You Are an Animal
Back in the summer of 2019, a small group of UK rebels felt something was missing from the exciting wave of climate activism that XR had ushered into the world. Our first International Rebellion had pushed the climate emergency into popular culture, and we were busy linking the climate crisis with other systems of human oppression - the crises of Capitalism, and Colonialism, and the Patriarchy. But one oppressive ideology was not being mentioned. Speciesism - the belief that one species of animal can be morally superior to and so dominate another.
These rebels felt that speciesism was key to understanding how humanity dislocated itself from the natural world, how the climate crisis came about, and how to solve it. Quite simply, farming animals is one of the most ecologically destructive, oppressive and wasteful activities our civilisation does, and it is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.
So they formed Animal Rebellion, a sister group to Extinction Rebellion, that retained our movement’s culture, tactics, and demands - but with one small addition. Their 2nd demand explicitly called for an end to the animal agriculture and fishing industries.
Today Animal Rebellion chapters are active in over 30 countries, including Spain, Mexico, and Taiwan, and the movement is growing in every region of the world. They have targeted agri-conglomerates, blockaded meat subsidising parliaments, and campaigned for plant-based meals in schools - with actions involving international collaboration as well as campaigning side-by-side with XR.
In Action Highlights you can see how the two movements formed a rebel alliance to launch the Spring Rebellion in the Netherlands, and learn more about Animal Rebellion’s vision for a plant-based society in Must Reads.
Elsewhere in this issue we have a report on a global action targeting Norwegian embassies to highlight that government’s gratuitous greenwashing. We also cover a digital strike in the Philippines where rebels are fighting to stop a dam project that will devastate biodiversity.
As yet another major report lands with the verdict that our governments are failing to address the climate emergency, we have to harness the power of as many rebels as possible to bring about the system change we all want, even if there are differences about how we get there.
As Extinction Rebellion increasingly becomes a movement of movements, so too will this newsletter. We hope you enjoy the temporary shift in perspective that this Animal Rebellion themed issue brings.