The Revolt of the Animals

Manifesto Made Public


Fifth Estate # 288, December 1977

The Revolt of the Animals

* An October issue of Earth News reported that a cow in the mid west United States came down with a bad case of the farts after continually eating vegetation that was gas producing. Disgusted by his cow’s continuous expelling of toxic fumes, the owner (an unnamed dairy farmer) called upon the expert help of a local veterinary (who was also unnamed) to plug up the milcher’s exhaust.

Arriving at the farm, the veterinarian proceeded to thrust a large rubber hose in the cow’s ass and waited, at the opposite end, with a lit match.

Not wanting to disappoint, the cow let loose with a mighty eruption that, upon reaching the flame, exploded with such ferocity that the hay in the barn burst into flames. From there the fire quickly spread, engulfing the barn and exploding a nearby heating oil tank, which fed the flames and consequently set light to the farm house. By the time the fire had been extinguished, the mighty fart had destroyed the farm and its machinery to the tune of $180,000. The cow escaped unharmed.

* A recent Detroit Free Press article brought with it the news that an elephant, sick of being nothing more than a six ton bit actor, decided to give actress (and we use the term loosely) Tippi Hedren flying lessons.

It seems that while making her latest “B” movie, the pachyderm grabbed Hedren with its trunk and tossed her against a nearby tree. Hedren received a broken ankle and the elephant a great sense of accomplishment.

* An article appearing last month in the daily Free Press, reported that during the filming of a freeway scene for CHIPS (you know, the TV show where two motorcycle cops ride around acting the fool thinking that they’re cool), Iffy, “a trained bull elephant,” struck a blow against technology and banality when he bolted from his “trainer” and sent the set crew running for shelter, causing an unspecified amount of damage….and in far off Khartoum, Sudan, another act of anti-technology sanity took place when a camel attacked a passing automobile, killing three of its occupants and wounding four others. The camel also died in the incident.

* In what seems to be an act of on the spot criticism of Nanette Fabray’s acting, a recent Detroit Free Press article stated that an elephant on the set of her newest movie (Harper Valley PTA) smacked her a good one upside the head with its trunk.

In the elephant’s attempt to clear the stars head, and its sinuses, Fabray received a brain-less concussion.

* In a November issue of the London Times came the report that during a prison revolt at a local zoo in Limassol, Cyprus, an unwatchful zoo warden was dragged over a fence by a 25-year-old female elephant and trampled to death. By the time the wardens friends had driven back the four ton rebel, they couldn’t tell where the warden ended and the ground began.

Appearing over a period of two months in obscure back pages of daily newspapers, the above instances of animal insurrection seemed distant and unattached. So we thought!

Even when we reported the brave attempts of a cow to kill an armed pig of the Salina, Kansas Police Dept. [“Death of a Cow,” FE #269, February, 1976], we didn’t for a moment think that it was the setting for a general animal uprising

But last week we received an important document that put these seemingly isolated acts of animal “propaganda of the deed” into a much broader context.

Entitled “Wheat and Barley, Oats and Hay,” the manifesto brings out the thoughts and aims of our biological comrades and is signed with the collective pseudonym “General Cudd.”

Segments of the ten page document appear here for the first time in human, translated by George Orwell.


What is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it, our lives are miserable, laborious and short. When we are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered in the most hideous cruelty. No animal in the world knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he or she is a year old. No animal in the world is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth…Our labor tills the soil, our dung fertilizes it, and yet there is not one of us that owns more than their bare skin.

And along with this forced labor, this life which is not of our choosing or want, comes the frightening disclosure that our bodies are being saturated with synthetic chemicals. Chemicals that not only poison and deform our young, but are spread among the humans who herd us into automated slaughter houses and devour our industrially treated flesh by the billions of tons.

After the actions by our bovine comrade in 1976, we realized, and so did the authorities in Salina, that the situation was quite out of their control. They had never seen animals behave like this before, and this sudden uprising of creatures whom they were used to thrashing and maltreating just as they choose, frightened them out of their wits. We realized then that they were much more frightened of us than we of them.

As some of our animal comrades, humans, wrote, “We look forward to the day when primordial desire is manifest and the menagerie revolts.” That is our message to you, comrades: REBELLION!!!