Title: Anti-speciesists
Subtitle: The Manual of the Popular and Revolutionary Veganism
Date: 2021
Notes: Translation of ANTAR & UVF. Antiespecistas: o manual do veganismo popular e revolucionário. Editora Terra Sem Amos, 2021. Translation: Aline Vasconcelos

Introduction: The Hidden History of Animal Liberation

Kauan Willian (Doctor in the Social History program at USP, professor in the municipal education system of São Paulo, syndicate militant (OSL) and anti-speciesist (Antar — Anti-speciesist Popular Power)

The fall of what was called “real socialism” in the USSR and the consequent increase in the narrative created by the economic liberalism, led historians and left wing intellectuals to seek for a narrative told from the perspective of the ones who were defeated, once History is always told by the winners – a legitimacy narrative of Nation States and of leaders (including among the left wing), and this time, of the supposed victory of capitalism. The “History from bellow” from the researcher Edward Thompson, refining the “history against the grain” of Walter Benjamin or “of the commons” of Piotr Kropotkin is the effort for building an analysis and narrative that put the oppressed in the center; workers, women, subordinates, LGBTQIA+, enslaved people, colonized people, black people, militants and activists of class struggle, social struggle, feminists and anti-colonials (BENJAMIN, 2020; KROPOTKIN, 1913; THOMPSON, 1987).

The official history always ignored one of the most oppressed groups of history ever since the homo sapiens’ sedentism: the non-human animals. Since this period, it was myriads of billions of animals being used as traction, food, protection, clothing, medicine and other aspects, in an intrinsic way of the formation of the societies and of the capitalism itself or the Nation States (SINGER, 2010). Without being able to speak or the right to self-defense and for a very long time without ethical or moral rights, perhaps this is the subordinate group that need a “History from bellow” the most.

The official history of veganism, school of thought that seeks the liberation, not only the regularization of the degrading conditions in which those animals are, put the “Vegan Society” of 1944, in England, as the incipient unifier of this idea and experience — passing through activists and intellectuals, centered in the Europe and The United States — and the progenitor of a moral and ethical narrative that focus on the conscience of the ones who’s listening. Notwithstanding, the hidden history of the struggle for the animal liberation has a much more complex tradition, that was overlapped with the history of other oppressed people.

In Europe, with the suffragist movement, the animal liberation was largely discussed and proposed for feminists. The French suffragist and later socialist, Charlotte Despard, borned in 1844, defended the vegetarianism as part of her pacifism before national wars and of imperialism, connecting animal domination with human’s. That is, the vegetarianism wasn’t only a type of diet and lifestyle, but it was already part of a discussion of analysis of structural change, although not systematized yet. She didn’t have the habit to use things with animal origin — even before the existence of the term vegan -, what makes, for the author Carol Adams, the feminism to be the front line of vegetarianism and veganism, once in her analysis – and this tradition already pointed to it – the patriarch culture was built in straight relation to the act of consuming animals daily, as the writings of Françoise d’Eaubonne, Vandana Shiva, Susan Mann and others also show (ADAMS, 2012).

An important author that put in discussion the animal issue, this time with more energy in the Workers Movement, was the French Éliseé Reclus, in the end of the 19th century. One of the main contributors of the libertarian socialism and, later, of the anarchism in the International Workingmen’s Association, Reclus extended his internationalism to the non-human animals, once, influenced by contemporary texts as Darwin’s ones, he knew all the animals were sentients and some had intimate relation with the evolutionary lineage of the human beings. Thus, it showed the relation between the rise of capitalism and the objectification of the animals and the degradation of the environment, highlighting the importance of rescuing and preserve traditions that were closer to the animals and other living beings as the ones that were witnessed while visiting the South America, quoting him “The Indian woman of the Brazil’s surrounds herself quite wittingly with a regular menagerie, and her cabin will have in the surrounding clearing tapirs, deer, opossums” (RECLUS, 2010, p. 1–2). Reclus also showed that the national wars, which most of the socialists were opposed, had a connection with the animals’ domination, once “It is not a digression to mention the horrors of war in connection with the massacre of cattle and carnivorous banquets. The diet of individuals corresponds closely to their manners. Blood demands blood (RECLUS, 2010, p.8).” Ever since, anarchists as the French Louise Michel, and the Brazilians Maria Lacerda de Moura and José Oiticica declared themselves vegetarians, leaving a trace for this discussion, as in the punk movement and the libertarians of the Animal Liberation Front that afterwards leverage a radical veganism that promotes direct action after the 1970 decade.

During the restructuring of the left, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialists discussed the animal liberation issue, influenced by the creation of ecosocialism and the Marxist tradition that considered nature the fundamental part of the class struggle. “The view of nature attained under the domination of private property and money”, wrote Marx in 1843 in On The Jewish Question, “is a real contempt for, and practical debasement of, nature;” (MARX, 1843, p.23), in a correct analysis of what was happening and what would happen. Fact that makes important Marxists as Angela Davis to consider the veganism as part of the relation of capitalist domination, that transform all beings and objects in goods or in labor, being the animals both (DOUGLAS in: Portal Veganismo, 2014).

Outside the North Atlantic, the anti-colonial’s and anti-racist’s perspectives and analysis were also essential for the creation of a struggle for animal rights without running over the racialized people or that could be co-opted for the racists and supremacists. The anti-racist, black and indigenous movements, and authors like Llaila Afrika, Aph Ko, Syl Ko, Vandana Shiva and others, placed the discussion about colonization of food and palate in which, with colonialism and with imperialism, prevented – socially and culturally – a balanced diet for the colonized people, imposing an Eurocentric way of feeding, based on animals’ remains, industrialized, excrements, dairy products, sugar, flour and salt. They show that, despite the African continent and a major part of Asia has the habit of consuming animals, those people’s diet was much more based on vegetables, in a harmonic relation with their ecosystems. Therefore, is much easier for veganism being sought if the so called “ancestral food” and the natural knowledge of those peoples is valued and recover (KO, 2017; AFRIKA, 2004).

In Brazil, during the military dictatorship period, the counterculture movements, like the Hippie and the Punk, brought environmental debates influenced by the context of the New Left present in May 1968 in France and in many other countries. Socialists’ militants also brought with them those discussions to reformulate new movements and organizations. Besides, the migrations, the return of the free speech and more flexibility of cult of non-Christian religions, with the end of the dictatorial period, led Hindu, Buddhists and others to propagate vegetarian food in many spaces. This made the veganism, even in a minority share, to be linked with progressive movements or to non-official and minor religions, being attached to class’s cultures and sociopolitical movements (MOTA; SANTOS, 2020).

However, this is not the History told, first because of the increasement of vegans and the dispute of this ideology by the market that led to the formation of many “non-political vegans” or even people that does not see the connection between the act of fighting for the animal liberation with fighting for the human liberation, as is the case of many far-right individuals inside animalist movements. And second, NGOs financed by big companies that intend to capitalize the vegan struggle and transform it in a niche market, smartly enough, built their narrative, the winners narrative.

This small book, thus, tries to urge another narrative and, from our hidden History, where are the oppressed (human and nonhuman animals) and, alongside the experience, with rights and wrongs, of vegan groups, anti-speciesists and animalists, to propose a manual of the real – or at least our – veganism: anti-colonial, revolutionary, popular and anti-speciesist. We will focus on the History and the importance of the founding strategies of this veganism: the boycott, the direct action and the awareness, showing how they were used and how we can transform it from new debates and fresh dialogues. After it we will explain concepts that we should not lose sight of for a revolutionary veganism, as it is built with the popular power: the anti-domination perspective, the anti-capitalist and the class issue, the overlapping with anti-fascism and anti-racism, the intersection with the gender perspective and feminism and the necessity of insertion strategies and the social forces and popular power.

Every chapter is written by an anti-speciesist militant of the groups ANTAR – Anti-speciesist Popular Power, of the Vegan Feminist Unity (UVF) and others, presenting a proposition that is not shuttered, that propose a fraternal dialogue with the popular groups and other activists and vegan militants, anti-speciesists and animalists, where the horizon is the liberation and the equality between humans and all the species.


ADAMS, Carol. A política sexual da carne: a relação entre carnivorismo e a dominância masculina. Tradução de Cristina Cupertino. São Paulo: Alaúde, 2012.

AFRIKA, Llaila. African Holistic Health, The neglected revolution. Editora A & B Book Distributors Inc, 2004.

BENJAMIN, Walter. Sobre o conceito de História. São Paulo: Alameda Editorial, 2020.

DOUGLAS, Camaleão. Angela Davis, ex-Pantera Negra, fala sobre Direitos Animais e Sociedade.” In: PortalVeganismo, 2014. Available at: https://www.portalveganismo.com.br/noticias/angela-davis-ex-pantera-negra-fala-sobre-direitos-animais-e-sociedade/. Access: 31 de janeiro de 2020.

KO, Aph; KO, Syl. Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. New York: Lantern Books, 2017.

KROPOTKIN, Pior. A Grande Revolução (1789–1793). São Paulo: Guimarães Editoriais, 1913.

MARX, Karl. A Questão Judaica. São Paulo: Moraes, 2018.

MOTA, Ana; SANTOS, Kauan Willian dos. Libertação Animal: Libertação Humana: veganismo, política e conexões no Brasil. Juiz de Fora: Editora Garcia, 2020.

RECLUS, Eliseé. A Anarquia e os animais. São Paulo. Piracicaba: Ateneu Diego Giménez, 2010.

SINGER, Peter. Libertação Animal. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2010.

THOMPSON, Edward. A formação da classe operária inglesa. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra.


Renato Libardi Bittencourt (Masters in philosophy for the UFPE, professor and researcher of the Federal Institute of Alagoas – IFAL, anarchist and anti-speciesist militant and the coordinator of Antar Pernambuco).

In the secret history of the animal liberation movement, the boycott strategy was part and still is in present days one of the pillars of veganism. Differently from the liberals and welfarists NGOs that defend the dietetic “strategy” of consumption and concessions for big holdings that explore nonhuman animals and salaried employees, the basic principle of the real veganism is “the ends are the means”. Behind it is the idea of “performative commitment”, that is, to reach our most fundamental goals we should act coherently ever since the beginning of every strategical step. The same way the term “vegan” was created in 1944 by the “Vegan Society” to get untied from the complete distortion of the vegetarianism (MOTA; SANTOS, 2020), is worrisome to notice that this old problem still haunt us until nowadays.

The boycott is something we could call “basic” for any vegan slightly conscious of the most important principles for the veganism and the anti-speciesist struggle. To boycott means, between many possibilities, to deny, to refuse to collaborate with agents and forces that has nothing positive to offer to our ends. To strive for more plant-based options can’t, in any circumstance, be considered an anti-speciesist struggle. The liberal contamination within the vegan movement constitutes as a major form of distortion of the movement itself that, in its history, count with the tradition of the Animal Liberation Front. In this sense, it is profoundly contradictory to finance the sadistic power of the big companies that see the veganism only as a lucrative niche market while they perpetuate the exploitation of the animals and the working class.

As a matter of fact, not only social militants but also the society in general understand and sympathizes with the idea of a boycott. An exemplary case here in Brazil is the supermarket chain Carrefour that, in not so rare occasions, it’s been leading unfortunate episodes of racism in some of its unities, which causes a general feeling of injustice that seasonally provoke boycott movements against the company. In the perspective of dilemmas involving the strategies (including the boycott), well organized social movements and even smaller associations are used to face what the sociologist James Jasper calls of “The dirty hands dilemma”:

“In a perfect world, means and ends would always fit each other, so that we would always be able to use means that feel morally comfortable to us. But sometimes there are goals that we just can’t achieve with the means we prefer. We may need to use, for instance, lies or the espionage. For some groups, to use money is always suspicious, and they would prefer to operate on a purely volunteer basis (JASPER, 2016, p. 45).”

The dilemma mentioned by Jasper reminds us that the anti-speciesist militancy or the popular veganism are not, not even close to be, the only pieces in this chess game. As well as we do our moves and try to apply each available resources we have, the other side, the big companies and its allies (that can be lobbyists or even politicians and judges) also have their weapons and strategies. The most cunning way ranchers and big holding companies found to perpetuate its power against the vegan struggle were co-opting this broad and fragmented movement for the animal rights. Not everyone is politicized, not everyone understands the basis of veganism, many ignore fundamental strategic matters, but the problem doesn’t stop there: some are willing to receive money from the enemies in the name of a supposed “pragmatism”.

In August of 2017, the web portal Vista-se published a more detailed information about the financing of ambiguous campaigns of liberal NGOs (CHAVES, 2017). Published originally in the website Elcoyote.org and later adapted as a chapter of the book Animal Liberation, Human Liberation: Veganism, Politics and Connections in Brazil, the article entitled “The farce of ‘Green Revolution’ of market: the challenge of political veganism before NGOs and liberal and neoliberal activists in the animalist movement in Brazil”, explores this controversy and points to some contradictions of those groups that reject the idea of boycott (from the example of the ambiguous campaigns about the eggs of confined hens and, more specifically, the strategy adopted by the Brazilian Vegan Society in laboring vegan certified logos in products of Unilever, a company that, according to the authors of the above mentioned article, has their own laboratories for animal testing):

“We don’t have information about NGOs that receive values and donations from Unilever, but we should ask ourselves what the interest of a multinational is in bringing “vegan” certified logos in some of their products – less than 0,1% – while they torture, kill and control millions of animals. The strategy of occupying this company is very naive, once only 14% of the Brazilian population is vegetarian, including the lacto-ovo vegetarians, that aren’t interested, at least for now, with the animal liberation. It would take too long to change it, while we could just support companies and truly vegan products, and to dispute small business owners, that are much more influenced by the acts of consumption than the big multinationals (MOTA; SANTOS, 2020, p.67)”.

As it was mentioned before, the boycott is one of the basic principles without which the veganism goes astray. Liberalism (and neoliberalism) and veganism are essentially opposed and are based in deeply distinct and antagonistic points of view regarding ecology. Whilst the Capitalism has the exploitation ad infinitum of the nature, the animals and the people as a premise (it’s worth to remind all of us are animals and part of the nature, all beasts of burden), the popular veganism, intersectional and anti-speciesist, in the other hand, is based in environmental balance, the non-exploitation and in the biocentrism (the antithesis of anthropocentrism). The COVID-19 pandemic is a symptomatic example of the modus operandi of Capitalism e its deep disrespect towards the ecological matters that are so important to veganism (QUAMMEN, 2020, p.14).

Although the dilemmas and paradoxes that surrounds the fight for the animal and human liberation, it is important that the “ethics” and the “political strategy” be in sync. Not selling our principles in the name of a fake, mistaken, desperate and empty pragmatism is more than mandatory. Instead of attracting the sympathy of those big companies, we should seek for the inclusion of the anti-speciesism agenda in the social movements and to reinforce the leadership of those who step up against the Capitalism and its logic of domination. Either we are fighting just to increase the privileges of consuming of the bourgeoisie and their vassals, or we are really committed to the fight against a structure. There’s no middle ground in this matter, and that’s why the boycott is a game changer principle inside the animalist movement.


CHAVES, Fábio. “ONGs receberam R$ 11 milhões para promover o fim das gaiolas na produção de ovos de galinha”. Portal Vista-se. Available in: <https:www.vista-se.com.br – ongs-receberam-r-11-milhoes-para-promover-o-fim-das-gaiolas-na-producao-de-ovos-de-galinha>Access 03 de fevereiro de 2021.

JASPER, James M. Protesto: uma introdução aos movimentos sociais. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2016.

MOTA, Ana Gabriela; SANTOS, Kauan Willian dos (Orgs.). Libertação animal, libertação humana: veganismo, política e conexões no Brasil. Juiz de Fora, MG: Editora Garcia, 2020.

QUAMMEN, David. Contágio: infecções de origem animal e a evolução das pandemias. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2020.

Direct Action

Ana Larissa S. Lima (Technical in Visual Communication (ETEC Carlos de Campos — SP), independent researcher and anti-speciesist militant (Antar — Anti-speciesist Popular Power)

In the interior of the First International, in the second half of the 19th century, mutualists, collectivists (anarchists) and some communists already defended the autonomy of the decisions made on the basis, without bosses, leaders or organizations other than the class ones, as means to the proletariat’ self-emancipation and social revolution. In this context, it wasn’t encouraged the delegation of the workers’ demands to the political representatives, creating the notion of direct action (COLOMBO, 2010). The Italian theorist and anarchist militant Errico Malatesta, stated about it:

“For us it is not all that important that the workers should want more or less; what is important is that they should try to get what they want, by their own efforts, by their direct action against the capitalists and the government (MALATESTA, 1989, p.104).”

In a broad explanation, the direct action can be defined as the refusal of taking decisions and actions through representatives whether they are leaderships or associate to political parties. Therefore, it opposes to the formal rules of a liberal democracy, disapproving the practice only through the bourgeois legality, once those are the paths imposed by the dominant politics and, if considered separately, it is impossible for the radical transformation of the society. That’s why it is considered necessary to build the actions with the autonomy of individuals and groups.

As a political strategy of struggle, direct action can be manifested in many ways: boycotts of production and consume; partial or general strikes; sabotage in production and distribution; and, the occupation of proprieties, as it is done by the militants of the Landless Workers Movement (GUIMARÃES, 2009).

Considering the use of the direct action to strengthen the anti-speciesist struggle, some practices can be applied:

  1. Boycott: the “vegan boycott” is a form of economically discouraging the selling of animal products, fighting against the practice of animal testing and pressuring the companies to replace this kind of testing with alternative methods. Usually exercised in a daily basis, it seeks to refrain from buying and using products, advertising or interact in a positive way with companies of any kind of field that has connections with animal exploitation.

  2. Protests and strikes: manifestations in public spaces or in private proprieties can be a way to highlight the exploitation and to express solidarity to the exploited group, besides generating the “propaganda by the deed” (BAKUNIN, 1870), can be used as a strategy to reach a larger number of people interested in the cause.

  3. Sabotage: can be done by different ways in accordance with the situation, but it seeks to prevent the full functioning of any mechanisms, institutional or nor, that collaborates with the domination. The aim is to liberate non-human animals from a vulnerable condition, to sabotage and to cause damage to the private proprieties that are known as centers or instruments of this violation.

  4. Rescue: popularly widespread by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), this is a practice that can be performed in groups or individually. It consists in the removal of animals of risk situations – in public spaces or private ones –, and sheltering them in places that can provide health, welfare, safety and necessary protection. In the sphere of anti-speciesist action, it must be included not only the animals considered pets (like dogs and cats), but also other species that passes through the process of domestication, like cows, pigs, birds and wild animals, as needed.

It is important to highlight that actions which aims to generate damage, should be targeting groups, industries, companies or events that seeks to profit from it and that has connections with human, animal and environmental exploitation. Be them: laboratories that test in animals, companies that has products that are tested in animals, brands that sponsor events of speciesist “entertainment” – like rodeos, vaquejadas, racing with animals, and others. Besides, there are groups that use the animal torture as a way of amusement, as it happens with the hunting of wild animals, dogfighting and cockfighting.

One of the most notorious groups that practice anti-speciesist direct action since the 1970 decade is the ALF — Animal Liberation Front. Originally formed by a small group of activists from the United Kingdom, the ALF grew and became a global network of active individuals committed with the protection of the rights and with the end of the animal abuse and exploitation. It has spread across different countries, including Brazil, the ALF is an entity of free association formed by cells – anonymous, autonomous and horizontal – of vegetarian or, preferable, vegan persons.

Their organizational configuration reflects the clandestine nature of their tactics: there’s no hierarchy or leaders, and they follow what they call “leaderless resistance”. However, their actions must be followed in accordance with some basic guidelines. These are:

  1. To liberate animals from spaces of abuse; that is, laboratories, slaughter farms, leader farms, etc. and place them in good homes where they can live their lives free from suffering.

  2. To cause economic harm to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.

  3. To reveal the horrors and brutalities against animals behind closed doors, by doing non-violent direct actions and liberations.

  4. To take all the necessary precautions to not injure any animal, human or non-human.

  5. To analyze the ramifications of the whole proposed action, and never to apply generalizations when all the specific information is available (NOCELLA, 2004, p. 45).

One of the most well-known actions involving ALF’s participation, occurred in October of 2013 in São Roque city, in São Paulo. The case of the break at the Royal Institute was widely published by the mainstream media, one of the vehicles stated that:

“Dozens of activists knocked down a gate and trespassed, around 02:00 a.m. this Friday. They took on their own cars 178 beagle dogs, seven rabbits and more than a hundred mice that were on the facilities, motivated by suspicions that these animals suffered abuses on the local, and a policy report was registered. A second report, for qualified theft, was done against the activists, based on what was reported by the police officials that were monitoring the manifestation and the invasion on the institute (G1, 2013).”

The activists that trespassed the institute’s facilities claimed that they did complaints of abuse against animals, but the investigators representing agencies responsible for testing in animals claimed that “no irregularities were found”, once “they were from cosmetics companies, [...] the dissection of alive animals for studies – is authorized” (G1, 2013).

After a signed agreement between the Civil Police and the Commission for the Animals Protection of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil (OAB), the dogs found and returned were taken to three NGOs in the city of Sorocaba (SP) and after appropriate treatment they were sent to new homes. The Royal Institute ended their activities 19 days after what happened; the information was released in a statement sent by the laboratory’s press office: “In extraordinary general assembly held among its associates, the Royal Institute, through its Board of Directors, makes public the decision to definitely interrupt the research activities on animals, conducted at its laboratory in São Roque.” Says the note (G1, 2013).

There are those who states that said actions are illegitimate because it’s not supported by legality, claiming to be “violent and terrorist acts”. In this context, it’s worth to remind that ethics of sabotage constitutes as practical ethics, whose purpose is the liberation of moral patients in vulnerable conditions, through the fight against the exploitation agents.

Different kinds of movements throughout History have used this ethics to justify its actions, as the anti-Nazi movements that used to liberate prisoners of war and to destroy equipment used to tortures and deaths, and the slave’s movement on quilombos in Brazil that used to attack farms to liberate other slaves which fomented, this way, the end of slavery (ASSUMPÇÃO; SCHRAMM, 2008, p.205).

The environmental degradation and the exploitation of human and non-human animals has the same roots, and they continue being maintained by the hegemonic system. The tactics here presented can – and should – be used in other contexts and social-political struggles with the aim to destroy the domination systems and to reach popular power.

The philosopher and anarchist John Zerzan, when reflecting on the civilizing process declared that “in domesticating animals and plants man necessarily domesticated himself” (Zerzan, 1943). The same way as Mikhail Bakunin pointed out that we will only be “truly free only when all human [and non-human] beings [...], are equally free.” (BAKUNIN, 2002, p.47). Following this assumption, I believe is legitimate to state that, through demonstrate solidarity and to liberate animals from what dominates them, we are liberating ourselves as well.


“Após denúncia de maus-tratos, grupo invade laboratório e leva cães beagle”. São Paulo, 2013. In: G1.GLOBO.COM, 2013. Available at: <http://g1.globo.com/sao-paulo/sorocaba-jundiai/noticia/2013/10/ativistas-invadem-e-levam-caes-de-laboratorio-suspeito-de-maus-tratos.html>. Access: 18 de fevereiro de 2021.

ASSUMPÇÃO, Erick; SCHRAMM, Fermin. “A ética da sabotagem da animal liberation front”. In: Revista Brasileira de Bioética, Rio de Janeiro, 2008.

BAKUNIN, Mikhail. “O Império Cnuto-Germânico”. In: GUÉRIN, Daniel (Org.) Textos Anarquistas. Porto Alegre: LP&M, 2002.

BESTAS DE CARGA — Panfleto Vegano-socialista. Traduzido e editado por Victória Monteiro e Vinicius Siqueira. São Paulo: Colunas Tortas, 2015, p. 14.

COLOMBO, Eduardo. Refráctions, núm. 25, 2010.

GUIMARÃES, Adonile. Anarquismo e ação direta como estratégia ético-política (persuasão e violência na modernidade). Dissertação (Mestre em História Social). Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, 2009.

MALATESTA, Errico. Escritos Revolucionários. São Paulo: Imaginário, 1989.

NOCELLA, Anthony. Anarchist and Animal Liberation: Essays on Complementary Elements of Total Liberation, 2004.

“Propaganda pelo ato, ação ou feito”, 2013. In: ANARQUISTA.NET, 2019. Available at: <https://www.anarquista.net/propaganda-pelo-ato-acao-ou-feito/>. Access: 10 de fevereiro de 2021.


Renato Libardi Bittencourt (Master’s in philosophy for the UFPE, professor and researcher of the Federal Institute of Alagoas – IFAL, anarchist and anti-speciesist militant and coordinator of Antar Pernambuco).

Strategical dilemmas are a constant not only in the social movements, but also in small collectives and grouping trends which are always striving to maximize the reach of the social awareness (JASPER, 2016). Practically impossible not to think on the “propaganda by the deed” (propagande par le fait) in Paris of 1968 whose ideas would influence the development of the working class struggles and for the animal liberation (as is possible to notice for the tactics and direct action of the Animal Liberation Front). The actions always speak louder, even when generate multiple interpretations. Regarding it, movements and groups that work on the front line of the awareness are putting a lot of effort in being the most intelligible and clear in their ways of communicating with the population and even between themselves, as illustrate a description of the situation in the French capital in 68:

“The hierarchical pyramid had melted as an ice cream under the spring sun. The people talked; they understood each other with half words. There wasn’t intellectuals nor workers anymore, but revolutionaries talking all over, generalizing a communication which only the workerists intellectuals and other candidates for leadership felt excluded. (...) The streets belonged to those who plucked out the stones (CORRÊA; MHEREB, 2018, p.89)”.

The example of the action has the educational effect of generate reflection and, in a long term, awareness. “The historical consciousness is the sine qua non condition of the social revolution”, said Erick Corrêa, however, to do so, is necessary to elect the best and the most legitimate strategies. The popular, political, abolitionist and intersectional veganism has been denouncing certain limitations and common traps in the struggle for the animal and human liberation and, in general, has been diagnosing some things: a) the co-opting of the vegan movement for the liberal vision of the market, depoliticizing the anti-speciesism and focusing in a dietetics narrative; b) the insufficiency of the performative activism, deprecating the insertion in the social movements in behalf of the focus on theatrical performances inspired in the European style of animalist activism; and c) the lack of political and strategical conscience of many militants of the cause. In this context, we believe that:

“(...) the first step to the veganism don’t get lost is to stick to their basis and foundations again. We should dispute and insert ecological, animalist and vegan demands on the social movements sensitive to those causes and that do intersections, as in the feminist movement, that has always shown disposition for it (MOTA; SANTOS, 2020, p.68).”

Given this reasoning, it became urgent a reflection about the awareness strategies, be them coming from the direct actions, the way militants and activists are organizing themselves, or even in the language and content created for the social media whose space in the contemporaneity can’t be underestimated or neglected (even in its evident limitations). “The power, the oppression and the domination has been transformed under new technological conditions” (TIBURI, 2019, p.3), says the philosopher Marcia Tiburi. It wouldn’t be smart at all to ignore that the social media, the regular media and, in general, the culture industry has a scandalously more influential role than the formal education, for instance.

Maybe the twelve labors of Hercules seem easier and doable than the objectives of the vegan and revolutionary militancy. However, we’re talking about to weaken and to destroy a structure, not about the Hydra of Lerna or the Nemean Lion. Even with its own merits, the sporadic activism isn’t very efficient when we’re talking about knocking down systems as well consolidate and interrelated as the capitalism and the speciesism. If our ambition is to reach and transform the conscience of the masses (the only ones capable of substantially transform history), we need to strive to occupy, to create or subvert the structural spaces as the education, the culture (broadly) and even the institutional politics, because no space should be neglected — all of them can be subverted.

A historical emblematic example of the awareness strategy through the occupation of the political, educational, cultural and social structures is the feminist movement. As a movement, the veganism should get inspired by the historical struggle of the women. In 1792, the vegetarian philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, considered one of the pioneers of the global feminist movement, wrote the following regarding the necessity to overthrow the patriarchy from the revolutionary education of women:

“Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience; but, as blind obedience is ever sought for by power, tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former only want slaves, and the latter a play-thing (WOLLSTONECRAFT, 2015, p.51).”

It will be very difficult, not to say impossible, to promote a wide and deep social awareness regarding animal rights and its liberation without occupying schools and the public education. In this tough process of awareness, we could evoke the brilliant analysis done by Judith Butler in her work “The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection”. Making use of Foucault’s concepts, the philosopher highlights that the role of modern politics wouldn’t be to liberate the subject anymore, but to interrogate the regulatory mechanisms by which the “subjects” are produced and kept. This means that, without questioning, redefining or subverting the structures that produce our subjectivity and our consciousness, we will be doomed, while society, to repeat the same patterns and violent, arbitrary and unfair habits.

Without insertion on the social movements and the public education, the veganism will be doomed, for capitalism’ sake, to raise awareness only in a small portion of the middle class and the elites with its emotional and moralists appeals. Instead of the ecological math and the deep discussions on bioethics, of the food sovereignty and the political struggle, we’ll be doomed to be seen as a “spiritualist” or identity movement. The ends should be the means and it is necessary to not forget this maxim. Or we are fighting to overthrow the structures, or we are only purging our own demons, socializing in a childish club and amplifying the privileges of the elites and its vassals with more plant-based options in the grocery stores (physical and moral). At the same time, if we’re striving to raise awareness in the masses about speciesism, we need to remind ourselves daily about our own awareness, to search information, read, study and reflect upon the directions and strategies of our own militancy.


BUTLER, Judith. A vida psíquica do poder: teorias da sujeição. Belo Horizonte: Autêntica Editora, 2017.

CORRÊA, Erick, Org.; MHEREB, Maria Teresa, Org. 68: como incendiar um país. São Paulo: Veneta, 2018.

JASPER, James M. Protesto: uma introdução aos movimentos sociais. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2016.

MOTA, Ana Gabriela; SANTOS, Kauan Willian dos (Orgs.). Libertação animal, libertação humana: veganismo, política e conexões no Brasil. Juiz de Fora, MG: Editora Garcia, 2020.

TIBURI, Marcia. Delírio do poder: psicopoder e loucura coletiva na era da desinformação. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2019.

WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary. Reivindicação dos direitos das mulheres. São Paulo: EDIPRO, 2015.

Workers and Class Struggle

Ana Mota (Militant of the party Popular Unity for Socialism (Unidade Popular pelo Socialismo — UP), of the Movement of Struggle in Neighborhoods, Villages and Favelas (MLB) and Antar – Anti-speciesist Popular Power)

Unlike a strict vegetarian diet, the veganism isn’t just about food, much less it gets limited to animals. The boycott on the products tested in animals, of the companies that finance rodeos, that maintain labor analogous to slavery and has pending labor matters are also part of the debate, because in its basic principles, the veganism with an abolitionist origin, argues that all the sentient beings have the right to equality and freedom and that there is no justification for this basic right to be disrespected on the grounds of certain species, the same way as class, ethnicity and gender are no reasons for rights to be denied. The veganism hereby defended criticizes capitalism and advocates for the working class organization in order to take control of the means of production; it recognizes that the animal exploitation was intensified with the consolidation of the mode of capitalist production, not only because of the way the animals were imprisoned and taken away from their natural habitats, but also due to how their reproductive capabilities came to be cruelly and exhaustively exploited in the name of profit.

This veganism also recognizes that without the working class there’s no way for animal liberation. After all, the ones responsible for raising, transporting and slaughtering, are the workers. The reality is that the human animals have much more in common with the non-human animals. As it is observed by Friedrich Engels at “Dialectics of Nature”, “Among our domestic animals, [...]one can constantly observe acts of cunning on exactly the same level as those of children.” (ENGELS,1882). This resemblance gets deeper when we talk about the working class, not only because they can feel emotions, but because all of us are exploited and turned into machines and goods. Animals as goods, because they are treated as products, with double worth: of exchange and of use. Humans as machines, mostly when we’re talking about the meat packing industry, where the workers are forced to work for long hours under extreme conditions: in the lowest temperatures doing repetitive movements and often without permission to go to the bathroom.

Although the animal exploitation isn’t contemporary and has its origin on the domestication and the sedentism, is possible to say that the capitalist system molded our relation with the animals: what was sporadic, small and familiar; became constant, big and industrial, reaching the shocking number of 70 billion of animals killed every year. Is no longer possible to say that the animal issue is unimportant, once the same unequal system that favors some people, also do the same with the animals: Divide them by races, sizes and qualities. This causes these beings to be seen as devoid of feelings and the subject of domination. Because of it, we also disregard all the animal production chain, that not only slaughter animals, but also artificially inseminates them, suffocates alive newborns and torture for years beings that feel as much pain as us, physically and mentally. That’s why we switch the names and forms, we transform a cow’s piece into beef and a pig’s piece into pork chop and sausage. After all, the goal is to conceal the origin of the product and to make people believe in the necessity of animal protein that enriches the big corporations. This concealing of the origin of animal products was so accurate, that even those who consumes animals, gets terrified when they hear about other cultures that has the habit of eating dogs or other species that we raise as our pets, best friends or a family member.

In “Beasts of Burden – A vegan-socialist pamphlet” is stated:

“Commodity fetishism is the process whereby commodities are imbued with a life of their own with their origins as the product of labour concealed. It is particularly well-developed in relation to animal products, whose origins are systematically disavowed by supermarket packaging and linguistic distancing. (BESTAS DE CARGA, 2015, p.44).”

The domestic animals were the first form of private property, becoming to be the main form of exchange. Karl Marx analyses, in the Capital, that on many times the animals were also used as money, “The money-form attaches itself (...) to the object of utility that forms, like cattle, the chief portion of indigenous alienable wealth.” (MARX, 1867). With the development of the capitalism and the bourgeoisie, the animals became symbol of wealth. The animals on the pasture declared the fortune of a man, as much as the table full of cooked animals declared the power of a family. As well shown by Vladimir Lênin in “The Development of Capitalism in Russia”, the bourgeoisie that were taking space from the peasants were increasingly having more animals, lands and tools, while the peasants, with fewer animals, were smashed. For him,

“in classifying the peasants according to allotment, we lump together the poor peasant who leases out land and the rich peasant who rents or buys land; the poor peasant who abandons the land and the rich peasant who “gathers” land; the poor peasant who runs his most wretched farm with an insignificant number of animals and the rich peasant who owns many animals, fertilizes his soil, introduces improvements etc (LÊNIN, 1982, p.27).”

The capitalist system depends on the animal exploitation, the same way it depends on the labors exploitation. It’s worth to highlight that our material condition is very specific: the basis of the Brazilian economy is the agricultural industry, that in 2019 earned around R$ 630 billion by exporting corn, soy and meat. Brazil also has the second largest cattle herd in the world, there’s 220 million of cattle heads, of which more than 30 million are in Mato Grosso, which, ironically, has the second highest level of deforestation of the Amazon rainforest: between August 2019 and July 2020, there was about 1.880 km² deforested in the region, an increasement of 31% in relation to the same period between 2018 and 2019.

The same people responsible to the maintenance of capitalism, in other words, the bourgeoisie and landlords, are also the same people responsible for the increasing number of murders of the indigenous people, who lose their lives trying to protect our lands. The states with the highest number of indigenous murders are precisely the states with the highest number of exploited animals and the highest index of deforestation: Roraima, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná and Amazonas. Therefore, it gets clear the relation between the animal exploitation with the human exploitation, and how there’s no fight for the environment without talking about exploited animals by the bourgeoisie.

How not talk about the animals and the food issue while the mainstream media spread the wrong idea that the “Agro é pop” (the Agro is pop), and everything we consume is controlled by the coalition of parties that defend a conservative agenda known as the bench of the cattle, the bullet and the bible, which are directly linked with the advancement of the fascism and the religious fundamentalism in Brazil? The intimate connection of the meat with this unequal system gets even more evident when we have access to the IBGE’s data, that shows that the workers no longer choose what to eat, even though there has a false sense of choice (FOLHA, 2004). The ones who get access of the best quality of meat and milk are the bourgeoisie, that drinks six times more milk than the workers. The same bourgeoisie that creates cruel and exorbitant dishes like the Foie Gras and practice the animal hunting as “hobby”.

An argument present in many progressive and revolutionary environment is that the animal matter should come after the revolution and the development of the productive forces. However, we should not forget that the praxis is linked to a theory, and that the revolutionary cells that will be the embryo of the future, starts today. The same way that we know that the gender domination won’t end in this social and economic organization, but there’s no reason to not include it in our revolutionary praxis, thus building, in a dialectic way, a process of critique of reality, with future goals.


Bestas de Carga — panfleto vegano-socialista. São Paulo: Colunas Tortas, 2015.

ENGELS, Friedrich. A Dialética da Natureza. In: marxists.org. Available at: https://www.marxists.org/portugues/marx/1882/dialetica/index.htm. Access: 20th May of 2021.

LÊNIN, Vladmir. O desenvolvimento do capitalismo na Rússia. São Paulo: Abril Cultural, 1982.

MARX, Karl. O Capital (Volume I). In: marxists.org. Available at: https://www.marxists.org/portugues/marx/1867/ocapital-v1/index.htm. Access: 20th May of 2021.

“Ricos tomam 6 vezes mais leite que pobres”. In: Folha de São Paulo. Available at: https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/fsp/dinheiro/fi2005200432.htm. Access: 5th of March of 2021.


Kauan Willian, Doctor in the Social History program at USP, professor in the municipal education system of São Paulo, syndicate militant (OSL) and anti-speciesist (Antar — Anti-speciesist Popular Power)

From a debate in the legal field, Gary Francione argues that, instead of regulatory laws, the perspective that law should adopt is that every sentient being shouldn’t “be treated as the property of others” because “it is a precondition for the possession of morally significant interests” (FRANCIONE, 2013, p.122). But what it means, in practice, not to be considered property of others? Besides the matter that any sentient being couldn’t have rights of property over others, Anna Charlton and Gary Francione, got to the conclusion that:

“the same way we reject racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other type of discrimination, we reject speciesism. The species of a sentient being isn’t reason for the protection of its basic right be denied, the same way as race, gender, class or sexual orientation aren’t reasons for the insertion in the moral humane community be denied to other human beings (CHARLTON; FRANCIONE, 2015, p.115).”

It is interesting that a debate from a legal perspective on the veganism reached conclusions similar to those built by the veganism of direct action and revolutionary on the basis. This last one comes from a tradition of an animalist debate in radical sectors of the society. When the anarchist Éliseé Reclus wrote his texts where he relates the meat consume with the industrial development and the national wars, he connects this analysis with his perspective of a socialism that was being formed having in mind multiple kinds of interconnected dominations. In the words of the author José Maria Ferreira, Reclus considered that:

“The civilizational progress of the human species implies an ecosystemical balance with all other animal and vegetable species. This balance passes through the domestication and the learning process along all the animal and vegetable species, not staring at them neither understanding them as external species to the human species, but internal to the desires of social emancipation (FERREIRA, 2006, p.113).”

Reclus, thus, elaborated a geography which considered “the cooperation, solidarity, liberty and love, to be developed by individuals and the peoples in an universal scale” (FERREIRA, 2006, p.113) and that the State, the Capital, the religious and class domination, the colonialism and the division of artificial borders would be an obstacle to this development.

This discussion had a retake during the period of expansion of ecologists and environmentalists ideas, in 1970, when the feminism (this time under the ecofeminism) took the lead for the analysis that linked the species domination with the gender domination, deepening this debate. In 1990, Carol Adams systematized this discussion with the book “ The Sexual Politics of Meat” where we can see the intimate relation between the meat consumption with the gender domination (patriarchy). Adams shows how the contemporary patriarchal society was building a notion of the consumption of animal protein as something virile and masculinized, of blood and victory, while, in the other hand, the vegetable protein was being considered something more feminine and feminizing. Besides, it shows how the invisibilizing of animal suffering and the exposure of their bodies had an intrinsic historical relation with the invisibilizing of women suffering and the objectification of their bodies, in different levels, of course, but as part of a relation of domination which favored one species over the others, and specifically one gender of the human species (ADAMS, 2012). That’s why the author defends the intersection, the interrelation of the anti-speciesist and feminist struggles, as well as ecological, environmentalist and feminist. Furthermore the connection with the feminist struggle, Carol Adams states that

“Meat eating is to animals what racism is to black people; the anti-Semitism is to Jewish people; what homophobia is to gay and lesbians, and woman hating is to women. All are oppressed by a culture that does not want to assimilate them fully on their grounds and with rights (ADAMS, 2012, p.115).”

Adams is not comparing or establishing the speciesism as equal to the racism or other oppression, she’s revealing that exists a structure of domination, that the same way as the misogyny is to women, or antisemitism is to Jewish people, there is the speciesism. However, those oppressions are not disconnected. The same way it is impossible to fight for gender equality without taking in consideration nuances of the race, class, bodies in gender discussions, is impossible to fight for animal rights without thinking about the structures that feed the speciesism; in this case, the Capitalism, that uses its production model to potentialize the animal exploitation and the sexism, keeping under its control the sexual reproduction.

But, to achieve this, it is obvious that we must take these movements seriously, introduce its demands into veganism and vice versa, respecting its rhetoric and strategies. In this sense, to Aph Ko and Syl Ko, the constant comparison between the slavery and the “animals” exploitation is common into the veganism, but far from being a correct analysis, it indicates its complete lack of commitment with the anti-racism, once it naturalizes the animalization of black people, very used rhetoric to justify the slavery. To them, a better way is to argue that the origin of the speciesism has connections with the colonialism, the imperialism, the patriarchy and the capitalism, white and European ideologies and social-economical ways, and it is this structure that must be overthrown and confronted: the anthropocentric Eurocentric project (KO, 2017).

Therefore, let’s consider an anti-speciesism that can be a constant search for liberty and equality of all sentient beings, from its own demands, but also formulating common projects to overthrown dominations that are self-supported. Considering it, instead to encourage a law that prevents the sacrifice of animals in minority religions, which, besides being elitist, it would make it easier the criminalization of racialized people, including the incarceration of them (when they already are the majority group in Brazilian prisons), let’s consider how to carry on the abolitionist struggle (the end of prisons and the incarceration of poor and racialized people) with the end of cages, once it’s the dominant class the responsible for the construction of them.

Friederich Engels said in “Dialectics of Nature”, in 1883, that “at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature.” For him, “but that we, with flesh, blood, and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst” (ENGELS, 1973, p.453). In other words, we must try to stimulate the human projects to look beyond themselves (anthropocentrism), searching harmony with our ecosystems and the beings that surround us. How to do this in practice? It’s necessary to designate a non-isolated anti-speciesist and vegan debate, but debated and built along with anti-oppression, feminists, anti-capitalists, anti-racists social movements, for land democratization, for habitation, education, health, culture and all fundamental rights for a dignified life, free of each and every structure of domination.


ADAMS, Carol. A política sexual da carne: a relação entre carnivorismo e a dominância masculina. Tradução de Cristina Cupertino. São Paulo: Alaúde, 2012.

CHARLTON, Anna; FRANCIONE, Gary. Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach. 2015.

ENGELS, Friedrich. Dialektik der Natur. Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1973.

FERREIRA, José Maria Carvalho (2006). Élisée Reclus: vida e obra de um apaixonado da natureza e da anarquia. Verve, ISSN 1676–9090, São Paulo, p.109–134.

FRANCIONE, Gary. Introdução aos direitos animais. Campinas: Editora Unicamp, 2013.

KO, Aph; KO, Syl. Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. New York: Lantern Books, 2017.

Anti-Racism and Anti-Fascism

Mar Revolta (Black transfeminist and non-binary activist (“Subverta” and “Luta” Movement), Popular and Anti-species Educator (CAVALO)

The creation of a truly popular and anti-speciesist veganism necessarily goes through the struggle against each and every form of oppression and domination, whether they are directed to human or non-human animals. To a better understanding of some examples to follow in this text, it’s worth to draw, briefly, the historical context we are living now in this territory currently called Brazil.

“The degree of social devastation (galloping unemployment, increasing misery, crisis in public services, etc.) and the unpopularity of Temer’s government’s austerity measures, associated with the repercussions of allegations of corruption against him, however, didn’t left any space for the traditional political parties of the dominant class to be able to show a strong electoral alternative for the 2018 election. [...] To move away the possibility of an electoral victory of the Workers’ Party, the second act of the coup was accelerated, led by the same judicial operative of the Operation Lava Jato, with the conviction in the second instance and arrest of Lula, in record time, for an accusation of corruption with fragile, to say the least, evidence. [...] Bolsonaro advanced into the vacuum created by the crisis of legitimacy open since 2016 (MATTOS, 2020, p. 162–163)”.

In Brazil we’re witnessing the dismantle of the Unified Health System during the pandemic of COVID-19, millions of Brazilians returning to be below the poverty line and the country returning to the hungry map of the UN. Meanwhile, landowners, land grabbers and mining companies benefits from the “distraction” of the media to disrespect regulations and do all kinds of setbacks with due support of the legislative apparatus led by the coalition of parties that defend the interests of landowners known as the ruralists bench. The organized struggle is becoming more urgent every day.

To a better understanding on how it relates with the vegan movement, we need to explain better the origin of the speciesism, thus, we will investigate the big impacts of the animal domestication, since 3000 a.c., with the development of the intensive farming. Jacques Camatte argues that the social impact of the domestication was huge, stimulating the growth of the idea of private property and exchange value as well as the rise of patriarchy (BESTAS DE CARGA, 2015, p.17). Keith Thomas explains how the animal domestication also resulted in the “interventionist and manipulative conception of political life”:

“Domestication thus became the archetypal pattern for other kinds of social subordination. The model was a paternal one, with the ruler a good shepherd, like the bishop with his pastoral staff. Loyal, docile animals obeying a considerate master were an example to all employees (THOMAS, 2010, p.17).”

Without the domestication, the dichotomous human and non-human hierarchy would hardly be configured, as suggests Maria Lugones (2014). For the author, it exists a central dichotomy in the colonial modernity, that is reproduced until nowadays with jargons as usual as “we are at the top of the food chain” and “they treated me like I was an animal”, that in an almost unconscious level, they reinforce the idea that the human animals would be naturally superiors and that the non-human animals don’t deserve to be treated with the same respect. However, this dichotomy isn’t the central one for the modern colonial society, because:

“It was accompanied by other dichotomous hierarchical distinctions, among them that between men and women. This distinction became a mark of the human and mark of civilization. Only the civilized are men or women. Indigenous people of the Americas and enslaved Africans were classified as not human in species — as animals, uncontrollably sexual and wild (LUGONES, 2014, p.19).”

According to the thinking of Martina Davidson (2020), the atrocities and violences committed against the colonized people and enslaved were only justified by the white European reason due to the absence of humanity assigned for them, this because that reason “bestialized them, animalized them” (DAVIDSON, 2020, p.112). Given this context, it’s easy to notice the connection between the speciesism and the racism promoted against those peoples: structural and structuring tools of domination and oppression upon which the capitalist system was founded and enhanced, becoming the basis for class struggle, and which are still used on a daily basis, on a way even more out of control when under the leadership of fascists, to guarantee the maintenance of profit rate of the ruling class even during generalized crisis, such as the one we’re living at the moment, promoting, thus, the maintenance of the status quo and the continuity of this system.

Funai estimates that the indigenous population in this territory in the year 1500 was of 3 million of habitants. The genocide promoted by the colonization, and later, by the capitalist extractive system and its landlords and miners, reduced the indigenous population to just 70 thousand of individuals in 1957, composing only 0,1% of the Brazilian population. From the 50s to nowadays, the indigenous population is growing and gaining some rights, and largely due to the inclusion of the right of ethnic plurality in the 1988 Federal Constitution, that also established deadlines to the demarcation of indigenous lands, thanks to the efforts of great leaderships like Ailton Krenak, for the unity and organization of the indigenous struggle at national level. However, there’s no permanent right, mostly when confronted with the neoliberal agenda. The indigenous population constantly suffers with the invasion of their lands by the agribusiness in search of expanding their agricultural frontiers, and by mining companies in search of gold, iron, petroleum and natural gas. The delay in the demarcation of the lands only facilitates those invasions, that besides resulting in confrontations, often bloody for those populations, also expose them to diseases, as we can see happening with the COVID-19. And thus, the epistemicide perpetuates itself: from the more than two thousand peoples and a thousand different languages that existed in Brazil, around 305 peoples and 274 languages remain. Anyhow, those populations still are an invaluable source of knowledge: from bioconstruction techniques, planting, knowledge about non-conventional food plants (PANCs) and medicinal plants, but, mainly, those are examples of societies based on community life and a harmonious relationship with the nature. Societies that recognize that when we cause harm to the nature, we are causing harm to ourselves, once we are part of it. This cosmovision is shared by many indigenous peoples who inhabit all Abya Yala (territory known today as America). The philosophy of the good life, or sumak kawsay, in the kíchwa language, is based on the multiplicity of experiences of the Andean and Amazonian populations, and it strongly questions the Eurocentric concept of well-being. According to Alberto Acosta:

“Those who talk about the needs for policies to the ‘better living’ ignore — or simply doesn’t get interested by — the gigantic frustration produced by the diffusion of consumption patterns in the imaginary of hundreds of millions of people that doesn’t have neither will never have economic conditions to access it, imprisoning them in the permanent desire to reach it and thus deepening the social conflicts. The means of communication promotes the consumerism and individualization, and even decide the values and the culture that should or shouldn’t be widespread. It is incongruous to talk about “living better” when we as human beings have become just tools for machines, or when the capitalist production and consumption create vicious circles that keep us inside this big wheel of endless unhappiness and exploitation (ACOSTA, 2020, p.16–17).”

The recognition of the destructive potential of this system of infinite accumulation, and the resistance necessary to continue building alternative societies aren’t, however, exclusive to Andean and Amazonian people. The Good Life ideas are pluriverses and are present in all the solidarity actions of the people.

“It is among us, in Brazil, with the teko porã of the guaranis. It is also in the ethic and in the African philosophy of ubuntu — “I am because we are”. It is in the ecosocialism [...]. It is in the solidarity action of the people, in the joint efforts of villages, favelas or rural communities and in the Andean minga or mika. It is present in the samba circle, capoeira circle, in the jongo, in the cirandas and in the candomblé (ACOSTA, 2020, p.22).”

It is due to recognition of this synchrony between the peoples and to understand that there’s no liberation of some over others, that the popular and revolutionary veganism can’t lose sight of its anti-capitalist, anti-fascist and anti-racist nature. It is of utmost importance to remember that Brazil was the territory that imported the most slaves: almost 5 million of people were brought by force from the African continent. Brazil was also the last country to abolish slavery: of Brazil’s 520 years, 358 were under the slave regime. In 1850, 38 years before the end of slavery, the Law of Lands is approved, from which it is not enough to occupy a land and to plant to be the legal owner; it becomes necessary to buy it from the State. This measure is created to prevent the future ex-slaves to become landowners, forcing them to work for really miserable wages for their former masters, besides to predict government incentives to the arrival of colonists from abroad to be hired in the country, undervaluing even more the labor of the black people. In 1888, the Lei Áurea (something like “Golden Law”) was signed, that guaranteed financial compensation to the slaves’ masters and that, contrary of what the hegemonic institutional narrative says, it didn’t brought justice to the black people, once that without basic rights guaranteed like housing, education and decent food, and being available for them only refuge in tenements or escaping the city to the hills and suburbs, their “liberty” didn’t result in equality, but in social exclusion.

The black population still suffers, a lot, the consequences of this process, being most of the poor population in the country, as well as most of the incarcerated population. On every 23 minutes, one young black person is murdered in Brazil, and as if it wasn’t enough the lack of access to decent conditions of education, labor, health and housing – let’s remind that: almost 47% of the Brazilian population, that is, almost 100 millions of people, don’t have access to basic sanitation – this share of the population also deals with an issue that is unnoticed by many people: the nutricide. Without power (financial) of choice, what has left is to eat what is the cheapest. According to studies and statistics of the United Nations (UN), racialized people have the worst health indicators, and the domestication of palate, through the ultra-processed industrialized food is the main responsible, that, combined with edible drugs like preservatives, additives and artificial colors, results in, according to the Dr. Llaila Afrika, “control of behavior and chemical war on health” (AFRIKA, 2004, p.105).

Thus, it becomes urgent and necessary to rescue the feeding habits of the African people during the pre-colonial period, which was, according to Márcia Cristina do Nascimento, mostly based on vegetables (NASCIMENTO, 2020, p.102). This rescue, not only of eating habits, but of traditions, philosophies, spirituality and ancestor knowledge, could bring huge benefits to this population, that, in a mostly Christian country, suffers so much with the religious and ethnic intolerance. Therefore, we agree with the positioning of the Afro-Vegan Movement (MAV) about the RE 494601 and the animal sacrifice (MAV, 2020, p.109–103). The prohibitionism, mostly when targeting a specific and racialized part of society, isn’t something else but a hygienist and racist measure. We believe in dialogue and understanding for the deconstruction of the structures that support this system. According to the historian Natalia Ferreira, the importance of understanding the concept of intersectionality:

“lies in the fact of breaking the silence and show that is not possible to separate gender of race and class; I add here the categories of species and nature as inseparable parts of this whole, and I intend to break the illusory fragmentations that provokes the appearance of segmented identitarian movements, weakening the social struggles for achieving rights of indigenous people, black, gender dissident people (non-cisgender), agrarian reform (or the right of land and housing), food sovereignty, and also the animals and nature rights (FERREIRA, 2020, p.74).”

If we wish to build a truly popular veganism, we need to discuss, understand and build a praxis that, instead of weakening even more the share of the population that already is extremely oppressed for racists and fascists structures so present in our daily lives, could create, in a collective way, strategies to overthrow those structures and build, in its place, new societies, culturally plurals and free of oppressions, based on the harmonies between the individual and her/himself; between the individual and the society; and between the society, the planet and all the beings in it.


ACOSTA, Alberto. O Bem Viver: uma oportunidade para imaginar outros mundos. São Paulo. Autonomia Literária, Elefante, 2016.

AFRIKA, Llaila. African Holistic Health, The neglected revolution. Editora A & B Book Distributors Inc, 2004.

BESTAS DE CARGA — Panfleto Vegano-socialista. Traduzido e editado por Victória Monteiro e Vinicius Siqueira. São Paulo: Colunas Tortas, 2015.

FERREIRA, Natalia. “Os desafios do tempo presente e a colonialidade da natureza: intersecções para pensar novas sociabilidades.” Fronteiras: Revista Catarinense de História. N, 36, 2020.

DAVIDSON, Martina. “Maria Lugones e o pensamento de trincheiras”. In: DIAS, Maria Clara. Feminismos decoloniais: homenagem a Maria Lugones. Rio de Janeiro: Ape’Ku, 2020.

LUGONES, Maria. “Rumo a um feminismo descolonial”. In: Revista Estudos Feministas, vol.22, n.3, 2014.

MATTOS, Marcelo Badaró. Governo Bolsonaro: neofascismo e autocracia burguesa no Brasil. São Paulo: Usina Editorial, 2020.

MOVIMENTO AFRO VEGANO. “Posição do Movimento Afro Vegano sobre a RE 595601 e o Sacrifício de Animais”. In: MOTA, Ana Gabriela; SANTOS, Kauan Willian dos. Libertação animal, libertação humana: veganismo, política e conexões no Brasil. Juiz de Fora, MG: Editora Garcia, 2020.

THOMAS, Keith. O homem e o mundo natural: mudanças de atitudes em relação às plantas e os animais. São Paulo: Companhia de Bolso, 2010.

Feminism and Gender Domination

Nicoly de Sousa Alves (Administration Technician (ETEC Parque da Juventude), undergraduate in Social Sciences (UNIFESP), Militant of Antar — Anti-speciesist Popular Power and of Vegan-Feminist Unity (UVF)

The demand for the consumption of animals changed not only the economy, but also the domestic relations. With the feudalism’s fall, the primitive communism ceased to exist to give place to the division of chores based on gender, men and women that were used to participate of those chores together, segregated themselves, then the man started to hunt small animals for his own consumption, while the woman took care of the home and prepared food based on vegetables.

With the intensification of meat consumption, it was transformed, in the western capitalist culture, into a “necessary” food for a male diet, becoming a symbol of masculinity, while food made of vegetables took the role of accompaniment of the main dish, a dead animal, turning the vegetables synonyms of a weak, feminine food (ADAMS, 2018). The debate of the “nature of sexes”, brought the stereotype of the weak woman to justify the control of men over women (FEDERICI, 2017, P. 335), therefore they were put in the nature spectrum and men in the political one. The consumption mostly of vegetables by women was used to reinforce this stereotype, what made possible the exclusion of women from the political and social scope, while it took the men to a cultural, social and political ascension “The same way the culture controls nature, men control women” (ROSENDO, 2016, p.104).

The suffragettes, by dealing with meat as the symbol of a patriarchal and sexist feeding, stimulated the birth of the veganism as a political movement and its definition as it’s known today. However, despite the clear contribution of the feminist movement in the animalist and anti-speciesist struggle, there were attempts to silence the ones who were trying to denounce, through their art, the relation between gender domination and the animal consumption (COLERATO, 2016). The ecofeminism, that some authors set for the first time with the French Françoise d‘Eaubonne, proposed that the nature’s exploitation, as well as the woman’s, originated in the patriarchal society, being the women the most affected by the environmental destruction, concluding that once eradicated the sexist oppression, the oppression over the nature would be equally eradicated (WARREN, 2000). Thus, through the principles of this thought, the second wave’s feminists sought not only the control of their bodies, but also nature’s preservation, as an extension of the feminist struggle.

However, the ecofeminist movement, still in construction, have not been deepening the debate about animals and the consumption of their bodies, ignoring the oppressions lived by the non-human females objectified and that had their exploitation intensified after the Industrial Revolution, where the mechanization of the industries and field forced the animal’s productivity to follow the rhythm of the capitalist society’s production. The females’ maternity, through artificial insemination, was used compulsively to provide meat, milk and dairy products.

Milk’s production, being extremely cruel, is based on the continual exploitation of the female reproductive system, happening through a process of artificial insemination, in a short period of time. In the Cow’s case, right after the calf’s birth, it occurs the separation of mother and newborn, to prevent the breastfeeding. In case the calf is male, its meat can be commercialized as “baby beef” or veal, as it is known in Brazil, but if the calf is born a female, its destiny is going to be similar to its mother’s, to be inseminated countless times, to occur the reproduction and then obtaining milk, until the cow reaches its exhaustion and be sent to the slaughterhouse.

Cows, goats, pigs, sheep, hens aren’t “fertile soils” where they can be cultivated and where food can be collected. They are sentient beings just like women, those who’s milk can’t be taken away to be sold or to be offered to someone else without their consent, one must not rip off their babies to send to the industry of tender meats (veal meat), one must not rape them with the aim to obtain mass reproduction (cows, goats, sheep etc.) (FELIPE, 2014, 58).

By ignoring the connection between the oppressions that women and animals suffer in the patriarchal capitalist society, it was disregarded the fact that both aren’t seeing as beings with their own particularities, but absent referents, that constantly need to be assimilated (ADAMS, 2012) so that their bodies don’t get violated by the sexism and the speciesism.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to rescue the word vegetarian-feminist (or vegan-feminist) in the progressive movements, fighting against the sexism and the speciesism simultaneously and considering all the human and non-human females, that have their bodies and reproductive systems controlled. Consequently, this rescue promotes the preservation of the environment through the exclusion of food coming from the animal exploitation, which are the main responsible to the deforestation, to the fires burning our rainforests and for the destruction of the biodiversity, once the cattle raising consumes a huge quantity of natural resources.

Becoming mindful of one’s support of the oppressive practices associated with animal agriculture by striving for a vegetarian lifestyle can also be a daily expression of a care-sensitive, nonviolent ecofeminist ethic that views oneself and (human and nonhuman) others as morally considerable (MALLORY, 2002, p.7).

From 1985 to 2018, according to MapBiomas, Brazil lost 89 million of acres of natural areas – something like 20 times the state of Rio de Janeiro – and each 10 deforested acres in the Amazon rainforest, 3 was abandoned, 6 turned into pasture and 1 is used in the agriculture. Being around one cow per acre or woods turned into pasture, something about the size of a football field.

The women, besides being the most affected by the environmental destruction, as suggested by the ecofeminism, are also the majority heading households and doing double day work, being exploited twice, one by her paid workforce and the other by her social, reproductive and non-paid labor. The non-human females, in the other hand, are exploited first because of her reproductive power and second because of the potential of her meat, what leads to a life filled with abuses, from beginning to end.

Thus, feminists, when reproducing a diet that includes meat, milk and dairy products, are feeding from sexism and are contributing with the exploitation of other females, the non-human ones. The popular, intersectional and anti-speciesist veganism is the only way that feminists can liberate everyone, human and non-human animals, because while there are women consuming and acting in a speciesist way, the sexism as well won’t be eradicated.


ADAMS, Carol. A Política sexual da carne. São Paulo: Editora Alaúde, 2018.

COLERATO, Marina. Frankeisten e o Silenciamento das Feministas-Vegetarianas. Modefica, 2016.

FELIPE, Sônia. “A perspectiva ecoanimalista feminista antiespecista”. In: STEVENS, Cristina; OLIVEIRA, Susane Rodrigues de; ZANELLO, Valeska. Estudos feministas e de gênero: articulações e perspectivas. Santa Catarina: Mulheres, 2014.

FEDERICI, Silva. Calibã e a bruxa, mulheres, corpo e acumação primitiva. São Paulo: Editora Elefante. 2017.

MALLORY, Jason. “A Journal of Feminist Theory & Culture.” In: Thirdspace: a journal of feminist theory & culture, 2002.

ROSENDO, Daniela. Filosfia ecofeminista. Repensando o Feminismo a partir da lógica de dominação. In: Revista Diversitas, v. 4, p. 99–123, 2016.

WARREN, Karen. Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.

Social Insertion, Popular Power and Transformation

Kauan Willian, Doctor in the Social History program at USP, professor in the municipal education system of São Paulo, syndicate militant (OSL) and anti-speciesist (Antar — Anti-speciesist Popular Power)

The anti-oppression movements that are co-opted by the liberalism follow the logic of the former prime minister of England, Margareth Thatcher, that, in one of her first speeches, stated that “there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women” (THATCHER in HARVEY, 2005, p.17), turning collective constructions and structural transformations, therefore, into individual guilts.

It’s like that in most part of the veganism that puts the blame of the animal exploitation in the human beings, assigning to all social classes the same guilt for the speciesism. That’s why some vegans make the mistake to do the same critics that is done to the industrial model of animal domination to the indigenous groups that hunt, the riverside communities that do fishing or even the rituals done by persecuted and minorities religions. By causing a shock between social groups, many of them oppressed, they also block a transformation model of a speciesist structure, that has an economic and ideologic basis favored by the dominant class.

In the first volume of the Capital, the militant and theorist of the First International, Karl Marx had already analyzed that in countries like the United States “the more [...] starts its development on the foundation of modern industry” then “the more rapid is this process of destruction” of both “sources of all wealth — the soil and the laborer.” (MARX, 1984, p.22). The theorist Murray Bookchin, creator of the theory of social ecology, reveals that the domination of nature by the human beings was much earlier than capitalism and came from the sedentism period. Thus, “the mentality structured in hierarchy and domain, on which the domination of man by man originated the idea that to dominate nature was the destiny and a humanity’s need” (BOOKCHIN, 2019, p.5). Notwithstanding, he also considers the capitalism the last form of this hierarchical domination, that took advantage of those systems to its own benefits and to guarantee the domination of a certain social group.

Being capitalism the basis of nature’s destruction, and consequently, of all beings that belongs to it, we can’t think that to change individual attitudes or to blame minority groups for killing animals could result in the end of a structure that is kept by the ideology of the capitalism. The ecosocialist theorist Michael Löwy states:

“What is the alternative solution? To change consumer’s individual behavior, as so many ecologists seem to propose? The cultural criticism of consumerism is necessary but insufficient. One must challenge the mode of production itself: if the problem is systemic, the solution must be anti-systemic, that is, anti-capitalist (LÖWY, 2014, p.9).”

While false environmentalists, under the dominant system’s order, deceive the population by trying to convince them to decrease the duration of their baths, the livestock and the industrial system together consume the most part of the planet’s water resources — the basis of the structure, therefore, isn’t threatened. The same is true for when we blame, most of the times, an oppressed that was conditioned to think that meat is the only thing that brings sustenance in his/her plate, but this ideology only exist and is encouraged to give power to the meat producers, those who destroy the animal and human lives and the whole nature.

One-off anti-systemic revolts, even collective, are the beginning of a change, but also show limits. The Russian militant of the First International and of the International Alliance of Social Democracy, Mikhail Bakunin, believed that “the question isn’t knowing if the people can uprise, but if they are capable to build an organization that provides them the means of getting to a victorious end – not for a fortuitous victory, but for a prolonged and final triumph” (BAKUNIN; MAXIMOFF, S.D,70). Groups that hold economic power commonly holds the political power and the media, in other words, the ideologic and cultural power as well. They are, therefore, very well organized and integrated. What can we do about it? Only the strength, a collective construction of those oppressed people, who are the majority, and if in case of building ways to fight back the existing power and projects that can replace the dominant system, this game can change.

The building of popular power, that is, “the effective achievement of the principle that only the workers can solve the worker’s problems”, that is, “to encourage and to appreciate the autonomous initiatives, to create ways to do collective organization of organizations and of collective decisions, fight for our claims and rights” (MTST, 2017). To build movements that empower us to fight for our economic rights as the labor’s unions, housing movements, land occupation and indigenous movements, anti-capitalist political organizations, along with the anti-oppressed movements with the same radical perspective; Feminists, anti-racists, of LGBTQIA+ rights, ecological, etc, are the answer, as for to build a force that opposes the instruments of the ruling class as for to originate a new system directly governed by the workers, popular and oppressed groups.

The liberal vegans are used to say that socialist revolutions never ended the speciesism, and it is true. But the understanding of the current popular power is that just the seizure of the means of production and the replacement of the political power aren’t enough for the transformation of all the domination systems. It’s exactly this seizure – still essential once capitalism is the structure of those dominations – along with the leadership of those anti-domination movements and organizations, the key to the transformation of all the reality.

In this movement, the strategy is, thus, to insert the anti-speciesist debate into the creation of popular power. This debate must be, thus, combined with the popular movements, those which are the only way for transforming the reality, that in this new society, this debate be important, once we show in this book that the speciesism affects all the sentient beings, human and non-human animals. The road to awareness and daily creation is important – that is, the same way as the sexism, the racism and etc. The vegan attitude must start now – however, an individual position of boycott and non-consume has its limits and, as we said, without other actions, it does not transform reality. Struggles as the land ones, ecological, of common spaces and housing, of sovereignty and food autonomy, criminal abolitionist struggles and others are a fertile ground for developing all the anti-speciesist concepts and perspectives that we show during this work.

In this sense, the words of the activist and writer Alice Walker are mobilizing when she said, while in a meeting she was attending, talking “about liberty and justice for all someday, we sit to eat a beef. I’m eating suffering, I thought, doing the first bite. And then I spat the meat.” The sense of justice and equality for all and this understanding that everything is connected, is the first step for the creation of a truly egalitarian society.


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BAKUNIN, Mikhail. Socialismo e Liberdade. São Paulo: Coletivo Editorial Luta Libertária, s.d.

BOOKCHIN, Murray. Por uma ecologia social. Biblioteca anarquista, 2019.

HARVEY, David. Neoliberalismo: História e Implicações. São Paulo: Edições Loyola, 2005.

MARX, Karl. O Capital: Volume I. São Paulo: Abril Cultural, 1984.