Washington, DC — The Center for Consumer Freedom is contributing $15,000 toward construction of a new animal shelter in Yadkin County, North Carolina, after commissioners rejected a similar offer from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) at a county commission meeting last month. The $15,000 offer from PETA was rebuffed by County Commissioner Brent Hunter, who led dissenters in rejecting the offer, in light of recent revelations that PETA has links to active domestic terror groups.


“While construction of the county animal shelter is a priority, I cannot, in good faith, accept an offer from a group like PETA when they support and finance groups that engage in arson, harassment and vandalism in the name of their political agenda,” Hunter said. “The Center for Consumer Freedom’s offer is very generous and timely in meeting the needs of our county while sticking to our principles.”

PETA has a long history of financially and philosophically supporting the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF), organizations that the FBI has labeled “the largest and most active U.S.-based terror group.” Since 1996, ELF and ALF have caused more than $43 million in property damage resulting from over 600 attacks including arson, assault and massive vandalism.

The Center for Consumer Freedom’s research into PETA’s 1995-2000 IRS tax filings found:


  • In April 2001, PETA gave a direct contribution of $1500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF) to “support their program activities.” Among its long list of crimes, ELF claimed credit for the 1998 firebombing of a Vail ski resort, resulting in $12 million in damages.
  • In January 1995, PETA gave a $45,200 contribution to the “support committee” of Rodney Coronado, a convicted arsonist who firebombed a research facility at Michigan State University. PETA also gave an unreturned $25,000 “loan” to Rodney Coronado’s father in 1994.
  • In January 2001, PETA gave $5000 to the “Josh Harper Support Committee.” Josh Harper is an ALF-affiliated criminal arrested numerous times and convicted for assaulting a police officer. In 1998, Harper told an Oregon newspaper “we’re going to continue to be confrontational, we’re going to continue to be militant. If people see that as extreme, then so be it.”
  • In August 1999, PETA gave $2,000 to David Wilson, a Utah-based animal-rights extremist who was then a national “spokesperson” for ALF. Wilson has bragged, “We started with animal rights, but we’ve expanded to wildlife actions like the [1998 arson] in Vail.”

PETA’s financial contributions to these criminals are matched by their extreme rhetoric. At the Animal Rights 2001 Conference, PETA spokesperson Bruce Friedrich delivered the following chilling message to his captive audience: “It would be a great thing if all of these fast-food outlets, these slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow.”

Richard Berman, Executive Director for Center for Consumer Freedom, said that his organization’s donation to Yadkin County is a symbol of its efforts to bring information about the backgrounds and motivations of many activist groups (like PETA) to their unsuspecting supporters.

“PETA collects millions of dollars in contributions every year from people who intend to support the humane treatment of animals,” Berman said. “However, many of these well-intentioned individuals are likely unaware that since 1988 PETA has spent four times as much money defending criminals and domestic terror groups as it has in support of animal shelters. We will continue to educate and urge those who support just causes to ensure that they know whether their money is going to the right place — a dollar given for animals should be spent on animals, not on terrorism.”