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Veganarchism - The Revolutionary Endeavor

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This part six of an ongoing series of posts featuring essays written by Brian A. Dominick and published in a pamphlet called "Animal Liberation and Social Revolution: a vegan perspective on anarchism or an anarchist perpective on veganism" (with a preface by Joseph M. Smith). First published by Critical Mess Media in 1995.

Previous posts in this series:

Preface: "Sharpening the Tools of Revolution" by Joseph M. Smith
Introduction: The Veganarchists
What is Social Revolution?

Radical Veganism
Violence in Everday Life
Alienation in Everday Life 

The Revolutionary Endeavor 

Understanding ourselves and our relationship to the world around us is but the first step towards revolution. We must then apply our understandings to a practical program of action. When I speak of action, I am not merely referring to weekly or monthly events when we, in collaboration with an organized group, state our beliefs at a demonstration, or when we execute a planned raid on a facility of oppression.

Action is not so limited. It can be found in our daily lives, our routine and not-so-routine activities. When we assert our beliefs by speaking out in conversation, on the job, at the dinner table, we are acting. In fact, whether we realizing it or not, everything we do is an action or series of actions. Recognizing this allows us to transform our everyday lives from repressed and alienated to libratory and revolutionary.

The role of the revolutionist is simple: make your life into a miniature model of the alternative, revolutionary society you envision. You are a microcosm of the world around you, and even the most basic among your actions affect the social context of which you are a part. Make those effects positive and radical in their nature.

The revolution must become part of our lifestyle, guided by vision and fueled by compassion. Every thought we think, every word we speak, every action we make must be rooted in radical praxis. We must liberate our desires through constant critique of what we have been taught to think, and a persistent quest for what we truly want. Once our desires are known, we must act in their interest.

After identifying how our society works, and deciding what we essentially want, we must commence to dismantle the present and assemble the future-and we must go about these tasks simultaneously. As we tear down the vestiges of oppression, we must also create, with both focus and spontaneity, new forms of social and environmental relationships, facilitated by fresh, new institutions.

For instance, economically speaking, where there is private ownership today there must be social ownership tomorrow. Where production, consumption and resource allocation are now dictated by irrational market forces, in the future there must be a rational system for the acquisition and distribution of material goods and services, with a focus on equity, diversity, solidarity, autonomy, and/or whatever we deem to be the values which guide our visions.

As visionary, the vegan sees a world free of animal exploitation. Further, she sees a truly peaceful and sane relationship between human society and its natural environment. The deep ecology movement has shown us that non-animal nature has value which cannot be quantified in economic terms, just as vegans have demonstrated the worth of non-human animals, a worth that cannot be calculated by economists, only measured by human compassion. That compassion, demonstrated for the proletariat by socialists, for women and queers by feminists, for people of color and marginalized ethnicities by intercommunalists, for the young and aged by youthists, and for those at the end of the state's gun barrel by libertarians, is the same compassion as that felt by vegans and radical environmentalists toward the non-human world. That each of us needs to become all of these "types" of radicals-and to incorporate their ideologies into one, holistic theory, vision, strategy and practice-is a truism we can no longer afford to ignore. Only a perspective and lifestyle based on true compassion can destroy the oppressive constructs of present society and begin anew in creating desirable relationships and realities. This, to me, is the essence of anarchy. No one who fails to embrace all struggles against oppression as her or his own fits my definition of an anarchist. That may seem like a lot to ask, but I will never stop asking it of every human being. 

This post was originally posted on my posterous site. You can comment here, or join the larger discussion over at the original.
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