Skip to comments.Animal Welfare Extremists Targeted
Posted on 05/18/2005 6:10:42 AM PDT by Calpernia
One day last month, animal welfare extremists followed the wife of a pharmaceutical company executive to her job, went into her car and stole a credit card to buy $20,000 in traveler's checks that they then donated to four charities.
A Web site announcement boasting of the act included a more sinister threat:
``If we find out a dime of that money granted to those charities was taken back we will strip you bear (sic) and burn your (expletive). This is OUR insurance policy.''
The actions by the radical Animal Liberation Front appear to be the latest salvo in an ongoing battle pitting scientists, businesses and laboratories involved in medical research using animals against those intent on stopping them _ at almost any cost.
ALF's reach extends far beyond Long Island. A recent Department of Homeland Security internal document listed it among groups that could potentially support al-Qaida as domestic terrorism threats.
The president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, a group backed by institutions that rely on animal research, said ALF members operate like terrorists.
``These are unbelievably mean-spirited people who operate under this delusion that they are on a higher moral ground than the rest of us,'' president Frankie Trull said. ``They operate in a classic terrorist organization mode. There are individual cells, and, as we understand it, one doesn't know what another is doing. Regrettably, I think this is actually a growing industry.''
ALF's credo on its Web site claims the group ``carries out direct action against animal abuse in the form of rescuing animals and causing financial loss to animal exploiters, usually through the damage and destruction of property.''
The FBI is investigating a number of incidents over the past year that ALF claims its members committed against Manhattan-based Forest Laboratories and its executives. Forest, which employs 3,000 people in several Long Island communities, specializes in medicines for depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease and hypertension.
ALF wants Forest to end ties with the British firm Huntingdon Life Sciences, which it says kills animals in testing. A Huntingdon spokesman did not respond to requests for comment, but the company has said it does not violate laws in its experiments. Forest officials also did not return requests for comment.
Jerry Vlasak, a physician and ALF sympathizer who operates a Web site in California that posts communiques from the group, confirmed it has made claims in recent weeks that some of its members followed a Forest executive's wife to her job and made the $20,000 donations with her stolen credit card.
Vlasak _ who said he is not an ALF member, although he supports many animal welfare initiatives _ said the group also has claimed responsibility for vandalizing a Forest plant in Inwood, on Long Island, last June.
ALF also claims it used a bullhorn at night for a week last October to harass a Forest Laboratories executive, glued the locks on the homes of other company executives in Nassau and Suffolk counties and spray-painted their homes and cars with words like ``puppy killer'' and ``murderer.''
The Foundation for Biomedical Research on its Web site has a 44-page spreadsheet detailing incidents of vandalism and other crimes across the country allegedly committed over the past several decades by ALF and other groups, including Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.
``The Internet has been a huge boon for their kinds of activities,'' Trull said. ``You can get people to promote their messages above ground, and it's easier to coordinate tactics via e-mail.''
The targets don't even need to be directly involved in animal testing or research, said Tim Horner, managing director of the international security firm Kroll Inc.
``Their tactics don't just target a CEO or chairman of the board,'' he said. ``They go after assistants, engineers, lab technicians ... it could be anybody.''
Seven people are scheduled to go on trial next month in federal court in Trenton, N.J., for operating another Web site that encouraged the terrorizing of Huntingdon Life Sciences and businesses associated with it. Prosecutors say the defendants encouraged vandalism in July 2002 at the Meadowbrook Golf Club in Jericho, on Long Island. One of the players in a charity tournament scheduled there was an executive of a company that insured Huntingdon.
In Madison, Wis., a suspected ALF member is facing trial in federal court. According to investigators, the 27-year-old man and an accomplice set out in 1997 to cripple fur farms in three states and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, differs with the portrayal of animal welfare extremists as a leading terrorist threat.
``I find that ridiculous, but, that said, there have been a lot of attacks and a great deal of property damage,'' Potok said. ``There is no question that the fringes of the animal welfare and environmental rights movements have become increasingly radicalized. These sectors see themselves in a war against the entire government and industrial democracy itself.''
Although ALF says it disassociates itself from actions that harm people, Potok said it's ``fairly miraculous'' no one has been injured, noting that some ALF members have allegedly set fire to homes and factories.
He said some in the animal welfare movement have begun ``shoving back against the ratcheting up of violence.''
He is scheduled to address in New York in July a group called Friends of Animals, which opposes ALF's tactics.
``Minds do not change fundamentally because of intimidation,'' said Lee Hall, legal director of Friends of Animals. ``Animal rights has a lot to do with empathy. But how would people know that if they hear about animal activists and reflexively think of fear and violence?''
Trull was not optimistic the situation will change soon.
``My fear is that in this climate they have managed to drive away really brilliant minds from this endeavor,'' she said. ``Is the next lab they target the one that is about to find a cure for Alzheimer's or cancer?''
No question. Get 'em, boys.
It is long past the time that these people should be put away. What is the great FBI doing by letting these homegrown terrorist get by with what they do?
ALF was added to the domestic terror list. What is the FBI letting get by?
That was cute!
ALF is as bad as the people who torture animals. Both are sick.
Adding them does not do any good. Do something about it instead.
(That's HSUS, not the American Humane Society. American Humane supports animal shelters all over the country. HSUS just raises money for themselves and radical extremist groups.)
Adding them DOES do something. Adding them involves more than a name making a piece of paper.
These people need to be rounded up and thrown in jail, then they should be sued for millions and have their wages garnished for the rest of their lives.
No, the hard-core leaders are anonymous and underground. The FBI may suspect some, but they're not saying.
The Humane Society of the US with its 1.5 million members calls itself the nations largest animal protection organization. Few people know that the HSUS animal protection philosophy is not animal welfare but an animal rights philosophy that says it is morally wrong for humans to use or kill animals and that they have been guided by that philosophy since 1980.
HSUS has set as its goal the abolition of animals in laboratory research and education. In recent years, HSUS elected to call themselves animal protectionists to disassociate their group from the bad press that the Animal Liberation Front and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have brought to the animal rights movement. HSUS shares the same animal rights philosophy and goal of abolishing the use of animals in laboratory research as militant animal rights groups, but they differ in tactics and timetable for reaching that goal. Their tactic is to slowly but progressively wean society away from using animals.
In order to avoid the extremist label HSUS has deliberately sought to project a moderate image and hide the animal rights message under animal protectionism and the guise of humane and environmental education. Many of the HSUS projects are laudable and could be described as animal welfare. They work very hard to keep that image. Corporate donations and the respect of the education community are dependant on that image. However, their hidden agenda is to get people to give animals the same respect they give humans. What better method to accomplish a change in societal values than by incorporating it into a nationwide elementary school curriculum on humane and environmental education?
Is HSUS a Trojan Horse being covertly carried into the citadel of elementary education?
HSUS has endeavored to establish itself as The Authority in humane and environmental education. Indeed, the organization has won several awards for KIND News; has had the Adopt-a-Teacher program placed in the 1992 Environmental Success Index; and had a field representatives appointed to the prestigious National Environmental Education Advisory Council of the Environmental Protection Agency.
To help establish this reputation, HSUS created the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education, a separate youth education division. NAHEE had a 1992 budget of $940,000 and 14 full-time staff , an increase of 31 percent over the 1991 budget. The goals for NAHEE were articulated in the 1992 HSUS annual report: ... NAHEE strives to ensure that humane attitudes become a viable part of mainstream education and environmental perspectives. ... NAHEE continues to monitor and evaluate new childrens books, childrens magazines, and newspapers as well as all major elementary and secondary teaching magazines and newspapers to encourage the promotion of humane values in publications other than our own.
NAHEE has been successful in influencing other publications as evidenced by a series of three grossly misleading articles biased against using animals in medical research which appeared in the nine-million circulation Weekly Reader and its companion for middle schools Current Science.6 NAHEEs influence even extends beyond the USA as they have sent their educational materials to 13 foreign countries.
It is clear that HSUS has been acknowledged as The Authority and is being warmly welcomed through the educational gates of Troy by unsuspecting teachers and administrators who thought they weregetting humane and environmental education but ended up with those elements mixed with a subtle animal rights message that says it is wrong for humans to kill, capture, or use animals for any reason. It is a message that elevates respect for animals to the same plane as respect for humans. This is a brilliant tactic as respect and consideration for animals is a hallmark of animal welfare. HSUS has reduced the difference between animal rights and animal welfare to the degree of respect and consideration given animals, thus blurring the difference between the two.
I will agree with you when I see some results. They have struck in my state at a University and did thousands of dollars damage.
True. They would do better working with HSUS and the SPCA.
> animal welfare extremist<
Please. The correct term is "animal rights". Animal welfare is legitimate, and embraces responsible, humane use of animals, including in research (done as humanely as possible), in zoos, as pets and as food.
This use of the animal welfare term is either a blatant attempt to take over the term, by lefties sympathetic to the A/R mindset, or blatant ignorance on their part.
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