The Daily Cougar Online
Today's Weather

Sunny weather

Hi 81 / Lo 73

University of Houston HomepageUniversity of Houston Department of Student PublicationsUH Houstonian YearbookWestern Association of University Publications ManagersThe Daily Cougar Online StaffThe Daily Cougar Copyright & Web Use NoticeThe Daily Cougar AwardsAbout The Daily Cougar OnlineThe Daily Cougar Campus Spotlight Online FormThe Daily Cougar Online ArchivesThe Daily Cougar Ad Rates & InformationWelcome to The Daily Cougar OnlineThe Daily Cougar Online Campus SpotlightThe Daily Cougar Online ComicsThe Daily Cougar Online Life & ArtsThe Daily Cougar Online SportsThe Daily Cougar Online OpinionThe Dailly Cougar Online News

Student Publications
University of Houston
151C Communications Bldg
Houston, TX 77204-4015

Student Publications,
All rights reserved.

Last modified:


Volume 72, Issue 62, Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Staff Editorial


                Matt Dulin                  Chris Elliott                        Robyn Morrow 
                                Johnny Peña                  Kristen Young

If only they could protect the animals 

For retail businesses, thereís only one thing peskier than better sale deals: protestors. And if a new measures continue on the fast track through Congress, animal protestors will be charged with the appropriate crime: terrorism. 

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which was already passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, expands on a previous law designated toward activists who protest the treatment of animals. The law would reclassify common protests as terroristic tactics based only on the cause. 

The billís sponsors, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said the legislation would protect scientists, medical researchers, ranchers, farmers and other industries using animals from the "violent tactics" of the "extremists" in the animal rights community. 

While the bill has already built-in protections on First Amendment-protected activities such as peaceful protests and civil boycotts, animal rights- and civil rights-activists say the billís vague language could be easily abused and brand activists as terrorists for such un-lawful--yet peaceful--acts including blockades and the release of captive animals. 

And of course, anything that could hinder the profits for businesses is a no-go. 

Besides having animal rights activists being charged with a crime, using a loaded word such as "terrorist" to associate animal activists could influence how the public perceives animal rights activists. Sure, these activists might already have the stereotype of being the animal equivalent of "tree huggers," but being earthy is the complete opposite of being a terrorist. 

The worst part of this bill: Both of its sponsors acknowledge the financial motives behind AETA. In a press conference Feinstein and Inhofe said, "Prohibiting the animal-rights extremistsí violent tactics will ensure that important animal enterprises, like biomedical industries, stay in California, for example, rather than go to India or China."

Who needs to protect a groupís rights when certain industries gain financial benefits? 


The Daily Cougar Online

Tell us how we're doing.

To contact the 
OpinionSection Editor, click the e-mail link at the end of this article.

To contact other members of 
The Daily Cougar Online staff,
click here .

House Ad

Visit The Daily Cougar