An interview with Jason Miller exploring radical dissent and animal liberation
By Frank Joseph Smecker
Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of the radical blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, is a tenacious forty-something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly an autodidact, but he has also studied liberal arts and philosophy at the University of Missouri Kansas City.
An accomplished and prolific essayist on social and political issues, his writings have appeared on hundreds of alternative media websites over the last few years. He is also a press officer for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office and the founder of Bite Club of KC, a grassroots animal rights activist group.
Frank Joseph Smecker: You founded Thomas Paine's Corner in March of 2005 as an act of commitment to ending the unnecessary suffering of oppressed and exploited sentient beings and to the total liberation of human animals, nonhuman animals, and the Earth. Can you explain, in further depth, the content managed on the site and its relationship to the direct action that is needed to halt the dominant culture's destructive behavior?
Jason Miller: Thomas Paine's Corner (TPC) exists as a platform from which our editors, writers, and I can educate, promote, persuade, convince, criticize, and help evoke profound social change. TPC also helps amplify the press releases of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office by simulposting many of them. These anonymous communique's from underground activists demonstrate TPC's support for the direct action that is needed to halt the dominant culture's destructive behavior, as the NAALPO press releases deliver the communique's in a format that both informs the world of the action and explains why the activists did what they did.
I do tend to focus heavily on animal liberation issues with the pieces I publish on TPC, but our content includes a wide array of human and Earth liberation essays, polemics, articles, rants, critiques, and poems as well. As you noted in your question, my editors and I promote Steve Best's concept of total liberation of human animals, nonhuman animals, and the Earth. You can get a much better idea of what this entails by visiting the Total Liberation section of TPC at http://thomaspainescorner.wordpress.com/total-liberation/.
FJS: Evidently, you're a proponent of animal liberation; can you explain why animals need liberation, what animal liberation entails and, its alliance to the total liberation of all sentient beings on the planet?
JM: This question goes to the heart of my unwavering dedication to the animal rights movement. Our species annihilates 50 billion nonhuman animals per annum10 billion in the US alone"
FJS: That's incredible"
JM: I know"
FJS: In a really horrific sense"
JM: I know. Nearly defenseless against humans, the most dangerous and destructive species ever to stalk the planet, nonhuman animals suffer egregious exploitation. Circuses, rodeos, vivisection labs, factory farms, zoos, puppy mills, public and private areas where hunting and fishing are permitted, and numerous other entities and places objectify living, sentient beings, using and abusing them as they see fit to derive profits and pleasure. It is morally abhorrent that our species subjugates, tortures, and wantonly massacres millions upon millions of individuals from other species day after dayand we could readily live without the benefits that we derive from these heinous acts or we could attain those benefits in other ways.
Animal liberation naturally aligns with other liberation movements because the exploitation and oppression of nonhuman animals occur to such a broad extent and because humans are able to perpetrate these reprehensible acts so readilydue to the defenselessness of the animals and because law, culture and society endorse, condone, and promote these abject cruelties. Slavery, exploitation, and oppression of humans trace their roots to the objectification and subjugation of nonhuman animals that began some 12,000 years ago when we started domesticating them. Many of the tools (i.e. shackles and branding) we used to enslave people are still in use today for enslaving farm animals. To learn far more about the undeniable parallels between human and nonhuman animal exploitation and enslavement, I highly recommend Marjorie Spiegel's book entitled The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery.
If we are to break the chains of economic tyranny, patriarchy, racism, classism, imperialism, and other forms of human oppression, we need to get to the root of dominionism and liberate nonhuman animalsallowing them to live free of human-inflicted enslavement, torture, and death.