Domestic terrorism: ALF and PETA

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Law ・APA ・3 Sources

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are some of the world most famous organizations which champion on animal rights. However, these groups employ conventional methods and ideologies in their ‘champion’ for animal rights. These include the destruction of people’s property which amounts to millions of dollars, taking of animals from their owners illegally among other unlawful means. However, it is difficult for law enforcement agencies to bring the members of this organization to book as their membership is informal. The ALF mostly work to rescue animals from where they are kept captive, i.e., medical research centers, slaughter centers, and even breeding facilities. The highlight of the fight against terrorism after the 9/11 attacks has been on the extreme jihadists like Al Qaeda. However, in the recent past, people who engaged in acts of crime within the country- employing their ideas and movements from violent extremists have been on the rise. This led to the loss of lives and property. Animals rights organizations, e.g., ALF engage in ‘non-violent strategies, ’ i.e., they do not kill people. However, their actions result in loss of assets which is criminal in nature. (Bjelopera, 2013)

Animal Liberation Front (ALF)

The ALF is one of the most controversial groups which champion on animal rights. The group was formed in Great Britain by Ronnie Lee. The group has spread to many countries including the United States and many European countries. (Garner, 1993). Members of the ALF participate in the unlawful direct action in a bid to liberate animals. This involves damaging amenities participating in the exploitation of animals. These facilities range from research centers, slaughterhouses, fur producing farms and breeding centers. As much as they claim they reject violence, they condone damage of property and stealing.

Although their actions have led to the liberation of a lot of animals, they have caused damage amounting to millions of dollars. The group does not have a formal organization, and their activities are funded by voluntary persons on an individual basis. The ALF backs damage of property and harassment of individuals and companies regarded by the organization to be involved in animal exploitation. ALF members are also involved in trespassing of people’s property and even theft of other people’s property.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) PETA was formed in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco. Currently, it has over one million members globally. The group has branches in the United States, Britain, India, Germany, and Netherlands among other nations. PETA has outreach and informational platforms, funds investigations and takes legal action against organizations that have low standards of welfare. The group employs harsh methods like bizarre advertisement like the use of nude models to protest against bullfighting sport in Spain.

The team is also involved in public shaming of agencies in a motive to influence how these companies treat animals. (Smith, 2005). PETA releases press statements, conducts boycotts, hires celebrities to support their cause and participate in numerous demonstrations in the streets. (Smith, 2005)

Unlike ALF, PETA is extremely professional in conducting their animal rights movement despite some of their actions generating controversy. Moreover, they offer verifiable factual evidence to back its claims.


ALF and PETA are both organizations which champion for animal rights, but they have different approaches to the cause. ALF believes in direct action which results in damage to property while PETA mainly advocates for professional means to champion for animal rights.


Bjelopera, J. P. (2013). The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service, 1-69.

Garner, R. (1993). Animals, politics, and morality. Manchester University Press.

Smith, W. J. (2005). Dying for Liberation. 1-3.

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