Published on:

September 8, 2014


#disruptspeciesism (by Kelly)

Not to knock the "Ice Bucket Challenge" (too much, at least), but when I saw how viral that was going, I figured what we should really be doing if we want to improve the world is "challenging" ourselves to take actions that have a few elements missing from that campaign.

We should be doing actions that do not overvalue money by framing donations as the answer to our problems; that are relevant to the problems we have, rather than just being gimmicks that attract attention to themselves (as opposed to inspiring greater interest in the cause); that do not make people feel so good about doing pretty much nothing that they have even less incentive than normal to actually get up and do something impactful; that do not fund the exploitation of our nonhuman sisters and brothers, of course; and, well, that are actually some measure of "challenge" to the participants, because no real change comes without a struggle.

So we decided to challenge everyone to go solo or with other activists (in addition to a cameraperson) into a space that normalizes speciesist violence and oppression, and disrupt it.

(This will also be the theme of our next International Day of Action in September.)

Many of us have been going to higher-end restaurants, as they tend to come with the most drama. People with all the privileges in the book tend to be really protective of those privileges, and it makes for videos with high sharing potential, expanding the reach of our message of liberation for all. (And people who want to participate in the challenge but are less comfortable with that level of confrontation can still do -- as others have done! -- a disruption in a less dramatic, more casual take-out restaurant like -- you guessed it -- Chipotle.)

As MLK said: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored."

A peek at some of the disruptions:

Priya (Oakland)
Missy and Lola (San Luis Obispo)
Nick (Inland Empire)
Diane (San Francisco)
Wayne (Baltimore)
Glenn (Los Angeles)
Adrienne (Sacramento)

Follow the hashtag #disruptspeciesism on Facebook to see more disruptions: