Animal Rights

1 December 2019Review

University of Chicago Press, 2018; 272pp; £17

This is a book about farmed animals: about their exploitation and the complex web of factors that serves to normalise this exploitation. Kathryn Gillespie invites us to re-think our relationship to non-human animals and to how their lives have been co-opted for human consumption.

From the outset, she challenges some common assumptions about the dairy industry.

First and foremost, the myth that cows always produce milk.

Just like other mammals, dairy cows only…

1 August 2019Review

The New Press, 2017; 272 pp; $25.95

The field of disability studies has never gained much traction in the popular sphere. Of course, this would not come as a surprise to someone like Sunaura Taylor who knows all too well that societies are primarily built by and for able-bodied people, and that disabled people are some of the most neglected and marginalised people in the world.

In this semi-autobiographical work, Taylor outlines with great patience what a disabled person is, and can be, in a similar way to Lynne…

1 October 2018Review

Aurum Press, 2018; 336pp; £20

If you asked someone who had never read or heard anything about the origins of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who they thought might have founded it, the chances are they would guess something along the lines of ‘some well-meaning elderly man who was opposed to the shooting of rare birds for sport’, or something like that. But it seems very unlikely that they would come anywhere near the real founders of the RSPB: a group of women who were passionately opposed to the…

16 August 2018Blog entry

Esme Needham reviews Tessa Boase's new book Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather

Tessa Boase
Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather: Fashion, Fury and Feminism – Women's Fight for Change
Aurum Press, 2018; 336pp; £20

If you asked someone who had never read or heard anything about the origins of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who they thought might have founded it, the chances are they would guess something along the lines of ‘some well-meaning elderly man who was opposed to the…

1 October 2015Review

Lantern Books, 2014; 300pp; £16.99

For 40 years, Kim Stallwood (sometimes known as ‘The Grumpy Vegan’) has been an active animal advocate. Growl combines autobiography, social history and an exploration of the philosophy and practice of animal rights. It is an engaging and readable book which made me draw parallels with other areas of nonviolent campaigning.After working in a chicken slaughterhouse, Stallwood became a vegetarian in 1974, aged 19. Two years later he became a fully-fledged vegan. Unlike today, when all…

1 December 2012News in Brief

In early November, British army surgeons received training in Denmark, by operating on 18 pigs that had been shot by snipers in such a way as to injure their organs but not kill them.

After the surgery, the animals were put down.

Animal rights group PETA pointed out that this exercise is banned if performed in the UK under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and is also banned in 22 other NATO countries.


1 July 2011News in Brief

On 20 June, Animal Aid launched a boycott of Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Society and Parkinson’s UK, urging that people stop donating money until the charities end animal testing.

On 23 June, MPs voted to ban wild animals in circuses.

1 April 2011News in Brief

Animal rights activist Joe Hashman made legal history on 8 March by establishing that employers should not discriminate against people for holding anti-hunting beliefs. Joe was sacked from Orchard Park Garden Centre in Dorset in September 2009, just as celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright was convicted of attending an illegal hare coursing event – as the result of Joe’s covert filming.
The owners of Orchard Park Garden Centre, Sheila and Ron Clarke, keen supporters of the South and…

3 May 2009Comment

In 1996, three vegans, David Stringer and Jane and David Graham, veterans of the peace, anti-nuclear movements, and sometime guests at HM Prisons, decided to start the Vegan Organic Network, an organisation specifically directed to changing the current situation in agriculture, where most food that is available has been grown either using animal by-products (applying blood and bone after animals have been processed in the slaughter house) or using synthetic fertilisers.

This…

1 March 2009Feature

For 25 years Veggies Catering Campaign has been the field kitchen of the British activist scene. This month they invite you to celebrate their vibrant history.

“Already a legend, this awesome creation has manifested itself at countless gatherings, events, festivals and protests the length and breadth of the UK. There are thousands upon thousands of hungry campaigners who have feasted on these top-notch meat-free burgers at all hours of the day, all points of the compass. Truly a legend.”Vegan Environmental Awards

Whilst there is a long way to go to catch up with Peace News, Veggies of Nottingham have covered a lot of history. From…

1 February 2009News

Seven animal-rights activists of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) were jailed on 21 January, with sentences ranging from four to 11 years in prison.

On 23 December, Gerrah Selby, Daniel Wadham, Gavin Medd-Hall and Heather Nicholson were found guilty of conspiracy to blackmail companies associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), which kills five hundred animals daily conducting research for pharmaceutical companies. They were sentenced to four, five, eight and 11 years,…

3 July 2008News

On 6 June, after an 18-week trial, the operator of a website criticising animal testing company Sequani, was found guilty under section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA), “interfering with the contractual relationships of a laboratory”.

For allegedly conspiring to organise protests at Sequani Limited and associated companies, Sean Kirtley was jailed for four and a half years followed by a five-year ASBO (anti-social behaviour order). The main “proof”…

1 February 2008News

Despite heavy police presence and last minute restrictions, about 150 activists participated in an anti-vivisection demonstration against Sequani Limited in Ledbury, Worcestershire, on 15 December. Sequani tests pharmaceutical drugs, chemical compounds and medical devices on animals.

Five people were arrested as they tried to block one of the main roads by locking-on with arm tubes. They were detained for 10 hours before being released on bail, until February 2008.

On the…

1 September 2007News

On 26 July, Shambo, a temple bull from Skanda Vale Hindu community near Carmarthen, was taken for slaughter by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), after testing positive for tuberculosis.

Sanjay Mistry from the Hindu Forum of Britain explains that the case was not a clash between western scientific and eastern mystical worlds.

The slaughter of Shambo high- lights a number of ethical dilemmas around nonviolence, veganism and animal rights as…

1 March 2007News

Campaigners have been in Antarctic waters in recent weeks, monitoring - and attempting to disrupt - the activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.

While they will not actively cooperate - due, publicly at least, to tactical differences in relation to interpretations of nonviolence - Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd have both had vessels in the area, and both campaigners and whalers took a few physical and verbal knocks in mid-February.

Search and rescue

The drama began on 8…