As most of my friends know... I enjoy reading the way most of my friends enjoy partying. I'll do it willingly on a Friday night cozy in my bed with my puppies... while everyone else is out being crazy. I've even been known to read out loud to my pups... not because I'm expecting them to retain all the information along with me, but simply because reading aloud helps me remember what I've read (and it's just fun to read to my dogs, I admit this). Above all sorts of reading material, if you tell me that it has to do with veganism or animal rights... I'm all in and willing to read immediately. And I've read some really amazing books on said topics, but none like this. Never has a book grabbed me so intensely, that I finished it in 3 days. I work full time and never have the time to finish books as quickly as I'd like, but I couldn't put this one down. I've read books and books about the treatment of animals... the effect that their consumption has on our human health... the detrimental effects that factory farming and animal enterprise has on our planet... but I had yet to read a book about the things that people have done to take action for these movements, or the consequences that these people have been faced with.
Up until recently the only thing I ever associated with "terrorism" was the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. I had heard of nothing prior and did not keep up with much news after. I'm 21 years old and only recently have I become interested in political affairs, so my knowledge is pretty bleak. I never thought that a seemingly compassionate movement that I strongly stand beside day in and day out could be put up in the same ranks as terrorist acts such as 9/11... but it has. In "Green is the New Red" Will Potter documents numerous accounts of animal rights activists and environmental activists being labeled as terrorists and being put on trial (and convicted) for acts such as protests, leafleting, information distribution, speeches, civil disobedience, running websites, etc ... all these acts protected under the First Amendment... (and then of course the bigger issues of animal liberation acts of freeing laboratory animals, arson to animal enterprises and things of that nature). He tells of animal enterprises lobbying to further legislation and widen the gaps in passing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, to attempt to invoke fear in these "terrorist" (whom the rest of us like to name as activists) and how people pressed on in the movement and continued their underground actions despite what the government has been doing to try to stop them (or us, depending on how you view it). It's crazy reading about all these stories of actions that have been made and deemed as terrorism... when in the history of Animal Liberation Front actions, not a single human being has ever been harmed. It's considered terrorism because the government is feeling the economic strain by an ever growing group of conscious human beings. Money, money, money... it's all anyone seems to care about anymore. Potter goes into detail about other convictions outside of animal activism and environmentalism and how they are not tied to terrorism though their characteristics are much more along the lines that most of us understand, due to physical harm being done to humans.
I wish I could explain all the points that Potter made in this book, but I cannot... I'll have to read it another couple times before I can even retain all the incredible information (not because it's difficult to understand, but because he covers so much ground). And besides... I don't want to ruin the book for other people. Honestly... it doesn't matter what your stance in on the animal rights or environmental movements... this book is such an amazing source of information on those subjects as well as how our government works these days... and it's truly mind-blowing. I have to admit that for the first time in my life, I actually kissed this book upon its conclusion. I've been a vegan/vegetarian for quite some time now but I've just recently been wanting to take that further and be able to call myself an activist... and this book doesn't scare me away from that wanting... it actually makes me want it even more. I'm proud of what the people of this movement have done and the successes they have made and the repercussions they have been willing to endure... and I hope that one day I have the courage that they do, to truly stand up to what they see as wrong and use direct action to bring about change.
Now, I find myself hungry to know more and get more informed about what's really going on. Thank you Will Potter for filling my head with knowledge and making me more aware of what I stand for and even more proud to continue standing for it.
I highly recommend that everyone read "Green is the New Red" by Will Potter and keep up with his website greenisthenewred.com