Just in case you need any proof that speaking out in favor of militancy is the quickest way to destroy your life and harm the animal advocacy movement, witness the all-out clusterfuck that occurred this past weekend at Conklin Dairy Farms. In what’s been called a “war zone” atmosphere, 150 cops descended on the dairy because one guy posted an inflammatory call to arms on the Internet.
This is exactly the sort of incident that typically gets journalists whipped up into a frenzy of breathless, distorted reporting. The Columbus Dispatch’s Bill Bush deserves huge credit for writing a fair and even-handed article about the events.
Regarding the strategic costs incurred by militancy, here’s a relevant passage from my book Meat Market:
Militancy can indeed inflict damage upon animal agriculture, but its potential to do so is limited. Meanwhile, the capacity for militant action to damage the [animal protection] movement’s reputation is unlimited… Animal agriculture desperately needs factions of the animal protection movement to resort to action that will alienate the public. And, even if a few barns get torched in the process, the industry comes out ahead.
This weekend’s incident is helping to distract attention from Conklin Dairy Farms’ indefensible cruelties, at a moment when the industry is supremely vulnerable. Given the insane overreaction on the part of law enforcement, Dara Lovitz’ Muzzling a Movement: The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law, Money, and Politics on Animal Activism couldn’t have come out at a better time. (Via Hawthorne.) Link.