Yesterday a crazed gunman named James Lee took hostages at the Discovery Channel building in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was later killed by police. Lee’s bizarre crime will be a topic for TV talking heads in coming days, but one of the most interesting features of the story probably won’t get much airplay. What drove Lee to strap explosives to his body and threaten to blow an office building (and its inhabitants) to kingdom come? A 2-page manifesto attributed to Lee could provide an answer. His “demands” for the Discovery Channel included a change in programming to favor population control and preferring wildlife over people. This follows the familiar philosophies that we see regularly touted by animal rights and environmental extremists. It’s worth reviewing.

Here are a few snippets from “the demands and sayings of Lee”:

All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed …

For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition over the course of 60 to 100 YEARS of that new human's lifespan! THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!! All human procreation and farming must cease! …

Saving the environment and the remaning [sic] species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels. The humans? The planet does not need humans.

Sound familiar? It sounds like a ham-fisted version of the "hell is other people" philosophy written by animal rights attorney and population control promoter Carter Dillard. He’s “Of Counsel” to the “Humane Society” of the United States (HSUS). Dillard has written extensively about how having kids isn’t an unlimited “right,” but one that should be limited by the “public good”—which he defines as being balanced against “other rights”—including those of the wilderness and “non-human species.”

HSUS has more ties to the zero-population-growth world than you might think. The group’s current CEO, Wayne Pacelle, has said in the past that “I certainly don't plan to have children. I take it as a very serious personal responsibility not to put another consumer on this planet.” And in the 1990s HSUS wrote a check to an organization called—you guessed it—“Zero Population Growth.”

Why does an animal group care about the population of people? Pacelle put it best himself: “It's a simple equation that more consumers translates into more animals raised for food.” That could also explain why HSUS Senior Vice President Heidi Prescott had herself sterilized at a very young age.

“Sea Shepherd” pseudo-pirate Paul Watson also legitimizes the anti-human rants of unbalanced activists like James Lee. Watson thinks it’s reasonable to break laws whenever the ends can be twisted to justify the means. He told the Animal Rights 2002 convention: “We should never feel like we’re going too far in breaking the law, because whatever laws you break to liberate animals or to protect the environment are very insignificant.”

Attacking ships (manned by people) on the high seas to protect whales only makes sense if you subscribe to the people-are-parasites religion. (Coincidentally, the “Whale Wars” show featuring Watson is shown on Animal Planet, which is owned by the Discovery Channel’s parent company.)

Simply, most eco-warriors and much of the animal-liberation movement sees people as the problem. Humans must do penance.

Let’s be clear that environmental and animal rights groups aren’t directly responsible for Lee’s hostage-taking actions any more than Al Gore is. Lee made his warped choices all alone. But promoting poisonous philosophies that put “Gaia” and her furry children first—and humans last— corrupts and perverts the minds of too many like him.

The modern environmental and animal rights movements have become moral enablers of anti-human terrorism. James Lee’s philosophy seems ripped from the pages of the Unabomber’s screeds. And PETA’s. And HSUS’s. Yesterday’s horror reminds us that in moments of moral outrage, it’s okay to take sides. In fact, it’s healthy.