Category Archives: Animal Liberation

My Debut Novel Published in Paperback!

A legless veteran and his Vietnamese girlfriend embark on a cross-country journey through the dark heart of mid-1980s America to exact revenge on the loathsome Monsanto Corporation, whose Agent Orange decimated both their lives.

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From the illicit pharmaceutical underworld of San Francisco’s Tenderloin to the cocaine-dusted film set of amputee porn in booming Las Vegas; from the urban-industrial hideout of vegan militant black revolutionaries to a botched backyard lynching by Texas frat boys and the liberation of their chained, abused pit bull. . . Orange Rain hurtles from one stunning scene to the next, swaying between the hilarious and the hideous. Its humor is darker than the Marlboro Man’s coffee (and his lung cancer). A wildly twisted novel, but also one with undeniable heart and compassion. It is an ode to humans’ ability to endure in the face of horrific suffering. A celebration of feminine strength and spirit. You’ve likely never read anything quite like it.
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“The eco-warriors next door embark on a lightning round of vigilante justice. Orange Rain is what happens when the Monkey Wrench Gang goes Death Wish and moves from the scrubland to the streets. Literature that incites.” -Peter Young, former ALF prisoner, chief editor at Animal Liberation Frontline

http://www.amazon.com/Orange-Rain-A-Revenge-Novel/dp/0990360717/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407356480&sr=8-1&keywords=smitowicz

Thanks to my wonderful, egalitarian, vegan-owned, Eco-conscious publisher Trebol Press for taking this on! www.TrebolPress.com

“Orange Rain is not a politically correct novel—which is why it is so appealing . . . [the main] character has a clear revenge mission he never wavers from. Revenge is exacted on more than one oppressor, including two different rapists . . . [It’s] the type of book that could never be published by a mainstream publisher, as they would be too afraid to touch the taboo subjects it contains. Jan Smitowicz’s first novel . . . is fast-moving, fun to read, and isn’t the same old tired thing we see coming from traditional publishers.” -Kimberly Steele, author of Forever Fifteen and other novels

“A compelling, fast-paced adventure through some of society’s most intriguing subcultures . . . filled with incisive political commentary. This timely and important novel is a must read for anyone concerned about the state of the planet, or simply looking for a good read.” -Camille Marino, former political prisoner, founder of Negotiation is Over and Eleventh Hour for Animals

“An exciting new author with a new voice to bring to the world of fiction. The literary world is in desperate need of more writers like him.” Veronica Rosas, playwright

Past & Future Potential Efficacy of Targeted Hoaxes

Simul-posted with Negotiation is Over!

Animalrightsmilitia

Imagine, if you will, a woman walks into a library or university computer lab far from her place of residence.[1] She wears loose-fitting clothes of a style she doesn’t normally wear, purchased from a thrift store in a city she doesn’t frequent. Maybe she wears sunglasses, a bandana over her scalp; she’s removed her piercings if she has any—in short, this woman disguises her appearance from security cameras. Ones that are becoming more and more common as this culture moves ever closer to a techno-fascist police state. When she walks into the computer lab, she tilts down her head and uses care to avoid raising suspicion or interest. Her goal, in the end, is to be completely unmemorable in every possible way. She’s also parked her vehicle well away from the computer lab’s location—making sure it’s a place where getting a ticket is NOT a possibility (since any paper trail that ties you to a certain place and time is potentially catastrophic—this goes for buying gas or anything else on her way to this distant-from-home location; cash, cash, everything in cash, always!). Blending in with her surroundings, she sets up a new one-time-only email account with nonsense information and password that has no connection to her life or personality whatsoever.

From there, her possibilities are limitless. Maybe she learned about a timber sale on a piece of beautiful, life-filled forest (one located distant from her area of residence); in an effort to protect that ecosystem and those trees, she sends emails to the Forest Service and logging company, claiming to’ve spiked several dozen trees with metal and non-metal spikes, encouraging them—for the safety of their workers and equipment—to cancel the sale. Or perhaps she sends out a communiqué from the “Animal Rights Militia” or “Justice Department”, saying her group contaminated an entire shipment of meat from a particular slaughterhouse. Something like this could potentially cause tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage; if the target is chosen strategically, she could theoretically force an entire slaughterhouse out of business with just one email! Or a final example: perhaps this clandestine activist—tired of the woeful snail-pace of progress toward a sane/sustainable/just society, knowing the imminent calamitous threat of climate change—sends emails to an oil refinery, the Department of Transportation, and a specific railroad company (the emails for which she memorized before her little adventure, and never wrote anything down until the moment of action); she claims that her group sabotaged a stretch of railroad tracks leading up to that oil refinery, and that the many hundreds of tankers filled with crude oil that’d normally deliver to that refinery that day could be derailed and cause a catastrophic spill if the shipment is not cancelled or delayed. Keep in mind: a medium-sized refinery processes somewhere in the neighborhood of 700,000 gallons of crude oil every single day. If production is halted, even for just one day, this would likely cost the refinery hundreds of thousands of dollars. This may seem hyperbolic, but it’s anything but: the group with probably more environmental success than any other group, EVER, is the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). A few years ago, by destroying a single bottlenecked/choke point oil pipeline, they were able to keep approximately 30 PERCENT of the region’s oil in the ground for a week—this one action raised the price of oil globally.

The genius of this young woman’s email actions is that she never has to actually commit any of these actions. She merely has to make her targets believe she has done so. The risk she’s taking is monumentally low, especially when compared with the risk of actually physically committing these acts for real. She knows that hoaxes couldn’t and shouldn’t ever completely replace real-world actions, but a mixture of BOTH could make substantial gains with a startling amount of ease and expediency.

If you’re still skeptical about the potential efficacy of hoax-activism, how about a real-world example—one that helped win a major campaign, one that I was involved in as a grassroots protestor (and ONLY in that capacity)—would that lend credence to this tactical concept?

As it turns out, the campaign on which I cut my activist teeth benefitted immeasurably from a high-profile hoax. In 2006 through early 2007, Southern California activists were struggling hard to get the POM Wonderful juice company to stop funding experiments on mice and rabbits. We did many home demos.[2] The vice-president of the company resigned as a result of our campaign. PETA eventually got its high-profile stature involved. And then it happened: the Animal Rights Militia (ARM) claimed to’ve contaminated nearly 500 bottles of POM Wonderful’s famous pomegranate juice at Whole Foods stores across the eastern seaboard. The supermarket chain pulled all POM products from its shelves, and announced that if POM didn’t cease its animal testing by a certain impending date, they would no longer sell their products. The next day, POM Wonderful announced that they would cease all current and future animal testing.[3] This perfectly displayed how effective a multi-pronged approach could be; It was a triple-threat of local grassroots activism, a monolithic national group, and underground illegal action. Turns out the ARM’s announcement of juice-tampering was a hoax—but it worked. In the words of Denzel Washington from Training Day, “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove!” Well, I know the POM campaign proved how effective a hoax could be. Without a doubt, it would’ve taken us a lot longer to win that battle were it not for the Animal Rights Militia’s communiqué. Instead we were able to immediately move on to a new targeted campaign against ever-specious animal testing.

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Imagine the possibilities. Just imagine—and then act accordingly!

*Note: as a writer, I offer these suggestions solely for literary purposes. I do not condone or encourage illegal activity, even though our planet and all her inhabitants are direly imperiled, even though industrial civilization is causing a mass extinction of plants and animals, with up to 200 species a day going extinct. Some things—like laws—are just simply more important than life, and its continuance!

 

 

[1] The adage, “Never shit in your own backyard” comes to mind.

[2] The second animal rights demonstration—and third overall demo—I ever went to was a raucous affair at a POM executive’s house, replete w/ a line of cops in riot gear on her front lawn. How’s THAT for a welcome to the world of AR activism?!

[3] In a hilarious bit of irony, this proclamation came just days after POM’s owner told demonstrators at his Beverly Hills home that he wouldn’t cease his company’s vivisection even if we were to “protest him for a thousand years!”

My First Ever Glossy Publication AND Cover Story!!

The new issue of The Animals’ Voice magazine is out, and my narrative nonfiction piece about doing undercover stockyard investigations is the COVER STORY!! This is the biggest thing ever for my writing resume =)

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My First Ever Glossy Publication AND Cover Story!!.

Local Activists Protest Chicken Sacrifice in Orthodox Jewish Ritual — Doug Kolk Reports

KTLA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said Friday that it has ordered the shutdown of two Pico-Robertson operations that were participating in a traditional Orthodox Jewish ritual that involves the slaughtering of chickens.

“I told them what they’re doing is against state law,” said Rhett Dunn, a Food and Agriculture investigator. “They have to be properly registered.”

Bait Aaron, a Sephardic Orthodox outreach organization, and Ohel Moshe, a synagogue, were performing the ritual — known as kaparot — this week in the lead-up to Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Bait Aaron’s operation was in a makeshift tent behind a building it rents on Pico Boulevard. Ohel Moshe’s practitioners were operating out of a temporary plywood structure in the synagogue’s parking lot, also on Pico.

 The ancient ritual, practiced by a relatively small group of very observant Orthodox Jews, aims to provide believers an opportunity…

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My Revenge-on-Monsanto Novel, FREE for a 5-Day Promotion!

My revenge-on-Monsanto-novel Orange Rain‘s Amazon page.

One of the primary reasons that I write is to raise awareness about social justice issues. That is why, starting tonight (July 10) at midnight P.S.T., and lasting through midnight P.S.T. July 15, my novel ORANGE RAIN will be available for **FREE download through Amazon Kindle!!** If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get the free Kindle app and read it on your phone or computer!

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I am offering this free promotion in part to raise awareness about Monsanto and Agent Orange, in commemoration of the three year anniversary of multiple testimonies before the U.S. House of Representatives by members of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (Click on the group name to see a description) on the continuous toxic legacy left by America’s spraying during the war.

A Huey helicopter unleashing the "Orange Rain"

A Huey helicopter unleashing the “Orange Rain”

All I hope for in return is for you to do one or more of three things: 1) DOWNLOAD AND READ THIS BOOK, and increase your knowledge and awareness of the horrific nature of Agent Orange and Monsanto and the necessity of FIGHTING BACK against abusers 2) TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT IT / SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA 3) If you like the book, POST A REVIEW ON AMAZON, even if it’s just a quick paragraph about what you liked!

Here’s an interview with me on the Vegan Hedonists blog

Here are some things readers have said about Orange Rain:

“I’m always up for a plot in which the little guy fights back against the big guy. And you can’t get bigger than Monsanto. Go, Max!…Rapists getting beaten. Poisoners getting poisoned. Dogs getting liberated. That kind of justice is always so cathartic. I don’t read enough of it.” -J.C.

Orange Rain is fast-paced and excitinga tale of pure beauty.” -M.N.

“You must read this, my peeps. You must relish the dark humor, the excitement, predicaments, the shredding of evil entities, the endings that make the world go ’round. I don’t care how the academics describe this book – I’m doing it my way: you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be singing from rooftops. Oh, yes you will!” -A.L.

A rollicking adventure in which a search for legs and revenge leads to a cross-country trip jam-packed with thrills, chills, and seat-of-the-pants escapes…Exhilarating, thought-provoking, and relevant, Orange Rain is worth your time!” -J.

“I loved this book! I literally couldn’t put it down. It explores some really serious topics (veterans and PTSD, chemicals and the environment, fat corporate America) in a fairly dark but wildly funny twisted way that engaged me from the first page.” -R.S.

Happy Birthday Rod Coronado!

Happy birthday to one of the most amazing Earth/animal liberation activists EVER! If you consider yourself an environmentalist or believe in animal rights you NEED to know all about Rod.

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Check out this great article from the Earth First! Newswire.

And listen to this incredibly touching and beautiful song by Dana Lyons, a personal friend of Rod’s. It’s called “Song for Rod Coronado.” I had to upload it myself because it wasn’t yet on YouTube =)

You can buy this incredible collection of Rod’s writings called Flaming Arrows from former animal liberator Peter Young’s Animal Liberation Frontline.