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Animal Rights Movement

By the 1980s, both the FBI and Scotland Yard viewed radical animal rights organizations, such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), as domestic terrorist organizations. Indeed, animal rights activists in the United States comprise one-third of what are called “special interest” or “single issue” terrorists, a category that includes antiabortionists and radical environmentalists.

Today's animal rights movement has its roots in 19th-century England, beginning with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). This group, founded in 1824, recognized the legitimate use of animals for research but sought ways to make the conditions for the animals more humane—what is now known as an animal welfarist philosophy. By 1875, a faction of the RSPCA came together against the practice of vivisection, the cutting open or injuring of animals for scientific research, and formed the Society for the Protection of Animals Liable ...

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