The ALF Mission Statement:
To effectively allocate resources
(time and money) to end the "property" status of nonhuman animals.
The Objective of the Mission:
To abolish institutionalized
animal exploitation because it assumes that animals are property.
Mission -- A Real-Life ALF case with questions.
Diversity in AR
-- Diversity in the AR Movement, by
Diversity 2 --
The Toronto Humane Society: an example of the enemy's tactics,
AR vs. AW.
of ineffectively allocating resources -- usually the result of emotions overcoming logic:
I spent two weeks
of vacation time and $1000 protesting and getting support to save a whale
trapped in a bay, ignoring the fact that a week spent at the animal shelter
(where I volunteer) likely would have saved 10 lives (finding homes, finding
financial donors to the shelter, etc).
My actions were possibly more reprehensible than a person
who eats beef while believing that cows live a happy life before they die and that
eating beef gives life to a cow who otherwise would have never existed.
I knew what I was
doing. Knowledge should be more than power--it should be obligation.
sometimes find it frustrating that the public is not aware of the animal abuse
that goes on behind closed doors. Yet, I sometimes spend time saving one animal
at the expense of many due to my laser focus on events in front of me. Not all
actions are equal. I am frequently faced with the choice of “Do I save animal
A or animal B?” Here are some suggested things to consider when evaluating a
potential AR activity (beware of “paralysis of analysis”):
1. Cost. Time, money, and emotional energy spent (one
of my mistakes: rescuing an
animal that was near-death and spending large amounts of money on medical bills,
then running out of money for an operation that would have saved an otherwise
2. Danger to other sentient beings. Take into account humans as well as
rodents you can’t see. Realize that “change” may upset a miniature
ecosystem on which some beings may rely. Fires or bombs can kill mice and
birds you didn't see.
3. Improvement in the quality of life of the “to-be saved” animals (there
should be a good home or safe environment for them).
4. Public opinion. (one
of my mistakes: rescuing an animal and then, in frustration,
spray-painting an obscenity on the wall). The obscenity made the news (nowadays
there is no news without pictures) and the slant of the news-story was anti-AR.
Poor result: More folks think AR activists are out of control.
5. Effect on the business losing the animal. (one
of my mistakes: liberating an
animal from an experiment that was subsequently replaced with a “brand new”
test subject. Although the liberation forced the company to buy a new security
system, the company did not reduce the amount of testing. The only effect of
causing economic damage was to stockholders -- NOT a good reason).
1. Internet opinion polls—Expense: 5 minutes to read and vote. Gain: Our
follow-up on the opinion polls that we thought were meaningful revealed the websites
considered them “for fun” to “attract web traffic” and “not deemed
scientific”. No course of action was changed. Your time is better spent with
e-mail campaigns (below).
2. Letter writing / e-mail campaigns—Expense: 10 minutes to cut, paste,
hopefully modify (if you have time), print, and mail. Gain: Our follow-up shows that many industry leaders,
judges, and politicians count each letter, frequently respond to the individual
who sent the letter, and many of them change their course of action. Many admit to
being unaware of the AR Activists’ perspective. Time is well spent if the
issue is important to you.
questions from people who are seeking AR information. This
is tricky. My first answer should be brief to evaluate the intent of the
person and not to to overwhelm them. I have inadvertently overwhelmed
people in my enthusiasm to share my knowledge. After I have answered their first
question, what next? Now I judge whether they want info, or they want to argue
(see 4, below). If they want to argue, I nod politely and save my breath
for cooling my soup. And
few people can make a lot of changes to their lives. When I have seen long-term
change in folks, here is how the discussions started:
a. Vegetarian/Vegan health—many people have a positive reaction to the
facts in books like “Diet for a New America.”
b. Hunting/Fishing—if you tell someone about the evils of factory farming
and they still eat meat, logically it is hypocritical to be concerned about
someone who hunts. At least hunters aren’t having someone else do their
killing. Wait for them to ask.
c. Entertainment—Zoos, circuses, rodeos, etc. Save this for when you learn
they are attending such an event.
d. Factory farming—share some info about beef, pork, and chicken. It might
help them stick to their new veggie diet.
e. Animal testing—it is surprising difficult to get folks to change their
shopping habits, which include grabbing the same old products without examining
the box. It sometimes helps to tell people they can save money and help animals
by buying “generic” brands. These are usually copies of the same product the
major companies make.
4. Debating with opponents of AR—This
will frequently begin with someone asking for information (see 3,
above). You might as well spend your time talking
to yourself. In 15 years the only folks who approached me with an attitude and
then actually listened and discussed issues, were folks who calmed down
immediately when presented with a cool response. If they remain argumentative
and don’t care about your first several answers, they won’t change. Even if
one did, it is not a statistically reasonable way to allocate your time. Your
knowledge of AR is a valuable resource. Don’t waste it.
5. Demonstrations—In this age of the media sound byte, demonstrations that
get news coverage further the awareness of the masses, who, for the most part,
are not evil—just uninformed.
6. Donations to AR organizations—There is clout in numbers. Support them,
but be aware of organizations that consider animal welfare to mean protecting
animals for hunters. Stay with the big orgs unless you’ve done your homework.