Target: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
Goal: Stop the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act from violating the free speech of animal rights activists.
According to the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, recording footage of any livestock operation can be considered an act of terrorism. The law passed under the old-fashioned presidency of the George W. Bush administration in 2006, and has since penalized animal rights activists for what should be protected in the United States as free speech.
Animal activists often use covert operations to expose the gruesome cruelty and negligence that often occurs by agricultural business, and without these investigations we often have no way of knowing what’s going on behind the scenes. Rarely do animal enterprises abuse animals in a way that everybody may see, so many animal rights activists take it upon themselves to record the abuse and educate the uninformed population. Furthermore, any business selling meat is considered an animal enterprise, meaning even grocery stores are protected from being exposed for any illegal and unscrupulous practices and violations of codes that consumers come across.
In 2009, four activists were arrested for allegedly chalking slogans on a sidewalk and distributing flyers and charged with terrorism. We aren’t talking about vigilante sidekicks stealing monkeys and blowing up buildings, we’re talking about four people drawing with easily erasable sidewalk chalk and passing out educational pamphlets. The government couldn’t begin to explain why this safe and sane non-violent protest amounted to terrorism, yet the act allowed for their seemingly blind prosecution.
This law is clearly not aimed at protecting businesses from illegal vandalism, harassment, and fraud, but instead targets peaceful picketing, boycotts, and civil disobedience. Why are we protecting animal enterprises from ideas, thoughts, and constitutional protests? Please support the welfare of animals and of the people who strive to protect them by signing the petition below to repeal the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
Dear Senator Feinstein,
I am writing in regard to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act that your office supported and helped pass in 2006. This agricultural gag law is not only hurting animals, but is also bad for people and sets a terrible precedent for abuse.
This law makes it criminal to record and report cruelty to animals by animal enterprises, endangering and some say outright nullifying the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Journalists, reporters, and activists are being silenced from documenting, investigating, and filming the abuse of animals in the meat industry.
We will not stand by and watch our right to free speech disappear. We will not accept our efforts to better human and animal life being construed and prosecuted as terrorism in an effort for the meat industry to silence whistleblowers, saving their own behinds from answering for crimes uncovered by non-violent activists ameliorating the industry and our earth.
Please speak out against the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act immediately and help us repeal this unjust and misdirected law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mercy for Animals