I’m only just writing about this now because I was away for the past couple of days. Just down the street from where I live, two UC Santa Cruz scientists who research on animals were victims of an attack, purportedly by animal rights activists. One researcher’s home was firebombed while he and his family were inside — they made it out safely with the researcher apparently suffering minor injuries. The other researcher had his car torched.
I’ve never quoted from my book Meat Market on this blog, but now is an opportune time:
Whenever activists destroy the property of factory farms and restaurants, we lose the moral high ground, and the public becomes uncertain about who the real villain is. At all costs, we need to keep the public’s attention on the horriﬁc cruelties that are perpetrated by animal agriculture… (p. 107)
Militancy can certainly inﬂict damage upon animal agriculture, but its potential to do so is limited, while its capacity to turn the public against our efforts is unlimited. I therefore believe that militancy represents the greatest existing threat to the success of dismantlement. Animal agriculture desperately needs factions of the animal protection movement to resort to action that will alienate the public. And, even if a few barns get torched in the process, the industry comes out ahead. Indeed, I think it’s possible that animal agriculture will one day launch phony attacks on its own property, in an effort to discredit animal protectionists. (p. 108)
Or, perhaps, launch staged attacks on animal researchers. I have no evidence that these attacks were staged, but it sure is interesting that they happened, in California of all places, just three months before the Proposition 2 election. And you know those morally bankrupt factory farming PR people will be pointing to this incident in an attempt to discredit Prop 2.
Here’s hoping the authorities get the scumbags responsible, whoever they turn out to be. They’ve given the animal protection movement a black eye, and — at a pivotal moment — made things much, much harder for everyone in California who works for animal protection. Link.