Free the Animals 20th Anniversary Edition: The Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front in North America
This is the true story of the Animal Liberation Frontís beginnings in the United States. Everything you read about in these pages came to pass. Every character—including each of the wonderful animals you will come to know, most of whom made it to safety—is real flesh and blood. To disguise peopleís identities sufficiently to ensure that they were not readily recognized by the authorities, some details, such as occupations and names, have had to be
changed. Although years have gone by since the first edition of this book came into print, it is still true today that the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security; and other government agencies, spurred on by vast, animal exploiting industries that fund candidates in every election, retain an abiding interest in arresting anyone who interferes with big business, whether by removing animals from their exploitative clutches, or by wreaking financial havoc on them.
"Valerie," the main character in this book, is still in the animal rights movement today, but there is no point in wondering who she is. What matters is what the liberators have accomplished, how they came together, why, eventually, many of them went their separate ways, and who came after them. Reading of how some quite "ordinary" people came to break the law in the pursuit of animal liberation may change your life.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, "Thereís nothing more difficult than waking someone who is only pretending to be asleep." The men and women who broke into laboratories and fur farms had to break down more than doors. They had to break through public resistance and apathy. When the raids began, the liberationistsí first duty was to wake up a sleeping public, to show people who really didnít want to know uncomfortable truths that there were atrocities being committed every day under the pretense of saving their lives and putting clothes on their backs.
These early liberationists not only had to do the risky work, but they had to do their homework, gathering enough—often secret—information to show exactly how wonderful animals were suffering hideously, unjustly and, often, totally pointlessly. They had to make sure that people got enough of a "peek behind the scenes" to realize that the "science" was worthless torture and that skins were far from glamorously obtained. Because of their diligence, the extent of the abuse of animals going on behind closed doors has been seen, at first on television and in newspapers, now on the Internet, over and over again. People can no longer plead ignorance to the fact that there are many options to all that is stolen from animals or for which an animal is murdered, from vegan foods to pleather, from computer generated wildlife for movies to virtual organs that can be "dissected" many time over.
Some members of the ALF, who you will come to know in the pages ahead, as well as many more activists who came after them—acting in ever more creative ways to overcome ever-more sophisticated security systems and laws such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, designed specifically to target
animal rights activism—have ended up serving long prison sentences. Some are still incarcerated. But the majority of those whose daring exploits you will read about, or who have carried on the liberationist tradition, are still hard at work today, working to stir the human spirit to understand the precious nature of freedom for all living beings. And carrying out actions to move that day closer. No law can kill the spirit afire with the desire to stop injustice and free the oppressed.
I hope as you read this extraordinary true account, you will open your heart and determine to do something—and there are many perfectly legal things to do, of course—to challenge the prejudices that condemn wonderful individuals to life imprisonment and a painful, frightening end. The quest of all moral agents must be to achieve freedom from suffering and respect for all living beings, no matter their species. Together, with the will to do it, we can Free the Animals!
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