I am quoted in this story about the continuing threat among the most radical animal rights/liberationists to engage in violence in the name of saving the animals. From the story:
Radical animal rights activists will likely use “any means necessary” to stop what they consider the torture of animals, according to one of the movement’s most prominent spokespeople. “Nothing else works, and these people are torturing animals to death, and they should be stopped,” said Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a press officer with the North American Animal Liberation Press Office. “If they won’t stop after using every other [peaceful means], they should be stopped using any means necessary.”In what would represent a major departure from the movement’s traditional ban on violence against individuals, Vlasak said Americans can expect to see more violence done against “animal abusers,” including university scientists who participate in animal testing.
I pointed out to the reporter that the ideology of animal rights/liberation–which creates a human/animal moral equality–is what logically leads the most unhinged within the movement to the conclusion that violence is acceptable in support of the cause. I also noted that PETA, while not itself engaging in violent tactics, has so far refused to condemn the tactics of ALF and SHAC, which engage in threats of violence, intimidation, property destruction, and other assorted terrorizing activities such as sending videos of the target’s children taken at school or in a store, and assorted nasty behaviors such as posting Social Security numbers and personal information on the internet to allow identity theft. The reporter quotes a different part of the WEB site that extols non violence. This is the section (“Ask Carla”) to which I was referring:
Throughout history, some people have felt the need to break the law in order to fight injustice. The Underground Railroad and the French Resistance are both examples of people breaking the law in order to combat injustice. PETA is a legal activist organization, but we realize that other groups have different methods and we try not to condemn any efforts in behalf of animals in which no one is harmed.
“The ALF,” which is simply the name adopted by people acting illegally in behalf of animal rights, breaks inanimate objects such as stereotaxic devices and decapitators in order to save lives. It burns empty buildings in which animals are tortured and killed. ALF “raids” have provided proof of horrific cruelty that would not have been discovered or believed otherwise. They have resulted in officials’ filing of criminal charges against laboratories, the citing of experimenters for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and, in some cases, the shutting down of abusive labs for good. Often ALF raids have been followed by widespread scientific condemnation of the practices occurring in the targeted labs. Anyone can be an activist. It does not take any special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about animals to want to help them.
Boy, does Ask Carla understate the case. In addition, I would point out that the French Underground killed Nazis and collaborators. If, God forbid, someone hearkens to Vlasak’s call for violence, will PETA finally object?