When we told you yesterday about a disturbing animal-rights attack on a pharmaceutical CEO, we closed by noting that the Animal Liberation Front and other violent misanthropes have “mainstream charitable supporters” in the animal rights movement. And “as long as these charities can maintain their save-the-bunnies façade,” we said, “the public may never know the lengths these groups go to in the name of total animal liberation.” Were we talking about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)? You bet we were. And today PETA has given us another reason to sound the alarm about its band of deluded psychos: a death threat against an Australian fashion designer who refuses to embrace the “animal liberation” philosophy.
Reports the “Sydney Confidential” column in today’s Daily Telegraph newspaper:
“Tuesday 4th August, Police were called by iconic Australian Fashion Designer, Alannah Hill to investigate a disturbing and heated death threat …,” the designer’s statement to Confidential read. “It was from the notorious PETA, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals Organisation.”
The emailed threat, provided to Sydney Confidential, by representatives for Hill, states: “Dear Hill, IM(sic) GOING TO KILL YOU SERIOUSLY IF YOU DONT STOP YOUR(sic) DEAD. NO1 WANTS TO BUY YOUR SHIT, Sincerely ssssss ssssss”.
The threat was sent via email from an address listed as firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does this say about the animal rights movement? After all, every social movement has its wing-nuts and fringe cranks. But the fact that a genuine death threat appears to have come from PETA’s main “support” e-mail address indicates (to us, at least) a high level of impatience and disappointment that PETA’s leaders surely must feel with the 99 percent of society that will never see the world the way they do. As we saw this week in a Pittsburgh-area fitness club, an unstable mind and repeated societal rejection can be a deadly mix.
There are, to be sure, other elements in the animal rights movement (HSUS, the Humane Society of the United States comes to mind) which prefer to erode your rights slowly, over decades, rather than terrorizing you into a quick change of behavior against your will. But their goals are the same as PETA’s: No meat or dairy, no hunting or fishing, no zoos or aquariums, no fur or leather, no pet ownership, no medical research using lab rats, and the list goes on.
In 1993, UC San Diego microbiologist Dr. Patrick Cleveland spelled out how PETA and HSUS share a “philosophy of animal rights and goal of abolishing the use of animals.” But their different “tactics and timetable for that abolition,” he wrote, are like the difference between a mugger and a con man. “They each will rob you — they use different tactics, have different timetables, but the result is the same. The con man may even criticize the mugger for using confrontational tactics and giving all thieves a bad name, but your money is still taken.”
This is an important lesson to keep in mind, since the recent rash of animal rights-inspired violence will inevitably bring complaints from HSUS that “we’re not all like that,” and “some of us pursue peaceful change.” Whether that’s true or not—and sometimes it isn’t—a thief is still a thief. Sometimes the con men even wear polyester suits.