Extremists Seek to Impose Their Views
“Demonstrate against Saks Fifth Avenue’s Summer Fur Promotion.” So exhorts an invitation by the Animal Protection and Rescue League, which plans to make a ruckus next month outside the store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.
Hopefully, Saks won’t be subject to the same kind of attack suffered last July by Furs by Graf, a San Diego family-owned store targeted by the so-called Animal Liberation Front, which the Justice Department has listed as a domestic terrorist group.
ALF’s self-styled “anarchists” defaced the furrier’s store windows, painted slogans on its exterior and sprayed acid inside the store. And if that was not enough, ALF also vandalized the homes of Furs by Graf’s owners.
And fur sellers like Saks, like Graf are hardly the only targets of animal-rights activists. Any enterprise that uses animals for any purpose can find itself in the cross hairs of groups like the League or ALF.
Indeed, in March, Chipotle Mexican Grill closed down one of its San Francisco restaurants when it was the target of a protest by the animal-rights group Direct Action Everywhere, which accused the chain of “violence against animals” for selling burritos and tacos containing meat.
And, in January, the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena was disrupted by rabble rousers from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who blocked the path of a float sponsored by SeaWorld that featured a family of orcas.
These are the lengths to which animal-rights activists often go to advance their putative “movement.” The more extreme activists will employ “any means necessary,” as promised by the so-called “eco-pirates” featured in the Animal Planet series “Whale Wars.”
Of course, whenever animal-rights activists engage in acts of “civil disobedience,” they argue that their end justifies their means. “Throughout history,” states PETA, “some people have felt the need to break the law in order to fight injustice.” That’s all animal-rights activists are doing, it suggests.
But there is an appropriate way to defend animals, just as there is an appropriate way to protest abortion, for instance, or protest income inequality.
And just as the group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust turns off reasonable-minded people when it harasses women at abortion clinics, just as the Occupy movement engenders bad will when its supporters throw bricks through bank windows and assault police, animal-rights activists lose support from folks who might otherwise back them but for their often-extreme tactics.
This confrontational tactic employed against Chipotle, SeaWorld, Furs by Graf and other targets can be blamed on leaders of the animal-rights movement.
That includes Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, which claims a quarter-million members throughout the country, including all too many vacuous Hollywood types who pose for naked pictures for PETA to show their contempt for those who dare to wear fur.
Newkirk, whose so-called “Naked Truth” tour stopped in San Diego this past February, once declared that “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” Indeed, to her mind, there is no difference between a rodent, a swine, a canine and a human child. And anyone who thinks differently, she has stated, suffers from a “supremacist perversion.”
It is that kind of thinking that undergirds the animal rights movement in this country. Newkirk and her ilk are not simply interested in the humane treatment of animals (which most reasonable-minded Americans support). They advocate nothing less than a complete ban on human use of animals.
If they had their way, there would be no animals used in medical research, despite the fact that such research has led to practically every major medical breakthrough of the past century.
There would be no steakhouses or fish markets. No zoos, no aquariums, no pet stores. No dog shows, no horse races. No “Free Willy,” no live-action “101 Dalmatians,” no “Seabiscuit.” No leather shoes, and absolutely no fur coats.
Animal-rights activists want to impose their extremist views on all Americans. And when gentle persuasion doesn’t work, they are only too willing to resort to drastic measures.
Original Article by Jooseph Perkins published May 22, 2014 in the Orange County Register