Monday, September 10, 2007

Bad Acid Trip

Seen this guy? If you have, he may need your help. This surveillance photo from Restaurant Jezebel in Austin Texas shows him painting the words "Spit Out" with, I assume, hydroflouric acid on its windows during the night before Thursday September 6th. While this news report suggests that he is an animal rights activist who wants to stop the serving of duck liver by the restaurant (which has been vandalized several times this summer), I remain skeptical that any sane person could be so bothered by the idea of people serving and eating meat that he would go to such extreme measures to stop it.

Of course the human neurological system is subject to all kinds of defects. Axons, neurons and synaptic connections can fail or malfunction without warning and produce symptoms ranging from simple anal orifice-like behavior to full blown psychosis. Neglect or coddling by parents and others can turn otherwise normal individuals into angry, cranky, self-centered twerps incapable of sustaining themselves in school and in normal society so that they end up trying to carve out a niche for themsleves in religious cults or anarchist organizations. I suppose there is the always the possibility that he could be what some experts call a "douche bag, " and someone who requires nearly constant colonic irrigation. I certainly hope not. It is troubling to imagine that anyone could be so intellectually constipated, that he'd choose to express his mind bullying a chef into not serving duck liver.

There is the possibility that he is the victim of an attempt to tweak his brain chemistry. It is not difficult to imagine that having taken one too many micrograms of window pane (LSD) he is acting out some sort of cosmic joke. Let's hope so!

As I have stated on many occasions, I believe that everyone has the right to refuse to eat animal products and to refuse to buy products that are produced in ways that they believe cause animals to suffer. But no one has the right to terrorize someone who chooses to do otherwise. That's called terrorism and that's a very bad thing, isn't it? And it troubles me that this poor soul might end up on the Department of Homeland Security's short list. (Not)

Animal rights activist wanted by police


Tags said...

Don't blame aberrant veganism on LSD. Owsley Stanley hasn't eaten a vegetable since his teens. Smoked a few, I'll wager.

Robert said...

I think you got it right when you called him a "douche bag"

Sean said...

Douche Bag though he may be, this isn't something to joke lightly about. If you aren't familiar with their story, you should check out the Shac7 at These six individuals were tried under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism (Protection) Act for free speech acts. They didn't break or etch windows, they didn't blockade restaurants; they didn't do anything save run a website which at its worst advocated direct action against Huntington Animal Life Sciences. These people are serving multiple year prison sentences and have to pay six and seven figure fines for expressing their opinion on a public forum, much like you are doing. So sure, let the police catch this guy, fine him for the window, and let him spend a night in jail and some community service time to rethink his life. But under the Bush administration, he could realisticaly find himself in much deeper shit and though you may hold him and his ilk in contempt, they don't deserve that.

Bob del Grosso said...

From the Shac7 website

"Specifically, these activists are alleged to have operated a website that reported on and expressed ideological support for protest activity against Huntingdon and its business affiliates. For this they are charged with "terrorism" and face an aggregate of 23 years in Federal Prison."

I've been trying to find out more about what they actually wrote on that website that got them charged. Do you know what it was?

I have no legal expertise but I think that if they were advocating picketing and boycotting that should not have landed them in prison. If on the other hand they were advocating more intrusive behavior then I suppose they would have stepped over the line into advocating criminal behavior.

Everyone has the right to advocate shutting down a business or the government for that matter. But the law is pretty clear (and I agree with this) when an organization uses language that incites it's members to use violence and criminal mischief to effect, they are fair game for prosecution as are the people who actually carried out the action.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I really have no idea what they did (I'm certainly not going to trust their advocacy site to give me all the facts). Do you know what these guys wrote? Perhaps their site is is archived? Do you know the name/URL?

As for whether or not he and his ilk deserves worse than a fine, consider how you would feel if it had been your business that had been repeatedly vandalized? Some of these guys were calling the chef's house and bothering his family. They even called his parents. Other animal rights activists have put bombs under people's cars. What sort of treatment do they deserve?

Finally, you do realize that I do not advocate violence or vandalism or any type of action against vegans or anyone, right?

Sean said...

To be honest I do not know all of the specific charges apart from what has been said in the animal rights community and I have to take that with a grain of salt. I do know that the charges were only related to their activities running the website for Stop Hungington Animal Cruelty, not with any direction action itself. SHAC was and is an international organization of activists along the same lines as the ALF though somewhat less radical and destructive. The organization however is much like the ALF in the respect that they aren't really an "organization," more a banner for activists of a certain persuasion to operate under. Whatever your feelings on vivisection, animals as food, or animals as general, these individuals were targeted for speech that did not involve things like instructions to make explosives. The worst specific charge I read that the government made against one of the individuals (Josh Harper) was that he posted instructions on how to send a black paper fax that would endlessly scan/fax through the machine, thereby wasting the receiving machine's toner and tieing up their line. How does that compare with say hosting a pdf version of the Anarchist's Cookbook?

Bob del Grosso said...

Sean you wrote

"How does [giving instructions for sending a black fax] that compare with say hosting a pdf version of the Anarchist's Cookbook?"
I suppose in a post 9/11 world it amounts to about the same thing. Really as someone who old enough to have been draft bait during Viet Nam I'm pretty sure it was always the same thing.

Like a lot of people who thought that war was wrong I demonstrated right along with everyone else but always stopped short of acts of harassment -or inciting others to harass- and certainly never broke into any draft boards etc. Once you go down that road the man fights back in kind and you end up being branded a criminal because, in fact, you are.

Boycotting, demonstrating, passive resistance, propaganda, petitions, lobbying legislators are the preferred means of effecting change when there's hope that the public will eventually support you if the cause is just. Harassment in the form of breakins, bombings, killing cops or threatening doctors who experiment on animals, cooks who cook them, is only going to reap public disdain and worse.This isn't 1930's Germany after all. Although I will allow that many hard line animal rights folks think it's analogous.

But whatever, if all Josh did was post instructions to send black faxes his punishment seems overly harsh.