What do they believe?
Environmentalists support improving and protecting the quality of the natural environment through changes to what they believe are environmentally harmful human activities. Animal rights activists believe denying the basic needs of sentient creatures to any non-human animal is a form of discrimination equal to racism or sexism.
Environmental extremists are characterized by a belief human society is responsible for the depletion of the environment and, if left unchecked, will lead to the ultimate complete degradation of the environment. Extremists in both groups believe it is necessary to resort to violence to stop those they think are hurting animals or the environment. These acts of violence do not usually result in injury or death, but their crimes have caused millions of dollars in damages.
Acts of Violence
In the past three decades, it is estimated that the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United States, causing over $43 million in damages.
On November 29, 1997, the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Corrals in Oregon were set on fire, destroying a horse barn, chutes, pens and other equipment. Four hundred horses were released in the process. The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF) took joint responsibility for the crime.
The following year, ELF burned a ski resort in Vail, Colorado, causing $12 million in damage.
In 2003, ELF set fire to several car dealerships in West Covina, California, causing approximately $2 million worth of damage to vehicles.