Animal Protection > ALF Foes
Romney's Obsession with Environmental Terrorists

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Friday, Jul 27, 2012 09:45 AM PDT

Romney�s animal terrorist obsession

When Mitt ran the Salt Lake City Olympics, he said he feared animal rights terrorists more than al-Qaida

By Alex Seitz-Wald

Romney may be backtracking on his initial concerns about London�s preparations ahead of the Olympic games at a race walker�s pace, but perhaps he found the city�s security situation �disconcerting,� as he told NBC�s Brian Williams, because he feared the Brits were ignoring the threat of animal rights terrorists.

When Romney ran the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002, it was just months after the terror attacks on Sept. 11 and security was on everyone�s mind. But Romney wasn�t too worried about Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida, he told the Deseret News. No, the threat Romney feared most was from leftist-animal lovers, as the paper reported in November of 2001:

After hijacked jetliners smashed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Utahns began openly wondering if the 2002 Winter Games might become a target of Islamic terrorists.

But Salt Lake Organizing Committee President Mitt Romney, in a meeting with the Deseret News shortly after the attacks, downplayed any threat posed by Osama bin Laden, explaining instead that the real threat of terrorism against the Winter Olympics lay with home-grown terrorists acting under the flag of animal rights. [...]

His source for that concern? Web sites that encourage protesters to come to Salt Lake City and use the Games as a political forum.

Romney later �backtracked somewhat,� the paper reported, but pointed to anarchist protests at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle the year before as an example of what could go wrong. To be fair, there had been some incidents of civil disobedience from radical animal rights activists in Utah, and police were monitoring some groups. One activist with Utah Animal Rights Coalition was charged with four felonies for vandalizing a mink farm and freeing the animals a year before, though a judge later dropped the charges. But more dangerous than al-Qaida?

Animal activists told the paper that Romney�s concern was �beyond paranoia.� The radical Animal Liberation Front did post the article in its entirety on its website, over an ominous background of a man in a black ski mask cuddling a white bunny.

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks extremist groups, noted at the time, �Groups announcing plans to protest in Salt Lake City include animal rights activists, prison reformers, gay rights advocates, anti-abortion activists, and many others.� But the ADL seemed to be more concerned about the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church than the animal lovers.

Mother Jones� Asawin Suebsaeng noted in January that Romney�s obsession with animal terrorists was in Sen. John McCain�s opposition research book against the former Massachusetts governor during the 2008 Republican presidential primary, though McCain never made an issue of it.

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Friday, Jul 27, 2012 07:56 PM PDT

Kathleen Marquardt, founder of Putting People First (an anti-animal rights group) writes in her 1993 book, Animal Scam: the Beastly Abuse of Human Rights, that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA):

" encourages vegetarianism, the banning of fur, and the eventual end to all animal research, not just �cruel' animal research." Marquardt writes that the Humane Society now supports vegetarianism.

According to Marquardt, "The typical animal rights activist is a white woman making about $30,000 a year. She is most likely a schoolteacher, nurse, or government worker. She usually has a college degree or even an advanced degree, is in her thirties or forties, and lives in a city."

Marquardt cites studies indicating that animal rights activists tend to identify with liberal causes such as feminism and environmentalism.

"Every year," writes the Reverend Andrew Linzey, an Anglican clergyman and author of Christianity and the Rights of Animals, "I receive hundreds of anguished letters from Christians who are so distressed by the insensitivity to animals shown by mainstream churches that they have left them or are on the verge of doing so."

It is not surprising, therefore, that Marquardt reports that "Most activists share a bias against Western civilization and its Judeo-Christian foundations."

According to Marquardt, the "political clout" of the animal rights movement "is surprisingly bipartisan. But most of the leading politicians working with the animal rights movement are liberal Democrats."

Marquardt mentions Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Nevada Congressman Jim Bilbray, Charlie Rose of North Carolina, Tom Lantos and Gerry Studds.
Marquardt admits, however, that "some Republicans are animal rightists, too. Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas often supports animal rights cause � except, of course, those pertaining to cattle, a major business in Kansas. Senator Robert Smith of New Hampshire was a founder of the Congressional Friends of Animals.

"Bob Dornan of California, one of the most conservative House members, is an animal rights advocate � he cosponsored legislation banning the use of animals in testing cosmetics and received a PETA award.

"And Manhattan Congressman Bill Green promoted legislation that would have shut down over ninety million acres of federal land to hunting, fishing, and trapping."

Marquardt continues:

"Although he's not an elected official, a conservative political figure who, surprisingly, is on the other side is G. Gordon Liddy, author Will and a key figure in the 1972 Watergate uproar.

"When I went on Liddy's radio show, he and PETA's Ingrid Newkirk greeted each other with hugs and kisses and lots of warm words.

"With allies in both political parties and across the ideological spectrum," concludes Marquardt, "the animal rights movement has been able to score some great successes, regardless of which party controls the White House or Capitol Hill."


Animal issues are now mainstream politics. Obama for America reported in September 2008:

"Senator Obama realizes that animal welfare means protecting the wildlife whose ecosystems are being threatened by global climate change.

"To combat this serious problem, he has proposed an aggressive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.

"As an Illinois State Senator and United States Senator, Obama has been a champion of animal-friendly legislation and policy.

"He has repeatedly voted to increase penalties for animal cruelty and violence, and to require psychological counseling for those who engage in this behavior.
"He has co-sponsored bills to ban the slaughter of horses and wild burros, increase penalties for animal fighting, prohibit dog fighting, and penalize spectators for engaging in dog fighting.

"He has supported additional funding for the Animal Care division within the Department of Agriculture, and sought funds to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and the federal animal fighting law."

Animal issues are now mainstream politics.

A pamphlet put out by Compassion Over Killing says raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of both pollution and resource depletion today.
According to a 2006 United Nations report, Livestock's Long Shadow, raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals for food causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks and other forms of transportation combined.

Researchers from the University of Chicago similarly concluded that a vegetarian diet is the most energy efficient, and the average American does more to reduce global warming emissions by not eating animal products than by switching to a hybrid car.

"Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation."
--Union Nations' Food and Agriculture Association

Nearly 75% of the grain grown and 50% of the water consumed in the U.S. are used by the meat industry. (Audubon Society)

On average 990 liters of water are required to produce one liter of milk. (United Nations)

Over 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to grow grain for livestock. (Greenpeace)

It takes nearly one gallon of fossil fuel and 5,200 gallons of water to produce just one pound of conventionally fed beef. (Mother Jones)

Farmed animals produce an estimated 1.4 billion tons of fecal waste each year in the U.S. Much of this untreated waste pollutes the land and water.

The number of animals killed for food in the United States is nearly 75 times larger than the number of animals killed in laboratories, 30 times larger than the number killed by hunters and trappers, and 500 times larger than the number of animals killed in animal pounds.


Many distinguished figures have stood for animal rights:

Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Alice Walker, George Bernard Shaw, Robert Browning, Percy Shelley, Voltaire, Thomas Hardy, Rachel Carson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Victor Hugo, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pythagoras, Susan B. Anthony, Albert Schweitzer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Gertrude Stein, Frederick Douglass, Francis Bacon, William Wordsworth, the Buddha, Mark Twain, and Henry David Thoreau.
Rynn Berry's Famous Vegetarians and Their Favorite Recipes, includes:

Pythagoras, Gautama the Buddha, Mahavira, Plato (and Socrates), Plutarch, Leonardo Da Vinci, Percy Shelley, Count Leo Tolstoy, Annie Besant, Mohandas Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, Bronson Alcott, Adventist physician Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Henry Salt, Frances Moore Lappe, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Brigid Brophy.

Celebrity vegetarians include:

Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Brad Pitt, Richard Gere, Jude Law, Josh Hartnett, Gwyneth Paltrow, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Drew Barrymore, Ryan Gosling, Kim Basinger, Dustin Hoffman, Dr. Dre, the B52s, Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde, Joaquin Phoenix, Andre3000, Meatloaf, Peter Gabriel, kd lang, Elvis Costello and Melissa Etheridge.

peta2 is now the largest youth movement of any social change organization in the world.

peta2 has 267,000 friends on MySpace and 91,000 Facebook fans.

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