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.
XUltraMilitanceX #2, 6 (2003 – 2005. Bursledon, Hants, England)
While I am not the biggest fan of “vegan straight edge” publications, XUltraMilitanceX manages to fit a few positive aspects into it’s otherwise formulaic, religiously worded format. Between the band interviews, sobriety cheerleading, and calls to “destroy Babylon,” there are some good articles on the history of the movement and a slightly deeper analysis of capitalism, the state, and human supremacy than I would expect from a zine named after an Earth Crisis song. Produced by a former anti-HLS prisoner, this was also one of the few XVX zines written by someone willing to actually act on the lyrics and liner notes that inspired them to begin with.
Issue #2 and #6 are very rare and took us a few years to find, but they complete our collection of this popular zine. The other issues can be found HERE.
X Ultra-Militance X #1, 3-5 (2003 – 2004. Bursledon, Hants, England)
(Editors note: Our original posting of this series contained information about the author that was incorrect. While we do our utmost to fact check everything that we post, at times our only source materials are mainstream media articles, and in this instance those articles were wrong. We sincerely regret the error.)
In the mid-2000’s a young, straight edge activist was arrested and convicted for acts of sabotage against companies involved with the research firm Huntingdon Life Sciences. Prior to his capture and conviction he also anonymously published a zine named after a song by the band Earth Crisis. It’s contents covered the usual ground expected from a periodical with X’s on either side of the title- living a drug free life, veganism, interviews with hardcore bands, and exhortations for the reader to take direct action. His writings also confronted areas of oppression not generally discussed by the firestorm crowd, including the war in Iraq, genetic manipulation of plants, and support for resistance movements ranging from the American Indian Movement to the Black Panther Party. While the militaristic rhetoric of these articles is tired and posturing, there is also at times a wonderful sense of urgency and a yearning for justice that one cannot help but sympathize with.
Conflict Gypsy has tracked down four out of six known issues of XUltra-MilitanceX. We are still seeking issue number two and six. If you can help add them to our collection, please contact us at conflictgypsy ((at)) gmail.com