(John J. Jackson, III Note: The following is an abbreviation of a report by James Beers on his attendance at the 2001 National Animal Rights Conference. Jim worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service for 30 years and was the Chief Administrator of the Pittman-Robertson Fund. In that position he denied grant applications by Fund for Animals to teach school children "what is wrong with hunting," made public the Director's unauthorized slush fund and other acts that culminated in the recent Congressional hearings and reform of the Pittman-Robertson Act. One thing is clear from his report. You can't defend hunting or fishing by stating that you eat what you catch or take. The antis are against eating fish and meat so they are against your fishing or hunting for that purpose. They are vegans.)
I attended the five-day Annual Animal Rights Conference in Washington, DC from June 30 to July 5. There were reported to be 1,000 attendees. I attended at the request of Conservation Force.
The people and groups that gathered at the luxury Hilton Hotel made no bones that they are planning to eliminate every traditional use of animals and many other American freedoms and traditions. They have been going about this incrementally for years. Since there have been no serious consequences of their activities, their boldness and arrogance has reached gargantuan proportions. They clearly believe and preach the radical reformation of the way we live, the way we relate to our government and the elimination of most freedoms that we take for granted here in the US. They intend to change the relationship between mankind and the animal world that has existed for millennia.
The only way for me to convey the truly frightening experience of attending this conference is to describe what I encountered. I earnestly hope that the reader will be convinced to treat this movement with the serious consideration and public scrutiny that it deserves.
ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION
Walking through the parking lot each day revealed an abundance of bumper stickers. Most referred to veganism in varying intensities. The eventual imposition of veganism nationwide was the most common theme. Other stickers referred to resisting globalism, disrupting NAFTA, outlawing circuses, outlawing rodeos, stopping fishing, stopping hunting, stopping dog racing, protesting at Seattle and Quebec, intimidating the World Bank and outlawing all fur and leather.
The exhibit area inside lay between the registration desk and the conference rooms. Passing through the exhibits revealed an incredible range of protest topics. The following is a partial list of the handouts and publications:
• How the chemical industry is killing poor people around the world.
• How President Bush is using religion to kill our Constitution.
• Why we must stop the war on drugs.
• How the World Bank is being forced to meet the demands of protesters.
• Why we should teach children not to be ashamed of their bodies.
• How all religions were originally vegan.
• Ending the use of animals in research, testing, and education.
• Stopping the use of animals for meat, eggs, and dairy products.
• Spiritual Communication with animals.
• Using animal communicators.
• What would Jesus eat today.
• Stopping logging in the Philippines.
• How President Bush is oppressing minorities.
• Why we shouldn't eat bananas, chocolate or beef; or use coffee.
• How to stop union busting in Haiti.
• Boycotting McDonald's, Macy's, Anheuser Busch, and the Back Bay Restaurant Group.
• Why criminals start out as animal abusers.
• What's wrong with - leather, hunting, seafood, fur, meat, etc.
• Protesting in Solidarity with the U'wa People.
• The Global Sweatshop Coalition.
• Ending Procter and Gamble Testing on animals.
• Internships for animal rights, indigenous rights, anti-sweatshop, and anti-fur.
• Internship for Direct Action/Civil Disobedience.
There were more things here but space is limited. I mention these to give the reader a taste of the atmosphere at this conference.
Videos were constantly being shown. The following selections represent the flavor of those presentations:
• Igniting A Revolution: A sympathetic primer by radical environmental and animal activists on "ecotage."
• Sexual Politics Of Meant (Carol Adams, feminist-vegetarian author).
• Animal Liberation: The Movie
• ALF raids on British laboratories and factory farms.
• What's Wrong With Hunting (by Buffalo Bills Coach Marv Levy).
• Puppy Mill Expose (by actor Charlize Theron).
• The Real Life Of Circus Animals (by Ali McGraw).
• Great American Meat-Out (By Ed Asner).
• Money and Myths: How state wildlife agencies fail to protect wildlife.
• The Burger King Campaign (by Dan Rather).
• Australia Factory Farm Raids.
There were many other video presentations on trapping, chicken farms, the cowboy image, etc. There were also four concurrent sessions throughout the days. Here are selections from the program:
• When Is Killing Ok? (Attacking animals? Unwanted dogs & cats? Fetuses or babies?)
• What Rights? Which Animals? (Should intelligence matter?)
• Getting Attention - Legally: Effective use of street demonstrations.
• Getting Attention - Otherwise: CD's, disruptions, banner drops, rescues, phone/web siege, destruction.
• Animal Spirituality: Communicating with animals.
• How Broad Our Ethics: Can we justify lying, cheating, stealing, subordinating other social goals?)
• Animal Victimhood: Commonality of oppression of animals, children, women, minorities.
• Winning Hearts And Minds: Changing behavior through feelings and beliefs.
• Your Son Or The Rat - Whose life do we value?
• Role Of Violence.
• Direct Tactics: Economic and peer pressure, physical threats.
• Enacting Federal Legislation: Issues, coalitions, legislators and committees)
• How Can We All Get Together: What are the opportunities and obstacles?
• Enacting State And Local Laws.
• What Price Solidarity: When should we tolerate damaging tactics or statements by other leaders?
• What Price Animal Liberation: How far should we go to liberate animals? What should be off limits?
• Medicine Campaigns: Huntingdon, Coulston, OPRC, Procter & Gamble, WWAIL.
• Outreach To Women And Minorities.
• Outreach To Religion.
• Companion Campaigns: Property, puppy mills, spay/neuter, no-kill, Korean dogs.
• Animals are like exploited workers and prisoners.
• WTO demonstrations helped to save turtles.
• Oppressed people are like labor and environmental supporters.
• Pollution is just like police brutality. Use it as an excuse to demonstrate and forge coalitions.
• Abortion rights activists can help to involve the women's movement and the lesbian/gay activists.
• An eco-feminist ethicist ranted against patriarchy and the "Miss Vegan" contests.
• A German leftist studied right wing extremism. He concludes that people in power exploit, oppress and exclude. Species-ism is racist and right wing like Nazism. Invading Russia was like invading the wilderness. Nazism today is the animal users who enslave and kill animals like slave laborers who were "hunted" for sport by Nazis.
• Competition establishes inequality and oppression.
• Guns must be eliminated from society.
• Anyone with a gun wants to kill.
• I've been arrested six times and I still teach at my University.
• Some places like San Francisco will never prosecute you for anything.
• Put bricks through widows to intimidate wives and children.
• Baseball bats when they pull into their driveways have a way of discouraging people.
• Sometimes you have to 'blow shit up.'
• Some people should be 'blown up.'
• Harass business acquaintances on the golf course and their neighbors.
• Break up stockholder meetings and company parties.
• Here's how to find out where people live.
• There is 'other' stuff that I will be glad to tell you about in the hall, or after the dinner.
• There are no consequences of arrest.
• Break-ins, destroying property (fire, etc.) is all justified since society refuses to protect animals.
• Make things as costly as you can.
• I'm proud of all my arrests.
• Propagandize and energize the young, especially radicals in their teens and 20s who will take risks.
• Institute demonstrations and maximize disruptions and publicity. Use 'comely' people as spokespersons and always appear rational and reasonable.
• Coordinate harassment by any means that destroys key businesses, business leaders and other opponents.
• Lying, cheating, destruction and 'anything else' are justified since society won't listen and the laws are against us.
• The end justifies the means.
• Stress victimhood. Racism equals sexism equals species-ism.
• Women and blacks had to chip into men's rights. Now animals are chipping in also.
• "Person" is not just humans.
• The privilege of "whiteness" equals privilege over animals.
• Break up traditions and change the status quo to where we are in charge.
• Attack history notions and focus on our progressive enlightenment on all these matters.
• Disrupt lawmaking that threatens us at any level.
• European culture is our enemy.
• White males must be suppressed.
There were many comments about cockfighting in states that still permit it, dog racing, meat, eggs, dairy products, animal research and other matters that resemble the foregoing but are simply redundant and too much for this already extensive report.
• Focus on progressive Churches.
• I'm a Buddhist but I speak at every progressive Church that will let me.
• Manipulate progressive Christians, Jews and others.
• Assert that all early Churches were vegan.
• Identify and support vegan ministers and other religious leaders.
• One humane leader compared himself to Mother Theresa. He, like she, "could save X many more animals per day or week if he had X more dollars."
• Go beyond dogma. Go beyond religion. Enter the circle of life.
• Unity and Unitarian Churches are good bets to turn people to veganism.
• We are establishing a vegan-spiritual based society.
• We may soon convert the Dalai Lama to veganism.
• Tell people that we all come to this planet from somewhere.
• Saint Francis and Suma Ching How support us.
• The religious issue is really the health/ethics/spirituality issue.
• Christian tradition has been adulterated.
• Beware of hierarchical priests.
• Utilize professional animal communicators who engage in telepathic communication with animals. Establish conversations with "the other side" (meaning the dead).
• Animal souls fit with all religions.
• Read Angela Davis.
• Talk about dietary racism.
• Establish solidarity with women of color.
• Be very careful that you don't get a Clarence Thomas.
• Stress solidarity with all progressive movements.
• People of color are at great risk around hunters and trappers.
• Get whites upset; this energizes minorities.
• Anti-nuclear protesters share our goals, as do people against slave labor and those against using the Third World to grow our food.
• Always keep an eye out for free-floating radicals who can help.
• Globalization is the issue to forge coalitions around. (Cheers)
• Preach solidarity with unions, minorities, feminists, and gay/lesbians. Animals equal the Holocaust equals child abuse.
• New Jersey is running out of kids indoctrinated to hunt.
• Training kids with guns endangers everyone.
• Stress issues that divide hunters like "canned" hunts.
• Dog hunting and baiting also divide hunters, so use these topics.
• Hunters are already divided; keep dividing them.
• Oppose all right to subsistence hunting by indigenous people.
• Use kites, recordings, bullhorns, and "other" things. (This last comment brought a titter of laughs from many of the young people.)
• Hunters want to kill bears in New Jersey, and we saved the bears.
• Hunter Constitutional Rights at the state level are funny. They are a placebo to hunters and just put control in state legislatures, which we will soon control.
• The restrictions on ballot initiatives in Utah must be fought anywhere that they pop up.
• Hunters are getting old. Pretty soon they will just disappear.
• We are successful in getting to children early in school so they learn to hate hunting.
• We need to work more with the UN to bring more animals under their control.
• PETA has cracked the wholesomeness of fishing. This will deter families and help us with the wholesome labels of other animal uses.
• Always deal with sportfishing and commercial fishing bans separately.
• Fishermen are tools of international businesses.
• All killing of fish must be stopped.
• PETA is proud to be forcing the Boy Scouts to drop their fishing and wildlife management merit badges. They are proud to be in solidarity with others who are trying to change that indoctrination organization.
ON CIRCUSES AND RODEOS
• Cowboys are all sissies. Confront them and they run.
• Take concealed videos to circuses and try to get footage of what goes on.
• Get local ordinances passed that make it more expensive and more difficult to put on performances.
• Identify and support local law enforcement vegans and sympathizers.
ON ANIMAL RIGHTS
• The NARAL representative described how she is working with and supporting the Great Ape Project. The only goal is to obtain legal rights for apes as the crack in the wall for all other animals (like abortion, endangered species and gun control).
TRAPPING AND FUR
• Confront anyone wearing fur and intimidate them.
• Use any tactics to put fur stores out of business.
• Confront people wearing fur trim.
• Embarrass fur-wearers in front of their friends and at places that they wear fur.
• Personalize the animals to children and the public.
• Trappers are dying out.
• Predators must all be protected and allowed to spread everywhere.
• The propaganda about animal control is all lies. No animals need to be controlled.
• Europe and especially England is way ahead of us here. The Labor Party is very sympathetic.
• Since industry bribes politicians, anything we do to get political support is good.
• Remember that we have friends who are not Democrats. Senator Smith (R-NH) and Senator Jeffords (I-VT) are two of our best friends.
• Our new PAC will be an umbrella for all of us to give money directly to those we favor and to defeat those who are not our friends. We look forward to a large PAC.
• We have eliminated several enemies like Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA).
• Eighty percent of the people are "assholes."
• If we can control 11% of the voters, we can win control.
• Clinton didn't do enough for us.
• Bush is an enemy to all of us. (Cheers)
• If two percent of the voters are ours, we can succeed beyond our wildest dreams.
ON FEDERAL CONTROLS
• The Animal Welfare Act is the vehicle for expansion and amendments that we had hoped it would be.
• The Federal Bear Protection Act proposed by Senator McConnell (R-KY) will transfer control of bears from the state to the Federal government.
• We control the Federal Congress and the Federal bureaucracy now. In a few years we will control the state legislatures too.
• Get supporters in Federal agencies and work together.
• We need Federal laws over dogs and cats.
• Training dogs for security, hunting, and performing must be controlled by the Federal government.
• Most Federal legislators are pro-animal rights and soon most state legislators will be too.
• Federal controls break the back of the state fish and wildlife agencies that are pro-hunting.
• State agencies are enemies.
These selected comments are but a few of what I heard over five days. The sessions held anywhere from 50 to 200 people, depending on the topic, and not once was anything questioned.
All of us, whether or not we are concerned directly with one of these animal issues should understand what is happening and protect the traditions and rights of all of us whether or not we are an absolute majority. These tactics and organizations threaten all of us in every way. - Jim Beers.
For more information on Conservation Force and/or the services available through Jackson’s alliance with The Hunting Report, write:
One Lakeway Center
Metairie, LA 70002.
Tel. 504-837-1233. Fax 504-837-1145.