FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

ALF Action in Ontario

by ADAM KING

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

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail