Anarchism and animal rights
The anarchist philosophical and political movement has some connections to elements of the animal liberation movement. Many anarchists are vegetarian or vegan and have played a role in combating perceived injustices against animals. They usually describe the struggle for the liberation of non-human animals as a natural outgrowth of the struggle for human freedom.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a vegetarian, pacifist and Christian anarchist. In On Civil Disobedience he wrote: "A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral."
Direct action, an important philosophical component of anarchism, is also common within the animal rights movement. Groups like Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), Animal Liberation Front (ALF), Animal Rights Militia (ARM), and Justice Department use direct action techniques, including animal liberation and property destruction, and occasionally — in the case of ARM and the Justice Department — violence against people.
The decentralized and leaderless structure of the Animal Liberation Front could be seen as an example of anarchistic organizing.
Major figures and events
Rod Coronado is an eco-anarchist and is an unofficial spokesperson for the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. On February 28, 1992, Coronado carried out an arson attack on research facilities at Michigan State University (MSU), and released mink from a nearby research farm on campus, an action claimed by the ALF, and for which Coronado was subsequently convicted.
In 1997, the editors of Green Anarchist magazine and two British supporters of the Animal Liberation Front were tried in connection with conspiracy to incite violence, in what came to be known as the GANDALF trial.