We at NARN are deeply distrubed by the ongoing, targeted hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islander community members taking place across the country by white supremacists, and wish to express our solidarity with and support for all victims of white terrorism.
The animal rights movement contributes to white terrorism when we continue to uphold white supremacy through our actions and our animal rights campaigns. There are countless examples where communities of color–including Asian cultures–have been targeted by white-led anti-cruelty campaigns: targeted campaigns against Chinese people for cat and dog consumption, targeted campaigns against Japanese people for whaling and the annual slaughter of dolphins, targeted campaigns against indigenous cultures for whaling for consumption, etc, etc. Even worse, these campaigns have led to Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Indigenous people being stigmatized and subjected to racial slurs. All animals are important and worth fighting for. Any animal being slaughtered for human consumption deserves to be saved. But we should consider supporting the animal liberation campaigns being led by people in these countries instead of creating our own from afar.
While participating in and calling attention to these campaigns as white people, we are participating in white supremacy. We cannot ignore the reality that it is white people who are heavily responsible for the majority of the slaughter of wildlife world-wide. When white people were colonizing the western US and “sanitizing the landscape” of indigenous peoples, they were also eradicating the majority of the native wildlife through beaver trapping for the fur trade, forest clearing for cattle grazing, funding wolf extirpation through bounties, introducing coyote killing contest derbies, sport hunting black bears, cougars, birds, the list goes on!
Today in Washington, hunters and trappers are predominately white people. Cattle ranchers are predominately white people. Factory farming originated in the United States, and two of the world’s top animal agribusiness companies (Tyson Foods, and Cargill) are based in the United States and kill billions of cows, pigs and chickens every year. So, then, what is it that attracts the animal rights movement in the US to profile and put so much funding, energy, and time into campaigns targeting communities of color in other countries instead of lifting up the work already being done by people native to those countries? The answer is white supremacy.
We as compassionate animal activists must work to move away from participating in and upholding white supremacy so that we can do a better job of working towards animal liberation and justice for all.
We must also support our Asian-American Pacific Islander community members and owned businesses, and must use your resources to lend voices where others can’t.
Speak up and #stopasianhate. Report hate crimes and racist incidents at www.standagainsthatred.org and visit stopaapihate.org for more resources.