ALF Action in Ontario


In the morning hours of Monday, August 26, Royal Oak Fur Farm in Simcoe, Ontario, located southwest of Toronto, was the target of an animal rescue operation. While the numbers are disputed, upwards of 500 animals, both mink and foxes, were released. The Animal Liberation Front has taken credit for the action, releasing a statement through the directaction.info ‘Bite Back’ online magazine the following day.

Unsurprisingly, there has been little coverage of the action in the mainstream Ontario media, what little local reportage there has been highlighting the concerns of the Canadian fur industry, which has of recent been attempting a ‘rebranding’ with such innocuous slogans as “fur is green” and “in harmony with nature.”

The owner of the farm has referred all inquires to the Canadian Fur Council, which was not hesitant to employ its own political appraisal of the animal activists. CFC spokesperson Nancy Daigneault had this to say about the action: “It’s a nuisance and an act of extremism that strikes fear into the heart of any farmer. And it’s a criminal act. It creates a lot of stress for the farmer because it’s an attack on his livelihood. It’s terrorism. They are terrorizing the farmer. That’s what they are doing.” According to Daigneault, the raising of animals for the sole purpose of slaughter for fashion is not in any way terrorizing.

The CFC, ostensibly equating animals advocates with the ilk of pesky Palestinians who refuse to roll over and die to make room for the culmination of the Zionist colonial project, are trotting out that ever-helpful signifier, ‘terrorists.’ One wonders if this is only to prove that this tired trope’s incessant reiteration and gelatinous parameters never cease to penetrate into the utterly idiotic. Or, maybe it’s to prove that even when it does, a sufficiently indoctrinated public will simply tilt its head back and swallow the nonsense like warm (soy) milk before a good night’s sleep. Either way, by any stretch of the imagination, activists ‘illegally’ freeing captive animals from a certain and brutal death is not ‘terrorism.’

Extrapolating from Daigneault’s calibration, any violation of the law in pursuance of potentially higher moral standards is, indisputably, an act of terrorism. This is a curious logic to contemplate on the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech at The March on Washington. The moral thing to do would have been to acquiesce in the face of Bull Connor’s fire hoses and billy clubs, or so we’re led to believe.

Daigneault further utilized the well-worn red herring of ‘domestication,’ claiming that the ALF did the animals no service, as these creatures who are ‘reliant on humans for survival’ will most likely turn up as road kill, or succumb to some other fate apparently less dignified than winding up as some moron’s over-priced jacket. One could not possibly be so foolish as to think that the ALF does not realize that ‘mass domestication’ is itself part of the issue. The ‘production’ of domesticated animals on a mass scale, whether for fur or food, creates the issue of animal dependence on humans. If one were to take the CFC’s business ‘philosophy’ seriously, the raising of animals for no other purpose but to be slaughtered in pre-adolescence for a barbaric ‘fashion’ industry is a morally superior existence to having never existed at all.

While similar direct actions are comparatively rare in Canada, the AFL ended its statement by claiming that “We won’t stop until this and all fur farms are empty.” Here’s hoping.

Adam King is a PhD student in Sociology at York University in Toronto, Ontario. He can be reached at adkking@yorku.ca

Weekend Edition
November 28-30, 2015
Majd Isreb
America’s Spirit, Syrian Connection
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
James Anderson
Reframing Black Friday: an Imperative for Déclassé Intellectuals
Simon Bowring
UN Climate Talks 2009: a Merger of Interest and Indifference
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxembourg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
Aidan O'Brien
Same-Sex Sellout in Ireland
David Stocker
Report from the Frontline of Resistance in America
Patrick Bond
China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink Fast
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
Charles R. Larson
Chronicle of Sex Reassignment Surgery: Juliet Jacques’s “Trans: a Memoir”
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
CounterPunch’s Favorite Films
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving