60 Minutes on “Eco-Terrorists”


Last night’s piece titled “Burning Rage” on 60 Minutes was predictably uneven, as are all stories that focus on “eco terrorists” (isn’t that a term that should be reserved for people that terrorist the environment like, say, our president?). Subjects included Rod Coronado, an unnamed, masked ALF activist, and Dr. Jerry Vlasak. Needless to say that these three aren’t exactly representing the mainstream animal rights movement, but as I’ve said before: more disturbing to me than animal testing labs getting burned down is the fact that conditions exist bad enough to move people to act in this way.

While I don’t know much about the context of the quotes from Coronado and Vlasak with regards to “assassinating” people involved with corporations that conduct animal testing and such, I suspect there’s more to it than the 60 Minutes piece allowed for. I certainly hope that no AR activists act in such a way to inflict death on other humans, but rather work to directly help the animals that need it. Otherwise, it’s just misplaced energy that will do nothing to help the animals or the movement.

The most telling portion of the 60 Minutes piece is this section discussing “speciesists” (emphasis mine):

Vlasak says someone who believes that the life of an animal is not akin to the life of a human being is “species-ist.”

Species-ists, he says, are akin to racists or sexists. Animals, he says, should be accorded the same rights as human beings, despite their place on the food chain.

I yelled at the screen (an act usually reserved for the Dallas Cowboys when they’re blowing a big lead in the fourth quarter), “FUCK the food chain.” Seriously, what kind of reporting is that? The food chain “argument” is about the lamest way to justify the way we treat animals, yet here’s a supposedly respected journalist spouting the same tired nonsense we hear from, say, people on the Nuge Board.

As I figured, “Burning Rage” was frustrating, gleefully showing fires set by activists but not showing a single image of what was going on inside those labs during the day. And, boy am I glad to know that people burning SUVs are considered “the country’s biggest domestic terrorist threat.”

3 Responses to “60 Minutes on “Eco-Terrorists””

  1. Veggie Geek

    Call me cynical, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some large corporations put a little financial pressure on to create this story and tip it in the direction that benefits them. If they can paint the conservationists and animal welfare people as nuts, then they can be on the “sane” side and won’t lose money. So they seek out the most violent and scary activists, and get that image burned into American brains.

  2. CharmyCarmy

    I heard about this episode too and was not surprised in the least that they would paint us all as freaks-crazy hippes with nothing better to do. 20/20 did a show against PETA making Ingrid Newkirk, their founder, look crazy and unitelligent. I’m sick of mainstream entertainment covering up what really goes on behind close doors in labs. If the majority actually new what happened to dogs and cats like their own to make their favourite dish detergent, lipstick or laundry detergent, they would be ridded with grief and depression. Yet, thanks to shows like these, they make it seem like animal testing really isn’t that bad, it really IS necessary and people who love animals and actually stand up for their well-being are the bad-guys of humanity.

  3. A.

    It really isn’t all that suprising look at all the adds for viagra,prilosec and other drugs during a show like 60 minutes. They aren’t going to risk offending their bottom line.

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