They are bomb-throwing Birkenstock brats. Wolves in hemp clothing. Enemies of scientific progress. Inveterate haters of humanity.
They are environmental extremists and animal rights zealots. They are running loose. And they are endangering us all.
The national press, which has put a happy green face on the environmental movement for three decades, has largely ignored a recent rising tide of violence being waged by eco-nuts across the country -- and around the world. In August, someone planted explosives at biotechnology giant Chiron Corp. in Emeryville, Calif. Less than a month later, cosmetics manufacturer Shaklee Corp. in Pleasanton was hit. Both targets have ties to Huntingdon Life Sciences, a research lab that conducts animal tests for pharmaceutical, agrochemical and biotechnology products. Huntingdon has for years been the victim of a sustained campaign of intimidation, harassment and violence by anti-science thugs.
No one was hurt in the northern California attacks, but the bomb blasts struck terror in researchers at both companies who have dedicated their careers to improving their fellow citizens' quality of life.
The chief suspect in the bombings is Daniel Andreas San Diego. The feds, who have issued an all-points bulletin listing him as armed and dangerous, say he has gone underground -- most likely with the help of a loose-knit network of radical animal-rights activists. The San Francisco Chronicle described San Diego as a "clean-cut, soft-spoken 25-year-old Sonoma County man, who was trying to invent a vegan marshmallow."
"Vegan marshmallows." What an apt metaphor for domestic terrorists who take cover under the guise of "mainstream" environmental activism with its mushy and harmless facade. PETA, the pet charity of famous vegans such as Alicia Silverstone and Paul McCartney, may seem as pale and innocuous as a marshmallow. But it doesn't just dole out money for celebrity anti-meat ads. The group has provided financial support for the Earth Liberation Front, which along with its sister organization, the Animal Liberation Front, is responsible for committing more than 600 criminal acts between 1996 and 2002, according to the FBI. In Washington, mainstream green lobbyists are silent about anti-biotech mayhem that has resulted in the destruction of experimental crops in the Pacific Northwest, Louisiana, France and India.