Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Animal Rights Chicanery
A friend who I often disagree with, Ray Ybarra, sent out this email
The Stanford Law School chapters of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
and National Lawyers Guild present...

Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?
Animal Liberation, "Domestic Terrorism," and the PATRIOT Act

A talk by Steven Best
Founder of the Center on Animal Liberation Affairs and
Chair of Philosophy, University of Texas at El Paso

Tuesday, April 13, at 12:30pm.
Moot Court Room
Food will be served.

A well-known author and activist, Professor Best will discuss the history,
ethics, and tactics of the controversial Animal Liberation Front -- freedom
fighters to some, terrorists to others. He will explore the philosophical
justifications for animal liberation and discuss the Bush administration's
use of the PATRIOT Act to crack-down on animal rights activists who use
illegal direct action tactics.

Free food is always good, so I attended. What I learned was interesting. Societal morality should be reconfigured to embrace animal rights in the future, and engaging in "violence" against property is alright because it does not physically harm sentient life and may move society towards the path of moral enlightenment. In this way, it is similar to the actions of the Jewish/French anti-Nazi resistance, the civil rights movement, and Ghandi's struggles.

Note to Professor Stephen Best - you have a problem. You neglected to tell us that the tactic of using violence to impose a moral code that the inflicted society does not presently agree with is also similar to the tactics of the Klu Klux Klan, Al Queda, and the Oklahoma City Bombers. Since they are trying (in their view) to move society to a more enlightened path as well, aren't their actions permissible?

The truth is that while we may choose to forgive a "terrorist" organization if we after-the-fact adopt its moral view, if we don't we will go after it with the full force of society's police. Which is what we should do with the terrorists of the ALDF and ELF. We should imprison their leaders, sentence them to lengthy jail time, and continually harass them and their supporters with the law. Unless of course that they stop burning stuff down or convince us that they are right.

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