The Animal Rights Movement Comes of Age
(Berkeley Animal Rights Center Newsletter)
By Zach Groff
The past few months have seen enough animal rights-related events in Berkeley - let alone the entire United States - to trigger whiplash. With a spontaneous march for animal rights gathering 100 people, the Berkeley City Council condemning dog meat as animal abuse (what does that say about other meat?), and the opening of the first ever “Animal Rights Center” in the U.S., animals and their lives are becoming a topical political issue on the ground here in a way they have not been before. A recent conflict over the Animal Rights Center sparked major media coverage and a dramatic show of peaceful power by the animal rights community in Berkeley. The site of more than seventy people at a city council meeting all to support animal rights sends a strong signal to the political landscape.
Terrifyingly, our nation’s political landscape has changed in startling ways as a man who pledged to stop Muslims from entering the United States and deport 11 million people en masse was elected president a few weeks ago. One of his first steps as president was to appoint a white supremacist as his chief advisor. Let’s not waste a second hoping anyone other than the most virulent animal-hater will run the USDA.
Our movement, alongside many others, is rallying together to make clear that we will continue to fight for and live our values no matter what comes our way. At rallies across the United States, feminist, anti-racist, and pro-immigrant signs have been seen alongside a new sort of message: animal liberation. In Boulder, Colorado, activists with Direct Action Everywhere organized the city’s 1,000-person anti-oppression rally, while DxE activists led another coalition mach in Hartford, Connecticut.
What now? The battle between nonviolent activists and an overhanded state is a struggle that all social movements go through. If recent months and weeks are any indication, this will only make our movement grow stronger. This is a movement whose time has come.
Want to get involved? DxE is a grassroots network focused on empowering you to be the best activist you can be. Here are some steps you can take.