What’s PETA’s Position on the ‘Animal Liberation Front’?

What Is the Animal Liberation Front?

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF), first active in England in 1976, is a global anarchist movement dedicated to the liberation of animals from human oppression. Unlike PETA, it’s decentralized and leaderless, existing as a name that anyone working toward animal liberation can assume.

The ALF has been known to break inanimate objects such as stereotaxic devices (the metal contraptions that hold an animal’s head in place with screws into the skull) and decapitators and has burned empty buildings in which animals were tortured and killed. Some raids have provided proof of horrific cruelty that would not have been discovered or believed otherwise. They have resulted in criminal charges against laboratories and experimenters for violations of state and federal animal protection laws and, in some cases, such as the University of Pennsylvania’s Head Injury Clinic—the subject of PETA’s Unnecessary Fuss—the closure of abusive laboratories.

To learn more about the first activities of the ALF in the U.S., read the updated 30th anniversary edition of Free the Animals by PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. It tells the true story of “Valerie,” a 23-year-old police officer in Montgomery County, Maryland, whose world is turned upside down in 1981 when she learns about the abuse of animals in laboratories.

PETA’s Role in Animal Liberation

PETA informs the public about the horrors of animal suffering through peaceful means. Unlike animal-exploiting industries, we don’t engage in activities in which anyone, human or animal, is injured. PETA leads the way in helping to end cruelty to animals through investigative newsgathering and reporting, pamphlets, billboards, letters, ads, op-eds, peaceful protests, humane education in schools, and provocative campaigns.

Does PETA Support the ALF?

Although the ALF and PETA have very different approaches, we will not condemn it for carrying out illegal actions in which no sentient being is harmed. It’s acting on overwhelming feelings of compassion when faced with evidence that violent acts are being carried out behind closed doors. Since regulations are almost nonexistent—and those that do exist often go unenforced—these actions are sometimes the only way that hideous cruelty has been exposed and ended. On a number of occasions, the ALF’s break-ins have served to initiate investigations that exposed violations of law on the part of the animal abusers that would otherwise have gone unnoticed and/or unchecked.

Our Legal Work for Animals

PETA’s groundbreaking legal work is freeing animals from exploitation, ending their abuse, challenging the way the world thinks about animals and their rights, and affirming the rights of cruelty investigators, protesters, and whistleblowers. Make a gift to PETA’s Legal Fund today:

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