ELK is intended to be a grassroots, community collective, following these 3 agreements:
- We follow the radical goal of total liberation from oppression for all species. This means we promote community empowerment and species-inclusive social justice.
- We practice our values through transformative justice, with special priority given to organizing around anti-speciesism work. This means we are working to build and support transformative solutions to violence against animals, or speciesist violence in ways that account for the complex social, political factors and institutions contributing to and profiting from this system of speciesism.
- We reject community responses that fail to acknowledge the parallels and intersections of speciesist violence. Why? Because it undermines the legitimacy of campaigns for animal liberation and because it undoes solidarity necessary for collective social transformation. This means we discourage responses to speciesist violence that rely upon the prison industrial complex, which actively neglects wider underlying cycles of oppression.
We were originally called ALO, when we operated on occupied territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral) peoples (the colonial name being Guelph, Ontario).
Now called ELK, we are based on unceded and occupied Coast Salish territories – specifically of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. The term Coast Salish is used to encompass a number of Indigenous peoples, including Esquimalt, Hul’qumi’num, Klahoose, Lekwungen (Songhees), MALAXEt, the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), OStlq’emeylem, Pentlatch, Scia’new (Beecher Bay), Sliammon, Shishalh, Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw, Stó:lo, Straits, Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), T’Sou-ke, W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum), and Xwemalhkwu (the colonial name being Victoria, British Columbia) .
- E is for Earthling
Earthlings are inhabitants of our planet Earth – and in turn, every life living on this planet is an earthling. Our goal is to empower all earthlings, including all humans and animals. We readily acknowledge that the liberation of every human is bound up in the well-being of every animal and the land. Animal liberation cannot be achieved without human liberation and Earth liberation.
- L is for Liberation
Liberation of bodies (those in the prisons, tanks, cages, factories and farms) and minds (learning and unlearning of oppressions; recognizing and challenging privileges; empowerment through knowledge, solidarity and genuine allyship). ELK is not a space for simply legalizing the “rights” of animals, but aspiring for total liberation.
- K is for Kollective
Kollective means groups working for a common goal. Our collectives will grow as ELK grows, learning from and supporting one another. These collectives will comprise a balance of developing theories, resources and support circles to identify and deconstruct the problems. ELK is against all hierarchies, and so will function according to a decentralized system of consensus decision-making.
Want to join ELK? We are an open collective for folks to join and contribute however you feel comfortable, wherever you are residing, whenever you have time, and whatever you can offer.
Contact us if you want to get involved!