Book Review: Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era, by Sarat Colling

Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era is an academic text book filled with examples of animal resistance. These individuals’ stories will profoundly touch the reader’s heart and prove that the billions of people* kept by mainstream society as slaves, and murdered when they are no longer useful, are as desperate to escape their bonds as any of us would be in their situation.

* I define the word people as anyone with an individual personality.

This is a fantastic book, though hard to read at times. It is an invaluable resource for writing letters which demand change to the government bodies and animal welfare establishment who remain stubbornly, and criminally, resistant to it.

The stories shared in this book of individuals who escaped their cages and, in some cases, went back later and risked their lives to release others, are stories that will be with me forever. I see them in the eyes of the adolescent calves in the field, torn from their mothers and looking for comfort. I see them in the eyes of the sheep, steadfastly guarding her lamb, insisting that I do not approach. And every time I see a film with Clint Eastwood in, I remember Buddha, the orangutan.

“When the orangutan, who had once co-starred with Clint Eastwood, stopped working on

a Hollywood set in 1980, he was repeatedly clubbed by his trainer. The crew witnessed Buddha

being beaten with a hard cane, yet he was still forced onto the set and expected to perform. One

day, when Buddha helped himself to some doughnuts on set, his trainer beat him to death with

an axe handle. These last moments were in his cage. The film left Buddha out of the credits.

Buddha deserved better than these atrocities during his life and his final moments.”

Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era by Sarat Colling, page 68


This book demonstrates why most humans are so blind to the institutionalised exploitation and extreme cruelty to other animals. Animal exploitation industries not only hide their violence, but also somehow manage to cash in on their hypnotised customers’ affection for the ones who get away.

“When a pig’s escape from a slaughterhouse made headlines in the city of Red Deer, Alberta, his infamy was not only used to promote tourism, but also to symbolize the “importance” of animal agriculture in the city. In the summer of 1990, at the time known only by his captors as “KH27,” Francis made his exit from the C/A Meats slaughterhouse. As Francis was being forced towards the kill floor, he turned and fled. He jumped a fence nearly four feet high, snuck through the processing area, and pushed through the back door. He then took off running towards the parklands of Red Deer River Valley.

“For several months, Francis lived alone in the forest, sheltering in dens and foraging for grass. He was also known to emerge from the forest to rummage through neighborhood garbage cans. As a descendant of the European wild boar, he had the ability to thrive in the wild. Once free, his resourceful nature shone through. Like his ancestors, who could live in harmony with nature for twenty years, Francis possessed the ability to reason, sense danger, understand his environment, adapt to change, and travel long distances when necessary. When the media caught on to his escape in late October, after he was regularly sighted in park areas and bike trails, Francis became a household name.

“Citing concern about Francis’s ability to survive the cold weather, the slaughterhouse sent a hunter to track him. Yet, Francis was cunning; he eluded capture by never returning to the den that the farmer had discovered. One time the man came close, but Francis took off again, despite having been hit with a tranquilizer dart. On November 29, the hunter located Francis again and shot him with three tranquilizer darts. Unfortunately, one of them injured his bowel. Francis died two days later. C/A Meats, which slaughters countless pigs, had likely been more concerned about liability due to potential injury to humans (or property) than Francis’s ability to survive in the cold.

“After his death, Francis was memorialized as one of the seven bronze statues in the Red Deer Downtown Business Association’s Ghosts project, which pays homage to individuals, actions, and events that have shaped Red Deer. The sad irony of this story is that, after his death, the city used Francis’s bid for freedom to promote tourism and animal agribusiness. Relying on cognitive dissonance, the Downtown Business Association stated in the write-up about the statue: ‘Francis reminds us that hog production and processing are important parts of the Red Deer economy.’ Thus, the statue was a Potemkin gesture: it performed a deceptive function as propaganda that capitalized on the citizens’ love for animals and the escaped pig, while trying to profit from Francis’s notoriety. Neglecting the suffering of pigs killed for their flesh, the industry that caused and profited from Francis’s misery appropriated his struggle.”

Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era, by Sarat Colling, page 95-97


This book is not cheap. Sadly at the moment it’s only available in hardback at £47.24, although there is a Kindle version available for £26.53, but I strongly recommend you ask your local library to buy a copy. Everybody should read this book. Everybody needs to understand the individuals whose stories are shared here so that, in the future, they will understand the billions of animals who were born to fill their plates, and know how abhorrent it is that this horrific trade is allowed to continue in our global capitalist system.

Will you continue to congratulate the emperor on his magnificent garments, or will you join us and tell him he’s naked?

Thank you Sarat. I love your book.