Archive for January 14th, 2012

Walter Bond: “It is kind of difficult to harm an Animal if you’re dead!”

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Walter Bond was interviewed by Paula Ricciulli for the Columbian magazine Cartel Urbano, January 2012. Walter answered Paula’s questions in writing, while awaiting transfer behind bars at Nevada Southern Detention Center.

Do you think there will be a time when mankind stops relying on Animals?

I think there will come a time when humanity either stops using Animals’ dead bodies for food, research, clothing and all other reasons or humanity will reap the consequences of environmental destruction due in large part to Animal agriculture and industrialized civilization.  In either event, it’s a certainty that Animals and the Earth will once again live free from human tyranny and exploitation.  So the only real question is will our species ever wise up and become part of the ecosystem instead of a cancer to it?  Currently it does not look like we will.  We are nowhere near treating ourselves with respect, let alone Animals.

You have said a lot of times that you don’t regret the arson you caused. Why don’t you regret it?

I don’t regret my arsons first and foremost because they were justified.  Animals lives are snuffed out by the billions every year because of human greed, gluttony, bloodlust and psychopathology.  All I did was destroy some property.  My arsons were in fact a meek and passive action in retaliation for all the innocent Animals that have died cruelly at the hands of human oppressors.  It’s unfortunate that people are so easily focused on my response (arsons) to these atrocities, but not the Animals’ plight.  This is because human society purposefully sets the context for these issues to be from the perspective of a business owner’s ability to profit from an Animal’s slavery and death and never from the perspective of what the Animals suffer because of human injustices.  I think arson was a great way for me to address these problems.

Is there something you wouldn’t do for Animal rights?

Of course, there are many things I would not personally do in the name of Animal Rights.  But unlike the welfarist and peace freak branches of the Animal Rights community, I am not going to denounce tactics that are extreme.  Take murder for example.  Let’s be honest, the world would simply be a better place for Animals if people like Animal researchers, slaughterhouse workers and even non-Vegans were disposed of.  It’s kind of difficult to harm an Animal if you’re dead.  And on a basic and fundamental level I feel that people that go to work every day to harm Animals are sick freaks that must be stopped.  That’s not to say that I’m against legal or non-violent activism, but what I am saying is that just because we personally are not willing to commit certain actions on behalf of our Earth Mother and Animal Nations doesn’t mean we should look down on people that are not so timid and lukewarm.  It’s an unfortunate fact that most injustices are not going to vanish because we expose them or simply raise awareness.  Senseless or hedonistic violence often must be stopped with force.  That is the reality of things.  Of course it’s always easy to debate about tactics and where we should draw the line when it’s not our own neck on the chopping block.  I am a Vegan Hardliner, which has many implications, but the most prevalent of our beliefs is that if you cannot respect the rights of innocent life, then you yourself become a perpetrator, and are no longer innocent.  You then forfeit your rights by your own failure or inability to co-exist with your surroundings in a peaceful and compassionate way.  If a person, business or corporation has been educated, then protested, then warned, the next logical step is militant intervention.

What made you become an Animal rights activist?

I became a Vegan and then Animal Rights activist after spending a year as a builder of slaughterhouses in the Midwestern United States.  After viewing the carnage and gore of “pork production” firsthand, I was left with the decision to either quit my job and become a compassionate person or continue to do my demonic job of slavery and murder.  I was fortunate enough to have been raised by both my parents to be respectful and compassionate towards all life and had friends in the punk rock and Straightedge subcultures that were already Vegan, so I knew deep in my heart that my job was evil.  For a more in depth understanding of why I became Vegan and an Animal Liberationist, please read my articles, “Why I Am Vegan” and “Slaughterhouse Blues (Why I Am Vegan II) on www.SupportWalter.org.

Why do you think is so difficult for our society to stop animal cruelty?

It’s difficult because subsisting off of Animals has been an integral part of human societies for a long, long time.  To the point where modern society and especially the richer nations of the Earth were literally built on the blood and bones of Animals and various forms of slavery.  Because of this, a world devoid of Animal use — in other words, a truly Vegan world – undermines not just the status quo in perception, but the entire foundation of technologically advanced civilization.  It is why many people instinctively have animosity towards the concept of Animal Liberation and definitely against militant or radical Animal Liberation.  Because they intuitively understand that we are not only attacking their dietary habits, but the foundation of hierarchical slavery and supremacy.  Putting the Earth and Animals right to be left alone first means no new roads, construction, technology, industry, cities or transportation.  Even most Vegans and activists cannot truly comprehend what a world without interspecies slavery would look like.  But honestly the destruction of modern day civilization is of paramount importance if Animals are ever to live free and natural lives.  This also means that we should participate in society to the least degree possible and if we are so inclined do everything within our power to disrupt, destroy or deconstruct business, industry and economy to the greatest degree possible.

Who is your hero and why?

Barry Horne is my hero.  Barry was an Animal Liberation Front operative that also had ties to the Animal Rights Militia and a group called the Justice Department that used threats and intimidation to stop vivisection.  Barry was arrested in England and sentenced to over ten years in prison.  He continued to fight against Animal testing after his imprisonment with a series of hunger strikes that eventually killed him.  Barry Horne is my hero because he never gave up, never equivocated and never failed to inspire others to take direct action!

Why did you choose the name Lone Wolf and how would you describe this warrior alter ego?

I chose the name “Lone Wolf” to convey to people that I was one person acting alone.  I wanted to show that one empowered person can accomplish a lot, or wreak plenty of havoc as the case may be.  I think the Lone Wolf nickname became more of an alter ego after my arrest than before it.  Especially as pertains to my writings.  When people that only know me from my articles or ALF actions first meet me or talk to me over the phone they are usually surprised at how social, jovial and easygoing I am.  I guess the “Lone Wolf alter ego” as you say, takes over whenever Animal Liberation, Straightedge or Veganism enters the picture.  I am extremely serious when it comes to matters of life and death, but as anyone that actually knows me can attest to, I’m perrty much a goofball and comic about everything else.

How effective you think ALF is to create awareness for Animals?

The ALF has been incredibly effective at creating awareness about what Animals suffer.  Many ALF raids in the 80s uncovered behind the scenes footage of the reality and futility of Animal experimentation.  As a legal activist it can be impossible to see what’s actually happening behind laboratory walls and also impossible to stop it and save the Animals lives.  The Animal Liberation Front, since its inception, has always been about taking the most direct path to effectively save actual Animals and stop their exploiters while also passing along communiqués to the media to shed light on these issues and raise public awareness.

Animal tested medications have been very successful in a lot of diseases. What do you think about this?

I disagree.  There is a wealth of information that proves Animal experimentation to be futile and a detriment to public health. Extrapolating results between species in Animal experimentation seldom works.  But all this to me is secondary to the real issue – that being, it is wrong to test on Animals no matter what results may be had.  Animals have every right to autonomy and freedom from pain, suffering, confinement and torture that you or I have.  The medical or scientific results are of zero concern.  We would not entertain the idea of testing oven cleaner on handicapped or mentally challenged people.  We would not allow lethal dosage tests to be run on large groups of humans, even if they freely consented!  It’s just another twisted sickness of human supremacy to even entertain the validation of Animal experimentation!

Don’t you think that with arsons and other destructive actions, ALF is creating a negative stereotype for Animal rights activists?

I honestly don’t care about stereotypes or public images and I actually think it’s very important for Animal abusers and users to know that there is a certain percentage of us that will not tolerate what they are doing.  Part of the effectiveness that legal protests have is that there is an underlying fear on the part of Animal exploiters that the legal protest and media attention will catch the eye of the Animal Liberation Front.  Without that fear, Animal Rights activism becomes a paper tiger, since all the laws are on the side of industries that profit from the demise of the Earth, Animals and humans.  For my entire activist career, I have heard the public image argument.  It really is quite naïve to think that the system’s media, which has vested interests in the continuation of societal norms, is going to shower us with favorable media so we can convince people to boycott industries that keep the rich on top and masses downtrodden.  Plus “negative stereotypes” are all a matter of personal opinion.  My idea of a negative image in Animal Rights is that of a frail hippie that’s an oversensitive pothead and supplicant to the powers that be.  Or some welfarist negotiator that’s more concerned with everyone getting along with non-Vegans and Animal abusers than confronting those bastards and saving the Animals.

What is your advice for young people interested in fighting for Animal rights?

My advice would be to go Vegan and Straightedge.  Do not fall into the misdirection of drugs and alcohol.  To help Animals directly and consistently in a world where many humans will stand against you, you must remain focused, ferocious, positive and resilient.  Always try to find the most direct path to Animal Liberation, such as working with or rescuing actual Animals.  Far too may activists these days (especially those in cities) get wrapped up in The Human Movement for Animal Liberation.  And above all, believe in yourself and your abilities.  You and your friends can help Animals and stand against their exploiters without the help of large organizations.  Self-sufficiency will serve you and the Animals well.  Of course help is good, but learn how to increase your own skill set.  Remember the Animals are relying on you, so you must become reliable.  And lastly, don’t ever back down when it comes to fighting for the cause.  Educate yourself and others about Animal issues, warn abusers to change their ways.  Then if that doesn’t work, force them to stop harming Animals by any means necessary.

Being in jail has changed in any way your convictions about Animal liberation?

No not at all.  I’ve been in jail since July 2010.  Since that time I have written a book, given addresses to fundraisers and Animal Lib forums, I have told two federal courts of law that I have no remorse for my “crimes.”  I’m now a prisoner of war until the year 2021 and I still feel the same about Animal Liberation, Veganism and illegal direct action.  That won’t change.  Other beliefs and worldviews may – that’s the nature of things – but some things are personal, some things are forever.

How difficult has it been for you to continue your vegan lifestyle being in jail?

It depends on the individual facility.  When I was going to court and dealing with my Colorado case, that jail served me a specifically Vegan diet.  In Salt Lake City, it was very difficult.  The food there was terrible, but I was able to supplement by buying Vegan items like instant soups, peanut butter and chick-o-sticks for my sweet tooth.  Currently I’m in a federal detention center in transit to a federal penitentiary and it’s easy to be Vegan here as well.  Usually within a couple days of arrival at a new facility the other convicts will help me out with extra portions of veggies, potatoes, etc.  There is community amongst prisoners, so I never go hungry.

What are your plans after you leave jail?

Well, after my release from prison I will have about 3 years of probation to complete.  After that I want to travel around the world and truly spread my wings after a decade in a cage.  As far as employment and Animal Liberation, I plan on writing books and working with Animals on sanctuaries as long as I am able, which I hope will be a very long time.  I may do a speaking engagement from time to time, but I’m sure it will be infrequently.  After several years in prison in such close quarters with so many people, I will relish my time with Animals and open spaces over city life and the daily grind.  I also see myself remaining a bit eccentric.  I have always lived simply and am not technologically adept, and I plan on continuing that trend.

Thank you Paula for the great interview and Cartel Urbano for publishing it …  Take care and I’ll do the same… Animal Liberation, whatever it may take!

Regards,

Walter Bond
Animal Liberation whatever it may take!

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Where’s the legal line drawn in animal-rights activism?

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

by Michael Doyle (Sacramento Bee)

WASHINGTON — A federal courthouse in Boston and a ranch in California’s San Joaquin Valley present competing faces of the animal rights movement.

One side is peaceful. The other, decidedly, is not. Both can feel the weight of the law and the sting of being called a terrorist.

At the giant Harris Ranch, in western Fresno County, investigators are trying to solve the Jan. 8 arson that damaged 14 tractors and several cattle-hauling trailers. Anonymous animal-rights activists claimed responsibility for the fire.

The Harris Ranch arson was clearly a crime, however it happened. But in a new lawsuit, animal advocates with a far different tactical approach contend that Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other lawmakers went too far the last time Congress addressed animal rights activism, in 2006.

“We’re not saying that one can’t punish arson,” attorney Rachel Meeropol said in an interview Friday, “but that’s not what the (2006) law is about. The law reaches far too broadly.”

Meeropol, who’s with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, is representing Minneapolis resident Sarahjane Blum and four other activists in the lawsuit, filed Dec. 15. It argues that the 2006 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act violates the First Amendment rights of those who want to protest how animals are treated.

Blum, for one, founded GourmetCruelty.com, whose advocacy efforts helped persuade the California legislature in 2004 to ban traditional foie gras production. The ban, which blocks the force-feeding of ducks “for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size,” takes effect in July.

Under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, animal rights advocates may be prosecuted for actions that cause “the loss of any real or personal property … used by an animal enterprise” and for interstate travel that has the “purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise.”

The animal-rights advocates’ lawsuit argues that the broadly worded law could be used to prosecute activities such as picketing, if companies lose business or have to pay for extra security because of it.

Blum “was stunned that the ethical, important work that she had devoted her life to had been turned overnight into terrorism,” the lawsuit says, adding that she now curtails advocacy “that risks prosecution” under the law.

The Justice Department hasn’t filed its response.

Lawmakers, though, say tougher laws and stricter penalties are needed to stop zealous activism that evolves into violence. Feinstein, in supporting the 2006 law, cited attempted bombings that targeted a University of California at Los Angeles primate research center and a San Francisco Bay Area pharmaceutical company.

“This legislation is crucial to respond to the expanded scope of terrorist activity,” Feinstein said during Senate debate.

(more…)

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