manicsfan: (ALF support icon.)
In my journal entry about which animal advocacy books I have read I said that I had just started reading Keith Mann's "From Dusk 'Till Dawn". Well I did start that... but a couple of days later I got my copy of "Free The Animals" by Ingrid Newkirk in the post. I made the big mistake of reading a couple of pages of it (which I tend to do when I get a new book) and got completely hooked on it! So I ended up reading "Free The Animals" instead.

Now, while I'm not a big fan of PeTA (Ingrid Newkirk is the president of PeTA, in case you were wondering what PeTA had to do with anything), I have to say that this book is very good, and very worth reading. The book reads like a story, and is written in the style that you'd expect a fiction book to be written, only every word of it is true.

"Free The Animals" follows the story of an a former police officer, and now ALF member, who goes under the name of "Valerie" (not her real name of course). As I mentioned Valerie was a police officer, who's first memorable encounter with animal cruelty changed her life forever.

She was involved in the now infamous case of The Silver Spring Monkeys:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Spring_Monkeys

After Valerie witnessed the law fail these monkeys she figured out that despite appearances the law doesn't care about animals, and animals have no rights in the eyes of the law.
Frustrated by this, and wanting to help the monkeys, and other animals, Valerie came upon information about a group in England called the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

She promptly flew to England to try and locate this group. Upon finding them, and being approved by them, she joined an ALF training course which taught her the basics of how to break into places of animal abuse and free the animals. It also taught her many other valuable lessons for an ALF member such as sabotage.

Inspired by this Valerie flew back to America 2 weeks later, and formed the very first American ALF cell ("cell" is a term the ALF use for a group of 2 or more people working within the ALF guidelines to help liberate animals).

The rest of the book follows Valerie, and the other cell members, as they plan and perform many raids, and liberate many animals. It follows the plight of some of the animals who are liberated, including the conditions they were found in. It also follows raids on such infamous cases like "Britches" the infant Macaque monkey who was separated from his mother, and who's eyes were sewn shut at birth, in an attempt to study blindness in infants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britches_%28monkey%29

A study which was later revealed (by some stolen documents from the lab) that could have been done more effectively by studying blind human children, but the lab workers just didn't want the hassle of having to drive to the children's homes to perform the tests! This really is a book worth reading, especially if you find it hard to see why the ALF do what they do.

On a side note, since my last animal advocacy book entry, I have also received "Vegan Freak" in the post, a book about how to survive as a vegan in a predominantly non-vegan world. Although I have put that away so I don't get sidetracked again!

Now back to "From Dusk 'Till Dawn", and I am not going to even look at another book until I have finished this one!

Stay Beautiful,

Aissa.

January 2012

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