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What Becomes of Animal Rights Activists After the Action Is Over?

ERIC E. MAGNUSON: ‘It was love that brought together Peter Daniel Young, Justin Clay Samuel, and Allison Anne Porter in the mid-’90s — a love of animals, primarily, but also a love of action, and maybe another kind of love as well. Porter was a biology major at the University of Washington and the oldest of the three. She had started the Students for Animal Liberation, an animal-rights organization on campus that attracted Samuel, a student who grew up in Snohomish, and Young, a kid from Mercer Island who didn’t attend UW but took part in the campus group’s actions. There were others. Many others… Yet not all animal activists were the same. In fact, the factions within the animal-rights community were, and still are, often in conflict. Some are known as “welfarists”: activists who take a more moderate approach, their focus on improving the welfare of animals. More radical sorts maintain a “liberationist” or “abolitionist” mindset, undertaking animal-rights actions that grew increasingly confrontational throughout the decade and continue to do so… It is these activists who are responsible for direct actions in which animals are released or rescued from facilities, often targeting ranches that raise mink and other fur-bearing animals for their pelts

… Determining what happened to these activists back in October 1997 and in the years since has become an important part of my research for a book about the global fur trade and the animal-rights movement. I have spoken with activists of many motivations and backgrounds about a wide range of subjects, and with hundreds of people within the fur trade. The rise of “ranch raids,” and these three individuals in particular, have popped up again and again’. SOURCE…

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