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Activists Try to Get Foxes Freedom and Fail: Are Their Methods Ruining Their Efforts?
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Activists Try to Get Foxes Freedom and Fail: Are Their Methods Ruining Their Efforts?

Recently, animal rights activists called Animal Liberation Front decided to free foxes that were being held in captivity for their fur on an Anamosa fox farm.

They released a news story claiming that saving animals is much more than just preventing the use of fur. They want to get rid of all industries which exploit animals, and listed the following as examples: animal research, meat, dairy, egg, and beyond. They also insisted that everyone should start following a vegan diet as this is the first step in helping animals.

The group of activists had found their way into the Anamosa farm, where approximately 300 foxes have been kept, opening pens to give the foxes freedom. The only result was damaged fencing on the property, however. Many of the foxes remained in their cages and the two that were loose were returned to their cages.

A twist in the tale is that people from the farm have claimed that if the foxes had been freed, they would probably not have survived beyond the farm boundaries. The reason for this is that they have lived on the farm since birth, and have therefore become domesticated. This claim has been thwarted by Animal Liberation Front, who has stated that the animals would be able to survive thanks to the flourishing population of wild foxes that is found in Iowa. Although the activists might be seen as heroes to those wanting to eradicate trapped animals, the FBI has claimed that the group is a terrorist organization that has been involved in various corruptions, such as arson and vandalism. In 2004, the activist group broke into a laboratory at the University of Iowa where they freed hundreds of animals while destroying research.

The issue of freeing animals that are being held in captivity is a tricky one. On the one hand, we want to see animals achieve freedom but on the other hand, freeing animals does come with possible consequences, such as the animals being let out on their own and ending up in dangerous situations, such as being hit by cars, hurt by people or other animals, or not being able to fend for themselves in the wilderness. What do you think: Are the activists heroes for wanting to save foxes from getting killed for their fur, or are they just causing greater problems by committing crimes? If they had succeeded at freeing all the foxes, would they have been heroes?

*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons



More about foxes, animal, rights, activism
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  1. Support
    Thanks for keeping us up on such important topics, Giulia!
    1. Giulia Simolo
      Giulia Simolo
  2. beachgurl
    Good food for thought. There is the pending question of whether or not traditionally wild animals that are born and raised in captivity can acclimate to the wild after being released. A lot of the research suggests no. It would be wonderful if sanctuaries existed that could immediately care for these creatures when activists uncover their situation. Unfortunately there aren't enough safe havens to accommodate the plethora that abound thanks to human cruelty.
  3. Gulrukh Tausif
    Breaking and entering into someone's property will not gain people much sympathy , The best way is to seek help from law if there's evidence of animal cruelty.
  4. katkar
    I tried something like this once. I opened an enclosure at a large broiler farm and tried freeing all the chickens. The attempt was a dismal failure: none of the chicken left their enclosure, and all were slaughtered after a few days. But let us consider this incident. Apparently, this farm had 300 foxes, which makes it a relatively small operation as far as fur farms go. However, imagine if all 300 foxes had escaped, and only 1 would have survived in the wild. Wouldn't that have meant saving one life? If the farm owners pretend to be so concerned about the lives of "domesticated" foxes, well, what do you think would have happened to the foxes eventually? All 300 electrocuted, stunned and then skinned? And please, foxes certainly are not as domesticated as cats are, because they have been captive for only a few decades, as against thousands of years of human-cat association ... and cats, dogs, pigs, cows and all other species still share remarkable similarities in their behavior with their wild cousins. Foxes are intelligent and had even 5% of them survived, that would have been a success. And if we are to consider the damage caused by new predators in an area: they disperse, and a fur factory causes far more damage to the surrounding environment. However, seeing this through the prism of 300 foxes is missing the wood for the trees. It's not about those 300 foxes. This is about that fur farm. How many foxes will the farm continue to breed, over the months and years? How many lives will that cost? Imagine the damage that this will do to the environment, to the land and to fresh water bodies. Had the ALF succeeded, its victory would not have been in freeing 300 foxes with low chances of survival. Its victory would have been in bankrupting the farm. The ALF is classified as a terrorist organization. Oddly enough, a number of militant groups that run training camps, use automatic weapons and IED's, kill civilians and carry out public assassinations are called "insurgents" or "freedom fighters". One kind of terrorist flies an airplane into a building. Another kind of "terrorist" uses a wire clipper to try to free some foxes. Can they be measured by the same metric? How come someone who kills innocent children, women and civilians may or may not be called a terrorist, but someone who has never hurt a person or animal, but only damages property to try to end exploitation is also called a terrorist? Breaking a law and committing a wrong, unjust act are two different matters. It is possible to be law-abiding and also be unjust, just as it is possible to break the law and be heroic. People who kept slaves were also on the right side of the law, and those who freed them were breaking laws. This act may have been a failure, but it was heroic in what it tried to accomplish - getting an establishment of institutionalized exploitation to go bankrupt, without the use of violence against any human being.


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