The Beast International Times Supplements 1-2, The Beast 1-10 (1978-1981. London, England)
The Beast began it’s run during a time of global social and political decay. As the voters of the west fell under the spell of charismatic and brutal conservatives, a broad coalition of anti-nuke, anti-fascist, union, conservationist, environmentalist, and animal lib activists entrenched themselves to fight back. As things “hotted up” in the streets, the staff of the magazine followed the action and ideas of an astonishing number of people and groups. The tone in the early issues is optimistic, brave, and intelligent, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the psyche of activists during the era.
The history covered is equally incredible. Articles offer the story of the first animal liberation raid in the United States, the origins of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, and the early days of the Animal Liberation Front. Lost figures, like OG U.S. Hunt Sab and eco-prisoner John Walker, come back to life in these old pages. Important thinkers, such as Henry Spira, Peter Singer, Richard Adams, and Paul Watson were regular contributors. Then, there are the images! Between the full color, glossy covers are amazing pictures of early raids, movement legends, and epic moments on our movement’s timeline. One such photograph, taken in 1980 and shown in issue #10, captures a small group of Animal Liberation League activists standing with banners in a field, bandannas covering their faces, fists in the air. More than 30 years later young people still show that same spark of rebellion and hope.
Targeting the information inside to a wide variety of “animal protection” ideologies, The Beast quickly drew the attention of people ranging from old school anti-vivisectionists to environmentalists. This new readership included people like McLibel defendant Dave Morris, Animal Liberation Front co-founder Ronnie Lee, and open rescue pioneer Pattie Mark. By the time the full size magazine had an existence independent from the International Times, foreign correspondents were already on board and writing about the emerging movement for animal liberation taking place globally.