Printer Friendly

Animal liberation: the new trend in terrorism.

* Antivivisectionism is a word that is not very familiar to most of us, but in years to come, the fanatic adherents of this word's moral presumptions will pose an increasing threat to this country's scientists and hunters alike.

The word vivisection means: The use of animals for scientific and medical experimentation. Traditionally, the term antivivisectionist has been used to identify those persons with more than a mild objection to the use of animals in medical and scientific research. Antivivisectionists are nothing new; in fact, I imagine that there was one around to protest when the first scientist grew his first wart on his first guinea pig.

Now, what has the subject of laboratory animals got to do with hunting? Historically, not much. However, in recent years some of these so-called animal rights organizations (charged with the divine mission of rescuing Mother Nature's fuzzy little citizens from the hands of the mad scientist) have also turned their attention toward the hunter. So from this point on, it appears that the hunter slushing through the woods in search of game and the scientist at work in some university's research center now face a common enemy.

Today, the word antivivisectionist would appear to be inappropriate now that these self-appointed defenders of the animal kingdom have added hunters to their list of transgressors. Even the label of "animal rights activist" appears to be only a short-lived transitional designation, because current events now clearly show that these activists have gone far beyond simple protests and lobbying. As this article progresses, you will see that there is only one appropriate term for these people, only one label that accurately describes the means by which they are now venting their frustrations--they are "animal terrorists."

In the early 1960s, England gave us the Beatles. The introduction of this rock music quartet to the American music scene is celebrated by some and bemoaned by others. The music of the Beatles is of no concern here, but this rock group does help to illustrate an important point. There is now, and always seems to have been, a great deal of cultural influence transversing the Atlantic. England's popular music becomes out popular music. America's fashion trends inevitably become the dominant trends of the United Kingdom. The British love American cowboy movies, while millions in the U.S. eat up silly stories about the Royal Family in sleazy tabloids. The list goes on and on, and makes one realize that in spite of the Revolutionary War, America and England have remained closely tied on many levels. Now, however, a new trends has landed on America's shores. It's an import from Britain that we certainly can do without, but like it or not, England's animal terrorists are here.

The "Animal Liberation Front" appears to be the most brazen of Britain's animal rights organizations. Last November, all of England was victimized by a cruel and sadistic prank instigated by the ALF. These so-called animal lovers announced that they had introduced deadly poison into candy bars and then returned these candy bars to the stores. Needless to say, millions of British parents became very concerned, especially since the candy chosen by the ALF was considered to be one of the most popular among British children. After giving everybody a good scare, the ALF announced that it was all a hoax. Their reason for pulling such a stupid stunt? It seems that the membership of the ALF didn't like the fact that the company which manufactured the candy bars in question was also participating in research project that involved the use of laboratory animals. The research had something to do with studying tooth decay in monkeys. Because of this, the children of an entire nation were held hostage. This incident with the candy bars is not the first time the ALF has tried to grab the headlines. They are also noted for putting bleach into bottles of baby oil, again to protest a company's involvement in animal research.

For several years now English hunters and scientists have had to contend with acts of vandalism against property, the harassment of hunters while hunting, and actual attacks against people by the followers of these fanatic organizations. The names of some of these groups clearly indicate their intentions and reasons for existing. Some of the more prominent groups are: The Hunt Saboteurs Association (with its Hunt Retribution Squad), the south East Animal Liberation League, and the Animal Liberation Army. Even fishermen have been assaulted in England. In Peterborough, England, anglers were assaulted by rock-throwing animal rights fanatics. Peter Burt, Chairman of the local Angling Association in Peterborough, said, "Our members are being advised to go out in twos and threes." It boggles the mind to think that today there are actually fishermen who must band together in groups so as to protect themselves from some avenging army acting on the behalf of the fish. Sounds more like the plot of some B-grade science fiction movie rather than reality. If this English fish story seems to stretch the limits of reason, then try to comprehend this next incident (again from England). Not long ago, the followers of this growing so-called animal rights movement raided a farm in Merseyside, England. The purpose of their raid was to rescue Christmas turkeys so that the birds could "live out their lives in peace."

Returning to the U.S. side of the Atlantic, we find that out own domestic animal rights crazies have been equalling, if not surpassing, their British counterparts with their weird, despicable, and sometimes violent conduct. The U.S. branch of England's Animal Liberation Front has admitted to a December 1984 raid on the City of Hope National Medical Center of Duarte, in Southern California. In this raid they stole 100 research animals, including ten rabbits infected with viral herpes. According to the Center's Director Joseph T. Holsen, the theft of the laboratory animals resulted in an interruption of the City of Hope's $500,000 cancer, herpes and emphysema research program. Now, all of this is bad enough, but there is more to this story. Shortly after the raid, the laboratory animals were recovered by the Calistoga police in Northern California. The police had to take the animals to the nearby Napa County Animal Shelter for temporary storage because local authorities first needed to use the animals as evidence before returning them to the City of Hope. But, before the laboratory animals could unpack their bags and settle into their new temporary home at the animal shelter, the ALF snatched them back again. According to Richard Riley of the Napa County Animal Shelter, the thieves had somehow managed to breach the shelter's security system, which consisted of a series of electronic detection beams. These ALF raiders also left behind $10 to cover damage for a broken lock and a note explaining that they were "liberating their friends."

Incidents like the one at the City of Hope National Medical Center can also place the public at great risk. For example, the Animal Liberation Front has also been active in Canada. According to Canadian authorities, people claiming to be members of the ALF recently visited a lab at the University of Western Ontario. London, Ontario police said that during the breakin a monkey and several cats were taken from one of the university's laboratories. The director of veterinary services at the university, Dr. William Rapley, said that he believes the stolen monkey is a carrier of the Herpes B virus. Dr. Rapley pointed out that the Herpes B virus is easily transmitted to humans and is deadly! In humans, this virus can cause encephalitis, an incurable and often fatal inflammation of the brain. At least twenty laboratory workers are known to have died from contact with similarly infected lab animals.

Last spring, at the University of Pennsylvania, a number of video tapes were stolen. These tapes tapes were part of a research program, the purpose of which was to study the effects of head injuries. The goal of this research was to provide additional information to the medical profession so that more effective procedures and techniques could be developed for treating human head and neck injuries. Organized animal rights groups have been showing these tapes (stolen property) to sympathetic people around the country in the hope of generating support for their cause. The tapes show lab animals being subjected to head and neck injuries. To the uninitiated, the tapes appear sadistic and cruel. But, keep in mind that the lives of future "human" accident victims are at stake here, and the information gained from such experimentation is vital.

In recent years, American hunters have reported a dramatic increase in the number of harassment incidents inflicted on them by animal rights fanatics. Duck hunters have had their hunts disrupted when so-called animal lovers have entered the hunting areas with tape players and radios blaring, frightening away the ducks. Deer hunters, after days of searching for a legal buck, have had to endure the intense frustration of having a once-in-a-lifetime shot ruined (at the last moment) by noisy antihunting wierdos. In addition, hunter in both the U.S. and Canada have even been attacked by rock-throwing fanatics. The dream of many hunters is to go on that big hunt up north. Imagine hiring a guide and venturing deep into the Canadian wilderness. Just think of it--spending one, two, or even three weeks in some of the most beautiful country on earth, while searching for trophy-sized elk or big horn sheep. Few hunters can afford to go on such a dream hunt, and the ones who are so priviledged usually have had to save their nickedls and dimes for years. I have talked with several hunters who have gone on such an adventure, and they all agree that even if you are unsuccessful at bagging the desired game, the trip itself is still worth all the trouble.

Now that I have you daydreaming about some future expedition deep into God's country, I would like you to add another element to your fantasy. Picture, if you will, a group of noisy, hostile anti-hunting fanatics following you everywhere that you go, making it impossible for you to even approach suitable game. Or how about having these jerks hovering over you in a rented helicopter? It kind of turns your dream into a nightmare, doesn't it? Well, such things actually are happening today, and with an increasing frequency. The Canadian government is doing its best to control these self-appointed saviors of the animal kingdom, but it's a big country up there, and the authorities can't be everywhere at once.

Down here in the lower forty-eight, the situation is not much better. In fact, one state has actually had to enact a specific law to deal with the problem. On August 29th, 1983, the governor of Illinois signed into law "House Bill 1525" (The Hunter Harassment Bill). According to this law, the intentional disruption of those who are lawfully engaging in hunting, trapping, or fishing, is a crime. Every state should enact such legislation, if for no other reason than to establish a unified resolve that such actions and their intent are inherently criminal. The next example shows that the state of Massachusetts certainly could use such legislation.

According to news reports, a woman in Plymouht, Massachusetts is facing a possible 2-1/2 years in jail for allegedly assaulting two hunters. The basic elements of this story are this: This woman had become accustomed to feeding the geese near her home. The geese inhabit an area known as Cape Cod Bay, a legal hunting area. One day, two hunters appeared in the hunting area in search of geese. The woman in question here, of course, objected strenuously to the hunters' presence. So, she disrupted the hunt by aproaching the two men and at one point making physical contact with them, in addition to her screaming and hollering. This woman has been granted a jury trial. Her reason for requesting a jury trial is so that she can publicly argue her anti-hunting views. "When this case was brought in, everybody thought it was a big joke," she said. "But it was not a big joke to me.... What I want to prove is that their right to kill does not supersede my right to protect life." As I see it, the problem with this case is that any charges of assault are really a side issue. Since this woman is 53 years old (115 pounds and only 4 feet, 11 inches tall), it appears to me that a jury is going to find it difficult to view the hunters as the poor innocent victimes of a savage and brutal attack. But, if Massachusetts had a law like the legislation recently enacted in Illinois, this woman's arguments would be superfluous. In other words, she would not have a goose to stand on.

Now, there have always been people around who dislike hunting, and their reasons are varied. Some frown upon hunting because of their religious tenets, while others (the simple-minded Bambiists) just can't bear the thought of one of nature's cute, little, furry creatures dying at the hands of the big, mean, heartless hunter. But, there is definitely something new on the scene. Some of the previous examples have illustrated that this something new is a type of mentality, a reasoning process that has reached a major plateau. On this plateau, what we find is the belief that human life and animal life are of equal value! This, in itself, is frightening enough; however, the following news items show that some of these animal terrorists may be willing to go beyond this concept of equal life values to placing animal life above that of human life.

Recently, a medical training program at the University of California Medical School in San Diego was cancelled when the chief of surgery, Dr. A.R. Moossa, received a death threat. Dr. Moossa was actually the fourth physician at the UCSD facility to have his life threatened because of the school's use of dogs in training physicians. Authorities are convinced that the members of a fanatic animal rights group.

The purpose of the now cancelled training program was to instruct physicians in the use of staples rather than sutures for closing wounds after surgery. According to Dr. Moosa, this new medical procedure can significantly shorten the time that "human" patients spend on the operating table and thereby reduce the risk of complications and even death--again for "human" patients. He also pointed out that the dogs used in the training program were always completely anesthetized and therefore never suffered. Evidently, the threat against Dr. Moossa's life was convincing, because the university has gone to the extreme of providing him with an armed guard for protection.

The threats against the UCSD physicians were preceded by a couple of bomb scares. also in the San Diego area, people identifying themselves as members of the Animal Liberation Front called authorities and said that they had planted bombs in two local departments stores. They said that their reason for planting the bombs was because the stores were guilty of selling fur coats. After the stores were evacuated, the fire department bomb squad found fake devices in the restrooms at the stores.

Some people may not take the death threats and the bomb scares seriously, but a chilling film from England should convince all of us that the radical animal rights movement is rapidly approaching the level of violent confrontation. This film (produced by the fanatics) was given to British television and was also aired on U.S. network television. The film was shows the animal rights radicals learning and practicing the very lethal art of hand-to-hand combat. This brief cinematic effect bears an uncomfortable similarity to the type of training provided by the military. It should also be noted that the identities of the people in the film are hidden under ski masks.

I, for one, am very concerned that this escalating situation is going to result in a tragedy of "human" dimensions. In other words, people may be hurt (or even killed) when one of these threats turns out to be the real thing. I'm sure that the vast majority of people, in this country at least, would agree that the rights of animals (no matter how rare or beautiful they may be) are not worth one single human life!

Instead of reviewing the compelling moral arguments in favor of hunting, or the absolute necessity of the continued use of laboratory animals in research, I would rather devote the rest of this article to the strange and frightening new mentality that devalues human life by upgrading the worth of animal life.

During the twentieth century, and paticularly during the last 40 years, America has undergone a dramatic change. America was once a sparsely populated farming country, with only some of its citizens living in big cities. Today, the situation is completely reversed, with the vast majority of Americans living in urban areas, while fewer people can be found on farms or in isolated rural communities. As people moved from the country to the city, they left behind many things. One of the things left behind was a more natural relationship with both domestic farm and wild animals.

Living in the country, people could easily see and understand the intended role and purpose of each animal in nature's overall scheme. Animals clearly competed with each other in the day-to-day struggle for survival, and the role of many animals was to serve as a source of food for other animals, including man. Man's killing of animals for food, or for other reasons that contribute to his well being, is not a moral question. It is simply a reflection of the way things are throughout nature. In this "physical" sense, man is nothing more than another competitor among many competitors in the animal kingdom. But, on a higher intellectual level (most would also add a spiritual level), man is all alone and far above any animal. I don't think it is necessary to bore you with all of the things that a human being can do that animals can't; however, I would just like to point out that our rural grandparents (in their close relationship with animals) rarely lost sight of the fact that mankind is the supreme form of life on this planet.

In modern urban America, most citizens are now several generations removed from their rural ancestors. As a result, any realistic or natural relationship with animals is not possible for most of us. The only relationship that now exists between many people and animals is the anthropomorphic bond that they have with their pets. Now, please understand that owning an animal as a pet and possessing genuine feelings of affection toward it is not necessarily a dehumanizing thing in and of itself. But, when the status of a pet as an object of affection is elevated to that of a human being (or, as is more often the case, a human child), and when this affection is then transferred to all other wild and domestic animals, you have the basis from which an animal terrorist mentality can evolve.

One does not have to look very far to find examples of how our society has distorted, and even perverted, the natural relationship between human beings and animals. A very powerful and yet subtle illustration of what I am talking about involves the media's intentional misuse of language. By simply using words improperly, our liberal media elite has been able to advance its obsession of despiritualizing human beings with this "Orwellian" technique. While watching a television news program, have you ever been invited by the newscaster to go down to your local animal shelter for the purpose of "adopting" a pet? The word adopt has always meant to become the parent of another's child. You'll notice that these media manglers of the language never invite you to become the owner of, or the master of, some cat or dog; they always insist on asking you to adopt the animal. What more effective way can there be for elevating the worth of an animal to that of a human being than by causing people to refer to the animal in the same way that they refer to their children?

When I was in school, I was taught that it was improper to use the words boy, gil, he, she, him or her when referring to an animal. Animals were always referred to by a name or the pronoun "it." Yet today, in all of our popular modes of mass communication, you will find that this rule has been abandoned. Listen carefully to the way many people talk about animals, especially people in the media. Try taking their statements and substituting the word children in place of the word animals. You'll often find that their statements will still make perfect sense!

A while back, I was discussing this subject (animal terrorists) with a friend. During the course of the conversation, he made the following statement: "I don't think that we would have all of these animal rights nuts running around if it wasn't for those damn Saturday morning cartoon shows." Whether my friend realizes it or not, I believe he put one right in the middle of the X-ring with that observation.

In 1928, Walt Disney released the first commercially successful cartoon film with sound. The title of this short animated film was Steamboat Willie, and its main character was a precocious mouse named Mickey. Based on the success of this animated cartoon and its loveable little star, the Disney studios grew into the most prominent and influential producers of animated films in history. In the 1930s, Mr. Disney and his animators set the standards and basic parameters for an entire industry. One of these parameters states that most, if not all, of the characters in a cartoon should be animals. These animals, however, must be purged of their natural inclinations and then reconstructed into near-human substitutes, exhibiting primarily loveable and endearing characteristics of mischievous children. The Disney dominance of the animated cartoon business in America was nearly absolute for generations, and has only recently begun to break down with the introduction of cheaply made foreign products.

Throughout most of this century, more and more children have lost touch with animals in the natural state because of urbanization. They have had no choice but to submit their developing attitudes to the very unnatural influences of cartoons and household pets. There seems to be no other hypothesis that satisfactorily explains why so many people are able to refer to carnivores like crocodiles, coyotes, bobcats, wolves, and bears as if they were cute, little, cuddly babies. If you have any doubt about this, then visit your local toy store and listen to the conversations that take place in front of the stuffed animal counter.

Sometime during those years just prior to my becoming an obnoxious teenager, I witnessed an event that effectively neutralized many of the distorted attitudes about animals that I had gained from Disneytype cartoons.

My family was on a camping trip in one of the national parks. The campground was one of those places laid out in such a way that, when filled with vacationers, looked more like a mobile home park than a place to camp. But, for us city folk the campsite meant rugged outdoor living in God's country (after all, we did have to use a public restroom that was more than 20 yards away). Next to the campers, the most numerous inhabitants of the area were ground squirrels. These fat rodents spent their entire day sitting on picnic tables, knees, and shoulders devouring anything that the oohing and aahing campers wanted to feed them. I appeared that these overweight squirrels would eat just about anything. Because of their indiscriminate diets, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that some of these rodents actually suffered from acne. However, the culinary habits of these ground squirrels is not the point of the anecdote--that's coming up next.

On our last day "ruffing" it, I was sitting at our picnic table eating lunch. About 6 yards away, in the adjoining campsite, a lady was feeding peanuts to one of the ground squirrels that was perched on her knee. both seemed to be having a fine time. Then a man (I assume he was the woman's husband) came out of a tent and ever so quietly crept up behind the unsuspecting rodent. Once the man had gotten within a couple of feet of the squirrel, he smiled at his wife, who smiled back. I smiled too. I don't know why. after all, I wasn't part of the unfolding plot. Then the man quickly reached out with his right hand and grabbed the squirrel from behind, enclosing the little critter's body in his grip. With a quickness approaching the speed of light, the rodent twisted its head around. Its mouth was moving like a sewing machine, and it ripped open the web of the man's hand from his thumb to his index finger. The very surprised man jerked his arm upward, violently launching the ground squirrel into the realm of the flying squirrel for about 12 feet. The man, clutching his injured mitt close to his chest, ran back into the tent with his wife in hot pursuit.

I sat at the picnic table with my mouth open, somewhat dazed by what I had just witnessed. I had no idea that a cute little squirrel was capable of such a thing. After all, "Chip and Dale" never did anything like that.

After a few minutes in the tent, the man slowly walked out with his wife supporting him. He was now rather pale, and his badly bitten hand was wrapped in a white towel that was rapidly turning blood red. They got into their station wagon and sped away, undoubtedly in search of proper medical attention. I remained seated for a while, unable to finish my lunch. I was having difficulty adjusting to what I had just seen. Obviously, there was a lot more to the nature ot these animals than I had seen on TV or at the movies. While still thinking things over, I heard a rustling sound near me. I looked up to find that another ground squirrel had found its way on to my table and was sampling what was left of my lunch. I got up slowly and backed away. I didn't want anything to do with this little furry meat slicer.

The point of this anecdote should be obvious. The injured man could not have grown up on a farm or in any rural setting. He could only have come from the city, where these varmints are portrayed as cute, little, "harmless" cartoon creatures. I can only guess as to his motives for pulling such a dumb stunt. He probably wanted to capture the squirrel so that he could make a pet out of it, perhaps so that his children could shower it with love and affection much like they would a puppy or a stuffed toy squirrel.

If people were asked to vote on what they considered to be the world's cutest, most loveable and most huggable animal, I'm confident that China's giant panda would win hands down. The panda (often mistakenly referred to as a bear) has got to be one of nature's natural cartoon characters. For example, the makers of stuffed animals must alter and soften the features of an animal, so as to achieve an effect similar to that non-threatening and endearing appeal of the human infant. The panda, however, needs no such alteration. Everyone seems to want to snuggle up to it just the way it is.

In recent years, our media elite has played up the adorable qualities of the panda without informing us about the natural side of the panda personality. The following news item should help you to put the panda back into the animal kingdom where it belongs.

On Sunday, December 23rd, 1984, zoo keeper Edwin R. Jacobs was taken to Washington University hospital in tha nation's capitol after being attacked by Ling-Ling, the National zoo's 250-pound female giant panda. Contrary to their friendly demeanor, pandas are solitary animals and will aggressively protect their territory. Mr. Jacobs was working Ling-Ling's pen in the belief that he was safe because the large animal was inside its enclosure. When he bent over to pick up some bamboo, Mr. Jacobs was attacked from behind by the panda. He suffered cuts on his chest, back, arms and legs. After the attack, spokesman for the zoo had the following to say about pandas: "Despite their apearance of being loveable and cute, pandas can be extremely fierce.... The reason their faces are so round and cute is to hold extremely powerful jaws."

We shouldn't be surprised that many people have become confused about what differences exist between the rights of human beings and the so-called rights of animals. It should, therefore, also come as no surprise that a few people can honestly see no difference. When you take into account America's (and England's) growing distortion of the true nature of animals, and add to this the fact that in both countries the vast majority of citizens now know only the anthropomorphic influences, it becomes easier to understand the way an animal terrorist thinks. Based solely on the way these fanatics reason, wouldn't most of us go to just about any extreme to protect the equivalent of innocent and defenseless children?
COPYRIGHT 1985 InterMedia Outdoors, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Kavey, Fred
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Jun 1, 1985
Previous Article:Gun-e-sack.
Next Article:The baby auto mag: Dirty Harry's plinker.

Related Articles
Eco-terrorists take toll.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters