following is an e-mail interview with the ALF Press Office. The Chico News
& Review has no way of verifying the statements of those interviewed:
Did you know you had an active cell in the Chico area?
How many members do you estimate having in the United States? Worldwide?
Impossible to say, given the anonymous nature of the movement. As a rough guess we would estimate there are several hundred ALF activists in the U.S. and perhaps several thousand worldwide.
Do you support the recent action?
Would you still support the action if anyone had been hurt or killed?
This is a hypothetical question which we won't answer. We will respond to questions about real life situations, not all the thousands of "what ifs." It should be noted that the ALF, which has been active in North America for 24 years and has taken action thousands upon thousands of times, many of which involved the use of fire, has never injured or killed anyone in the course of any of their actions.
The note we received says in part: We seek complete liberation of all animals from the hands of human exploitation. Why?
Because animals are not here on this planet for humans to use and abuse. Animals are sentient beings which have an inherent right to live their lives free from pain, torture and death at the hands of humans.
Are you also opposed to capitalism/globalization?
Capitalism and globalization by definition must exploit animals (and the earth, people, environment, etc.) to realize maximum profit. One might say that therefore the ALF would be opposed to capitalism and globalization; however, since all ALF activists are anonymous, one cannot poll the membership to know the answer to your question. There is no such requirement to be active within the ALF.
How does torching a fast-food place in Chico (pop. 100,000) advance your goals?
It is part of a campaign of economic sabotage which seeks to raise costs and lower profits of animal exploitation businesses, thereby encouraging the owners to move to a more humane field of work.
What part do the media typically play in spreading your ideas? I.e., is there such a thing as bad publicity when it comes to direct action?
The media are inconsequential to the ALF, as the ALF is focused on direct action and not education and public outreach. The ALF measures its success in action-based results, not column inches. There are a multitude of animal-rights organizations which effectively utilize the media to spread the message, leaving the ALF to focus on its activities. "