We rarely post a single issue of a periodical to TALON, preferring instead to post an entire year or run so that readers can watch as stories develop and politics evolve within a publication. In this instance we are making an exception. For the last several years we have tried, without luck, to track down further issues of Animosity- a publication of the Keele University Animal Rights Group. Our hope is that one of our readers might help us to obtain the rest of this student-militant zine.
Animosity appears to have been written largely by anarchists with an insider’s knowledge of the animal liberation movement, and broad, anti-capitalist politics. If anyone can help us to discover the authors or more issues of this intriguing publication, please contact us HERE.
The Hunt and the Anti-Hunt (1982, London, England)
“It is not difficult to understand why animals are treated so indifferently in a society where the powerful minority holds the majority in similar contempt.” Philip Windeatt
Grounded firmly in a traditional British left-socialist critique, The Hunt and the Anti-Hunt is Philip Windeatt’s classic treatise on opposition to bloodsports. Written shortly after the author worked as a researcher on The Animals Film, each page drips with anger at both the act of sport hunting and the economic class that perpetuates it.
Anyone seeking a better understanding of the history of the animal liberation movement would do well to read this short book. Tracing bloodsports back to the domestication of canines for hunting purposes, the book continues by describing the founding of early animal welfare societies and the eventual emergence of the Hunt Saboteurs Association and Animal Liberation Front. Along the way expect a refreshing analysis of the pillaging of public lands, human alienation from wilderness, corporate governance, and many other subjects that were too often missing from the animal lib literature of the 1980s.
One of at least four publications to share the same moniker, this version of Bite Back came into being at the turn of the century. Glossy, full magazine sized, and free, Bite Back was a wonderful tool for reporting on the exciting campaigns of its era. Anyone interested in pressure campaigning will enjoy the brief articles, updates, and images from Hillgrove, Shamrock, Regal Rabbits, and Huntingdon Death Sciences.
We have very little information about this publication and do not know if there were subsequent issues. If you have more information please contact us HERE.
Every time we receive a NALL related donation everyone at TALON can’t wait to read it, even if it is just a small newsletter or leaflet. Our fascination with the group stems from their early socialism, their insistence that mass-militancy trumps individual direct-action, and their acts of solidarity with other movements. While their publications don’t always touch on those factors, fans of the Leagues will not be disappointed with these two issues of the NALL Newsletter, especially the Spring News, which comments on the unstrategic militarism happening at the time, specifically the Mars bar poisoning hoax and publicity stunts of groups like the Hunt Retribution Squad.
The excitement doesn’t end there, however! Despite the poor editing, these volumes contain many clues as to the organizing model, rhetoric, history, and strategies employed by NALL- and then there are the small tidbits that will make you love them even more! An embracing of ecological politics, a tendency towards anonymity for the sake of rejecting the big egos that cause so much damage to movements, the fact that NALL was originally called Manchester Animal Liberators, the mention of a cafe run by three NALL members… If you are as fascinated with this classic organization as we are you will absolutely love these two dispatches!
Forgive our lack of posts recently, we’ve got some stuff in the works. In the meantime, please consider contributing to No New Animal Lab, one of our favorite projects currently coalescing in the United States. Click below to donate to the costs of running a dynamic, large scale pressure campaign. Also, start making plans to march with hundreds of other animal liberationists in Seattle on April 25th! Details can be found at NoNewAnimalLab.com
Heart of the Matter: South East Animal Liberation League (1984. London, England)
Recently the South London Flying Column YouTube channel has been posting video of old news coverage of animal rights related direct action. There are many, many gems on there, but we were particularly enamored of this piece, a 20 minute episode of the program Heart of the Matter. Besides containing never before seen footage of raids carried out by SEALL, it also contains unbelievable footage of an unmasked ALF planning session! And if you find yourself disliking the SEALL spokesperson, it’s okay. He didn’t actually turn out all that well…
While there isn’t much stand-alone importance to this particular publication, the critical role played by grassroots newsletters in the 1980s in undeniable. Prior to the popular use of the internet local groups were run by a small core of organizers who communicated with their own membership and the broader public using these cheaply produced zines. Ideology, protest dates, campaign information, news from other organizations, fundraising efforts, and prisoner support were all shared, and with results that often dwarf what we see from Facebook based organizing.
Action for Animals produced a newsletter very typical of its era and geography. Those of you who take the time to look closer at this publication will notice excerpts from the London Greenpeace leaflet (co-written, as it turns out, by an undercover cop) that lead to the McLibel case. Also of note are AFA’s anti-capitalism sentiment, and the diversity of actions embraced by their group- from Christmas carolling to support for underground direct action.
Turning Point only produced two issues in 1987 due to a delay in an NAVS report claiming (probably erroneously) that AIDS was an unintended result of vivisection. The editors of Turning Point believed (absolutely erroneously) that the report was going to be “devastating,” and “the most important campaign that the anti-vivisection movement has ever undertaken.” By 1988 the campaign had fizzled out, but sadly pseudo-science conspiracy nonsense in the world of animal rights didn’t die with it.
Fortunately, plenty of other content made it into these pages, much of it worth reading. Direct action campaigns from around the world are covered, with mentions of Earth First!, the Central Animal Liberation League, and the Animal Liberation Front. Investigations, essays, and photographs of liberated donkeys take up the rest of the real estate in this brief volume.
We recently received this publication from another archivist but have very little information about its origins. Still, with a flame throwing, angry feminist on the cover how can you go wrong?
The interior pages are a pastiche of radical thoughts and images varying greatly in quality, but even in the paper’s more juvenile moments I sense the work of people sincerely concerned with creating a free society. How they thought rioting alone would get them there is another matter…
If you have any information about Flamethrower please contact us HERE.
TALON is a shadowy collective of archivists and media soldiers hellbent on advancing their ZINESTORM master plan! Soon our JACKAL minions will flood the streets, the old order will fall, and liberty will flourish for the entire biological community! TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALOOOOOOOON!!!
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The Talon Conspiracy is an online archive preserving the history of protest movements for animal rights and environmentalism. Its owners, contributors, and designers are not responsible for actions taken by third parties which may be harmful or unlawful to the individuals or entities named in archived publications. This web site is provided for the purpose of historical research and analysis, and is not intended to incite, encourage, or condone any criminal action on the part of its readers. Finally, The Talon Conspiracy does not necessarily agree with any of the views expressed in the publications in our archive, but aims to provide a thorough collection of the history of eco direct action. All opinions expressed in our archives are those of their original authors only.