Hackney Citizen

Future Hackney backs Animal Rebellion as it follows the movement’s October protests

By Hackney Citizen | October 11, 2019

Animal Rebellion set up camp in central London. Photograph: Future Hackney

Animal Rebellion set up camp in central London. Photograph: Future Hackney

Youth filmmaking collective Future Hackney has voiced its support for Animal Rebellion as it documents the group’s October protests.

Animal Rebellion, based in Hackney and an offshoot of the global Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement, is calling on the government to “end the destructive animal farming and fishing industries, and lead a transition to a just, sustainable plant-based food system”.

This, the group states on its website, is in recognition “that a plant-based food system is the only system that can minimise the risk of climate breakdown, halt mass extinction and avert social collapse”.

Animal Rebellion is backed by a number of well-known environmental campaigners, including journalist George Monbiot and wildlife expert Chris Packham.

Journalist and campaigner George Monbiot at AR’s Smithfield occupation. Photograph: Future Hackney

Journalist and campaigner George Monbiot at AR’s Smithfield occupation. Photograph: Future Hackney

Future Hackney, a local collective which trains young people to use proper filmmaking equipment to document changes in the borough, has previously run projects recording upheaval at Ridley Road.

But the group has switched its attention to Animal Rebellion as it follows the movement’s two-week October campaign, which began with an occupation of Smithfield Market on 7 October before moving on to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Arrests were made yesterday as members of Animal Rebellion glued themselves to the London offices of meat industry giant Cargill to bring attention to the funding of animal exploitation and the climate emergency.

AR members locked themselves to Defra’s headquarters on Wednesday. Photograph: Sammi Drew

AR members locked themselves to Defra’s headquarters on Wednesday. Photograph: Sammi Drew

Future Hackney founder Donna Travis told the Citizen: “We’re covering Animal Rebellion’s direct action campaign to persuade the UK government to tell the truth.

“We have made the decision to cover this group as we feel this is an important movement trying to bring about system change to try and prevent further ecological destruction.

“They are also mainly young people who need us to support them.”

She added: “They are non-violent, well organised and have a clear message: we need to stop eating animals.”

Ahead of the October protests, Animal Rebellion spokesperson Dan Kidby said: “We are a movement of people from all walks of life who have come together because the evidence is clear: we cannot end the climate emergency without first ending the animal emergency.

“The animal farming and fishing industries must end, and a transition to a plant-based food system is critical to avert climate breakdown and mass extinction.”

Jeff Adams – @hal.2000.home on Instagram – photographed and spoke to Animal Rebellion supporters during the protests on behalf of the Future Hackney collective.

Here’s what they had to say:

Maria and Katrina

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“There are only two types of people. Those who are plant-based and those who are transitioning to a plant-based diet.

“We are from east London and we have come to support Animal Rebellion. This is a huge movement with an urgent message. We need to end animal agriculture. Come and join us to ask the government to tell the truth.”

Bini

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“I’m the regenerative culture coordinator for Animal Rebellion. This role entails setting up support for a wide range of people including women, the LGBTQI+ community, people with disabilities, the elderly, children, and anyone else who may need assistance.

“We also run a wellbeing group, offer yoga sessions, and if anyone is being harassed or feels alone, we are here to guide and help you.

“We care for each other and it is our aim to be a healthy resilient movement. If you want to come and join us do not let any issue put you off. We are here and we are waiting for you.”

Max

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“My top is from the most famous plant milk organisation Oatly. The past was an animal-based agriculture with cows’ milk as it’s norm. We are a new generation and we want a plant-based system with plant milk. It’s on it’s way. I am from Berlin and I am here supporting Animal Rebellion.

“Dairy cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. Poor handling of manure and fertilizers can degrade local water resources. And unsustainable dairy farming and feed production can lead to the loss of ecologically important areas, such as prairies, wetlands, and forests.”

Delilah

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“The government must make people aware of the destructive nature of animal agriculture and tell the truth.

“We need to start implementing a new food system with affordable plant-based foods and a marketing system promoting the positivity of this shift and benefits for people’s health and the planet. There is an urgency to this. We need to start now.

“Because pigs are highly intelligent and easily distressed, group gassing is touted as the most ‘humane’ method of rendering them unconscious before slaughter.

“The sheer number of animals killed makes it impossible for pigs’ deaths to be humane and painless. Because of improper stunning, many pigs are alive when they reach the scalding-hot water baths which are intended to soften their skin and remove their hair.”

Amar

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“I think Ahimsa is a good philosophy to live by. It’s the Buddhist and Hindu tradition of respect for all things and avoidance of violence against all living creatures.

“We all need to take responsibility for our world and make the right decision to save our planet. I am here at Animal Rebellion because I believe animals are sentient beings that should not be raped or murdered.”

Esther

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“Young people are not given the voice they deserve even though they know a great deal of knowledge and information and this is unfair. They are underrepresented in politics and leadership roles and this power is given to the older generations.

“Young people are aware of this bias and trying to create a system change with this in mind. I was supposed to be starting University in Edinburgh to study politics, but I have deferred my place. I felt that joining this movement was more urgent, frontline politics and I am doing this on the ground with real people. There are so many politicians that can’t say that.

“The time is now and there is no way we can just follow the traditional routes of education, political ladder-climbing and social reform. There just isn’t the time. This is a climate emergency and we must act now.

“My role for Animal Rebellion focuses on regenerative culture. We are creating a culture of conversation, care and crew and this is our strength.”

Portraits by Jeff Adams (@hal.2000.home) on behalf of the Future Hackney collective.

For more information about Animal Rebellion, head to animalrebellion.org

To find out more about Future Hackney, visit futurehackney.com