Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Gay Animal Rights Activist Attacked in Ohio January 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 7:25 am
Tags: ,

Nathan Runkle, founder & executive director of Mercy for Animals, was brutally attacked recently at a gay nightclub in Dayton.

The press release states Nathan’s wish that sexual orientation be included in Ohio’s hate crimes legislation.

pattrice jones offers two posts about what people can do to help & how we — queer people, vegans, & allies (I note of course that these categories are not mutually exclusive) — can move forward from here:

So, if you’re somebody who cares about or works on LGBTQ issues but has not (yet) integrated the animals into your analysis of oppression, let this attack on a gay man who has dedicated himself to animal rights motivate you to educate yourself about the connections. And, if you’re a straight animal liberationist or veg*n advocate who hasn’t thought deeply about your heterosexual privilege and what obligations you might have to divest yourself of that, let this near-deadly attack on a gay animal advocate remind you (if Proposition 8 and Obama’s selection of a homophobic preacher to speak at his inauguration did not) that homophobia is still alive and dangerous.

In both instances: Educate yourself about the intersections and then figure out how you might integrate what you learn into your activism and your daily life. Those of us who are already hip to that particular intersection ought to realize that there’s always more for us to learn too. Finally, all of us can be inspired by Nathan’s relentless activism and take up the charge to do just a little bit more while he’s recovering from this terrible trauma.

As the press release notes, Mercy for Animals brings an intersectional analysis to its work:

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.

I’m sure I speak for all the VoC bloggers in expressing sorrow & outrage at this attack, & in wishing Nathan the best.

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4 Responses to “Gay Animal Rights Activist Attacked in Ohio”

  1. Kathie Says:

    How is Nathan Runkle? Did he sustain any major physical injuries? This is so terribly sad – he is such a kind person and a wonderful advocator for peace towards all animal species.

    Please update us on Nathan’s condition. And any other information on this attack – such as are charges being pressed?

  2. Alicia Says:

    This makes me sick, just sick. How can people be so senseless? Whatever I can do to help I will do.

  3. Noemi M Says:

    thanks for posting this.

  4. jenna Says:

    thank you for posting this.
    last i had heard, nathan was seriously injured in the attack: from the MFA press release, we read that he was briefly hospitalized after sustaining two facial fractures, a broken nose, deviated septum, and severe facial bruising. i believe he had to undergo surgery on his septum. the release also states that he is recovering and has been released from the hospital.

    power breeds privilege, and privilege breeds oppression. i’m glad there are so many wonderful human animals working to eliminate the whole mess.


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