The Pandemic’s Assault on Human Privilege (Liberation by any means necessary)

by Camille Marino
March 29, 2020

That the human species is an utter plague to the natural order is indisputable. With carefree disregard, we devastate the planet and enslave our nonhuman brethren — the depth and scope of our crimes both unfathomable and incalculable. And every single one of us is stained by the genocide in which we are all complicit. Yes, vegans too. Removing ourselves from the equation of death did nothing to absolve us of our sins; furthermore, we tacitly approve and tolerate a society bathed in blood. I know of no vegan who walks around kicking people in the kneecaps when they graze in the frozen cemeteries at supermarkets. While I’ve done it on occasion, we don’t generally walk around cutting the lines of those who fish — cowards who jam hooks through the faces of unsuspecting animals for fun. We’re still complicit.

Enter SARS-CV-2. The governments of the world are not at all concerned if the masses are thinned, so the hysteria around this virus and the draconian, militaristic social controls being implemented are far more troublesome than the pandemic. I propose everyone resume normal life, go out there and catch our coronavirus, build our immunities or drop dead. Let our infrastructure get overwhelmed, let our artificial and unsustainable social constructs collapse, and, as a close friend observed, maybe revert to an agrarian society. I couldn’t care less where any human falls on this issue, but I challenge anyone to argue that a swift kick in our privilege — a leveling out of the almighty human species — is not a positive development for the animal kingdom we’ve eviscerated.

Every health “crisis” in recent memory has resulted from a contagion jumping species — mad cow, bird flu, swine flu, ebola, sars, covid (or sars2) — purely by virtue of humans believing we’re entitled to to satiate our deviate penchants at their expense. We’ve earned karmic justice, whether or not this one turns out to be anything close. And as far as our nonhuman victims are concerned, Covid is not nearly deadly enough. I don’t expect our arrogance and hubris to recede after this year’s pandemic subsides, so let’s take bets on from where our next gut punch to our human privilege will come. Cow’s milk? Sealife? Unfertilized chicken eggs? I won’t cry when the inevitable next one hits either.

I have, however, been increasingly disturbed by contingents of the vegan community embracing (wittingly or not) vivisectors and their vaccine industry. All hail vivisectors!? We’re now praying to the psychopathic gods of animal torture for our salvation? If we need a vivisector to harm a single animal to save a single one of us, then it’s all over. We as a community that alleges to advocate for animals has truly lost its way.

It’s probably been a long time coming. I’ve pretty much watched in disgust as the business models of welfarism and street theater have replaced activism. We’ve all seen the celebrated groups who see every suffering animal as an opportunity to collect donations. The groups whose marketing acumen has successfully equated staged profit-motivated law skirting with civil disobedience and gained a fawning following in the process. Those who wait for industrial abusers to extract their profits on their victims’ suffering and then swoop in to extract every last penny from their blood — either with self-enriching welfare violation “blockbusters,” donation solicitations for Queenie (a dog tortured to death in a Detroit lab almost a decade ago, her “advocates” protecting her tormentors from alleged radicals because those precise vivisectors are a necessity for them to continue to pad their bottom line), or staged open rescues. If we still need welfare investigations to figure out that animals suffer in labs and other cages, then we’re essentially useless. If we can mobilize hundreds of well-meaning but misguided activists to do photo ops with with a rescued victim but fail to throw our bodies on the machine to shut it down, then Animal Liberation is not the objective. The profit-motivated photo op is. How is this not obvious? What is glaring & painful to me is that we have way too many demagogues, frauds, and self-serving charlatans contaminating activism and leaving the animals on their own.

I opened this essay by discussing our complicity, but I’d never argue that smacking a burger out of someone’s mouth is effective action in the pursuit of our goal. I’d be doing it myself if I thought it would benefit the enslaved animal nations. Our ONLY job when it comes to animals & their abusers is to help the former and make the latter fear for their lives. A wholesale slaughter of vivisectors makes perfect strategic sense. Anyone who torments their restrained victims is nothing more than a coward who has a bright red target on his or her back. Start picking a few off and the rest will run for cover, hiding behind children and old ladies. They’re subhuman scum who’ve relinquished any right to consideration or comfort. So alleged activists waiting for these same cretins to poison and slaughter countless nonhumans in pursuit of a vaccine is something around which I cannot wrap my mind. I remember Walter Bond telling me probably a decade ago that “we can’t rally the troops because we have no troops.” But have we simply dropped all pretenses in the midst of our “crisis” of human privilege and just switched sides? It’s an absolute embarrassing disgrace.

While some are comfortable with the 100-year plan, either to turn the world vegan or form alliances with other militant and radical social justice movements (we may have a few isolated militant or radical actors, but no one is ever going to mistake our “movement” for either), I posit that the animals don’t have the luxury to wait for us to outgrow speciesism and self-interest. Time, like academic musings or theoretical minutia, are functions of our human privilege that are foreign to those in desperate need of relief now. This second. We must grasp that our only job is to stop every single abuser we can and, in the process, save countless more victims than we could ever liberate otherwise.

If we’re too busy to organize focused local efforts designed to undermine exploiters and compromise their infrastructure, then the animals will continue to die. Symbolic actions, candles, and photo ops might be profitable, but they stop no one. Those of us who haven’t been contaminated by mainstream welfarism and social media recipe cliques need to embrace our own radical ideas and trace a new trajectory for those who will follow. Arbitrary acts carried out by sequential individuals can have a significant impact– knock on a vivisector’s door and cough in their face before covid disappears, we haven’t had a good car bombing in a while, send their kids a present in the mail while they’re all being home schooled, they all have neighbors who’d appreciate a nice mass mailing. Or simply do what we know is just — a life for a life. The second one of these miscreants or their spawn comes to harm is the second we become an actual threat. (Edit: May 20 – Since I wrote this almost two months ago, we’ve seen armed militias and right-wing actors showing up at govt buildings in aggressive protests. I’ve wondered when we’ll see Animal Liberation activists follow suit and start showing up at the homes of vivisectors and other deserving abusers with our own weapons. Then I remembered, most of my colleagues are too busy hiding under a table waiting for the gods of vivisection to torture enough animals to death to make their world safe. My disillusion is palpable.)

And since we’ve failed miserably, let’s thank the pandemics for stepping in and maybe doing that of which we appear incapable for now — thinning out the most dangerous & malignant predator species to walk the face of the earth. Unfortunately, initial antibody testing indicates covid’s only got around a .1 to .3% mortality rate, comparable to the seasonal flu. But I have faith in the next pandemic my species continues to court. And I look forward to you all walking around in your designer hazmat suits next time around. I’m sure those selfies will replace the cutsie mask ones eventually.