Many of today’s animal rights activists are lazy. While there are still many such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) who bomb medical researchers’ homes, steal animals, and picket aquariums, still many more sit behind a keyboard and use the power of the Internet to destroy their targets with just a few key strokes.
As one example, tens of thousands of fake petitions exist on places like Change.org that are being used to attack, smear, and destroy innocent Americans to further the animal rights terrorist cause. Many of these petitions gain thousands of signatures in a day or less from clueless people who have no idea what they are signing and who they are targeting for their unjustified and ignorant mob outrage.
The Internet abounds with stories of the young and gullible signing petitions to outlaw water, air, and other ridiculous pranks. We find them funny and roll our eyes at thousands of clueless college students signing a petition to outlaw air. It’s not so funny when an innocent American family is the target of a vicious prank like this.
But petitions are not the sole method of attack by animal rights activists. Once a target is fingered by an activist, hundreds of fake postings wallpaper the Internet with additional lies about the victim to make it seem as if the activist was telling the truth.
Take for example, 18 year old Cassandra Johnsen from Omaha, Nebraska who uses the Internet to cry wolf. Johnsen thought it would be a good idea to start a petition to shut down a long time successful business, Tully’s Kennels, that had been operating for over five decades in her home town. She felt that she had the right to destroy a business just because she didn’t like it.
At 18 years of age, this whiny teenager has no experience in dog breeding or running a dog kennel, and no idea of just how a 51 year old business operates. She justifies her actions by claiming it was all a mistake and now she has different goals, but her fellow activists have wallpapered Yelp and Google with fake reviews claiming to be dissatisfied customers in order to help her destroy Tully. All of these fake postings by terrorists serve to give an illusion that Tully’s Kennels has a long standing bad reputation.
“This first started as an angry writing,” she said. “It got over my head quickly with social media.”
That may be so, but she hasn’t bothered to take down her petition, nor have her fellow activists take down their fake business reviews of Tully’s Kennels. Instead when the business fought back, she just whined that she was no longer trying to shut them down, she just wants them to treat the puppies better. Like she has any experience at all in how to raise puppies.
At the other end of her vitriol is a real expert on puppy raising. Tom Westman, the manager of Tully’s Kennel has fought back and says it’s, “just awful things people are able to say without regard for the truth.” In fact, Tully’s Kennel has not only passed three inspections since last July, they passed a state inspection right before Johnsen’s petition sparked an Internet lynch mob.
Both the Nebraska Human Society and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture have investigated these terrorists claims of animal abuse at Tully’s and found nothing wrong with the five decade old business.
At the end of the day, Cassandra Johnsen was forced to admit that she has actually never contacted Tully’s Kennel. She has never been there. She has absolutely no firsthand knowledge that any of the defamation she posted about them on the Internet is true. And she is unrepentant.
All she has stated is, “I would have wanted for the first 14,000 supporters to have more information instead of an angry rant.”
That just isn’t good enough.
In America, you can’t attempt to destroy a business and then say, “oops, sorry.” Johnsen isn’t sorry, she’s just sorry she was confronted. Her tactics are standard in the animal rights terrorist world. At the end of this misinformed teenager’s anger is a lawful business that has lost 50% of their clients and may end having to lay off some of their 20 employees. People risk losing their jobs because of Johnsen’s irresponsible actions.
At the other end of the spectrum from newcomer Cassandra Johnsen, is long time animal rights and environmental extremist Billy Howard of Reno, Nevada. He has years of experience pulling the same stunts that Johnsen was mentored into pulling. Billy Howard runs a group called Puppy Mill Free Reno, and objects to Americans being allowed to buy and own a kitten, puppy or rabbit.
In Part 2 of this continuing series, Billy Howard attacks a family half-way across the country.
Katharine Dokken is a Public Affairs Specialist at The Cavalry Group and the author of a new book, The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon.
Follow Katharine and The Cavalry Group on Twitter: @KatharineDokken @TheCavalryGroup