“Every motherfucker who hurts animals is gonna feel the fear!” The words come courtesy of Dr. Steven Best, from the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas, El Paso, in the YouTube video below.
Among the “motherfuckers” one will find a medical scientist searching for cures to terrible diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, a farmer raising animals for food, and a gardener eating a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. It is no secret, however, that the ultimate target of his moral philosophy is more ambitious — “May this upside down world be set right … and the human voice never again be heard” he declares. Such expressions of deep, self-hatred for mankind as a whole are commonly shared among animal rights extremists.
For a number of years the UTEP Professor and co-founder of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office has been widely known for endorsing violence in his quest for “total animal liberation” under the concept of “extensional self-defense.” Acting as a “proxy agent” for the animals, Best and his associates have concluded they (or preferentially someone else that can be solicited for the crime) are justified in using violence to impart their views of morality on the rest of society. For these groups, “justifiable homicide” becomes an acceptable way to deal with moral disputes.
And what about the law?
In Dr. Best’s words: “Fuck the law. When the law is wrong, the right thing to do is break it”.
There are three points to clarify here. First, he is not simply talking about civil disobedience or property damage. “Let every motherfucker who shoots animals be shot; Let every motherfucker who poisons animals be injected with a barrel of battery acid; Let every motherfucking vivisector be vivisected and thrown away like the shit they are,” he wrote in 2011. Second, it appears the premise is that Prof. Best is the one to decide if the law is wrong or not (society does not really have much of a say). Third, Prof. Best thinks that event if the law is right, he is entitled to take it into his own hands. For example, it has been reported that:
In April 2010, he posted on NIO a video of himself attempting to confront a man rumored to trap and poison cats that wandered into his yard. The man wasn’t home, but his wife and small daughter were. “If I hear he’s hurting cats, I’m going to be all over his office,” Best told them. “You tell him I’ll have a thousand people all over this place. You tell him Steve Best dropped by. You remember that name.”
Best posted the man’s phone numbers and addresses, along with pictures of his wife and children, beneath the video. In an update the next day, he thanked “all who called and expressed concern” for letting the alleged cat-poisoner know “he is being watched.”
His hateful rhetoric has been duly noted by UK’s Home Office which barred him from ever entering the UK in the future, and by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), one of the largest nonprofits dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry. The SPLC recently ran an article highlighting Best’s connection and support of the animal right extremists group “Negotiation is Over”. The leader of this group, Ms. Camille Marino, follows her mentor’s teachings when she writes about a UCLA professor in the following terms:
If you spill blood, your blood should be spilled as well. [W]e’re no longer playing games. We will print your information. And we’ll be at your homes. We’ll be at your work. We’ll be at your country clubs and golf courses. We’ll see you at your manicurist and we’ll be kneeling next to you when you take that next holy communion wafer on Sunday. If I have my way, you’ll be praying to us for mercy.
Prof. Best clearly relishes a bit of harassment and intimidation.
Up to a point, that is. When the same acts are directed his way then he prefers to have the law of the land enforced.
In Steve Best – Animal Rights Activist vs Camille Marino he wrote that she “apparently has a fondness for blackmail, cyberstalking, harassment, threats, intimidation and slander for she has targeted a number of prominent people she considers her enemies in the US animal rights movement, me above all” (emphasis Best’s). In the petition Dr. Best alleges verbal, mental and emotional abuse and wrote
She is crazy and she has done this to others so she will not stop with me. She is suicidal but she told me she won’t go alone and she tastes my blood, She is very dangerous and I fear for my life.
I hope you see how little regard this woman has for the law, I want a full cease and desist order to stop her from ever again contacting me in any way, including ever mentioning my name in any public forum or context whatsoever, including her website and Facebook.
I hope you see how little regard this woman has for the law, for the rights and respect of others [...]
I am a Dr. Professor at UTEP and I can’t have her slandering my name and the threats she is posting. Please help me.
So finally Dr. Best gets a taste of his own medicine… and doesn’t like it.
And now, he begs for help from the same organized society he hates and wants to see destroyed.
[Update: Nature is blogging on this ongoing developing story]