The Edinburgh Zoo has a new enclosure to house polar bears. But the Animal Liberation Front (AFL) has promised to attack the zoo and shut it down in the same fashion with which liberationists attacked a UK guinea pig farm and coerced its closing. That included threats of violence, repeated vandalism, threats against friends of the farmers, threats against business associates, and finally, the coup de gras that finished the job, grave robbing.
Every time these tactics succeed, it energizes the movement like warm ocean water does a hurricane. I have repeatedly called on animal liberationists to condemn such criminality. With one or two exceptions of responding posts to this blog, the overall silence has been deafening. In private e-mails, I am accused of caricaturing the movement. Don’t judge us by the whackos, they say. But when I respond asking for an explicit condemnation, all I usually get are evasions or non responses. Much more notably, when PETA explicitly refuses to condemn violence, when Steven Best, the U.S. professor who is at the forefront of the movement explicitly condones grave robbing and other tactics, and is banned from the UK for being a terrorist sympathizer, it is hard but to conclude that most of the people who support animal liberation are pleased that the thuggery works. Animal liberation isn’t about protecting animal welfare. It is about imposing its radical ideology upon the rest of us “by any means necessary.”
And don’t think it is just the UK. The animal liberation movement is international. The most extreme actions are often taken in the UK first, and then they spread like a cancer here and elsewhere (but never to places like the Mideast where animals are treated far less humanely then in the West, but where the response to liberation lawlessness would be far less measured).