embracing our herstory of animal loving madness


*this is a written transcript of a video presentation available here with Closed Captioning*

hi my name is archie.
and this is Phoebe.
thanks for tuning in to my presentation.

so to briefly summarize what i am going to be talking about today – basically this is a presentation about mental health, mental illness, about identities of madness and how those topics interrelate with animal advocacy, animal defense, animal rights.

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burning phoenixes award


is an ongoing cash prize available for efforts creating radical change for humyns, animals and our Earth. it is offered in recognition of those re-imagining what liberation can look like.

by this, we mean those special folx envisioning a whole new image of total liberation – something that is sustainable, accessible and simply radical.
because the manifestation of liberation can and does look like many different things,
we are keeping the eligibility for this award open to different possible expressions of transformative justice. Continue reading

on accountability

*content warning for discussion of potentially triggering subject matter*

in this very breath, we benefit from and are complicit with oppressive power structures that abuse, exploit, devalue and destroy the lives of humyns, animals and the natural world.
these entrenched relationships of violence manifest themselves in blatant examples of direct harm (military, police, prisons) and indirect harm (laws, regulations, socio-economic policies, behavior, language and passive “micro-aggressions”). these oppressions are all intertwined with one another – some more than others – and so any one power cannot be effectively challenged and undone without accounting for the other powers that intersect with it.

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Remember when we were called Animal Liberation Ontario – ALO?

We used to sport the name Animal Liberation Ontario – ALO, along with a wicked logo. True story.

But now we’re called ELK!
So why the name change?

Well we have recently moved to the west coast and so we saw this as a great opportunity to re-brand ourselves according to the lessons we learned in our first year of existence. Specifically, we still operate as a space for promoting liberation for all species (obviously!), but we wished to drop the word ‘ontario’ from the name. We recognized that provincial and national borders are straight-up colonial violence, and that we are perpetuating their charade of legitimacy when we continue to use the names of settler governments who stole land to displace and murder the original human and nonhuman inhabitants.

Borders are nothing but lines on maps drawn by men with guns, calling themselves governments. Borders reinforce the notion that land (and animals) are property to be owned and divided among their possessors (for more on how the division of the world into states policed by armies hurts both human and non-human animals, see The Turtle Talk by pattrice jones). Borders reinforce the notion that some people can be considered as “illegal” for existing in that space (for more on some amazing work being done about this issue, check out No One Is Illegal).no borders

So because we at ELK believe that we also reinforce the violence of borders when we continue to use the lingo of the colonizing settlers, we opted to abandon the name ALO.

Fuck colonialism.
Fuck nationalism.
Fuck borders.


vegans are not going to solve world hunger.

this is an ongoing series short rants on the commonalities of oppressions. this one is all about some parallels between capitalism (political and economic systems of exploitation of workers, based around property and profit for the few at the expense of the many) and speciesism (political and economic systems of exploitation of non-humans, defining animals as property for the profit of the few at the expense of the many). one such parallel centers around the practice of excusing and/or shaming peoples as “consumers”. specifically, it is about a parallel between them, a commonality in how these two interact.

it’s called “consumer privilege”.

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