Ecology

What is radical environmentalism

The concept of radical environmentalism continues to be an unknown term for many. It is about the actions carried out by a nonconformist ecology , following the policies of a conservationist ecology and with a tendency to ecocentrism (a tendency that defends that thoughts and actions should focus on the environment, above all things). But sometimes it is used as a basis for ecoterrorism.

Radical environmentalism and its characteristics

Radical environmentalism brings with it direct action practices and organizations that encourage these types of activities in groups interested in this kind of ecology. Among these activities are community proposals such as:

  • Bioregions or ecoregion: they are geographic units that present a characteristic flora, fauna and ecosystems. Bioregions are divisions of biogeographic regions, but they take into account ecological processes and environmental dynamics.
  • Ecovillages: communities that seek to lead an alternative and sustainable way of life, through energy and food self-sufficiency, among others. In this other article we will tell you what ecovillages are .
  • Ecological economy: it is the set of alternative economic models that take into account environmental and social variables.

In certain cases, radical environmentalism also proposes sustainable development through self-managed frameworks. The following trends can be found in radical environmentalism:

  • Ecofeminism: movement that relates the oppression of women with the exploitation and degradation of the natural environment.
  • Deep ecology: movement that considers the human being as one more member of its environment and carries out actions that favor both. Learn more about What is deep ecology in this other GreenEcology article.
  • Animalism: movement that seeks to fight for animal rights.
  • Neopaganism: movements inspired by religions prior to Christianity and that are closely linked to nature.
  • Ecoanarchism: an anarchist ideology movement that takes into account environmental issues.
Radical environmental organizations

Many international action organizations are framed within radical environmentalism. Some of the best known organizations of this type are the following:

  • Sea Sheperd Conservation Society (SSCS)
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
  • Animal Liberation Front (ALF)

Surely some of them you already know. But, below, we explain some details of each one of them so that you can better know what each one is about, its characteristics, objectives and actions.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS)

This organization was founded in 1977 by Canadian environmentalist Paul Watson, also co-founder of Greenpeace , but was expelled due to the overly aggressive techniques he used against Soviet whalers. The Sea Shepard Conservation Society. It turns out to be very radical when it comes to carrying out its activist demands. An example is its use of bottles filled with butyric acid (a substance that smells bad and causes irritation to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract) to fight against workers due to contamination of processed meat, for this reason some governments such as Japan, Canada , or even another organization like Greenpeace, have described them as terrorists, pirates or agitators. In addition, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has accused governments such as Japan or Canada and organizations such as Greenpeace as mediocre pacifists who do not take concrete and direct action measures in the fight against the abuse of the oceans by human beings.

Currently, they are campaigning against whaling in Japan, seal hunting in Canada, shark hunting financed by the Chinese and Japanese governments or the conservation of the Galapagos Islands.

It is the largest international organization for the preservation of animal rights and freedoms . This organization promotes a vegetarian diet , the rejection of any type of animal abuse , speciesism and any type of animal exploitation. The organization has about two and a half million members and is based in the United States.

An example of the type of actions they take is the one we see in the image below, in which we can see a peaceful act in protest at the use of animal skins for fashion.

Animal Liberation Front (ALF)

In Spanish, Front of Animal Liberation . They promote animal liberation through direct acts and civil disobedience. Their actions include carrying out sabotage, carrying out fires with incendiary devices and bombs, carrying out liberations and other techniques such as, for example, sending letter bombs.

The group is organized into cells, but without any type of bosses or leaders, rather they are independent cells and everyone who meets the organization’s guidelines can take part. The ALF organization is considered by the FBI as a dangerous group of the so-called domestic terrorism and ecoterrorism .

The purpose of this organization is not to physically harm animal exploiters, but rather to avoid the financial gain of those who exert animal exploitation . Another organization related to this is the ELF (Earth Liberation Front or Land Liberation Front) which fights for the defense of the environment and the Earth, such as the conservation of forests or the fight against industrialization, through violent actions.

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