The problems (or: things that I’m highly concerned about as an Animal Rights Activist):
- What happens after our best activists are persecuted and put in jail, which is no science fiction at all but the very reality in both Israel, where I come from, and the US?
- What happens after I die?
- What happens after I die?
- What happens after I die…?
We’re up to building (may be for the first time, shamefully) teams, or to be precise, communities of people who work on the same project. Wikipedia is an all volunteer Open Source successful project, letting everyone publish, letting everyone else check to authenticate the information. Transifex is another successful open source translators community all built from people who, like the Wikipedia contributors, would like to contribute and proofread to something that’s important to them. You wouldn’t think there are anonymous browser and not-annonymous open source community that will actually teach how to remain undetected and how to hack, but there are…welcome to the Tor Browser (internet self defence) and to Def Con (internet attack?)…and on the more associated with the legal side, Mozilla Firefox is all built and maintained by a developers community, there’s no single CEO, people know how to develop and people are granted with the permission to do so, because reserving all rights and the fruits of your labor is not the issue here – the issue is getting the job done as fast as possible, and opening it to as many peer reviewers as you can to do the quality check. I come from the open source community. I think of open source as not only a method of working, but also a statement and a layer, another type of ground that yields another types of fruits of labour. Cancer research has been recently opened to every lab, by one lab sharing what industry as a rule would consider as “top industrial secret” – they shared the chemical construction of a molecule – way before it’s marketed and registered as trademark that’s protected against “theft”. This lab did it because they’re truly concerned with cancer, much less that they’re concerned with money. Another open source project was, for a change, an open source hardware; a farmer who shared with the world a DIY (Do It Yourself) “top secrets” like how to build a tractor, and actually how to start a civilization wherever you are, from a single instruction free CD. And of course, like Wikipedia, Firefox and Transifex, soon everyone wanted to join in and contribute to the large data. We even have The Final Nail in our own animal rights movement. The Final Nail is a collective data containing the names, contacts and addresses of every single fur farm and slaughterhouse in the USA, all collected not by one committed person, but rather by “regular” people like you and me, who happened to hear about a local slaughterhouse in their place, which accumulated to an extensive, long list of slaughterhouses and fur farms soon to be raided. We have the Fur Farm Raiding Season by the wonderful Final Nail again, a natural season at winter in which the conditions for fur farm raids are ideal. People share the information about fur farm raiding and about the opening of this season globally, and get independent cells working on the same thing without any need to centralize the decisions as well or the risk to the continual of the group. One asterisk now:
*I’m aware to the fact that this list is very, very optimistic. I don’t expect even half of the roles to be manned, though I won’t resist it. But there’s no way to man any role at all if one doesn’t try.
We need (ordered by priority. If would like to volunteer to one or some of the roles, please write it down in the comments below):
Nonprofit rule #1: whatever you do, the first thing you’ll need is to take care for is getting the resources – human resources (volunteers and workers) and financial resources (funds, merchandise. The merchandise selling is not the goal of the nonprofit, it’s only the means to raise money for the important stuff, and isn’t sufficient in itself. From all the volunteers and workers, a nonprofit fund recruiter and volunteer recruiter are the most important, since they are the ones who make sure to enlarge the cake – the nonprofit’s financial cake and human resources cake. Everyone who raise funds by himself or herself deserves an equal part from the funds that were raised).
Volunteers are the beating heart of every nonprofit, nothing happens without people making it happen. Even documentaries, nonfiction books, apps, boards and websites, all automatic independent change makers, each has its own independent timeless life since it started (which I’m absolutely for: for-automatization, for-apps, for-boards, for-documentaries, this website and funds are dedicated for them. I think making an independent self-perpetuating and promoting community, app, website etc are not only a good method – they are a must. We absolutely must make sure there’s someone or rather something to continue our important work, and what can I say, apps, documentaries, books and websites [I said websites, I didn’t say Facebook Pages. Facebook Pages are for promoting websites, but will someone be able to find what they need in the whole mess of never ending posts of Facebook? I doubt that. Facebook’s news-feed, whether pages’ newsfeed or personal newsfeed, are exactly what their name says. They’re good for updating and keep being updated in the news, but if you want an article, FAQ, or any other information other than what happened today in the world, not to mention interactive options like boards – Facebook isn’t good in that] are reliable), require a person who’ll make them.
Located right on Google’s first page, often as the first search result, Wikipedia might be one of the first place to put one’s nonprofit of project name in to drive traffic to their website. Positive branding is not guaranteed, but getting people to know of your existence is very basic. That’s why I want contributors and translators to new or existed sections like Eternal Treblinka, LLF, Bold Native and so on.
Local events holders
In order for global campaigns and projects to succeed, the local support must be supplied. There’s no global event without the local event holders putting their best efforts to and taking full responsibility of their local event, by ceasing to let someone else, usually the global event organizer who anyway can’t help much the local events (he or she don’t speak the language, nor they’re know the local animal rights community in the certain remote places, they don’t know local media that might be interested, and can’t just fly everywhere to give leaflets. A local event, even when it’s a part of a global one, is mainly belong to the local event holder, with all the advantages and disadvantages. The local event holders are the ones to get the credit and interviews in their local media, not the global event holders, and it will be dependent on their own efforts to make the event successful, since global event holders have very little to contribute to the localization, the adaptation to the local environment, of the event). Of course, one of the first meaningful events I have in mind is setting meetings for people who would like to hear, and interested in, starting an Animal Rights infoshops. Like most of this long list of roles, I embody this role too and planning such an event in Israel, and would probably be the happiest person in the world if I can personally partake in such a cooperative myself. But I’m one person and this is one country and the animals’ time is limited. Go find more 20-30 people for a start (not necessarily from your location – members are needed for the initial fundraising and for decision making, and some people have no problem taking a part or supporting a remote place, turning meetings to virtual meetings if needed for decision making etc) open an infoshop yourself and/or organize a meeting for people who would like to be the members of one!
Animal rights cooperative infoshops
See cooperative and infoshops. Also see as example: Habar-Kayma (yep. It’s radical, it’s alternative, it hosts quite bold events, and it still stands on its place, and even successful), Salon Mazal (a center for radicalism – Animal Rights and almost entirely Human Rights, that’s what it was. One couldn’t possibly dare to call himself radical if he didn’t attended there. The place had a very humble vegan kitchen for more than fair prices, but it wasn’t the focus of the place and the reason for its success, what it’s famous for and branding at all. The focus was an extensive library – all very down to earth and how-to-do literature, less theoretical stuff. You were more likely to find an anarchist guide for demos then long marxist academic theoretical research. It’s an activist center. Talks about, and plans, how to act. The place also held meetings, discussions, conferences about actual issues needed practical solutions at the second floor, free and open to all, way before open source has even popped out in some developer’s mind. The only thing it lacked as an animal rights center is actually dealing with animal rights. No Human Rights, no other issues, not Buddhism, not Jainism etc – just animal rights and liberation).
Translators to foreign languages
Translators to foreign languages (India, China, where are you? You’re highly needed). Just to share my enthusiasm about the new technology that now enables us translators to work on the same project (hoping to ignite yours too), all of this (all what Transifex enables) is ours, for free. I’ve been doing a lot of translations. solely, in a group, on group with Google Drive. None of them was as adapted to translators communities’ needs as this website which was created for this specific purpose.
Pioneer of ever-lasting animal rights education, as I see them. They create what will be a platform or project that will run by themselves, when they sleep, when they’re offline, when they’re arrested, and even after they die.
Well, it’s not like I had a whole article only on the importance of that =)
The best ones, as I see it? The ones that write the so unjustly infamous How-Tos, as long as they are really read and help. But it’s specific How-Tos we need, and I’m not even talking about a how to make a vegan cake, it’s not even close. These are for personal gain alone as I see them. Very little do they achieve for the animals when along with thousands of just identical vegan recipes books they give more recipes. Did any become vegan by finishing a vegan recipe book or purchasing one and saying “that’s it. This cake looks so delicious – I must go vegan”? Probably not. Like Gary Yourofsky’s Q&As
on Pam Anderson boobs commercial to try to convince people to go vegan…you can full people by silly means for part of the times, 5 minutes at best in which one might decide to buy your product. But we’re talking of a lifelong decision, and while boobs and cakes can tempt people to sleep with someone or break their diet for a moment, they’re significantly pointless when one’s inevitably returns to their senses before making lifelong decisions like veganism or marriage. I’m talking about education. You don’t teach a child not to hit by telling them this day don’t hit too hard or this other kid. You tell them it’s wrong, you tell them why. You tell them not to take part. You tell them to stop it wherever it begins. You tell them how to calm down and how to help others calm down. The cest anarchist writers wrote guides to revolution, sometimes for pupils to stand on their rights at school and be involved in the decisions made there that are regarding to them. Now that’s radicalism, and that’s what we need in the movement, in my opinion. Tell someone people how to protest for animal rights. Tell them what are their rights as journalists or protesters, as citizens. Tell them how to stay anonymous. Tell them how to maximize the rights that they have, the freedom of speech, to the fullest. Tell them how to built animal rights cooperative infoshops, how to make animal rights documentaries and even books, how to build an animal right app etc. Tell people how to start a local childfree vegan dating board at their language for their place (the first criterion for finding a match: geographic distance). Teach the teachers (both the official vegan teachers at school, all fill a very important role and mission, and the unofficial animal liberation educators). First and foremost. That’s the most fundamental thing that we need, in my opinion.
Social media advertisers
An inherent part of fund recruitment and volunteers recruitment, can be viewed as indirect fund recruitment and volunteers recruitment: one drives traffic to the website, the website openly drives them to action, the action is one of the two.
Take a minute on that question: how do we know how factory farms actually look like? And what happens there? How do we know what happens in Mazor farm? (hint: it’s not the commercials). Undercover investigations are so important, both for their own achievements and primary results, raising the public awareness, and often, if successful, much bigger prize, a secondary result – a result arriving from the public awareness, like public resistance. So undercover investigation, if successful, are followed up by either public awareness or better, by public awareness and resistance. Reporters about the farm animals cruelty (legal or illegal) next to their own local place (remember: you are the experts for your language, you are the experts for your local place, etc. It’s now an advantage, not a disadvantage, to speak an uncommon language or live in a remote, isolated place – these ones make you unique and exclusive, and potentially pioneers at your own language and place) – whether you actively exposed it and acted against it or “only” heard or seen that it happens. Fur farms, slaughterhouses. Yep, like The Final Nail, we’d like to hear about it, and collect the addresses too. But unlike The Final Nail, if we may, we’re concerned with places outside the US too.
A mirror website is an website that is identical to the original, only on another country. Purpose: to make the surfing in the website faster to people in this certain country, as well as serving as a backup in case the original website is going down, being attacked by hackers, conservative government or people with the interest of sabotaging an animal rights website.
professional volunteer speakers on webinars
Got a technical skills? Are you a Photoshop expert (or better, GIMP expert)? A developer? Fund recruiter? Volunteers recruiter? Know how to design good mail signature or build mailing lists? Come to teach us all. I don’t want speakers to the carnist crowd, nor I’m interested in the direct contact with animals although I dedicate my life to them. The direct contact with animals and carnists should be the least of our interests, while the contact with the local leaders of animal rights are the top of our interests, as I see it (for direct actions, they only drive their power from the indirect influence. The influence on the public’s opinion and agenda, the influence on an industry when insurance companies and businesses, and not only the raided one, start to understand that now are other times, when they can no longer keep their dirty secrets to themselves, neither run a blood business without a deadly fight anymore).
Technical support volunteers
Technical support people are life saviours. There’s no replacement for human technical support, and no guide, instructions or virtual helper can replace that.
You can contribute by putting a banner on your website to help to drive traffic.
An English speaker (or someone who simply has good English) for proofreading. English is not my mother tongue, and I’ve been told I have typos and grammar mistakes even after the automatic spell-checker, so I’ll need your help on that.
Editors and/or peer reviewers
I blubber a lot. Anyone who can skillfully put some of the blubber into other post for further reading, is invited. I already did my best to blubber less and to divide big blubber to smaller ones, but I reached my limit of blubber control and summarizing. Mark Twain said:
“If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.” I personally couldn’t agree more.
Questions and comments in the comments below, if you please.
- Transifex open source peer reviews based translators community
- The Tor Browser
- The Def Con open source videos
- The Final Nail
- The Fur Farm Raiding Season
- Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization on TED
- TED’s entire section on Open Source. It’s fascinating. I guarantee.