August 29, 2003

Unintended Consequences

The vegetable rights crowd's latest success backfired:

Days after 10,000 mink were released from a farm in southern Snohomish County, hundreds of the animals not yet captured have converged on local farms in search of food. The animals had killed at least 25 exotic birds and attacked other livestock in the area. "Over half our livestock was shredded. Murdered. Eaten alive," said Jeff Weaver, who discovered the dead birds on his farm Thursday. "These are not like regular farm animals. They're our pets."

Yea, well, the vegetable rights crowd probably doesn't think you should "own" pets anyway.

"One of the mink had part of a chicken in its mouth and was headed for the creek," he said. "They're starving. They'll kill anything in their path." The mink also killed Weaver's geese, chicken and ducks, as well as wounded a dog and ate a 50-pound bag of bird feed. With an estimated loss of $2,000, he said he plans to improve fences, set traps and, if necessary, use a shotgun to fend off future assaults.

Maybe it's the mink farmers who need a shotgun to fend off future assaults.

Diane and Joe Sallee are sealing their chickens in at night after they found the mink had killed six hens and injured several other that had to be euthanized. "This has just devastated our chicken population. We are just so upset by this," Diane Sallee said. "The people who do these things don't think it through."

Well, that's an understatement. But thinking it through would require them to be able to think, period.

Animal activists argue that while the farm animals' deaths are unfortunate, it proves minks raised in captivity can survive in the wild.

As long as "the wild" includes stocks of grain-fed chickens, geese and ducks raised in pens by humans. Oh, and so long as the vegeatble rights crowd hasn't yet arrived to liberate the fowl as well.

"The amount of suffering that has been prevented by releasing them from cramped cages and freeing them from an extremely cruel death more than justifies a temporary disruption to the ecosystem," said veterinarian Andrew Knight, director of research at the Seattle-based Northwest Animal Rights Network.

I guess Andrew's concern for the suffering of animals is limited to the furry ones that make him feel warm and fuzzy, as opposed to the ones that form the basis of the livelihood for folks like the Sallees.

Owners of the mink farm from which the animals were released estimate about 80 percent of the animals have been captured, leaving more than 1,000 unaccounted for, said Teresa Platt, executive director of Fur Commission USA. The commission is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and convictions of those responsible.

Hey Fur Commission USA, how about starting with, uh..., ANDREW KNIGHT! Can I collect my reward now?

The FBI, which is leading the investigation, suspects an out-of-state group is responsible for the mink release at the Roesler Brothers Fur Farm off U.S. Highway 2. The Animal Liberation Front, considered a domestic terrorist group by the FBI, has claimed responsibility.

That should make the trial a formality when the bastards are caught.

Weaver argues that the group that released the animals didn't think of the repercussions.

Well, duh. But, Mr. Weaver is wrongly assuming the vegetable rights crowd would care even if they understood what would happen.

"I'm not into anyone running around with fur coats on," he said. "But you cannot let 10,000 semicarnivorous animals out without having serious consequences."

That's the great thing about freedom Mr. Weaver. It doesn't matter that you're not into what someone else is so long as you're willing to live and let live. But these domestic terrorists, like their foreign brothers in arms, don't much give a damn about you or me our our freedoms anyway. Maybe next time, ALF will have the misfortune of encountering a rancher prepared to defend himself and his property as they try and execute one of their self-esteem building plans.

Posted by Charles Austin at August 29, 2003 06:26 PM