue dear to the hearts of some of you readers. We all know that hunting is a war on wildlife—hunters are the terrorists, and the animals (along with those of us who care passionately about them) are the terrorized. Here’s an opportunity for a round table discussion on the pros and cons—the merits and detriments—of destruction. What’s it gonna be people, “out” or “in”?

Your comments are welcome…just remember, this is a public site, please don’t say anything too incriminating. You wouldn’t want to end up like Ted Nugent promises he’ll soon be—either “dead or in jail”—for saying something ted-fully stupid like, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their [Democrats] heads off,” a comment which earned him a visit from the FBI and/or the Secret Service.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

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21 thoughts on “You Say You Want a Revolution

  1. I’ll start off by saying that while this is an actual, physical war with actual victims (the animals), it’s also a war for the hearts and minds of the general public—the disinterested observers, if you will. These are the people who are not directly affected by this war either way. They are neither hunters nor anti-hunters; they care as little about animal rights as they do about hunter’s rights. They account for about 90% of the human population (at least in this country) and though they may seem too apathetic to be of any consequence, they are the key to this whole struggle.
    If somehow they can be made to set aside some of their personal interests and have some real concern about the plight of the animals, our side—the animal’s side—could have millions of allies. But if, through the wiles of the mainstream media, they get drawn to the dark side…well, then all hell will break loose. For one thing, Democrat Senators would be able to feel like they are honestly representing a majority of their constituents when they vote to approve the next version of the “Sportsmen’s” Act.

    • I have been waiting my entire life for this Issue to be addressed. Protection, love and care speaks volumes.

      Jim, Thank you so very much , and all included, for pushing the issue of Cruelty forward.

  2. I’d readily acknowledge that the war against animal abusers can and should be waged simultaneously on many fronts using whatever tactics, peaceful or otherwise, that seem most likely to produce tangible success in any given situation. But at the end of the day, after all is said and done, the operational attitude should be, in that phrase immortalized by Malcolm X, “by any means necessary.” This is where I part company with pacifists who despite centuries of historical evidence to the contrary still believe that good is inevitably destined to triumph, non-violently mind you, over evil, as well as other assorted fairy tales.

    • The only problem with comparing this war to those championed by Malcom X or others, is that they were all about groups of people fighting for their own human rights. This is a war for non-human rights, taken up by a tiny minority of enlightened people and (according to most people, not you or me) non-humans are a whole different kettle of fish than we humans are. Personally, if I thought it would help the animals, I’d be out there with both barrels blazing, laying down my life and taking out as many as I could for them. But, unfortunately, before we can get anywhere with the “any” means necessary approach, we’re going to have to convince people that non-human animals matter as much as we humans do (something you and I see clearly, but most people would still think outrageous. The bottom line is getting “tangible succes” for the animals.

      • You are absolutely right that Malcolm’s (and American black’s) struggle for respect and equal rights under the law is not exactly parallel with the struggle for animal rights. Obviously, members of an oppressed human minority will fight more passionately and persistently if they themselves, personally, feel the yoke of repression bearing down on them. And equally obviously, non-human animals will never be intellectually capable of taking up arms and waging war against their human oppressors. And since all political power ultimately (arguably) grows out of the barrel of a gun, the model for animal liberation will never follow the paradigm of other, human-liberation movements.

        A more accurate historical analogy, I believe, would be the plight of Jews and other non-Aryans living in the Third Reich. In that situation you had Aryans living relatively comfortable lives and enjoying many legal protections at the same time as non-Aryans, “untermenschen”, were being repressed, exploited and legally murdered. Since the Nazi state had all the power (and the guns), there was not much chance for these Jews ever fighting back or liberating themselves. There only hope of salvation rested on the few (very few!) good Aryans, motivated by conscience and a basic sense of decency and justice and courageous enough to put their own privileged lives on the line, to come to their aid. Ultimately, of course, it was outside military force not internal change that rescued these unfortunate people. But today, looking back, most people respect and admire the few “good Germans” who risked all to help their less fortunate compatriots while disdaining the overwhelming majority of German citizens who chose to look the other way claiming to “know nothing” of the abuses or refused to do anything to help these victims becaue the laws of their temporal state had declared such aid “illegal.”

        Under the existing set of circumstances, the very last thing I would want my epitaph to read was “that he was a good American.”

      • Yes, that’s a better analogy for this situation. Though they knew they could not stop all the abuse and reprssion at once, those few good Aryans acted covertly with good results, similar to freeing minks or cutting drift nets. At the same time, films like The Cove have helped to increase awareness and inspire public sentiment for the plight of non-humans, moving us closer to the day that atrocities such as trophy hunting or the dolphin slaughter will be seen for what they are by the majority of the people.

      • Can we get away from Politics?

        I am on this site to do honour for our friends. They do not have a voice. Humans, yes. If humans keep spouting rhetoric, what do we really accomplish?

  3. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Pacifism has accomplished nothing. Attempting to legislate has accomplished nothing. Or at least, even if there have been minor accomplishments, the situation as a whole has deteriorated. There is only one language bullies understand. The animals need any kind of help they can get.

    • You’re right, “the animals need any kind of help they can get.” Therefore, those of us who might take direct action should no completely discount all the efforts of those who are working hard above board. Saying their efforts accomplish nothing is discouraging, not to mention insulting, and the word “pacifism” is way off base, since it implies that someone is sitting by, doing nothing to help the cause. Captain Paul Watson stops short of killing, but does that make him a “pacifist?” It’s not very encouraging to those dedicated activists who work hard for the animals, but maybe can’t get out there and speak the language of the bullies. They may support you in your destruction, so maybe you should support their efforts as well.

      • I did say that there have been accomplishments but that the situation as a whole has deteriorated. I would certainly not call Paul Watson a pacifist, and his efforts HAVE accomplished things. I support any and all tactics and have worked hard at many of those aboveground efforts. But many above-ground activists denounce underground tactics, and it is those I have an issue with. I get very tired of watching sadistic cruel murderers walk around scot-free.

      • As I said to Geoff, I didn’t realize there were above-ground activists denouncing underground tactics. Most above grounders I know cheer (if secretly) the efforts to liberate animals

      • Hey Jim, I don’t think Windsailor was necessarily disparaging what above-ground animal activists are doing. They are working hard “within the system” to change attitudes and policies that have massive impact on animals. The criticism has come more from “mainstream” type animal advocates and directed at those who do engage or support extra-legal direct action efforts; the Franciones, the Pacelles, the Singers, the Regans, etc. who don’t want to jeopardize their seat at the table when working on behalf of animals by appearing to be too radical, too wild, too woolly. And that’s OK as long as they (the “legals”) recognize that it is the white heat directed at animal-abusing institutions from the direct action types that often softens-up the steel enough so that they can then bend it their way. (If you were a white supremacist in the 1960s, who would you rather deal with: the Black Panthers or the NAACP?) It’s the classic good cop/bad cop strategem. Only it makes no sense for the good cop to ever publicly disparage or undercut the efforts of the “bad cops.” Without the bad cops, there is no strategy for success.

        Talented and influential writers like you need to remain respectable and upright in order to stay out of jail and maintain your ability to communicate with the populace, and maybe, just maybe, change a few minds. But when the opportunity arises, as it sometimes does, there is no down-side, legal or otherwise, to publicizing and celebrating the efforts of direct action operatives.

      • No, there’s certainly not. I guess I’ve not been really been aware of mainstream activists voicing opposition to anyone’s extra-legal activities. They may not verbally condone it, but I haven’t heard them condemn it (although I guess I don’t doubt that some do).

  4. I am a “visionary” who fights for animals and I do support direct action like which is displayed by hunt saboteurs and animal liberation groups. I have taken my share of arrest and fines for supporting animal rights. But to human supremacist animals are “tools”, “resources”, and commodities, not individuals possessing emotions and pain as people do. Unfortunately human supremacist mock compassionate living with statements like “plants like living too”, or “humans are omnivores”, and the best most repeated one is “we have ‘canine’ teeth so we must be eating flesh”.

    “A human body in no way resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare. But if you will contend that you were born to an inclination to such food as you have now a mind to eat, do you then yourself kill what you would eat. But do it yourself, without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet or axe, as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once. Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do. But if thou had rather stay until what thou eat is to become dead, and if thou art loath to force a soul out of its body, why then dost thou against nature eat an animate thing? There is nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing even as it is; so they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby deceived may admit of such uncouth fare.” -Plutarch

    I say f that noise. Just because we killed animals in our early days means it’s okay? “People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.” Isaac Bashevis Singer

    But remember children being a animal rights activist is SO extreme.

    I don’t value human supremacist just as I don’t value white supremacist, because hatred and indifference whether it be based upon ones skin color or ones species. And I am fair about support, it is never okay to be picking and choosing which forms of discrimination to be apposed to. And to say which ones are evil: racism. And say ones like speciesism are okay. Discrimination is all evil or it’s not. Remember who is the victim in the war on wildlife, if it was you being shot at, trapped, skinned, stuffed and mounted. Wouldn’t you want someone to say “hey man, that isn’t right!”. So when I see activists freeing animals from fur farms and laboratories I smile, because as I support the civil rights movements, and other social justice movements it would be insane to not support the animal movement.

      • Your very welcome Jim, and you should add the fact that out of thousands of actions in the animal movement from graffiti to arson NO ONE has been killed or injured, yet 5 activist have been murdered by those that support cruelty.

        Tom Worby

        On the 3rd of April 1993, Tom Worby, a 15 year old saboteur attending his first foxhunt protest, was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire Fox Hunt’s hound van in an incident all too reminiscent of the killing of Mike Hill two years before.

        After a successful day’s sabbing, the hunt had boxed up and sabs were making their way back to the meet down a narrow lane. As the hound van came up behind them, revving its engine, sabs scrambled for the roadside; however Tom’s jacket became snagged in the vehicles wing mirror and he was dragged some distance before he managed to gain a foothold on the van’s running board. Although he banged on the window the van kept going, and when Tom finally lost his grip, he fell onto the road and under the truck’s wheels. His head was crushed by the rear wheels of the vehicle and he died shortly afterwards. No action was taken against the driver of the hound van, 53-year-old huntsman Alan Ball.

        On Wednesday 1 February 95, 31 year old protester Jill Phipps was crushed to death under the wheels of an export truck carrying baby veal calves into Coventry Airport. Despite the fact that nearly 100 officers were on duty that day, 10 of the 33 protesters present had broken through police lines and attempted to bring the lorry to a halt by sitting on the road and attempting to chain themselves to it.

        Jill and the others mistakenly assumed that police officers and the lorry driver(Stephen Yates) would respect human life a little more than animals, they were wrong. Police on duty allowed the export lorry to continue making progress despite the clear safety problems. The vehicle was only halted by police once Jill had been crushed beneath the wheels.

        http://www.jillphipps.org.uk/home.htm

        So I always ask: “who is the real terrorist?”

  5. Sorry for the two different user names. I’m always having trouble with my WordPress account and started a second one when it wouldn’t take my password for my first one. Now I don’t know whom I’m posting as, even when I can log on. Anyway, I’m glad to hear about aboveground activists supporting the underground. Maybe times have changed since the aboveground tried to distance themselves from vandalism and violence. As you said in your latest blog entry, this society is shoveling coal into that train speeding toward a brick wall like there’s no tomorrow. Which there isn’t. Every tool in the box is needed to derail that train.

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