For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
?Most Banks Do Exactly What You Expect???We do Exactly What You Want? 15:11 Sat May 18, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
From the left to where?. 15:03 Sat May 18, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Huh? What?s the Technical Group got to do with it? 13:00 Sat May 18, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
This Weekend I?ll Mostly Be Listening to? The Rain Parade 04:43 Sat May 18, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
A glancing blow? 03:36 Sat May 18, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
In God?s Country 00:39 Mon May 13, 2013
Fishy Talks Galway, 13 May 2013 13:36 Sun May 12, 2013
The Indo: Think I Know The Choice I?d Make.. 17:22 Thu May 09, 2013
Alan Ahearne, Johnny Boy 13:24 Mon May 06, 2013
Who Benefits from Austerity? Mechanics Institute Limerick Summer School, 4 May 2013 23:59 Fri May 03, 2013
Dublin Opinion >>
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Framing ?The Gatekeepers? Fri May 17, 2013 17:46 | Raymond Deane
The May Issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now Fri May 17, 2013 17:14 | Communist Party of Ireland
Full-Sized Life Thu May 16, 2013 13:32 | Susan DuMars
Left MEPs to debate austerity and abortion rights in Dublin Wed May 15, 2013 13:53 | Irish Left Review
Action on X ? Protest May 18th Central Plaza, Dame St, Dublin 2, @ 4pm Tue May 14, 2013 17:59 | Irish Left Review
Irish Left Review >>
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA sues Maria Byrne and Graham Byrne in Dublin?s High Court Fri May 17, 2013 11:39 | namawinelake
Johnny Ronan finally wins a court case Thu May 16, 2013 15:43 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
A shot at bias in the media
Separating the News from the Noise Thu Apr 04, 2013 21:14
Blessed with nothing but good intentions Fri Feb 22, 2013 18:04
The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48
The web's political rainbow Wed Dec 07, 2011 09:47
The Forgotten Constituency: The Majority and The Irish Economic Crisis Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:49
Taking Action with Irelandís John Carmody
John Carmody is one of the busiest animal rights campaigners in the world. He paused long enough to answer a few questions about his activism from author Mark Hawthorne.
John Carmody, founder of ARAN
The founder of Irelandís Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), John Carmody works on campaigns as varied as the Canadian seal slaughter, blood sports, greyhound racing, live export, vivisection, circus suffering and fur farming. The group also works with local welfare groups to find permanent homes for rescued animals. Though he has an unending passion about activism, John describes himself as an average ďJoe Soap,Ē born and bred in Limerick city. He slowed down long enough to talk about his approach to campaigning for animals.
What inspired you to become an animal activist, John?
Seeing the front page of The Irish Daily Mirror newspaper, with pictures of hundreds of baby seals killed in Canada, their heads smashed in and their lovely bodies skinned ― I felt that I needed to do something, so I formed Animal Rights Action Network, which is now Irelandís largest national grassroots animal rights group without doubt.
When did you form ARAN?
I think it was 1999 Ö around that time; itís about 10 years now, I think.
How many people help you with ARAN? How many members do you have?
We have about 25 volunteers who do all sorts of different things, so I get to oversee all this stuff and give them projects to work on, but itís only a drop in the ocean to the huge amount of cruelty out there. But even one person does make a difference!
Animal Rights Action Network membership is growing. We have about 3,500 on our mailing list, but we also have another big mailing list for the UK and the USA where much of our support also comes from.
What role does veganism play in being an activist?
I think as a campaigner for animal rights we must try and level ourselves when we are advocating for animals to the average member of the public and put ourselves in their shoes and try to relate to them so that they can better understand us plus so that they feel as if we are not out of the ordinary ― but vegan is very important as it shows you are practicing what you preach, as they say!
What do you think are the most effective strategies for advocating for animals?
Being polite, professional and understanding!
Can you tell me about any successful campaigns youíre especially proud of?
I think we are successful at many things, especially generating positive press coverage for our campaigns ― whatever we touch we get press; educating people on the street, in college, in schools and in the marketplace; staging eye-catching events and getting people active for animals!
Our big success this year was getting Irelandís largest and most up-market department store to go fur free. Their name is Brown Thomas with stores nationwide selling all the top designers and more.
Congratulations on getting Brown Thomas to give up fur. How did you accomplish that?
It was a campaign Animal Rights Action Network and other Irish animal rights groups took part in. For ARANís part, we organized really exciting demos outside and also inside the store. We have people ďdieĒ in coffins outside of their flagship store in Dublin. We also had nude activists outside their store in Galway and we had activists wearing real full-length donated fur coats covered in blood in their store in Cork. We also organized regular demos, press campaigns, public education and consumer pressure, which also works. We also took over their flagship store last year and blockaded the main entrance showing pictures of the Canadian seal hunt. Anyone who buys or wears real fur can share the blame, thatís what I say!
You mentioned ARAN getting a lot of press. How do you do that?
I think the days of telling the story exactly how it is are long gone. The media these days want something in the way of sound bites with catchy headings and a tempting description of what is happening and why. For instance, protesting a fur store. Explain to the media about those large posters activists will be holding of a skinned fox with that tag line ďFur: No Skin off Your BackĒ ― tell the press what other members will be doing like handing out leaflets to that curious passerby, et cetera. Always keep the press release really sharp and put it in a way the press will want to come out and cover the event. Why? Because we need to keep them curious! Remember, at the end of the day the people in the press are only human, so even they will be interested to see whatís going on!
What keeps you busy outside of activism?
I know this might sound strange, but advocating for animal rights is my life. When I am not working, I am advocating either online or on the streets helping to make Animal Rights Action Network the best voice for animals we can be.
Is there nothing you do to relax?
Let me see, I suppose I like to do some light reading and I love walking and hanging out with friends.
What do you do to keep from burning out?
I canít sleep at night knowing cruelty is existing right now. I wonít ever lie down until this suffering stops. I am in this right up until my last breath on this planet.
For more about John Carmody and the Animal Rights Action Network, please visit http://www.aran.ie/
Mark Hawthorne is the author of ďStriking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal ActivismĒ (www.strikingattheroots.com).