Are PETA terrorists?

As somebody who reconciles his love of meat with his love of animals, I’ve always thought that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were generally loopy due to claims by their members (not always endorsed by PETA, but usually not flamed either) that Christ was vegetarian [how would we know?], dogs are vegetarian by nature [hence why they graze], the death of millions of chickens on 9-11-01 was as bad as the deaths of those in the WTC, etc.). However, while I think they used excruciatingly poor judgment in giving money to Earth Liberation Front (ELF) I have trouble thinking of them as terrorists by association as viewed in this article . Do you think that they should lose their tax free funding and be viewed as assistants to terrorists?

Read 'em and weep.

I really don’t think the ELF qualifies as a serious terrorist organization.

One of their basic tenants is that an operation doesn’t go through if there is a chance humans or animals could be killed,only property may be destroyed.

There has already been a thread on this.

  1. They are criminals (arson)
  2. They are using intimidation and violence to achieve a political goal
  3. All it takes is one janitor or scientist working after hours to get caught in one of their “controled fires” and they will be murderers.

What does not make them terrorists?

What msmith said. A group can be terrorist even if it doesn’t go around killing people. It’s a terrorist group if it uses fear and terror to achieve its political goals.

First, define “terrorist” and “terrorism.”

Second, explain why the bombing of Hiroshima + Nagasaki, the recent bombing of the Afgan wedding party, and even the whole of the American Revolution (or any non-nonviolent revolution) WEREN’T acts of terrorism, and why those who participated these events WERE NOT terrorists.

msmith537, why are governments not subject to the three rules you stated? What’s the difference between a “civilian casulty” and a “victim of terror?”

Once we get all of that figured out, we can then start the important process of pointing fingers.

Sampiro, call anyone you want anything you want, but when you figure out a completely objective system for labeling people, be sure to post it here.



Since the OP is in reference to a specific charge concerning interpretation of a specific Federal law that would brand PETA as an accomplice agency of terrorism as defined by the specific legal definition of that term, I don’t really see a lack of objectivity in the field.
Q: How many postmodernists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: How many do you think?

I thought ELF was the Erisian Liberation Front.

I think msmith is correct.

alright great_dalmuti (although I hate to use the word “great” when addressing you),

Terrorism should defined as using fear, murder, destruction, etc as a tool to express ones views/beliefs on specific or unspecific targets with no concern whatsoever for the lives, well being, or property of innocents.

The difference of the accidental bombing of that poor wedding party in Afghanistan was that it was purely accidental that those people were killed. We did not go in to Afghanistan to bomb everything and everyone who got in our way.

Of course I’m sure you believe that the governments of countries are just bowing to the level of terrorism by fighting back. Well the difference between terrorism and war campaigns is that terrorists are cowards. Like a coward that would sucker punch your mother when he had a problem with you. There has to be enforcers in this world…be it law enforcement or countries enforcing through war. Otherwise, your rights to whine about it will be gone. :rolleyes:

Don’t forget, creating serious risks of injury and/or death (Such as spiking trees in a logging area).

ELF may not be on par with more notorious organiations but what I read on their own home page has convincd me they are terrorists. I am no longer merely amused by Peta’s antics. They deserve far more than losing their tax exempt status.

ELF are terrorists, they use fear and intimidation tactics to try to achieve their twisted ends. PETA supporting them financially makes them just as bad, even if they try to justify it by saying it was a non-terrorist program. The last thing i need to deal with is worrying that ELF will burn down my lab.

There are already multiple never-ending threads on these topics, so no.

  • Why is a uniformed police officer holding a suspect at bay with his firearm not terrorism?
  • Why is me pounding some skinny PETA hippy in the face for throwing red paint at me (when I wear my mink pimp coat) not terrorism?

A legitimate government is representitive of the people and functions within a framework of laws. Groups like Al Quada, or ELF operate under no mandate other than their own. No one chose ELF or PETA to be the protectors of the animal kingdom. Who are they to decide that a few rodents and monkeys are more important than cancer research?

Well i said the ELF wasn’t a SERIOUS terrorist group.
I’m much more concerned with Al Quada who makes murder a integral part of their plans.

And who thinks a goverment really reflects the will of the people?
The war on drugs here in the US should dispell that myth.

Destroyed 70 years of research???

As a historian (not a scientist, but still someone who knows about the value of research and how hard it can be), this sickens me to my very core.

And of course, there’s the ALF, who thinks we shouldn’t even keep animals as pets.

And here I was thinking it was the Judean People’s Front.


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Ohhhh they aren’t a “serious” group. They are pretty serious to the businesses they hurt. They are also serious to the firemen who have to risk their lives putting out their arson fires. How about to the people who will die of cancer or other deseases becasue ELF delayed research by a few more years?

You seem like you live in some fantasy world where actions have no consequences.

I didn’t say the government represents the will of the people. I said they are representitive of the people. People are stupid and irrational. The will of the people is perfect roads, free everything and no taxes. Obviously this is an impossible desire. And while the government may not cater to your specific lifestyle of hugging trees and doing drugs all day, you do have as much opportunity as anyone else to change it.

The problem with extreamists is that they think that the entire world believes in their radical ideas.

I think the problem is that, in terms of moral legitimacy, ELF is somewhere between Operation Rescue and Posse Comitatus. On the one hand, they’re deliberately targeting property in a fashion that’s somewhat risky to human life in order to put economic pressure on people. That’s much farther out of the “legitimate” political dialogue than a group that, for example, blocks abortion clinic doors.

On the other hand, they do make some effort to minimize bloodshed – and as far as I know, they’ve been successful in doing so. That’s obviously not nearly as bad as Posse Comitatus, a group that tried to start a bloody revolution by kidnapping and murdering people.

And it’s even more obvious that there’s no moral equivalency between ELF and Al Qaeda, and I submit that most of us think of Al-Qaeda-like organizations when we think of terrorists.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a good word for the kind of stuff that ELF does: they’re somewhere between nonviolent resistance and classical terrorism. I think it’s obfuscatory to assign them to either category.


Daniel, I don’t think it is obfuscatory at all, and when classifying a group of people engaged in a class of behavior that isn’t to necessarily make a quantitative equality but a qualitative one; that is, “Would we call them terrorists?” and the answer is “yes”. The response to that isn’t then “Well they’re no Al Qaeda!!!11”

Of course they aren’t. That’s like saying we’re equating Bush and [Senator] Kennedy because they are both politicians, and so “politician” means something less now.

The concern of terrorist activities isn’t strictly limited to loss of life, is it?