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Animals, liberators trade places


Editorial


Every so often the misguided souls that call themselves ALF -- short for the Animal Liberation Front -- resurface and announce their latest "accomplishment" in an email or on the Internet.


They "free" a few pheasants, chickens or ducks by trespassing and vandalizing a farm. They vandalize a fur or leather store. They go to a fish farm and free some salmon.


Sometimes, they throw arson into the mix, such as the time in 1997 when several burned down a slaughterhouse in Oregon.


Then they post it on a website along with a few slogans such as "All animals have a right to their freedom!"


The website they frequent is called "Bite Back." That's where they wax philosophical about their efforts to free the animal kingdom.


On the website is a heading that should be of particular interest to future ALFsters. It is called "Prisoners." It talks about the ALFsters who have landed in jail in countries such as the U.S., United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden.


As it turns out, committing trespassing, vandalism, arson and other property crimes will get a man, or a woman, tossed into jail -- often for a long time. One woman was thrown in prison for nearly 22 years. A man was sentenced to 19 years and seven months. Another got seven years.


Considering what is accomplished -- usually the animals have been raised in captivity and have no way to fend for themselves in the wild -- it hardly seems worth a stay in prison. Yet the ALFsters insist that animals should not be held captive under any circumstances, and they are ready to give up their freedom for that cause.


It is indeed ironic that the animals are liberated, albeit briefly, but the liberators are jailed.



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