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  • Matteo De Vos

FFS 043 - Bodies on the Line

Updated: Jan 27

2019 was the year of climate strikes. Animal rights activists, emboldened by a new wave of mass civil disobedience, are determined to end industrial animal agriculture.

© Greenpeace / Eric De Mildt

Millions of ordinary people took to the streets in 2019. They put their bodies on the line, engaging in mass civil disobedience to demand climate action.


The food movement has a long history of such action. Animal rights activism in particular has played a central role.


In an era where food is produced in factory farms with an immeasurable scale of suffering and destruction, what role should animal rights activists play in the transition towards a just food system?


In this episode, we talk with Jeff Sebo (New York University), Nico Stubler (Direct Action Everywhere) and Kerri Waters (Animal Rebellion) about the history, strategies and actions of animal rights activists.


We discuss:


  • The origins of civil disobedience in the animal rights movement

  • The different types of action and activism

  • Strategies and tactics: who to target and why

  • The stakes today: animal liberation as domestic terrorism? 60 years in prison?

  • The dangers of rationalising inaction

  • The new kids on the block: Extinction Rebellion and Animal Rebellion

  • An inclusive approach: how to bring farmers on board


Jeff Sebo is the Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University. He

teaches Animal Studies and Environmental Studies and works primarily in moral, social, and political philosophy with an emphasis on bioethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics. He is the co-author of Animals, and the Environment: An ethical approach and author of the forthcoming book Why Animals Matter for Climate Change.


Nico Stubler is an animal rights activist and organiser with the New York chapter of Direct Action Everywhere. He is passionate about animal liberation, decolonialism, racial and gender equity, and the natural world and through his activism is committed to tear down institutionalized oppression and structural inequity and organizing to replace these systems with just and sustainable alternatives.


Kerri Waters is an animal rights activist and the editorial coordinator, soon to be political strategy coordinator of Animal Rebellion. She is also a freelance translator and English language teacher.


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