Do we have five years?

Couple of weeks ago I found an old newspaper between books. It was special edition of Finnish monthly green-leftish publication Voima. After reading some unreal headlines I had to look the year of publishing and it was 2025… It was a fake newspaper called Future of Rural Areas (Maanseudun Tulvaisuus) and was actually published in 2009. Ten years ago.

This fake newspaper was done by Animalia (Finnish animal rights organization) in cooperation with film festival Lens Politica. From webpage of Voima, I found out that during this time fake publishing was a popular thing to do. Here are some examples and as you see, many of them are related to environmental crisis.

 

Articles from the future were mostly positive. Although the average temperature in Finland was already risen 3 degrees, the country is almost carbon neutral, state gives promises to plant huge areas of forests and take in lots of refugees because the situation in the world is not good at all. For example, in 2024. fires in Amazon have almost destroyed the forest and emitted 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide to atmosphere.

Because of changes in public attitudes, support politics and tax changes, use of the animal products have turned to decline form 2015. in Finland. But rural areas are still alive thanks to state support. Lot of fake meat has been produced and real meat is really expensive. Of course some people does not like this, so there is an article written by ex-farmer who does not understand why consumers have to pay for real expenses of the meat because farmers don’t get any support for animal farming. But shops prefer Fair Trade products, most of the plants are grown ecologically etc.

In front page we can read that fox farming is going to be banned by law in Finland because European Union has banned fur farming in 2020 within eight years of transition period. Fur farming region in Pohjanmaa is already starting to recover from environmental damages made by farms. In fashion shows both fur and leather are not used at all and most of the clothes are made of recycled materials. More than 90% of ex fur-farmers have found new jobs thanks do good employment policies.

In this future-vision also other animal rights topics are developing in positive way. Dolphins from Tampere amusement-park have sent to marine sanctuary (in real life they were sold to amusement-park in Greece in 2011); animal testing for tobacco industry is forbidden in EU; it is proven that more accurate outcomes are coming from human cells testing and computer technologies etc etc.

As year 2020 started today, we have five years to reach this situation. And I am saying “we” because all these topics are global. Finnish meat consumption turned to decline in 2019 not earlier as it was in this future newspaper, Amazon is in fire already, we didn’t have to wait to 2014 and Australia is not even mentioned, who could have known 10 years ago… I am afraid we don’t have five years to save the planet if we don’t change our lifestyle today – personally, nationally, globally.

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New Wave is Coming

Today I have spent my morning watching a new documentary “The Animal People”. It started streaming today in AppleTV and is really well made.

I remember this photo (at the bottom of the text, taken in my kitchen this morning) so well because these young people were arrested in spring in the same year Estonian AR movement (2006) was founded. From that time I distinguish between people who are willing to sacrifice – people with degree of selfnessless (Josh Harpers expressions in the documentary) and other people, not to waste my time. Maybe it’s difficult to understand or maybe it’s too black and white but in the world where animals are treated in such barbaric ways, it’s a way to keep going for animal activists. I need heroes.

To put shortly, the documentary is about people who carried on a campaign against Huntigton Life Siences – large company killing 500 animals a day for animal testing. It doesn’t make a big difference for animals but they tested to any company – producing toothpaste or some plastics etc, not only for cancer cure or something like that. There is lot to learn from that campaign, also from it’s mistakes. SHAC movement had such a serious concenquences because in a way it was too strong. Because of that a new legislative act The Animal Enterprice Terrorist Act was accepted what gave a legal possibilty to put activists in prison for many years. That happened to six activists in USA and influenced Animal Rights movement globally. They didn’t kill anyone, didn’t harm anyone, the just used Freedom of Speech and spoke in a really loud voice, aslo following a money of the industry.  So, this decision to imprison these activists was to protect corporative business and also give a warning for the AR movement.

Lauren Gazolla says in the end of the movie that she is not sure of their tactics because they didn’t win. And that’s true, HLS is still in business, mutilating harmless animals every day, but I still think it’s not measurable to know what have they done for the movement, I really want to believe that together with other social justice movements and climate strikes the new wave is coming.

To understand most of the things behind SHAC movement, I also suggest to read the book “Green is the New Red” by Will Potter. Pattrice Jones has reviewd this book in Goodreads like this: “If you care about civil liberties or prisons, you need to read this book. If you care about corporate influence in politics, you need to read this book. If you care about the Constitution, you need to read this book. And, oh yeah, if you’re an environmental or animal liberation activist–or any kind of activist at all–then, for your own protection, you definitely need to read this book.”

To understand most of the things behind SHAC UK (the movement started in UK in 90es) we have to wait until next year because some activists prisoned there are not to allowed to give interviews until then.

Warning: In the movie there are moments extremely difficult to watch and listen. I never got used to animal screams…. But to watch this gives the only explanation why people are animal rights activists – the animal people.

 

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