Who is Peter Daniel Young?

Nov 01, 2009 Comments Off on Who is Peter Daniel Young?

(Updated November 2009)


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1997 attacks on US fur farms


Who is Peter Daniel Young?

Peter Young is a Straight Edge vegan who graduated from high school in upscale Mercer Island, Washington in 1995.

In 1996, he was arrested in Oregon on a criminal trespassing charge and ordered to pay a $174 fine.

In April 1997, he was arrested while celebrating the ten-year anniversary of an Animal Liberation Front arson at the UC Davis veterinary school

In 1997, Young and two others (Justin Clayton Samuel and Allison Porter) were arrested in Mercer Island. In their possession were bolt cutters, Animal Liberation Front propaganda, a vial of animal tranquilizer, and the book Free the Animals: The Story of the Animal Liberation Front, by Ingrid Newkirk, founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Young was found guilty of third-degree theft and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and sentenced to a year in jail. A second charge of malicious mischief brought a fine of $1,000 and a 90-day jail sentence.

It is unclear how Young avoided serving the sentence, but in October of that very same year, 1997, he and Samuel headed out for a multi-state crime spree, releasing and abandoning farm-raised mink, and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. (Young’s recollections on )

In 1998, he and Samuel were indicted by a federal grand jury in Madison, Wisconsin on four extortion charges and two animal enterprise terrorism counts. The charges related to attacks on mink farms in Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa in 1997.

Both fled soon after the indictment, but Samuel was captured in 1999 in Belgium, extradited to the US and sentenced to two years in prison. Young, however, escaped capture for the next seven years.

In March 2005 he was caught shoplifting CDs at Starbucks in San Jose, California. In September, he pleaded guilty to two counts of animal enterprise terrorism in a deal with prosecutors. Prosecutors had earlier decided to drop the four extortion counts against Young believing them to have been rendered invalid by a 2003 Supreme Court ruling.

On Nov. 8, 2005, he was sentenced to two years in prison, one year of supervised release, and 360 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $254,000 in restitution to the farmers he victimized. (As of March 2010, he had still not paid anything in restitution even though he was actively raising money for a tax-free “charitable” organization which he claimed was providing money for those arrested for breaking the law. It is unclear if this organization is actually incorporated.)

By October 2007, Young was available for “motivational” speeches promoting the domestic terrorist Animal Liberation Front, offering thousands of dollars to anyone caught vandalizing farms. He also began traveling the vegan Straight Edge music circuit, selling T-shirts and CDs on tours of the band Earth Crisis, and engaging in vegan food-eating contests with the next generation of kids getting arrested for breaking the law.

He also set up Voice of the Voiceless to disseminate hit lists for use by violent vegan extremists and help raise money for those caught breaking the law. It is a matter of opinion whether his rhetoric should be viewed as “educational” or incitement. (Further reading: FCUSA special feature: Regulating the conflict industry.)

An essay by Young on revolution was included in the 2009 publication “This country must change: Essays of the necessity of revolution in the USA,” edited by Craig Rosebraugh, former spokesman for ELF.

Breaking news: On Mar. 15, 2010, Young’s home in Salt Lake City, UT, was raided by law enforcement officers authorized to seize materials tied to animal enterprise terrorism. (See: FBI searches Salt Lake City Home of animal rights supporterSalt Lake Tribune, Mar. 16, 2010.) The raid was reportedly in connection with an attack on the psychology department at Iowa University on Nov. 17, 2004, in which more than 400 animals, including rats, mice and pigeons were released, more than 30 computers and three offices were damaged, and hazardous chemicals were deliberately spilled. Damage and losses were put at $450,000. ALF claimed guilt. View television news report on YouTube.

Utah, September 2008:

Young pledges $2,500 towards the legal defense fund of anyone arrested in connection with a raid on a mink farm in Kaysville, Utah, Sept. 21, 2008.

Sept. 30, 2008: Convicted mink-farm saboteur offers defense fund. KSL.com (Utah).

Sept. 30, 2008: Activist offers support for raid on mink farmDeseret News(Utah).


FEB. 10, 2007: Party with supporters, 4121 Madelia Avenue, Sherman Oaks, CA.

FEB. 1, 2007: Released from jail in California, but must still serve one year’s probation. South Dakota decides not to pursue other charges in exchange for a “deferred prosecution agreement” barring Young from ever returning to the state.

DECEMBER 2005: South Dakota opts to file State charges against Young. See State charges filed for raid on mink farm. Associated Press.

NOV. 8, 2005: Young is sentenced to two years, and urges his courtroom supporters to raid more mink farms. See Mink farm raider gets two-year term, urges more raids. Associated Press.

SEPT. 31, 2005: Young going to jail. See Animal rights activist to serve prison time. Associated Press.

AUG. 31, 2005: Young strikes plea deal. See Accused mink raider agrees to plead guilty, Associated Press.

FCUSA and other fur industry reports

Print news reports

Radio broadcasts

US Government materials

Young’s statement to the court following sentencing


The following is Peter Young’s statement to the court at his sentencing on November 8th, 2005. As Peter did a large amount of improvisation, the below text is not a verbatim record, but an approximate account based on his notes and the memory of supporters in the courtroom.

This is the customary time when the defendant expresses regret for the crimes they committed, so let me do that because I am not without my regrets. I am here today to be sentenced for my participation in releasing mink from 6 fur farms. I regret it was only 6. I’m also here today to be sentenced for my participation in the freeing of 8,000 mink from those farms. I regret it was only 8,000. It is my understanding of those 6 farms, only 2 of them have since shut down. I regret it was only 2.

More than anything, I regret my restraint, because whatever damage we did to those businesses, if those farms were left standing, and if one animal was left behind, then it wasn’t enough.

I don’t wish to validate this proceeding by begging for mercy or appealing to the conscience of the court, because I know if this system had a conscience I would not be here, and in my place would be all the butchers, vivisectors, and fur farmers of the world.

Just as I will remain unbowed before this court- who would see me imprisoned for an act of conscience- I will also deny the fur farmers in the room the pleasure of seeing me bow down before them. To those people here whose sheds I may have visited in 1997, let me tell you directly for the first time, it was a pleasure to raid your farms, and to free those animals you held captive.

It is to those animals I answer to, not you or this court. I will forever mark those nights on your property as the most rewarding experience of my life.

And to those farmers or other savages who may read my words in the future and smile at my fate, just remember: We have put more of you in bankruptcy than you have put liberators in prison. Don’t forget that.

Let me thank everyone in the courtroom who came to support me today. It is my last wish before prison that each of you drive to a nearby fur farm tonight, tear down its fence and open every cage.

That’s all.


1997 was a dark time for U.S. fur farmers as ecoterrorists struck repeatedly. A chronology of crimes, unsolved or tied to the Young/Samuel road-trip, follows:

Apr. 20: Young is arrested at a protest at UC Davis, California, for trespassing and resisting an officer.

Apr. 23: 20 animals released and abandoned in Snohomish, Washington.

May 11: 450 mink released and abandoned, breeding records destroyed at farm in Salisbury, Maryland.

May 28: 50 mink released and abandoned at farm in Lebanon, Oregon.

May 30: 10,000 mink released and abandoned, breeding records destroyed at farm in Mt. Angel, Oregon.

June 4: Attempted break-in at mink farm in Granite Falls, Washington.

July 4-5: 2,000 mink released and abandoned at farm in Cle Alum, Washington.

Sept. 1: 4,300 mink released and abandoned, breeding records destroyed at farm in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Oct. 5: 4,000 mink released and abandoned at farm in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Oct. 16: 2,500 mink released and abandoned at farm in Watertown, South Dakota. Justin Samuel convicted.

Oct. 17: 4,500 mink, 100 foxes released and abandoned at farm in Sioux City, Iowa.

Oct. 21: Breeding records destroyed at mink farm in Webster, Iowa.

Oct. 24: 800 mink released and abandoned at farm in Independence, Wisconsin. Justin Samuel convicted.

Oct. 25: 3,000 mink released and abandoned at farm in Medford, WIsconsin. Justin Samuel convicted.

Oct. 25: 301 mink released and abandoned at farm in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. Justin Samuel convicted.