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OPINION

Liberating Animals – To a Cruel Demise

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Wally Santana

Thousands of animals are suffering miserable deaths thanks to the actions of animal rights activists.

In the past few months, activists with the group Animal Liberation Front have broken into farms and released thousands of mink into the wild in the name of animal rights. Four separate farms have been targeted in the campaign. In the most recent attack, 4,000 mink were released from a farm in Michigan. In a separate incident, one of the vandals spray painted the letters “ALF: We’ll be back” before releasing more than 40,000 mink into the wild. 

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Their deaths have been brutal. Mink were torn from the safety of warm barns only to freeze to death. The Associated Press reported that snow plows had to be used to clear the mink carcasses from the road. And it’s not just the mink dying. Mink are carnivorous animals. Nearby chicken farms were ravaged, too, as hungry mink struggled to survive on their own. The result is thousands of dead, suffering animals and millions in damages to farmers. 

The FBI has classified the Animal Liberation Front as a domestic terrorist organization. The group has a history dating to the 1980s of firebombing academic institutions and vandalizing farms. 

Mainstream animal rights organizations should condemn this terrorist group and the senseless killing of these animals. Yet they are silent.

Neither PETA nor the Humane Society of the United States (not affiliated with local humane societies), the two main animal rights advocacy groups, has said a word about the tens of thousands of mink that died at the hands of the ALF. 

But both groups want to end the fur industry. Just before the mass release of 40,000 mink in Ohio, PETA tweeted a video of a mink farm along with the caption, “They were forced to suffer like this, then killed.” 

But these “liberated” mink also suffered and died–and in worse ways than under humane euthanasia practices that farms use. Don’t these animals matter, too? 

To most people, absolutely. But for animal rights organizations, they are reluctant to criticize the “bad cops” that allow them to play “good cops.”

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Street-level activists protest stores that sell fur coats, and groups like the ALF go even further. At the same time, groups like HSUS show up in suits and ties at corporate offices for department stores to more politely ask for these businesses to stop selling fur. 

Their campaigns go together like bread and butter–-which is likely why PETA’s president Ingrid Newkirk once said, “I will be the last person to condemn ALF.” She even wrote a book praising the ALF. 

This strategy works. Last year, Neiman Marcus caved to years of threats and vandalism and agreed to stop selling fur. This year, Neiman Marcus sponsored a fundraising gala of HSUS, one of its longtime “good cop” critics. Stockholm Syndrome is real. 

The dirty secret of animal liberation activists is that they don’t care if individual animals are harmed along the way. Why? Because they’re pursuing a “big picture” ideology where animals are no longer used for food, clothing, in zoos, or even owned as pets. 

And you have to break a few eggs to make a (non-vegan) omelet.

Consider: PETA has been killing animals at its headquarters’ animal shelter for decades. In 2010, an investigation by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found PETA killed 84% of the pets it received in its shelters within 24 hours. Just 17 animals were adopted from the facility. 

Meanwhile, the Humane Society of the United States does not run a single pet shelter despite those commercials you see on TV full of cats and dogs. Instead, the money goes to support a CEO that makes nearly $500,000 and campaigns to promote veganism.

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These animal rights groups rake in millions of dollars each year from animal lovers across the country under the guise that the money will be spent to keep animals safe from needless suffering. But when tens of thousands of animals are being plowed off the streets after suffering brutal deaths caused by members of their own movement, the cat has the tongue of the animal rights movement. 

Americans should wonder why the animal rights movement has the gall to condemn mothers for feeding their families bacon, but it can’t find the courage to condemn domestic terrorists. And if they really want to support groups who care about animals, they should go directly to their local shelter–groups put animal welfare, not animal rights ideology, first. 


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