Students in California were participating in a big project: they were helping to raise tens of thousands of salmon to be released into San Francisco Bay. The release of the smolts was imminent, and a party was planned to honor the people who had helped, when animal rights activists cut the nets and freed the salmon prematurely.
I really do not understand how these kooks think. Nothing was gained by this action, other than to disappoint some kids who’d been working to help restore salmon stocks. I don’t even know what they want: do they just want the salmon to die out? Are they even aware that they released the salmon from an environment where they were sheltered and fed, into a wild world where food is more scarce and they will be actively preyed upon?
Peter Young, in a “Voice of the Voiceless” journal for the Animal Liberation Movement, weighed in after the first episode of vandalism, calling the perpetrators “anonymous saboteurs.”
“If this was the act of animal liberators, it would be the largest recorded animal liberation ever in the U.S.,” he wrote, noting that the largest previous one was the release of 14,000 mink in an Animal Liberation Front raid on a fur farm in Iowa.
“Those who cut the nets may not have known the fish were slated to be released in the coming weeks,” he went on. “Or, they could have chosen to risk themselves anyway to give the fish a few extra weeks of freedom, sparing them the psychological suffering of being kept in intense confinement with approximately 40,000 others in a small net.”
Oh. They were suffering psychologically. How does Young know? Which is happier, a salmon confined to a net with a steady food supply, or a salmon fleeing from an orca or a seal?
Referencing the mink farm release is also telling. Imagine 14,000 voracious predators released into the local environment: every other animal in the environment is going to experience intense “psychological suffering”, and ultimately most of the released mink are going to starve to death.
These people don’t think.
(Also on Sb)