Farm orgs. ablaze over apparent animal rights arson

COALINGA, Calif. — Farm organizations across the country are condemning what appears to be an animal rights-led act of arson against Harris Ranch, located in Coalinga, Calif.

An organization called Animal Liberation Front forwarded an anonymous email in which unnamed animal rights activists take credit for fires set to 14 cattle trucks Jan. 8.

The message, from an anonymous source, claims digital timers were used to light containers of accelerant placed beneath the trucks. Officials still have not determined if the fire was caused by the activists.

Harris Ranch

But Mike Casey, vice president of risk management and human resources for the farm, said there are plenty clues pointing to a “definite” arson, something that was “definitely set.”

The local sheriff’s office, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the county’s crime task force are reviewing “multitudes of clues,” Casey said.

The author of the message wrote, “We weren’t sure how well this was going to work, so we waited until there was news reports before writing this. We were extremely pleased to see that all 14 trucks ‘were a total loss’ with some being ‘completely melted to the ground.’”

The writer of the message identifies “factory farming” as his enemy and says this act is just one of many necessary to achieve his or her goals.

“Despite guards, a constant worker presence, and razorwire fence, the enemy is still vulnerable. …” the person wrote. “There is a lot of stuff that needs to be destroyed and we can’t count on spontaneous combustion and careless welders to do all the work.”

Casey said the issue at hand is arson, and the incident should not be used to give publicity to unlawful activists.

“You want people to know these people are out there, but at the same time you don’t want to give them a lot of press,” he said.

Outrage

Bill Donald, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, condemned the alleged attack as unlawful extremist behavior.

“This is not only an attack on a family-owned and operated business; this is a domestic terrorist attack on our nation’s providers of food and fiber,” he said in a statement. “This extremist behavior goes above mere activism and the freedom of speech. These criminals are threatening lives and causing substantial economic harm.”

The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a national organization that supports livestock farmers, reminds producers that ALF is listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a domestic terrorist organization.

Although the ALF only acted as the communicator for the violent acts, the ag alliance said all extremist organizations share similar goals.

“While other extreme organizations may choose strategic action that does not include direct violence, they do share ALF’s ultimate goal: to eliminate American animal agriculture in entirety,” according to a media statement from the alliance. “This incident shines light on the need for the agricultural community to be able to protect itself from these senseless bullying tactics by those who seek to destroy the industry by any means.”

About the Author

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties. More Stories by Chris Kick

24 Comments

  1. okiestorm1 says:

    hsus supports these grouups,if you look up the fbi profile you will see where hsus is also listed,and ohio has let these groups take controll of this state when it comes to our livestock and other animals.These groups are very dangerous and dont care who or what they hurt!

  2. Glenn Gragg says:

    Factory farming is cruel. I don’t condone this activity but the farmers of these animals are profit mongers and the cows and livestock suffer. I would consider this more civil disobedience than any kind of terrorism. We have no voice. These corporations are helping to destroy what could be a peaceful and humane society. These corporations are very dangerous and don’t care who or what they hurt!

    • Marcy C says:

      The FBI considers this terrorism, and it’s only a matter of time before these anti-societal fanatics are caught and punished. It is domestic terrorism to destroy a business!!! We the people need to be very vocal and firm with authorities, and INSIST that they bring these terrorists to justice. How arrogant these ALF supporters are to consider themselves the “voice” of animals.

      • maggie b says:

        I totally agree. They are not the voice of animals. Seeing how they treated the beagles they stole from a University in the UK told me worlds about how they feel about the animals. (and dozens of other examples) They were lofting a heavily pregnant bitch in the air to show her belly as a way to gloat on line and the abject terror on the face of that poor bitch was wrenching. Did they care if she was afraid or uncomfortable? No. They didn’t even notice because they don’t care about the animals nor understand how to meet their needs. They care about control. They dysfunctionally crave control like a drug. If it wasn’t this issue it would be some other.

  3. Kelly Jo Dauwen says:

    @glenn you are ignorant. Have you worked at these so called factory farms? Have you personally witnessed cattle and livestock suffer? People with your mentality are the problem. I have seen horrible people like you fighting farmers and ranchers since I was a child. I grew up in a farm in IA, we raised cattle and hogs and I grew up riding horses and rodeoing. I have been the target of PETA supporters for my “cruelty” to my horses because I was riding them. I was involved in 4-h and had meat thrown at me at the State Fair as I walked into the exhibitor ring. Obviously you do not understand the concept that if these so called profit monger farmers you speak of allow their livestock to suffer, that means they have unhealthy cattle and those do not equal profit. I would suggest you spend some time with a rancher and see what their daily life is like. You would have an eye opening experience and realize that ranchers spend their days feeding, vaccinating, and yes caring for their animals. PETA, ALF, and groups like HSUS are NO better than terrorists over seas who attack our country. They use propaganda like videos of animals being terrorized or beaten but get this, they are the ones doing the harm so they have the propaganda to get people like you who are sadly misinformed, on their side. I hope that someday you will realize that you are the problem, no farmers and ranchers!

    • Your the one that is ignorant. I grew up in smalltown Texas and witnessed the cruelty to animals. Did not know what to do about it until I moved to Austin where the movement is strong. Direct action to stop the actions of the people involved in making profits off of abused animals is a very noble thing to do. Support the ALF.

      • maggie b says:

        Why am I not surprised that this kind of hype is coming out of a college town. One day these college students will look back and wonder how they came to be such sheeple. But really the fault is ours. We allowed Universities to accept money from radicals for “chairs” and then sent our impressionable youth to study there. Money doesn’t talk it screams. Ignorance has become a mantra of misinformation. It took radical animal rights groups 30 years to tell the big lies long enough to have them part of the culture. We won’t take the culture back over night. They did it by cheating using Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: 1st “Tell a really big lie. Then repeat it over and over till it is believed.” “Never repeat any truth that does not push the agenda.” “Hurt individuals. Individuals bleed, corporations don’t bleed” This is the way the dialog was taken over by radical animal rights vegans. It’s not enough for them that they choose not to eat meat they want to make sure no one eats meat. One of their goals is to make eating meat and other animal products more expensive by attacking farmers. Sadly this choice of being vegan adversely affects the brain causing increased mental illness. Children have died from being forced to eat in this way. How many more children have had their mental abilities reduced or harmed from this kind of diet as children. Instead of drinking the Kool-Aid try becoming truly informed.

    • Glenn Gragg says:

      So this actually could be a good conversation by the looks of it ‘IF’ everyone stops throwing dirt. Look my last comment was a quick statement on what I feel is wrong with the situation. Like the rest of you I am sure time is an issue for you in your effort to put such important thoughts to paper so let me try again. I drive Interstate 5 all the time and I see the dairies and feedlots up and down the valley. It doesn’t take a lot of brains to see that the best interest of the animals is not at the heart of these industries. The conditions in the small dairies north of Lathrop are pathetic. They live on piles of their own crap and when it rains that is their only refuge from the lake of ‘water’ that surrounds them. Want to talk about cruelty to animals? I honestly can not believe they get away with it. It should be a crime. Again it doesn’t take much thought to understand the corporate influence on these industries. I feel bad for the farmers as well compromising their personal morals to make a living and having no choice. The feed lots that sprang up over the last five years at the south end of the valley, obviously built to feed Hell-A, are another crime. If you drive threw that area on a cold morning the methane is so thick it makes your eyes water and hurts your throat. Is this humane? What I believe is that animals should be treated with a minimum level of decency and if it is painful for me to drive the valley once in a while I can only imagine the long term effects on workers and the livestock. It isn’t right. Call me ignorant all you want. It is ultimately your loss of understanding which will prolong the agony of this situation for all involved. The day will come on earth as in heaven and so will your day of understanding. The factory farms and those behind their profit based motives will have to change to see a truly just, humane and peaceful society. They can not possibly believe in much if they can do what they do.

    • Glenn Gragg says:

      So Kelly let me answer you more directly now. Most farmers are good and moral people who deserve to make a honest living. Did your farm look like the feedlots and dairies I am talking about? If not I am not talking to you. You need to be clear whose side you are on. Family farmers or corporate profit mongers? No single individual is responsible for these acts of cruelty – we all are and unfortunately we have lost our voice. Unfortunately we have lost our way.

  4. Jan Anderson says:

    What is the difference in ALF and HSUS or ARC, they cross state lines to ruin business and end legiment business? It would be good if we all look at the Animal Enterprise Terriorism act again.

  5. maggie b says:

    Vegans have induced mental illness in themselves by depriving themselves of meat products. This is the result. There should be a law if you choose to be vegan you have to have mandatory blood tests to make sure you’re not so deprived you are becoming psychotic.

    • Glenn Gragg says:

      I’ll keep it simple. If you actually want to learn something about the meat and dairy you so vigorisly advocate watch ‘Forks over Knives’. FYI I do consume meat just not a lot. Mostly lingua – yuuummm!

  6. Marcy C says:

    The term “animal rights” is not understood by far too many people who think it is synonymous with “animal welfare”. The AR philosophy is WAY different from the AW philosophy. A campaign is needed to make the term “animal rights” socially unacceptable, like a curse word. The extreme AR groups are domestic terrorists in their actions, and the wily ones (e.g., H$U$ and its many subsidiaries) are like wolves in sheep’s clothing, asking for “reasonable” compromise, when that is NOT what they ultimately want. They are masters at “moving the middle” (google the term for strategy) and *incremental* legislation to make involvement in animal industries (whether as pets, food, or clothes) expensive, more stressful, and socially unacceptable. Not gonna happen ultimately because of our society’s close bond with animals–BUT before the AR movement cycle is on the downward curve again, there continues to be LOTS of “collateral damage” to humans and animals (all acceptable in the AR anti-societal philosophy: “the end justifies the means”).

    • Glenn Gragg says:

      I tend to agree with what you have said. Surprise surprise to some I am sure. Some of these groups are extreme in their views for sure, but I will not stand by and watch ‘industry’ treat animals the way they do to make a buck off of people that don’t even know what a cow looks like. My moral compass does not allow it. I am glad I have helped create an industry around range grown beef over the last thirty years by choosing not to buy the meats that are grown in less than humane ways. And if I go to someone else’s house for dinner I eat what I am given. Family – that is a different story – they are stuck with me. You are all wonderfully thoughtful – thank you.

  7. Nedra Smith says:

    What a piece of work these extremists are. They want to raise hell about feedlots and have no clue what they are talking about. I am a nurse and have also ridden pens at feedlots and ranches all my life. I have also had to deal with wire strung head high when horseback in the forest meant to kill someone!! Harris feeders have always been more than professional in caring for livestock. I know because we shipped them 1000 head Daily for 42 days in the 70′s and never had a late truck.

  8. Marcy C says:

    These criminals must be caught and appropriately punished (PRISON TIME). The more that AR terrorists get away with, the bolder and more reckless they become–until there are human casualties as well. They are called terrorists for a good reason!

  9. Allen A. says:

    Most people do not realize that the AR movement jumped across the pond from England to the USA, under the socialist movement organizations, from the free thinkers and philosophers in a time when the thinking was more toward moral thinking brought about by the times in the UK. Vivisection was a big topic during this time and the imorality of as was vegetarianism helped to bring about pure thoughts.
    The RSPCA had a youth group called the Band of Mercy and Ron Lee either formed a new group or broke away from the existing Band of Mercy, of the RSPCA. Lee who was , a neo nazi later formed the ALF in 1975. In the USA it was Wayne Pacelle who while still in college and later with Friends of Animals became on of the first “hunt saboteur in the USA”, following hunters around talking to them making noise to distract them from hunting. I believe Mr. Pacelle now CEO of the Humane Society of the United States has several arrest records in different states for hunter harrassment. It was not until the mid 60s when AR moved from England to the USA. It was not until mid 70s that Peter Singer write his book “Animal Liberation”. Ingrid Newkirk, head of PETA has been and is today seemingly spokesperson for ALF, anonymously of course, she claims. Many of the first animal rights activist came from Europe to spread their idea of animal rights. They were antivivisectionist, against eating animals or using them for science or biomedical life saving research. The abolitionist who equated slavery, chains, buying and selling with animals and setting all animals free. (It was in the mid 1800s when slaves were set free in the UK in advance of the USA). The USA was born a capitalist society, they believe that under a democracy they can buy and sell, cars, houses, puppies or cows, but under the labor part or socialism morals are also regulated. I don’t think anyone wants that in the USA and it would be impossible without a police state and more and more regulating laws on farming and all animal ownership and life saving biomed research. (90% of animal research is done on rats.)
    Guess some humans would just drop off the earth and-where have I heard that before…….? Some feel that is what is needed to save the earth from anyone who uses and animal for anything ever! Sounds way too left doesn’t it!

    • Glenn Gragg says:

      Thanks Allen – interesting history lesson. Like most issues in our society ideology is hard to overcome. I had hoped that out of the ashes of 9-11 we would have found ourselves in a morally united state. I almost feel that people think that because an animal is ultimately going to die that somehow what happens in the interim isn’t important. At some level a certain level of reverence for the plants and animals we consume seems warranted but good luck with that idea. I have also heard of a moral circle which is slowly expanding and will one day encompass animals. Something like a Bill of Rights for the animal kingdom.

      • Marcy C says:

        Whow there! A Bill of Rights is a model for a *human society*. As stewards of the earth and the dominant species, humans have responsibilities towards animals, but animals have no rights, per se. The term “animal rights” is a construct of the “animal rights” movement in order to mislead the public into thinking it’s animal welfare or protection, which most people support. Au contraire, (as I stated before) “animal rights” as a philosphy is NOT “animal welfare” or true “animal protection”. The term “animal rights” should be considered an anti-societal concept, and in time, that will happen. Until then, the AR *true believers* will rant and rave and generally attack people who use animals in any way. It’s all a matter of degree and how much these fanatics think they can get away with. The more we mollycoddle them, the more arrogant, bold, and violent they become (towards people and even towards animals–you know–”better dead than bred”, “better dead than in a cage” mentality).

  10. Glenn says:

    Per say whatever you you want to about the semantics revolving around the ethical treatment of animals. I strongly feel that a code of ethics is needed and I am not talking exclusivly about animals of the bovine persuasion. Rights is how we perceive our responsibilities to other beings and I consider animals beings. Therefore rights seem appropriate to me. Having or not having the ability or right to eat them if you want isn’t up for debate here only how they are treated in the process. Honestly I am more interested in the theory than the application of this logic but at some level animals must be brought into our ethical circle not to end our consumption of their flesh but to assure a life commiserate with an animal consumed by us or an animal which simply shares our ‘right’ to exist. I would look at your own definitions as well – welfare and husbandry can easily be applied to other people in other places who are dependent on our welfare for theirs. Trying to say that rights are exclusive to ‘humans’ is a little arrogant considering the fight some of us have fought for those rights. Maybe the animals just need someone to fight for them. You say schlemiel i say schlimazel. I have trouble believing you are defending the treatment of animals by the big industrial outfits. Keep growing the good stuff and let’s see where it goes. Good luck.

  11. maggie b says:

    For those that haven’t heard yet: BLUM V HOLDER. Activists represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed suit in federal court in U.S. District Court in the District of Massachusetts., challenging the constitutionality of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). According to the CCR website Blum v. Holder is a federal lawsuit challenging AETA as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. The plaintiffs are five longtime animal rights activists whose advocacy work has been chilled due to fear of being prosecuted as a terrorist under the AETA. (They want the right to victimize animal owners at will.)

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