Animosity #3 (1984, Stafforshire, England)
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.
Bite Back – Issues 1-2 (1999, Bristol, England)
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.
N.A.L.L. Newsletter – Summer 1985, Spring News 1985 (1985, Manchester, England)
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!
TURNING POINT – Issues 7-8 (1987, Oxford, UK)
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.
Earth First! Journal (1987, Issue #1-8. Tucson, AZ.)
Writing about Earth First! during its 1980s heyday is a delicate matter. I want to celebrate their best tendencies without ignoring their worst. 1987 is a particularly difficult year to do the former.
After the publication of an article called “Alien Nation” called for a closing of the US border to immigrants (strictly for environmental reasons we are told, not because EF! icon Ed Abbey advocated the use of the term “wetback” and used “cultural chauvinist” to describe his particular brand of racism) anarchists challenged the authors at a gathering in late 1986. So began a years worth of letters to the editor defending the piece. More than one missive in this volume praised AIDS as a positive development for the environment, and various racist, classist, and macho arguments bleed into many of the pages. Given these facts it feels callous to point to the positives that this volume also contains, so I will leave it to our readers to discover those for themselves.
Earth First! is a complex non-organization that has gone through many incarnations, changes in direction, and has never had a political consensus on any issue during the entirety of its history. If I can point out one mitigating factor for these eight issues it is that at least some Earth First!ers fought back in print and in person against the most backwards opinions of their peers, something still needed in the movement today.
Earth First! Wild Rockies Review – Vol.2 # 1- 2 ( 1989 – Missoula, MT)
While we are in the process of digitizing the complete Earth First! Journal, we also want to spend some time highlighting a few of the other publications that came out of Earth First! back in the 80s. Many local chapters had their own newsletters, some EF! projects and encampments put out zines, and here and there EF!ers produced something a little more professional like the Wild Rockies Review.
WRR went through varying degrees of militancy during its anonymously produced run, but the covers tended to focus on support for direct action and sabotage. The interior pages were much like the Journal- spirited, controversial, and with plenty of shit talking in the letters section.
The second volume was released during a time where wildlife campaigns were front and center in the Rockies region, and as such are of particular relevance as campaigns for wolves heat up once again.
TALON is seeking more issues of Wild Rockies Review, along with any other radical environmental publications missing from our archive. If you can help us obtain any of these rarities, please contact us HERE.
BUAV Liberator (1986. London, England)
“Although the BUAV as a limited company can only organize legal activity, we aim to complement and support direct action whenever possible.” BUAV editorial, April-May 1986
Frequent readers of the site will be aware that TALON’s volunteers are big fans of the BUAV Liberator. Not only do its old pulp pages bleed with animal lib history, but the politics represented by BUAV at that time were among the most progressive (and occasionally radical) of any major national non-profit working for non-humans.
During this era the British Union to Abolish Vivisection supported any direct action which did not include pre-meditated violence towards a human, and proudly advocated a broad array of strategies and tactics. From letter writing to sabotage, legislation to arson, the BUAV gave coverage to nearly all of the activism in England at the time- and that is only a small part of what makes these papers so great.
Year after year, each volume of the Liberator gives us clues as to the mood within the movement. In 1986 for example, we see a somber tone set over the movement as the Liberation League’s began to fold, the government passed legislation expanding vivisection, and dozens of activists began prison sentences over lab raids. This blow to activist morale in 1986 was perhaps most visible in the actions of Robert Blackman, a young man who entered the Colchester cattle market and self immolated to protest the sell of living beings. His mother later said that “He gave his life because he thought the cruelty would never stop.”
Interestingly, 1986 was also a year filled with inspiring actions for animals. Issue after issue details labs shut down, vivisectors ending their careers, a dramatic rise in veganism and vegetarianism among the general public, and non-humans having their first taste of freedom. It is only within the context of the meteoric rise of animal rights in the earlier part of the 1980s could this year be seen as any kind of a failure. Indeed, if the level of activism in these issues were to occur today morale would sky rocket and great breakthroughs could be made- and all of us should take that as a challenge!
N.A.L.L. Newsletters – Issues 7-8 (1983, Manchester, England)
In the history of our movement there is no group that inspires me more than the Northern Animal Liberation League. They had broad politics, bold tactics, a unique take on direct action, and an appreciation for solidarity with other revolutionary groups that was ahead of their time.
Their newsletter, unfortunately, wasn’t on par quality wise with the rest of their organization. Constrained by time and money, this photocopied mail out is unattractive and devoid of the analysis that made NALL so great. That isn’t to say that it isn’t an absolute joy for fans of animal liberation history though! While I would love to see more of NALL’s radical socialist and anti-authoritarian roots in these pages, I can not deny the simple pleasures of reading about daylight raids, hunt sabotage, and the wholesale ruining of vivisectors lives in England’s north. Even NALL’s hokey and ill-informed embrace of pseudo-science bunk like homeopathy has a certain charm and helps to flesh out the group’s character for those of us who missed the glory days.
TALON is always on the lookout for anything related to the Animal Liberation Leagues. If you have other newsletters, copies of TARGET, leaflets, or anything put out by the Leagues please contact us HERE.
TURNING POINT – Issues 5-6 (1986-1987, Oxford, UK)
After a brief run as “Black Beast,” Turning Point emerged as England’s foremost animal rights publication in 1986. Featuring first hand accounts of direct action, a decent analysis of systemic animal abuse, and a willingness to be controversial, Turning Point documented all of the major animal liberation events of its era.
Issues #5 and #6 give coverage to mainstream media distortions of AR activism, CALL’s brilliant raids of Park Farm, ALF strikes across England (Including the liberation of three otters!) and so much more. There is even a brief mention of the Farm Freedom Fighters, the first group to raid a factory farm in the United States. Interestingly, their media relations were handled by none other than Farm Sanctuary.
These two volumes are markedly better than the Black Beast issues that preceded them, and all of us at TALON are excited to finally preserve them in our archive.
SEAL (Straight Edge Animal Liberation) Issue # 3 (1996, Apple Valley, MN)
Well, let’s see here: collegiate lettering, gratuitous X’s, Earth Crisis worship, and “True Till Death.” This cover hit’s every checklist point for a straight edge vegan publication in the 90’s. It then continues with exactly what you’d expect on the inside: moral peacockery, anti-abortion bullshit, and an unwillingness to confront any of the failings of “The New Ethic’s” tendencies towards unethical behavior. Anti-gay bigots are given space to distribute literature, Hardline bands are reviewed, all sans criticism for their abhorrent political leanings.
That said, this isn’t a complete waste of ink. There is a long interview with Freeman Wicklund before his split with militancy that details three years of exciting activity in Minneapolis, activity which led to the publication of No Compromise and the escalation of direct action amongst the animal lib grassroots. Anyone seeking to understand the movement’s mid-90’s shift would do well to read Wicklund’s words. There are also interesting nostalgic tid-bits for those of us who were around during this time, like advertisements for Amy from NJ ADL’s well known zine Anxiety Closet.
Do you have other issues of SEAL? We would love to obtain and preserve them. Please contact us HERE if you can help.