Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (June 2004)

Steven Best, Ph.D., (Editor) Anthony J. Nocella, II (Editor) 

Book Description

The first anthology of writings on the history, ethics, politics and tactics of the Animal Liberation Front, Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? features both academic and activist perspectives and offers powerful insights into this international organization and its position within the animal rights movement.

Calling on sources as venerable as Thomas Aquinas and as current as the Patriot Act—and, in some cases, personal experience—the contributors explore the history of civil disobedience and sabotage, and examine the philosophical and cultural meanings of words like "terrorism," "democracy" and "freedom," in a book that ultimately challenges the values and assumptions that pervade our culture. Contributors include Robin Webb, Rod Coronado, Ingrid Newkirk, Paul Watson, Karen Davis, Bruce Friedrich and others.

Review by Charles Patterson, author of ETERNAL TREBLINKA: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust

This is an anthology of essays by leading members of the animal rights movement about the tactics and goals of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and about the animal liberation movement generally.

The ALF, whom the editors describe as "human activists who risk their own liberty to rescue and aid animals imprisoned in the worst forms of hell warped human minds can devise," is an anonymous, decentralized, underground network of people willing to take immediate and decisive action to save animals and confront those who exploit and kill them.

Convinced that the time for moderation, delay, and compromise is over, these activists are unwilling to "fiddle while the earth burns and animal bodies pile up by the billions."

The wide range of authors represented here include university professors, members of the aboveground part of the animal rights movement like PETA's Ingrid Newkirk, and former ALF members such as Ron Coronado, Gary Yourofsky, and Freeman Wicklund.  Highly recommended.

Another reader says:

Throughout history, "acceptable," "traditional," and "customary" practices have allowed the enslavement of humans, the negation of women's rights, the denial of a people's civil rights, and countless other atrocities. The human animal has given of its blood, sacrificed its freedom, and wreaked destruction against members of its own family in the battle against ignorance, prejudice, and inequality. However, not until The Animal Liberation Front took charge did those who suffer needlessly have someone who would pay the ultimate price in their name. Not until the Animal Liberation Front becomes an accepted voice for the voiceless will the "acceptable," "traditional," and "customary" ever change.

Terrorist or Freedom Fighters? provides a comprehensive, intellectual study of the philosophy and tactics guiding the Animal Liberation Front. Steve Best and Anthony Nocella II provide an in-depth analysis of how direct action is not only essential to the animal rights movement, but also relevant to the history of all social justice movements. The book includes fascinating sections on topics such as history, tactics, media, and terrorism and includes voices from within the movement that are both supportive and critical of the ALF. Terrorist or Freedom Fighters? is a compilation of diverse animal rights voices, an unprecedented collection of ideas whose time has come.