Breaking the law to liberate the animals

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Courtesy of Peter Young.

UVU’s Animals and the Law Conference may have been under secret FBI surveillance, with animal rights activist Peter Young as the primary target.


At the conference, held April 5 and 6, attendees were given an evaluation form in order to rate each speaker on various criteria. One of the evaluation sheets that was turned in had the following in the comments section:


“Peter – my position is difficult and I can’t reveal myself, but I need to warn you – you are being watched at this event by the FBI (as well as the other key participants). However, there is specific focus on you. My conscience requires I tell you this – I wish I could do more. Take care!”


While there is no way to verify the credibility of the note, it is not unlikely that there was an FBI presence on UVU campus and on the streets of Orem during Young’s stay. The FBI has a long history of searching for, closely pursuing and monitoring the actions of Young. Since connecting Young with the Animal Liberation Front, which the government considers a terrorist organization, he has been on the FBI radar.


Indicted in 1998 by a federal grand jury, he was charged with two counts of animal enterprise terrorism and four counts of disruption of interstate courts. With a sentence of 20 years in prison hanging on each charge, he, in theory, faced a maximum of 82 years. Due to a legal technicality, he only ended up serving two.


Young is 100 percent vegan, straight-edge and deeply dedicated to the welfare of animals. Though his beliefs may be considered radical or extreme by some, they have a convincing rational basis to him and other activists. Young believes that when pain and torment are being inflicted, one must go directly to the tormentor and try to stop them.


“Anyone committing injustice should consider themselves an open target,” he said. “They provoked it, so they shouldn’t be surprised when A.L.F. breaks down their door.”


He was drawn to veganism and the Animal Liberation Front because he believed in their principles such as direct action, equal rights for animals, and opposing the brutality and misery of hundreds of millions of animals who are slaughtered each year for the purpose of indulging society’s hedonistic taste for animal flesh. In high school, Young first witnessed the horror of a slaughterhouse firsthand and eventually changed his life.


“I became vegan because it is requisite for being a decent person,” Young said. “I could either become vegan, or stand on the side of human tyranny, mass enslavement and murder.”


The inherent irony is because of that decision, Young, who has never killed anyone and strives to live a non-violent life, has been labeled a terrorist.


Young, a self-employed  person and has designed for himself a life of freedom. He has the liberty to go and do the things he wants to do, when he wants to do them. In Young’s opinion, all animals deserve such liberty. He is also a persuasive and dynamic speaker.


Said Professor Chris Foster of UVU, “He flips the logic and makes it seem as though you’re the terrorist if you aren’t liberating animals.”


On the morning of April 5, a radio program aired about the conference.


The guests were Chris Foster, conference co-constructor, and Dara Lovitz, one of the conference speakers. Inevitably, Young’s name was brought up, and he was referred to as an animal rights “icon.” The talk show host, presumably to keep things lively, referred to Young as a terrorist and insinuated that he may not be opposed to taking human life. Lovitz and Foster made quick work of nullifying the host’s claims.


Lovitz said Young was “the hero of the movement,” and a practitioner of nonviolence.


With total disregard for public opinion, Young said he doesn’t mind being both a terrorist and a hero. He said he broke the law to save the animals and doesn’t think the animals would see him as either one.


“They would view my liberating them as my obligation,” he said.


By Lindsey Nelson
Staff Writer

21 thoughts on “Breaking the law to liberate the animals

  1. The pharmaceutical companies do NOT want you to become vegan because they are making multi-billions of dollars off of cholesterol lowering meds due to a meat guzzling society.

  2. The pharmaceutical companies do NOT want you to become vegan because 80% of all antibiotics made in USA is used as a growth stimulant on farm factories (also keeps them alive in the most vile filth imaginable) and our meat guzzling society is keeping them rich with cholesterol lowering meds. These are facts and cannot be denied.

  3. Mr. Young would have advocated violence against Salk, Sabin and other modern heroes of medicine. In stopping their work, Mr. Young would have prevented the development of vaccines that saved millions of human lives. Such acts would have increased suffering in the world, not reduce it. If successful, would then anyone say that “Mr Young never killed anyone”? I beg to differ.

    1. I’m a good friend of there tPeter’s for years now and I can GUARANTEE that he has, in no way, perpetrated any acts of violence. Vivisection does not contribute nearly as much to human health as we’d like to think. There are technologies outhat model the same results from vivisection, without the harm.

      I’d really recommend Karen and Chris’s class on animal ethics. It is incredibly informative.

    2. I’m a good friend of Peter’s for years now and I can GUARANTEE that he has, in no way, perpetrated any acts of violence. Vivisection does not contribute nearly as much to human health as we’d like to think. There are technologies out that model the same results from vivisection, without the harm.

      I’d really recommend Karen and Chris’s class on animal ethics. It is incredibly informative.

  4. @Denis
    Peter does not advocate violence against humans (past or present). He advocates non-violence against humans AND animals.

    He feels that, given the mass abuse of literally billions of animals every year, it is our duty to do what we can to help them (including illegal but non-violent actions such as directly liberating them).

    You may disagree, but let’s be careful to represent him accurately: he is an animal liberationist, not a terrorist. According to his reasoning the real terrorists are those that perpetuate violence (against humans and/or animals).

  5. If the consumption of an animal is murder, then shouldn’t we as well cage and jail all animals in the ecosystem above the “scavanger” class because they terrorize and murder animals for survival? Where do you draw the line where a human life is equal or less valuable to an animal. I understand the frustration of the system which raises animals for consumption but the root cause is the system of free market, not the consumption in general. Noble but naive, thats really the best thing I can say for this “animal liberationist”

  6. David, you’ve answered your own question. You say the problem is the free market meat industries, most of which treat animals in horrifically unnatural ways (torture, packed-like-sardines-confinement, genetic modification, hormones, antibiotics, amputations, brutal slaughter, etc). Animals don’t EVER treat their prey quite that horribly. True, I have seen a cat torture and partially amputate a mouse before, but I’ve never seen a cat with a warehouse stuffed wall to wall, floor to ceiling with mice in agony. The factory farming industry is unnatural and unnecessary to survival, so that is why we wouldn’t place the same blame on animals who kill other animals. They do it for survival. In our industrial society we DO NOT have to eat meat in order to survive. And we certainly don’t have to eat as much meat as we do, which is the main cause of animals-for-food suffering.Supply & Demand…

  7. I agree that the animal liberationist may be noble, but I guarantee he is far less “naive” than you are, at least about this issue.

    1. Margarette the notion of giving up meat is clearly naive, not to mention fascists by definition. For example: Trees are alive and as peaceful as can be, so is the cotton plant,and living in a house with wood or fabric is murder. You all need to stop, because I am offended, and if you don’t I will burn your house down so that you don’t display your rape of the woodlands. Its a bit ridiculous, then again so is Veganism, same concept. Meatless diets don’t make sense financially for more than 2% of the income levels in the US. With all the crisis in the world (human trafficing, Dictatorships, the Mexican Drug Cartel, HIV in South Africa, the list goes on) You choose animals? Uplift the people around you and the rest will solve itself. rather than childishly focusing on the symptoms lets open our eyes and start with the root. Nevermind, you’re right paint on fur coats changed the…

    2. Animal rights people advocate giving up meat as a suggestion. Fascism includes more than mere suggestions. Nobody’s “making” you; they’re just telling you why you’re an idiot. You seem incapable of understanding the simple reasons for NOT supporting the meat industry, which causes the greatest amount of suffering in terms of quantity of individuals on the planet. & any fool can see the logical flaw in your cute little tree analogy: animals are conscious, sentient beings. Trees & plants are living beings, but not sentient. David, “with all the crisis in the world, blah blah blah” as you said, you choose spewing ignorance? I think you are SO insecure that you have to defend your meat eating because if you don’t, your poor fragile little ego will crumble &your friends might see you cry. Stop crying, have a hamburger, & donate to the charity of your choice to ease your guilty…

      1. Sentience: In modern western philosophy, sentience is the ability to have sensations or experiences.
        The only way to prove the “sensation” of an animal is to show their response to pain, since they cannot communicate experiences.
        If I cut the roots of a tree you will see it slowly shrivel and die, this is a reaction or sensation correct?
        You can not prove the sentience of an animal more than you can the non sentience of a tree. Fact.
        As usual, individuals who have no real logic to justify the way they FEEL resort to childish attacks on the individual rather than the discussion, your choice does more to dishonor yourself than anything I could say.
        While you wage your war on hamburgers, I think I will continue to assist in ending human slavery and Sex Slavery in the 21st century, I feel like these victims deserve a little more than the Cow.

      2. “Animal rights people advocate giving up meat as a suggestion.” -Margerette

        If by Suggestion you mean, or else we will break in steal your property, vandalize your workplace, threaten you in your home, and terrorize the people who work for you, then sure thats no more facism than Sesame Street.

  8. Articles like this just go to show that the UVU Review really has nothing to write about… 90% of the articles are terrible and not worth even a first glance.

  9. I fully believe in animal welfare, and living in Britain, our farms are as humane as they possibly can be. I do not believe in animal rights though.

    The ALF are terrorists. Simple. Members have fire bombed houses of medical researchers, while their children were sleeping inside. And the ALF say they were legitimate targets? Rubbish. Their belief is “do as we say or we will terrorise you”.

    It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt, and what will the ALF say? They will say “they were legitimate targets”, because apparently, you should hurt people, not animals.

    The ALF doesn’t have the right to change people’s views by force. That doesn’t belong in a democracy. “Killing animals” may seem brutal, but there is often a need to do so, such as meat, pest control, etc.

    Animal testing may be cruel, but I am never going to side with terrorists like the ALF.

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