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Free the Animals! : The Untold Story of the U.S. Animal Liberation Front and Its Founder, "Valerie" Paperback – July, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Despite a recent proliferation of animal rights books, this is the first to discuss the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The most militant of the animal rights groups, this group operates in secrecy and advocates such aggressive actions as breaking into laboratories to rescue animals. Author Newkirk, executive director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is one of the few people with firsthand knowledge of the ALF and is personally acquainted with the organization's founder, the pseudonymous "Valerie." This is Valerie's story, the story of a woman who became so outraged at the injustices suffered by animals that she gave up her career as a police officer to found an organization which operates outside the law, if not actually against it. The details of military-type training, secret identities, and midnight raids make exciting reading, akin to a good adventure novel. Some readers will object to the ALF's militant tactics, but one is left with a positive sense of how someone with strong convictions can make a difference. Recommended as a good example of one of the more extreme viewpoints on the issue.
- Deborah Emerson, Monroe Community Coll. Lib., Rochester, N.Y.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Noble Pr; First Edition edition (July 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 187936011X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879360112
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,320,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ingrid E. Newkirk, 56, author of the book Making Kind Choices (St. Martin's, January 2005), is founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the largest animal rights organization in the world.

Her campaigns to promote cruelty-free living have made the front pages of The Washington Post and other national newspapers. She was named a top business people of the year in Forbes magazine, and has been profiled in The New Yorker and twice in People Magazine. She has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King, Politically Incorrect, Crossfire, Nightline, 60 Minutes and 20/20 among others and enjoys a lively debate and the opportunity to show how easy it is to make animal-friendly choices.

Newkirk has spoken internationally on animal protection issues, from the steps of the Canadian Parliament to the streets of New Delhi, India, where she spent her childhood. She is the author of numerous opinion pieces and articles on the social implications of our treatment of animals and helped to pass the first anti-cruelty law in Taiwan. She is currently campaigning to end the live flaying of lambs for Australian Merino wool.

Ms. Newkirk served as a deputy sheriff; as a Maryland state law enforcement officer for 32 years; she has been director of cruelty investigations for the second oldest humane society in the U.S.; and serves in an advisory capacity on numerous animal protection boards. In 1980, she was named Washingtonian of the Year, and has since received many other accolades and awards, including a 1995 Courage of Conscience Award, a 2001 Animal Protection Hall of Fame Award, 2002 Living Legacy Award and 2004 Activist of the Year Awards.

Ingrid Newkirk achieved the passage of legislation to create a spay/neuter clinic in Washington, D.C., coordinated the first arrest in U.S. history of a scientist on cruelty to animals charges and helped pass into law the first anti-cruelty law in Taiwan. She spearheaded the closure of Department of Defense underground 'wound laboratory,' and has initiated many other campaigns against animal abuse, including ending General Motors' crash tests on animals.

She is the author of several other books, including 'You Can Save the Animals!', 'PETA's Celebrity Cookbook' and '250 Ways to Make Your Cat Adore You.'

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Katrina on April 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Only through respect for all creatures can we have true respect for ourselves. This book gave me a new insight into what goes on in the animal liberation front and in the labrotories. The people in this book are heros to the animals. I was glad that "Valorie" realized violent direct action was wrong and did not get involved with it. "I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection from man, from the cruelties of man."-Ghandi
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was an eye-opener for me. Seeing what goes on in labratories in the name of so-called science was unbelievable and heartwrenching. It angered me to learn that my tax-dollars pay for a large portion of this suffering.
You will be shocked when you read about the experiments, the animals' living conditions, the lack of medical care, and the pain and suffering these animals endure druing their short lives. And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that a large portion of these experiments are USELESS when applied to human beings.
You will get up-close and personal with some of the members of the ALF. They're not rebels. They are normal people like you and I - yet they have unbelievable compassion and respect for all creatures. They are the voices for those that cannot speak.
As Alice Walker wrote "The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men"
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Todd on April 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Before I read this book, I knew very little about the ALF (Animal Liberation Front). I assumed that they must have been a radical, "terrorist-like" organization. After reading this book, however, I gained a much greater understanding and appreciation for what the ALF is, and what they do for animals. This fast-paced book (I could hardly put it down!) tells the story of how ordinary people wanted to make a difference in the lives of many helpless and defenseless animals who have been imprisoned in our country's laboratories. I felt a deep connection to the founder of the American ALF, Valerie. She, and her associates (Josh, Bear, and Edna) are truly American heroes. They all had the courage to stand up to the many shameless institutions that support needless animal suffering. This book could change your life...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ingrid Newkirk's Free The Animals! really opened my eyes to the terrible cruelties forced upon animals in our society. I found myself laughing, crying, and even cheering for Valerie and all of the people who helped her. It's nice to know that there are people in the world today who will speak up for those who can't speak.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 1997
Format: Paperback
The Animal Liberation Front often draws criticism from other animal rightists as well as animal exploiters.In Free the Animals!, the ALF gets to tell their side of the story, via the engaging story of "Valerie," the founder of the ALF.Written like an action novel, Free the Animals! entertains while still getting across a very serious message about the plight of animals in captivity, and the need to rescue them. This is the kind of book that could change your life. Inspiring!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1997
Format: Paperback
Free the Animals! by Ingrid Newkirk is one of the most exciting books written. It made me cry and it made me smile. It's a book that you will want to read again and again. I have already bought several copies to give as gifts. You do not have to be an animal rights activist to read this book, all you need is a heart and compassion.
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