> AR Interviews
These are several questions, but you can ignore any that you don't feel comfortable or feel the need to answer. I appreciate you taking the time for this important film. If there's anything else that you'd like to state that's perfectly fine.
you describe the mission of the ALF?
The mission of the animal liberation
movement is to end the present speciesist bias against taking seriously
the interests of nonhuman animals. This bias can be observed, every day
throughout the world, when someone treats an animal with feelings and
emotions as they would treat a piece of property, or garbage.
To achieve the mission, ALF members follow the ALF
guidelines and the ALF mission statement.
The ALF guidelines are:
1. TO liberate animals
from places of abuse, i.e. laboratories, factory farms, fur farms, etc,
and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural
lives, free from suffering.
2. TO inflict economic damage to those
who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.
3. TO reveal the horror and atrocities
committed against animals behind locked doors, by performing non-violent
direct actions and liberations.
4. TO take all necessary precautions
against harming any animal, human and non-human.
To analyze the ramifications of any proposed
direct action, and never to apply generalizations when specific
information is available.
The last guideline was added 10 years ago to assist members in avoiding
disasters when liberating animals. It suggests that �inside information�
is required, and that it needs reliable confirmation.
Some other ramifications to consider are:
The cost (Can another animal be saved utilizing fewer
The quality of life for the rescued animals (Is it
The risk to unseen animals (e.g. rodents) (note: this makes
The ALF Mission Statement is:
'To effectively allocate resources
(time and money) to reduce animal suffering.'
Today, there is more animal suffering in the world than
there are available resources to stop it. Therefore, careful choices
must be made.
spend resources for animals when there are needy humans?
Many of the consequences of carrying out the
AR agenda are highly beneficial to humans. For example, stopping the
production and consumption of animal products would result in a
significant improvement of the general health of the human population,
and destruction of the environment would be greatly reduced.
Fostering compassion for animals is likely to pay dividends
in terms of a general increase of compassion in human affairs. Professor
Tom Regan puts it this way: ...the animal rights movement is a part
of, not antagonistic to, the human rights movement. The theory that
rationally grounds the rights of animals also grounds the rights of
humans. Thus those involved in the animal rights movement are partners
in the struggle to secure respect for human rights--the rights of women,
for example, or minorities, or workers. The animal rights movement is
cut from the same moral cloth as these.
Finally, the behavior asked for by the AR agenda
involves little expenditure of energy. We are asking people to NOT do
things: don't eat meat, don't exploit animals for entertainment, and
don't wear furs. These actions don't interfere with our ability to care
the original mission grown as the movement has gained more prevalence in
There is no tactical change with growth.
This is because, by definition, 'the Animal Liberation Front consists of
small autonomous groups of people all over the world who carry out
direct action according to the ALF guidelines. Any group of people who
are vegetarians and who carry out actions according to ALF guidelines
have the right to regard themselves as part of the ALF.' We discourage
contact between groups
The ALF has no central organization, therefore the credo and
mission statements can not change because there is no leader or
membership with the authority to do so. In many languages it's remained
essentially the same since its creation.
What accomplishment(s) is the ALF most happy with in the animal
Individually, nothing compares to the joy one
feels when an animal they have observed being abused is freed from
torture. Reading about the liberations of others is grand, but I'd guess
that each member's greatest accomplishment is very personal.
Overall, we're most happy to see the public
become aware of the nature of modern factory farming. Here are just a
few of the thousands of changes:
In Britain a House of Commons Agriculture
Committee had the small cages for laying hens phased out. Switzerland
passed legislation which got rid of the battery hen cages. A West German
court pronounced the cage system contrary to the country's anti-cruelty
legislation and added the phrase "animal rights" to its constitution.
Italy made mandatory the walking of dogs.
One positive step forward for British farm
animals was in the "white veal trade". Veal calves were kept in darkness
for 22 hours a day, in individual stalls too small for them to turn
around. They had no straw to lie on and were fed on a diet deliberately
made deficient in iron, so that the flesh would remain pale. After
British consumer's boycotted veal, Britain's largest veal producer
conceded the need for change, and moved its calves out of their bare,
wooded, five feet by two feet, stalls into group pens with room to move
and straw for bedding.
What else does the ALF feel is needed in the animal liberation movement?
More people seeing what goes on behind the
closed doors of laboratories and factory farms. After they see, they
won't forget. Then action will follow. Also, we need more people taking
direct action to stop animal abuse, especially in their own
Does the ALF feel that the animal liberation movement will be slowed
down with all the recent governmental intervention?
We feel it will speed up the movement. We
believe success depends on more people being made aware of animal
suffering. The more "conflict" that is created, the more the public will
pay attention. Arrests and intervention dramatize issues and place them
before the public when they otherwise would be ignored in the media.
Historically, government intervention has been a sign that a civil
movement can no longer be ignored.
has the government felt a need to try and force the ALF underground?
Verbatim from the fbi web site: In recent
years, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) -- an extremist animal rights
movement -- has become one of the most active extremist elements in the
United States. Despite the destructive aspects of ALF's operations, its
operational philosophy discourages acts that harm "any animal, human and
nonhuman." Animal rights groups in the United States, including ALF,
have generally adhered to this mandate.
The ALF has always been underground.
long do you think it will take for the movement to feel that its job is
At the rate of awareness for the need for animal
rights is growing, the public will have all the knowledge of what goes
on behind closed doors within 5-10 years. Laws will then change rapidly.
Development of a synthetic meat may also be an important factor.
So, I'd guess that the majority of our work will
be done in 15 years in Europe and Australia, 5 years longer in the US,
and 10 years longer in Asia. However, there will always be a need for
people to take direct action to protect abused animals, just like all
other forms of domestic violence.
Thank you again for taking the time to look over the questions.
My pleasure. I'll happily field any follow-up questions or
clarify what I've written.
Sincerely, Ann Berlin