of Keith Mann's Live Guest Chat of 8 May 2010 at:
May 2010 at:
Eastern Standard Time
Mann is a British animal rights campaigner and writer, alleged by police
in 2005 to be at the top of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) pyramid. Keith
was raised in Rochdale, England, where, as a child, his goal was to play
soccer for England. His first job was on a dairy farm while on a youth training
scheme at school. He writes in From Dusk 'Til Dawn that his lasting memory
of the job is the cows crying out all
day searching for the calves that had been removed from them.
first became aware of animal rights in 1982 when he came across a group
of local hunt saboteurs distributing leaflets in the main street; Keith
was inspired by what he recalled as their selflessness, particularly towards
nonhuman animals that were unable to speak for themselves. His first removal
of an animal from
captivity was when he took a rabbit from a hutch that he used to walk past
every day, after having asked the owner for weeks to do something about
the rabbit's situation. He writes that this incident changed his view of
"theft" forever, and that thereafter; he viewed himself as a "proud
first came to widespread public attention in 1994, after being sentenced
to 14 years imprisonment for setting meat lorries on fire, one of the longest
sentences to be handed down to an animal rights activist. Keith said in
2005: "I would prefer that we could change things using legitimate
methods that are there for changing the world. but the government have taken
away their right to protest and driven people to the kind of tactics that
are more productive. All that is left now is to turn to extremism.”
the author of From Dusk 'til Dawn: An Insider's View of the Growth of the
Animal Liberation Movement (2007); A story which documents the struggles
of the ALF.
He writes that his involvement with the Animal Liberation Front has led
to the happiest and saddest times of his life, as well as to danger and
2008, SPEAK Political (since renamed The Animal Protection Party) was set
up to speak on behalf of animals, and announced that Keith would be
standing as an electoral candidate, as well as acting as a spokesperson
for the party. Keith stood in Oxford West and Abingdon against Liberal Democrat
MP Evan Harris in the recent general election where he received 0.3 percent
of the vote and Evan Harris lost his seat.
those early days when Keith’s dream was to play football for England,
upon reflection, Keith has stated “I can’t imagine that winning
ten World Cup competitions …would give me anything like the same satisfaction
I feel after convincing someone to stop encouraging slaughterhouses and
factory farms or by placing a neglected animal in a safe, loving home for
the rest of its life on Earth".
you please welcome Keith Mann to ARZone.
Lisa Liberation NOw:
to go Keith!
an honour to have you Keith!
we begin, Keith will be responding to most of his questions spontaneously,
therefore, we ask that you please refrain from interrupting as Keith is
typing and reserve all comments until the conclusion of the formal chat
section, at which time everyone will be invited to engage Keith. I’d
now like to introduce Jason to ask Tammy Mcleod’s first question to
with that - we'll begin
Carolyn Hey Keith! You mentioned in your speech for the World Day for Animals
in Laboratories of ’09 that the aim of pharmaceutical companies was
on the general public, by administering poisons in vaccinations. Could you
please elaborate.. on this?
drug companies are in the business of making money from their products and
of course the more they sell the more money they make. Many of these products
go on to do the customer harm and this often leads to more sales for the
drug companies... This is wonderful if you are into this kind of thing.
Since the fall of the patents on the bigger pushers pill products more attention
has gone onto inventing vaccines. It’s easy to see the broader take
up of this liquid poison and if you can be... bothered to digest the bizarre
ingredients before you let them inject it into you it becomes clear how
likely it is you will compromise your health as a consequence.
Vaccines often contain aluminium and mercury as well as formaldehyde and
a mind... boggling concoction of other undesirables such as animal tissues,
pig blood, horse blood, rabbit brain, dog kidney, monkey kidney, chick embryo,
chicken egg, duck egg calf serum... foetal bovine serum and monosodium glutamate,
a neurotoxin. And they have plans for much more of the same.
Next up is Richard Redmoretake it away Rich!
Keith! Given the view of ALF in the media and Animal Rights in general being
thought of as "radical" or "extreme", what have you
found is the best way to get your message across and change perceptions
within the media or with the public?
isn’t a simple answer to this but persistence and honesty help drive
home the message. Teaching people something they didn’t know is a
way in and having a good understanding of what you are talking about...
I have seen many good activists burn themselves out trying the same approach
year in and year out and not really breaking ground. When someone stops
listening to the horror that beagles are going through I find that informing
them of the equally... sad damage that the same perpetrators are doing to
children can create an opening but some people feel this is somehow letting
the animals down.It’s also important that we realise what the media
is. It is the voice of the enemy and it cannot be... softened up to embrace
our agenda. We must go directly to the people with the truth and not hope
for the media to do it for us.
up is Carolyn Bailey with the next question
very much Jay.
my question is: animal exploitation and all of the misery associated with
it are symptoms of the disease of speciesism as a cultural prejudice against
nonhuman animals. Does MDA reduce or eliminate speciesism? If so, how does
may depend on whether the DA is publicised, heard and explained to an audience.
DA is a useful route into the consciousness as it can create a platform.
we have a situation in the AR movement whereby people queue to add their
voice to the media driven condemnation while few are prepared to face an
assault of anger for trying to offer some explanation.
for that Keith next up will be Dwayne Young with the next question Take
it away Dwayne!
Keith..As someone who is relatively new to the Animal rights movement and
trying desperately to develop effective new strategies to wake up and inspire
those people who don't make the connection between their actions and their
consequences....the one's who are content in just blaming the government,
big business, their boss, the system.. 'Just don't blame me'...the droves
of animal consumers that believe that because they are living as 'law abiding'
citizens -- there is somehow moral
justification for their actions. The people oblivious to logic.. For all
of your encounters with these types of people over the years -- could you
kindly offer me a few words of advice as to the methods you personally have
found most effective fordealing with them- and or recommend some specific
literature that might help me in promoting our message[s]. appologize for
the technical issues:-) done.
help you with the best literature cos I wrote it, From Dusk til Dawn. Or
try showing them Behind The Mask, which is comparatively easy on the eyes
for the uninitiated. Earthlings is even better if they will suffer it. How
you get your own ... message across is surely for you to realise. Each of
us has our own skills and should develop them to the full.
again Keith. Carolyn Bailey would like to ask the next question.
if you may, please go ahead.
Keith. Behind the Mask is an excellent film.
you please explain how the Animal Protection Party was formed and what the
main aims and expectations have been, and if those expectations were achieved
in the recent elections?
APP is a grassroots AR political party with a simple policy statement. We
have no manifesto and no desire for power within this system. We sit candidates
with a view to unseat negative elements and to educate. We placed four candidates
this... week in our first election campaign and got our message out to hundreds
of thousands of people and we achieved something quite remarkable in our
key target area by unseating Evan Harris who is a front man for vivisection/Big
Pharma and so much else.. we must oppose. A few years ago this man had a
safe majority and no one expected he would be unseated except us! He says
he is very disappointed and has called our campaign dirty and and expressed
hopes that our political campaigns wont in future... be like this. What
he means is honest and of course they will! We have proven a serious point
in Oxford, a major establishment/vivisection hotspot and there is nothing
to stop us if we work together.
on this week's results, Keith! Jason Ward has another question for you,
Carolyn If violence against an animal experimenter is morally permissible,
then isn't violence against my next door neighbor or any confirmed non-vegan
also permissible? And if not, where do we draw a line on who is "fair
game" for our infliction of.... violence? And why is the line drawn
there instead of somewhere else?
not my decision to make for anyone else. It is for each individual and their
conscience to decide what is morally acceptable.
you Keith ok the next question is from Kate who is busy transcribing the
chatso I'll ask for her Keith, you have been involved in arson. Animal activists
have defended the use of arson saying e.g. that they were able to clear
buildings of all animals. This is clearly untrue. Since every building is
home to countless very small animals, e.g. insects, who could not be evacuated
to safety and who would therefore be murdered. Do you still support the
use of fire or have you had second thoughts?
untrue? Again it is for the individual to decide on the most appropriate
tactics to employ in their campaigns. It could be argued that by gathering
large crowds of people together for a peaceful protest a great many insects
will die as a... result (perhaps the odd mammal or some birds?), as however
those people arrive they will inevitably leave a trail of carnage in their
wake. I would not spend much time and energy trying to restrict either activity.
Keith The next question is from Lisa Blundell - since she's not here - I
will ask it for her What is your view of animal welfare reforms? Do animal
welfare reforms lead to abolition, or do they reinforce and further legitimize
the system of exploitation and make people more comfortable about exploiting
had more to add to the previous question, Keith, please continue
the way animals are killed is not the way forward. We create work for those
who come after us by polishing over the cruelty we have before us. It is
a change in attitudes that leads to abolition and people’s attitudes
don’t tend to... change if they are led to believe that the animals
are comfortable in their carpeted cages.
for that Keith Next question will be from Dwayne Young Go ahead when you
are ready Dwayne
still find yourself defending, and answering the question "Isn't the
extremist- direct action approach doing more harm than good to the animal
rights movement?" the same way you did - say 2 years ago? done.
I understand the question. My views are as they long have been and yes I
am asked it, or more often attacked over it but I think my position on this
is well documented and the evidence of the achievements of those among us
engaged in DA is... overwhelming!
next is another question from Carolyn Bailey Carolyn - go ahead Carolyn
is having technical issues - so I'll ask her question for her Keith, you
spent an enormous and unacceptable amount of time in prison when you were
younger. I can’t begin to imagine how this may have affected you.
If you were given your time again, is there anything you’d change
or do differently in hindsight?.. If so, why?
is now! Those episodes slowed me down a little and gave me time to consider
my approach. I would have tried harder to avoid getting caught and not sought
to fill all rolls (media work and ALF work) but I made sure nothing but
good came out... of it.
you again Keith The next question is from Thomas Janak - who isn't here
- so I'll ask it for him Hi Keith; could you please tell us where we can
find your wife’s wildlife documentaries?
not sure myself! Is there something I need to know? She’s sat across
the room looking confused too so if you do come across them please let me
nice Next question is mine Could you outline your vision of the future -
what do you want - how do you see us moving towards it?
do with a glass of wine and a good kip but animal liberation would do instead.
As well? I see a few more MP’s rocking in anticipation, I see mink
running from broken cages and I can see a tiny spider inside the screen
of my computer. The... latter alone causes me some angst. How the hell do
I get it out? Sorry for my
delay I change computer and switched that one off. From the darkness comes
light and I see it shining bright. I see many good people working toward
that light trampling.. on the shills and trolls and left brain halfwits
as they go and I love it all! Onwards and upwards!
your vision poor spider Next question will be from Dwayne
you were once quoted as saying - "I would prefer that we could change
things using legitimate methods that are there for changing the world. Keith
you were once quoted as saying - "I would prefer that we could change
things using legitimate methods that are there for changing the world. But
the government have taken away their right to protest and driven people
to the kind of tactics that are more productive. It is more useful to sabotage
property All that is left now is to turn to extremism." My question
is do you still feel every bit as much connected to that sentiment as you
were back when you made it initially?
I would still prefer it done via a legitimate route but the system is not
designed for that to happen. we have to adapt our tactics to fit the world
around us in order to change the world around us.
question will be Richard Redmore's
Jason As someone interested in getting more involved in Animal Rights but
living in a city were I've had little luck finding any active vegans/animal
rights activists, from your experience what's the best way to find and attract
people to the cause within an area? Or in your experience has it been a
case in convincing people as you went along rather then rooting people out.Apart
from from the internet ofc :-)
I was alone in the water I set up my stall on the street alone with my leaflets.
The more urban you are the better this works! I used an ironing board once
and let those who fit in with me come to me. From there on things could
only get... better. You will draw to you those you need to enable you to
question will be Carolyn Bailey's
Keith, I'd like to ask one more question and then we can move to open chat
I firmly believe that vegan education should be the main aim of any animal
advocate. As you’ve been an inspirational vegan educator for decades,
and obviously believe vegan education has an important role to play in animal
liberation, do you feel MDA harms the perception the general public have
towards advocates and the ability of vegan education to be effective?
media is at fault for harming perceptions. Taking action is not something
to be condemned, ridiculed or belittled. It is of more benefit to educate
about why someone has acted to effect change rather than to side with the
enemy and condemn it... When we take the positive over the negative from
every situation we will sooner reach our goals. Vegan campaigning is vital.
However this is not to say there are no failings in this approach. I have
experienced one group giving away food on
the... streets and I have heard it said this is the way forward. I have
also tasted this food and given the choice between encouraging that and
a less media friendly form of direct action I would almost inevitably choose
something the media can get.. hysterical about than potentially put ting
someone off for life by feeding them soggy cardboard passed off as vegan
Keith At this time I'd like to firstly, thank Keith for his patience and
insightful responses I'd like to open the floor up to anyone who would like
to directly speak to Keith, but I ask that you PM eithe Jay or myself so
we can keep it orderly
was orderly ever a good idea!
lets just go for it then. Bombard Keith with questions :-)
Austria and the paragraph 278a. Any views on the matter and on the fact
that your name is coming up in the indictments?
how it is!
Can I ask another?
recently divided several million pounds between some UK Universities - in
return they will promote vivisection in schools. Comments? Actions we can
take besides protesting? The Uni I am with does animal testing and the students
I talk to come accross almost as if they were programmed by their lecturers
this is the only right way. Best thing I can do? Any Advice? Thanks.
Yes. Follow your instincts, study the subject, act. Act.
Keith..My gf and I are both currently racing to finish your book! Brilliant
read btw. Have you any plans to pen another?
off that one took 15 years!
that a maybe?
i just been done?
Keith - if they were to make a movie of your life - who would you most like
to see play you on the silver screen?
what are your plan regarding recent success at the polls (btw congrats!)
as many people know about it as possible. we have achieved something significant
here. we are already looking to the next elections and at a lot of other
ideas too for getting across to people that we are a force and have serious
issues... keep an eye on our site http://www.fromdusktildawn.org.uk
and you'll see these develop
you aim to win a seat next time, Keith?
you for the link. I wish the usa would be as politically progressive, as
far as our parties to choose from.
someone said that you said that people who buy soy milk in shops are being
monitored as they could potentially be criminals (as animal activists).
Can this be? (Done.)
There is no future in politics. Politics is a game controlled by a few evil
fuckers who despise us all. We have to think laterally. The APP has no desire
to play the game. We aim to lose target politicians their seats.
Keith, NJ is planning a Trophy Hunt for Black Bear soon, and will be having
an open forum Tuesday..those for and against are being allowed to speak,
and the time limit is down to 2 minutes...my question to you is
Not me. No idea.
if this Q was way too silly)
would be the most vital point to make to have the most impact besides the
obvious cruelty aspect in such a short time span allowed? I ask because
I am sure many will be voicing the cruelty involved...and I'd like to have
another just as important approach if any? Done..Thank You
know enough to give useful comment. if they are religious ask what their
god would make of blasting away his creation. good luck.:-)
do you think of Single Issue Campaigns - do you think they are effective
or do you think that they merely reinforce other forms of exploitation/
weight of opposition to the cruelty will one day speak all it needs
Jason. Nothing should be categorised or dismissed.
have any more questions for Keith?
ago there was an article in The Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7116158.ece
Researchers from Leeds university determined the yield from organic fields
was 55 per cent lower than from conventional fields. Organic farms account
per cent of all British agricultural land. The Times concludes that, to
meet future demands of food production, we will need to keep farming our
areas in the most intensive way we can. I emailed the researcher named in
the article to point ot how negligible would be the increase in crops if
of British organic farms became nonorganic. Why not stop farming meat instead
and thus gain an incomparable amount of arable land. He replied: "Yes,
easy way to reduce demand is to encourage people to be vegetarian. However,
in the post-imperialist world, it is not easy to tell people (or countries)
to reduce their carbon footprint by not eating (or eating less) meat...
If only there was a magic wand..."Haven't written back to him yet.
Any suggestions?I was goung to ask if they (as
researchers) can also at least mention that the animal farms are the biggest
culprits in land use. going***
personally use the carbon footprint argument to persuade anyone to stop
eating meat but that's for another night Gotta go guys.
thanks so very much for giving us your time Keith, we sincerely appreciate
it! You've been a great sport and ARZone sincerely appreciates it!
Keith - I enjoyed the interview immensly! take care!
Keith! Keep the good work!
you so much, Keith!
mate, seeya! :-D
feel free to remain and discuss any issues which may have been raised during
to add a personal thank you to ARZone Admin, Jason Ward for his amazing
Chats have been, in the past, moderated by myself and Roger, and with Roger's
absence today and my technical issues, Jay jumped in and took over brilliantly.
He saved the chat, literally.