By: Patti Strand  Date: 01/16/2012 Category: | Animal Rights Extremism |

Invoking the specter of McCarthyism, Ingrid Newkirk, president and founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, warned animal rights activists not to talk to law enforcement agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Homeland Security Department, or local authorities as they conduct investigations into terrorist activities.

“As you may know, the FBI has a massive current investigation into the ALF and ELF and, by default, as with McCarthyism, into the entire animal rights community,” Newkirk wrote. “As new Homeland Security laws make clear, law enforcement is using the climate of fear of real domestic terrorists to collect information on perfectly law-abiding animal rights activists. We should not allow this to happen in what is still supposed to be a free country.”

Newkirk’s statement came in the wake of reports that the FBI and other agencies consider the thefts, arson, vandalism, and other tactics of animal rights and environmental radicals to be acts of domestic terrorism. In its 23 years of operation, PeTA has been a conduit for public announcement of crimes by the Animal Liberation Front, has donated to the defense funds of ALF members, and has given money to the Earth Liberation Front. ALF and ELF have claimed responsibility for millions of dollars of damage to farms, laboratories, restaurants, recreational developments, and other businesses, and have stolen thousands of animals from fur farms and research facilities.

Newkirk has spoken out for violence in the past. In an interview with US News and World Report in April, 2002, she said, “Our nonviolent tactics are not as effective. We ask nicely for years and get nothing. Someone makes a threat, and it works.”

In 2001, PeTA spokesman Bruce Friedrich told participants in the annual animal rights conference that it would be a good thing if “all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow. I think it’s perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows ... Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.”

Newkirk’s alert to activists claimed that both the FBI and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms division of the US Treasury Department have harassed PeTA in the past but have been unable to pin any crimes on the organization.

Published in Spring 2003 NAIA News.

About The Author

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Patti Strand - NAIA President

Patti is a recognized expert and consultant on contemporary animal issues, most notably responsible dog ownership and the animal rights movement. She often appears on radio and television and her articles on canine issues, animal welfare, public policy and animal rights have appeared in major US news publications and in trade, professional and scientific journals. Patti and her…

All Authors Of This Article: | Patti Strand |
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