Zeph (surlygrrrly) wrote in foranimals,
Zeph
surlygrrrly
foranimals

Sad Day for Animals

Just as I suspected, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) was passed by congress yesterday. This bill is an extension of the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act, which labels as terrorism any act that "intentionally causes physical disruption to the functioning of an animal enterprise by intentionally stealing, damaging, or causing the loss of, any property (including animals or records) used by the animal enterprise, and thereby causes economic damage exceeding $10,000 to that enterprise."

What is more disturbing about this bill is that it goes beyond property damage to include loss of profit. The concern of animal advocates all along has been that the bill's wording is so vague that it has the potential to threaten citizens' rights of political participation. Potentially, the bill could include acts that are considered legitmate forms of political expression, such as boycotts, protests, investigations, and other types of disagreement with "animal enterprises." Animal enterprises include farms, rodeos, pet shops, circuses, zoos, and any others who profit from the exploitation of animals.

To add insult to injury, this legislation was passed with only a few members in session.

Given the current political climate, my prediction is that this boon for the agricultural lobby will manifest in the criminalization of animal advocates in legitimate forms of political participation. Remember the "Oprah Incident" in the late 90s? Labeling animal protesters and boycotters as domestic terrorists ensures that, unlike Oprah, future "dissidents will suffer much greater consequences and will be effectively silenced.


If we do not speak for the animals, who will? Certainly not the animal agriculturalists. Certainly not the circuses or rodeos. There is too much money to be made in animal suffering.
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