As a parent, I am well aware of the liberal and progressive agendas being pushed on college campuses all across America. I am also involved with efforts to stop the agenda of radical animal rights groups in our country. As a result, I found myself heading to St. Louis University (SLU) the evening of December 9, 2010 to catch a fictional film produced by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a group listed on the FBI’s domestic terrorist list, along with a lecture presented by ALF member Peter Young.
For those not familiar with Young, he was indicted by a federal grand jury in 1998 on charges related to fur farm raids in Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin in 1997 where he and an accomplice broke into several fur farms destroying property and releasing thousands of animals from their cages. After evading federal authorities for seven years, he was finally arrested in San Jose, CA, convicted on two counts of animal enterprise terrorism, and sentenced to two years in a federal prison in 2005. Unapologetic at his sentencing, Young told fur farmers “it was an absolute pleasure to raid your farms” and urged his supporters to continue attacks.
Upon arrival at SLU’s Carlo Auditorium on December 9th, those in attendance were welcomed by a staffed table full of take-away, pro-Communist Party and anarchist literature such as The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism, The Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement, Abolish Restaurants, and Invitation For Conflict. Not being inconspicuous, three members of the SLU security staff kept a watchful eye on the crowd as they entered.
Peter Young’s presentation was to spotlight his recent film, Bold Native which is a 90-minute ode to his dysfunctional relationship with his father and why he joined ALF. The film had the typical one-sided sensational propaganda that one would expect, but it also eerily portrayed the willingness of the ALF characters in the film to use whatever terrorist act was necessary to achieve their agenda. I use the word “terrorist” pointedly here as the film included scenes of human torture, arson, and potential murder. The most disturbing scene in the film portrays ALF members having kidnapped a local pork producer, holding him hostage, gagged and shackled, in their basement only to torture him daily with an electric cattle prod. In this scene Young’s character, Charlie, says, “This is just abuse of a human animal in a basement. We’re forcing empathy on someone who refuses to experience it.”
After the film, Young stood before the audience of seventy-plus St. Louis University students and gave a 30-minute talk further justifying his felony actions saying he was thrown in federal prison for simply “cutting chains and opening cages.”
I was unprepared to witness first hand the unapologetic arrogance exhibited by Young as he continued to discuss the ALF philosophy and seemed very willing to commit and encourage others to engage in felony actions even if the result meant spending time in prison. It was quite obvious that Young was using this opportunity to find some vulnerable students he could recruit as new members into his radical animal rights cult. Even as someone who is familiar with the animal rights movement, this unapologetic promotion of domestic terrorism was stunning to me.
The following are just a few of Young’s comments during his presentation:
* “I have complete faith that we’re right. It is immoral to take away an animals life.”
* “Who decides that the only moral choice is to take their [animals] choice to live away?”
* “Animals are not property – not something we use.”
* “Being a vegan saves 90 lives a year.”
* Justifying his felony actions he stated, “We made more businesses bankrupt than liberators sent to prison. I think those are worthwhile odds.”
* Comparing ALF to the Weather Underground, Peter Young stated, “I’m willing to do illegal acts to save animals and cross boundaries. There are no laws to protect animals. There is not one moment that I am not haunted by what I know, [animal slaughter] which is what propels the activist in me.”
* He encouraged everyone in the room to join a local animal rights group and participate in activism to stop the murdering of animals. He shared a story of how he and a fellow ALF member proudly destroyed a local deli: “I was insulted by the ‘dancing pig’ painted on the window of their business, so my friend and I returned late at night to throw bricks with the message ‘meat is murder’ painted on them through every window of their business. Eventually, they went out of business. ALF really knows how to get things done. We support law breakers.”
* “When I first learned about what really takes place in slaughter houses, I had snuck into a chicken slaughter house and I wanted to explain to those birds that we really wanted to save them. Make sure you explain to the animals why they’re there.”
* “Factory Farming and all of animal agriculture looks like a sick schizophrenic facade to me. They are morally indignant to keep animals in crates so we can eat them.”
* “I do not need vindication from the law. I only need vindication from all the animals I’ve saved.”
* “ALF is an organization that is way ahead of its time. I compare ALF to the Plotters in Nazi Germany – some day history will portray us as the heroes who saved animals from mass murder.”
* “What is taking place in America right now is speciesism, which is the belief that humans are better than animals. As humans we live in the privileged comfort of being human.”
* “I encourage all of you to raid a fur farm.”
* “Meat, milk, and eggs are all products of suffering. Living as a vegan is the only way to stop the suffering.”
* He recommended the following reading list to the room of students: “I encourage all of you to watch the films, Meet Your Meat, Earthlings, and read Influence and Changing Hearts and From Dusk to Dawn.”
* “People compartmentalize their morals and wrongly justify eating products of suffering which is why I do support illegal action.”
At the conclusion and prior to the Q & A, Young stated proudly, “If you break the law, feel good about the time you’re doing [in prison]. Make it worth your while if you’re going to prison. I calculated with all the animals that I liberated, I saved one animal for every twelve hours I served in prison. I found great comfort in knowing that.”
The Animal Liberation Front
Between 1997 and 2003, ALF, an international underground eco-terrorist cult, is reportedly responsible for approximately $43 million dollars in property damage to private businesses and medical research facilities across the U.S. by removing animals from laboratories and farms, and destroying research facilities. The organization has resorted to arson, and attempted murder to further their cause and is currently actively recruiting on forty-three American college and university campuses. ALF has been on the FBI domestic terrorist list since 2005 and is linked financially and otherwise to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
To educate animal-rights devotees in its methods and philosophy, ALF has produced a publication titled The ALF Primer, “dedicated to the brave men and women of the Animal Liberation Front.” “In this age of insanity,” the Primer tells its readers, “you may be branded a terrorist, but you will one day be remembered as a selfless warrior who dared to fight for what is right.”
ALF is alive and well, with active cells in over twenty countries, and claims of responsibility for destructive actions on a near weekly basis in the United States alone. At the same time, public sympathy for the animal rights movement is at an all-time high, with groups like PETA and The Humane Society of the United State (HSUS) attracting the financial support and public endorsements of high-profile celebrities from across the United States and Britain.
I am deeply concerned that ALF is not only being allowed to brazenly recruit college students to join a domestic terrorist group, but clearly the intention that evening was to encourage everyone in the room to engage in illegal actions to support ALF’s quest. And sadly, I am convinced that these lectures take place with the naïve blessing of each school’s administration. At a minimum this type of controversial subject matter would warrant an opposing viewpoint being presented.
With college on the horizon for our family, I am well aware that my child will encounter radical progressivism in different facets of her college curriculum and campus life. Her dad and I hope that raising her with a Biblical Worldview has given her the armor and foundation to tackle what philosophical challenges come her way.
We, as Americans, must be prepared to challenge the radical animal rights agenda and recruiting programs on college campuses. Their intent is to weaken the United States by chipping away at private property rights, creating overregulation to punish businesses, advocating veganism and opposing medical research by placing animals as equal to humans, and to ultimately abolish U.S. agriculture and animal ownership as we know it.
This is but another battlefront in a much larger war of ideas in our beloved country. We must not drop our guard, or allow apathy or fatigue to keep us from our post, especially when we send our young adults off to universities and colleges across America. Do your homework and become educated about the threat hiding behind the false propaganda of the animal rights movement and be especially alert to what your child’s college or university is promoting.
By Mindy Patterson
By Mindy Patterson