The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law, Money, and Politics on Animal Activism
The ability to protest peacefully and to voice unpopular opinions without being arrested and imprisoned arbitrarily are cornerstones of the U.S. Constitution, and are the reasons why, in spite of the many limitations imposed upon sectors of its society over the centuries, the dominant order has been forced to change to allow people of color, women, and others to take their place in society.
Animals raised for their flesh or body products, however, remain without even the most basic natural rights: to move around, to associate with their conspecifics, to breathe clean air, and to nest or wallow or graze. They have no choice but to rely, as do all non-human animals, on human beings to speak up for them and articulate those basic rights, as well as to challenge those who are either indifferent to, or actively complicit in harming, their welfare.
Since the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) in 2006, however, the ability to document abuses, draw attention to the horrors, and raise public awareness about the suffering of animals in factory farms or scientific laboratories has been substantially curtailed. Muzzling a Movement is an in-depth and tightly argued analysis of the case of the SHAC-7, the organization whose supposed activities ultimately led to the passage of the AETA. Lawyer Dara Lovitz reveals the history behind the AETA, examines the tendentious and speculative government case against the SHAC activists, and in so doing shows how the U.S. government has deeply compromised the freedom of speech and protest enshrined in the Constitution.