Gay Animal Rights Activist Attacked

January 2, 2009

Press Release

Gay Leader of National Animal Rights Organization Brutally Attacked in Apparent Hate-Motivated Crime

Police Investigating Felonious Assault Case

Victim Hopes Attack will Lead to Inclusion of Gays in Ohio Hate Crime Law

Dayton, OH – Nathan Runkle, the 24-year old openly gay founder and Executive Director of the national animal advocacy organization, Mercy For Animals, was brutally assaulted on Saturday morning in an apparent hate crime. Runkle is a nationally recognized leader in the animal protection movement, who was recently named one of the world’s “25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians” by VegNews Magazine. The assault, which occurred at Masque, a gay night club in Dayton, Ohio, was completely unprovoked.

The attacker, believed to be a heterosexual white male with no previous relationship to the victim, has not yet been identified or apprehended. Runkle was briefly hospitalized after sustaining two facial fractures, a broken nose, deviated septum, and severe facial bruising. The incident has been labeled a felonious assault and is currently under investigation by the Dayton Police Department. Runkle believes the assault was motivated by hatred toward gays and was intended to send a fearful message to the local gay community.

Sexual orientation-motivated crimes are currently not addressed under Ohio hate crimes laws. The laws address only crimes motivated by race, color, religion, or national origin. Gay rights advocates have long urged state legislators to follow the lead of 31 other states who have already enacted specific legislation protecting gays from hate-based violence.

Runkle is the founder of Mercy For Animals (MFA), a national organization with over 25,000 members. The organization focuses on protecting farmed animals from cruelty through undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses and through public education and advertisement campaigns. Earlier this year MFA made national headlines after releasing shocking undercover investigation footage of hens at a California egg farm crammed into filthy cages suffering numerous cruelties and neglect. The investigation resulted in grocery giant,Trader Joe’s, dropping the cruel farm as a supplier. MFA’s most recent investigation at California’s largest egg farm helped pass California’s historic Proposition 2 in November, which requires that by 2015 farm animals in the state be given enough room to stand up, lie down, and spread their limbs.

MFA has long worked to bridge the gap between the common prejudices which lead to oppression and abuses faced by both animals and minorities. In recent years MFA has joined gay advocates in gay pride marches by forming human rainbows preceded by banners declaring, “No one is free when others are oppressed.” The organization has also been a lead opponent of gay rodeo events, citing the community’s obligation to protect animals from needless violence.

Contact: Dan Foley – 614-519-1729

For more information on Mercy For Animals visit, www.MercyForAnimals.org

AIDS and Animal Experimentation

September 6, 2008

In solidarity with today’s blog carnival against vivisection, here are links to one article by and one interview with AIDS activist and animal rights activist Steven Simmons:

AIDS and the Single Primate by Steven Simmons

Interview with Steven Simmons (doc)

Deadline Extended

September 6, 2008

We’re running a bit late in responding to the proposals we’ve received for the anthology. That being the case, it only seems fair to extend the deadline for writers too. If you think you might like to write for the anthology, have a look at the call for proposals and send us a quick email message with your rough idea, just to see if we might still have space for that topic.

Reminder — Anthology Proposals Due Soon

August 26, 2008

The deadline for proposals for the Coming Out for Animals: Queering Animal Liberation anthology is fast approaching and, while we’re prepared to be flexible, we really would like to hear from you if you think you might like to write something for us. We’ve gotten a lot of proposals in already but we know that even more stories and ideas are out there.

First time writers: Please don’t be daunted by the idea of a “proposal” — just jot us a note saying what you’d like to write about and why, remembering to tell us a little bit about yourself. Remember that, along with theoretical or factual essays on related topics, we’re also looking for personal narratives from queer AR activists, vegan LGBTQ activists, and queer vegan activists involved in other struggles. We want lots of stories from lots of people so that the book will reflect the diversity of our tactics and identities.

Scholars: Writing for this anthology will be a lot more fun than usual. Because we want the book to be lively and accessible, we’re encouraging experienced writers to take liberties. Length, style, format — it’s all flexible. So if you’ve got any ideas at all, even if they’re still half-formed, let us know.

We’re Ahead of the Curve

July 19, 2008

According to the latest Gallup Poll results, Americans have, since 2001, become more accepting of same-sex relations and less accepting of both vivisection and fur. Thanks to Veda Stram of the Animals Voice for giving us the heads up on this.

Call for Proposals

July 9, 2008

Coming Out for Animals: Queering Animal Liberation

Please forward or re-post freely!

What do queer liberation and animal liberation have to do with each other? How does the construction of homosexuality as both “unnatural” and “bestial” hurt both people and animals? How are speciesism and heterosexism interrelated and how do they fit into the matrix of race-sex-class oppression? Why have both homosexuality and veganism been dismissed as “white things” beside the point of real liberation struggles? What are we going to do about homophobia among straight-edge vegans? About those dreadful gay rodeos? Should we be arguing for pleather or against sexual practices that mimic the subjugation of animals? What’s so sexy about whips, chains, and choke collars anyway? What do hip hop “video vixens” and activist “vegan vixens” have in common beyond the performance of animality for the heterosexual male gaze? How does vivisection hurt people with AIDS? Why, within the USA, are both the queer and animal liberation movements less diverse than they should be but portrayed as more white than they are? Why do queer activists in Uganda but animal activists in the USA bear the brunt of police suppression in their respective countries? Are they similarly subversive of “cultural” practices that turn out to be critical to the maintenance of state power? What keeps many gay men in the animal liberation movement from coming out? Why are so many lesbian potlucks vegetarian and what does this mean in the era of FBI infiltration of the vegan potluck?

In the hopes of answering these and similar questions, we are seeking proposals for a new anthology to be entitled Coming Out for Animals: Queering Animal Liberation. (“We” are Kim Stallwood, pattrice jones, and Olivia Lane. Our bios are here.) The anthology will include thought-provoking essays on theoretical and practical topics as well as personal narratives by queer animal advocates , vegan queer activists, and queer vegans who are active in other struggles.

Proposals should include a summary or abstract of the proposed chapter along with information about the author. If you have previous publications, please list at least some of them. If you don’t have previous publications, don’t despair but please do include a writing sample — perhaps a page or two of the piece you want to write for us. All of the editors are skilled at working with first-time writers and we are particularly committed to publishing activists who have not yet had a voice in their respective movements.

We do have a number of chapters and promises in hand as well as a list of topics we really hope somebody will cover (some of which are suggested by the questions above). If you fear that your proposed topic might be already covered or if you might like to help us out by covering one of the topics on our wish list, please write to us before preparing your proposal. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to write to us before putting any time into a proposal.

Address all proposals and inquiries to: pattrice (at) pattricejones.info or pattrice jones c/o Eastern Shore Sanctuary; 13981 Reading Ferry; Princess Anne, MD 21853; USA.

Proposal Deadline: 30 August, 2008

Deadline for Accepted Chapters: 31 December, 2008

Welcome

July 3, 2008

Welcome to what will be the blog for the Coming Out for Animals: Queering Animal Liberation anthology. We’ll be posting the call for proposals for the anthology soon. Then, as we wait for proposals and then chapters to filter in, we’ll be using this blog to post thoughts, links, and news related to the intersection of queer and animal exploitation and liberation.


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