1) Was there a specific event in your life that made you an animal activist? Do most members have experiences like this?
There was no specific event
that led me to become an animal activist. I learned about animal rights from my
older sister who was a vegetarian solely out of compassion for animals. Even
though we fought like sisters on most subjects I accepted her logic about animal
Activists take many different paths to the accepting the animal rights philosophy. For some it is gradual and evolution. For others there is an epiphany. Musician Paul McCartney tells the story of looking a window with his wife Stella and seeing a sheep and it just dawned on them that the sheep had a life. Author Alice White was eating meat when she had her epiphany and she spat out the meat. Here is a link to some interviews with various folks associated with the ALF and talk about how they came to be involved: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/Interviews/interview_alf.htm . None of the interviews are copyrighted so feel free to use excerpts.
2) What inspired you to join the ALF?
As long as I can remember I
have believed in and lived by the ALF guidelines listed here
http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/alf_credo.htm. The ALF has no
official membership. It is a "decentralized organization" with "self-proclaimed"
members who follow the guidelines. It has no official leaders. No finances. No
structure. No communication between cells of self-proclaimed members. Many think
of the ALF as a philosophy in which the major tenet is that animals should not
be "property" with which humans can do whatever they wish, and a willingness to
stop abuse if they see it.
3) What is the ALF's connection to PETA?
None. Some members of the
ALF may be members of PETA (along with being members of many other animal rights
and human rights groups).
4) Would you consider the ALF to be the most radical Animal Rights group is the U.S.-- Why?
No. The Animal Rights Militia and the Animal Liberation Brigade are more radical. A bit about the ARM is here: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/Actions-UK/alfarm.htm
The primary difference is that the AR Militia and AL Brigade do not have as part of their credo the ALF guideline: “4. TO take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.”
5) If the world could change in one way what would it be?
Animal liberation. It would
make the world better for both human and non-human animals. Please read "How
Animal Liberation Will Benefit Human Rights."
6) Why do you think the FBI considers that "animal extremists and like minded eco-terrorists are the largest domestic threat?" (Trull, Frankie L. "Animal Research is Essential Part of Medicine." Knight-Ridder news Service, 14 June 2005)
Yesterday Will Potter answered that question a bit facetiously in this article: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/AgainstALF/How2BLabeledTerrorist.htm
The US government is run by politicians put into office by big business. The ALF wants to stop exploitation of animals by big business so there is a conflict of ideology. Like many words, the use of the word “terrorist” tells someone more about the person using the word than it does about the person being described. Both sides of the debate on what to call the ALF are discussed in the novel "Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals" by Steven Best, Ph.D. and Anthony J. Nocella, II.
7) What sort of change do you think the ALF is doing for our country?
The immediate goal of most ALF activists is to save the life of the animal whose eyes the activist has been looking into. As far as lasting effects beyond saving a life, read the article by Dr. Steven Best and Jason Miller here: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/AvertingChinaSyndrome-printer.htm
An excerpt from the article: “For now, however, the sabotage tactics of the ALF and ELF are important if for no other reason than to demonstrate resistance to capitalist omnicide is possible, that the flame of rebellious action (the praxis that must emerge from abstract theorizing) has not been completely snuffed out. But the value of underground tactics exceeds the symbolic to transform material realities, for liberationists are often effective in slowing the destruction of nature and life, if not in many cases stopping it altogether. The corporate-state complex fears them for a reason; it elevates them to the top terrorist threats for a reason; it levels prison terms longer than rapists and murderers get for a reason: they pose a real, imminent, and serious danger to their operations and profits.”
8) How could our country accomplish completely eliminating the use of animals in scientific research and consumer products?
When the public becomes aware of what thousands of scientists already know (that tests on animals don't do anything except protect the corporations) the public will vote to change the laws. Many universities are already stopping animal tests. University of Michigan stopped animal tests last month.
9) If you could change anything about the ALF what would it be?
I can answer two ways.
1. Philosophically the ALF cannot change. The ALF is based on a credo written 25 years ago, and since there are no leaders, the credo will not change.
2. Regarding ALF self-proclaimed membership, in the short term we'd like to have more people live by the ALF credo. Long term, as with the slave abolitionists, ALF's goal would be for there to be no reason for the ALF to exist.
10) Do you believe that all animals should be treated as humans?
No. The third slide in this presentation explains our position on that: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/MediaCenter/flash/AR_logic/index.html