Selma and Louise

On the night of August 3, 2015, we did our first open rescue. Johanna, Ramin, Robin and Sara went into a factory farm in Västmanland, Sweden and rescued two of the pigs, Selma and Louise, from a certain death. We left a signed letter and a some cookies for the farmer. After the rescue the pigs were driven to a new home where they will be able to live a full life. The following morning we called the police and notified them of our action.

Press releasePicturesLetter to the farmer

Justina

On the night of August 9, 2015, Martin, Robin and Ramin swam to a fish farm and liberated a salmon who we named Justina. The name comes from the latin "justicia", which means justice. A salmon is, just like a human and a pig, a sentient individual. And the life of a salmon crammed together with thousands of others in confinement is a horrible experience which ends with an early death. Like in the previous action we left a letter, some cookies and called the police.

Press releasePicturesLetter to the farmer

Kaisa and her sisters

On the night of August 13, 2015, Johanna, Martin, Ramin, Sara and Staffan went to an egg factory in Närke, Sweden, and rescued the hens Annika, Athena, Ebba, Emilie, Kaisa, Sina, Teresia and Ylva. They were then brought to a loving home. In the egg industry every hen is used intensively and killed when their productivity decreases. The rescued hens will be able to live long and happy lives.

Press releasePicturesLetter to the farmer

The trial

The first trial against the members of Empty Cages was held on January 15th, 2016 in the district court of Västmanland. A vigil was held outside the court house before the trial began by 60 animal rights activists. We confessed to our actions, but denied that we broke the law. Two weeks later, we were found guilty of stealing two pigs and eight hens. Martin was sentenced to one month in prison. The rest of the group received a conditional sentence and a fine. All the sound in the video is taken from inside the courtroom.

Pictures Closing arguments

Empty the cages

Selma, Louise, Justina, Kaisa and her sisters were unfortunate enough to be born as production units on Swedish factory farms. Tonight they will fall asleep in a loving new home and in freedom. They no longer face an imminent death. Selma and Louise's hoofs are getting used to grass. Justina's fins can move in unlimited water. Kaisa and her sisters can now feel the sun on their backs.

It's easy to rejoice with liberated animals, but they also remind us of the animals that were left behind. The ones who were never treated as individuals, but exclusively as resources.

In the end we’re all the same. It doesn't matter if you're a pig, a fish, a hen or a human. You want to live, and you want to live a good life.

The actions of the group Empty Cages can be seen as sensational, but your contribution to emptying the cages are just as valuable. You can make a stand for a society without violence toward animals. You can become vegan and engage yourself for the animal rights cause. Together we can create a world that is characterized by compassion and respect for all sentient creatures.

About us

Empty Cages is a direct action group that engages in civil disobedience and nonviolent animal rights actions. During August 2015 we did three open rescues to bring attention to the exploitation and killing of animals.

We feel a moral obligation to intervene against violence and oppression. This also includes actions that violate today’s laws. The nonviolence principle means that we don't use any form of violence toward any individual and we strive to treat everybody with respect and kindness, including our opponents. Engaging in the tradition of civil disobedience means that we are open with our identities and our motives. We take full responsibility for our actions and we are prepared to defend them in a court of law if needed.

Our vision is a world with empty cages. It's a future where humans have developed a new approach toward animals, a future where it's considered absurd to eat the flesh of another animal’s body or exploit them in any other way. Earlier in history humanity has made major social changes, and we hope and believe that the oppression of other animals will end, step by step.