We have long known that the lunatic fringe of the animal rights movement will stop at nothing — including the law — to achieve their goal of “total animal liberation.” Trying to prevent Americans from ever enjoying a hamburger again, groups like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) happily attack restaurants, research labs, and even farms.

If anyone can attest to the despicable actions of the ALF, it’s Dr. Mark Blumberg, a researcher from the University of Iowa, whose lab was destroyed by the ALF in November 2004. Writing an article in The Washington Post, Blumberg describes the “human cost” of the ALF attack:

Imagine the horror of walking into your office at work, as one of my young colleagues did, to find computers, books and personal effects (such as ultrasound images of your unborn child) soaked in acid. Then, imagine having to don a chemical protection suit for several days and sift through multiple 55-gallon drums filled with acid-soaked papers, photocopying those that are still readable as they crumble in your hand.

Unfortunately, the attack on the building is where our story begins, not ends. For what followed was a series of well-orchestrated harassments. First came the e-mailing of a communique to the media, detailing the crime and the rationale for targeting our facility and the individuals who work there. Each of us was singled out for derision; I was colorfully described as having a “famously deranged mind” because of my research on the similarities between the high-pitched squeals of infant rats and the life-sustaining grunts of human preemies in respiratory distress.

Some of ALF’s statements produced the desired chilling effect: “Let this message be clear to all who victimize the innocent,” the e-mail read. “We’re watching. And by axe, drill, or crowbar — we’re coming though your door. Stop or be stopped.” Later in that document, the brazen and indiscriminate nature of their threat was revealed when, after noting “the established link between violence towards animals and that towards humans,” they listed “as a public safety measure” our names, our spouse’s names, home addresses and phone numbers, as well as information about our students.

Discussing a recent Senate hearing on the state of animal rights and eco-terrorism (which included testimony from CCF), Blumberg also highlights our research connecting PETA and other above-ground organizations to the movement’s violent underbelly:

Critics have pointed out financial donations, overlapping personnel and supportive public statements that raise questions about a possible relationship between above-ground groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and fringe groups like ALF.