xVx What It Means To Me xVx- by Walter Bond

walter[Walter Bond is an imprisoned Animal Liberation Front operative who in the Summer of 2010 was arrested for the A.L.F. Lone Wolf arsons of the Sheepskin Factory in Denver, Colorado, the Tandy Leather Factory in Salt Lake City, Utah and Tiburon Restaurant in Sandy, Utah. On February 11, 2011, Bond was sentenced to 5 years in Federal prison for the Colorado fire, and on October 13, 2011, he was sentenced to 7 years, 3 months for the Utah fires, to run consecutive to the first sentence.  He is currently incarcerated at USP Marion CMU.  His expected release date is March 21, 2021.]

Drug and alcohol use is a waste of time, energy and life. Drug and Alcohol Abuse leads to habituation and addiction which is the antithesis of liberation. Most serious revolutionary groups and individuals of the past had provisions or stipulations against the consumption of intoxicants. Groups such as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the American Indian Movement are two shining examples of this. Malcolm X once said “Every time you break the seal on a liquor bottle that’s a government seal you are breaking”. How right he was.

Drugs and drink have been a tool of governments to decimate native cultures and racially eradicate them. In short it has been a very effective tool of genocide. Knowingly and intentionally. Hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine have been used to pacify nearly any movement the government views as subversive. The large and worldwide production of the illegal drug trade works hand in glove with law enforcement, state and government authorities and police more than many people care to realize.

The legal industrial drug complex cranks drugs out as quickly as they can be dreamed up by mad scientists and greedy producers for everything from depression and anxiety to toe nail fungus and limp dick. with absolutely no way of knowing long term side effects to their consumers or their genetic effects on the next generation. The industrial drug complex ensures that those that resist the addictions from illegal street drugs and the liquor bottle will eventually succumb to the doctor, bought and paid for by Astra Zeneca.

Drugs both legal and illegal fuel funding for millions of experiments done on Animals annually. From addicting primates to methamphetamine, to inducing depression in beagles by way of torture and isolation. All this solely to record the results of anti-depressants. This sinister and vicious industry of drug abuse funds the sinister and vicious business of vivisection. Along with the drunk driver that mows down pedestrians while being asleep at the wheel. We also have the enormous amount of domestic violence due to raging alcoholism. Child abuse, rape, molestation and murders which happen in staggering numbers and have direct correlations to addictions in the home . How nice to know that the government distills predatory violence with every bottle it produces. And that women and children get to suffer heinously for the inebriation of drunken men.

Because of all this, and so much more I assert that Vegan Straight Edge as a lifestyle is essential for the individual, for our communities and the planet. What many frame as abstinence is really the practice of self-liberation. Freedom from addiction is literally freedom from one of the most vicious forms of slavery every seen on the face of Mother Earth!

Vegan Straight Edge, in my definition is: Veganism in our diet and consumption, coupled with the ethical belief that Animals exist for their own autonomy instead of human ends. It is also a rejection of inebriation and all recreational drug use from our personal lives. And lastly it is a stand against sexual exploitation in all it’s forms. On top of this it is a commitment taken for life.

For the uninitiated that have not heard of Straight Edge, or Vegan Straight Edge a cursory glance at the internet on the subject will lead to videos of hyper masculine ‘dancing’, punk/metal music bands and a host of clothing, slogans and graphics. While this is in part, ‘the scene’, and  the fashion trend that Vegan Edge has, and does grow through. It’s the message and way of life that is the substance, not the music and fashion, don’t get it twisted.

With many Vegan Edgers aging away from the scene it’s important to make this distinction. so that the vsXe kids out there can learn form our experience, instead of us trying to keep up with theirs. And in the process turning into those creepy old people that don’t realize they look ridiculous in skinny jeans and anime hairdos. But by no means do I discount the power that the vsXe scene has had, and still does. For so many kids, myself included it showed us a way to empower ourselves and fight for what’s positive. It took many of us out of the quagmire and filth of addiction right when we were on the verge of disaster.

Vegan Straight Edge, means everything to me. It’s not the music, it’s not the tattoos and it’s not the camaraderie that makes Vegan Edge as close to me as my own heart beat. All these things have there place but when the show is over, when the tattoos begin to fade and blend together and when friends come and go, it’s the way we live our lives that over time forms the people we are. It’s the things we do and refuse to do, that define us. Vegan Edge shrinks the gap between rhetoric and reality. It’s not a school of thought and it’s not a belief (although both have evolved from it). It’s an attempt to try and make this world a more peaceful and just place in an aggressive and forthright manner. Starting with ourselves and reaching in ever wider circles to the world around us. Building scenes and a community worldwide. Screaming our manifestos as anthems to crowds of ourselves that scream them right back in our faces. To the outside world it looks like a mosh pit or a hardcore punk concert, but for us it is not just a show, it’s an affirmation.

Unfortunately for many it’s an empty fad. A phase that changes right along with musical tastes. Realizing that a lifetime commitment to Veganism, drug free living and the refusal of sexual exploitation is at times difficult or cuts into ones hedonistic idea of fun, the substance soon gets discarded by the wayside. For these people that talk of Vegan Edge as their salad days long after they have shit all over everything they once proclaimed to hold so true never were Straight Edge at all. And I have no ear, or patience for tales of their Straight Edge days. Anymore than the throngs of used to be Vegans who proclaim that they had to quit being Vegan because ‘It just wasn’t right for my body type’.

Interconnectedness is a two way street. It’s nobodies right to poison their (our) children, community, environment or endeavors with the essence of oppression, the essence of greed and the essence of consumerism. How odd it is as anarchists to be so vexatious against brand names, advertising and capitalist economy but then sit down with a fucking red white and blue beer can and get drunk on the same shit that whites use to kill the indigenous nations of the Earth! How odd as a Vegan to care so deeply about the inherent rights of an ant or mosquito, but then smoke a joint that feeds a direct consumer link to cartel violence that enslaves whole cities and providences of Latinos for the drug lords reign! Give me a fucking break!

In the final analysis, no one lifestyle, individual or tactic is all encompassing. We all take part daily in the atrocity of mass locust society. But that is not an excuse to just throw our hands in the air and join in the spectacle of insanity that is technologically advanced civilization. Perhaps we are not in a situation to save the world from capitalism, consumerism, Animal, Earth and Human exploitation in the present. Perhaps we cannot usher in an age of Total Liberation tomorrow. But we can save ourselves on a case to case basis, we can empower ourselves in thought word and deed. No matter who we are, or where we are. We can ‘scream for change’, ‘make a change’, and be a ‘force a change’. In our lives and the lives of those around us. By remaining Vegan For Life and living our One Life, Drug Free!

For Liberation,