The animal rights movement is a global movement that seeks to end the moral and legal distinction drawn between human and animals, to eliminate the status of animals as property, and to stop the use of animals in research, food, clothing, and entertainment industries.
Various animal rights groups have committed a wide variety of acts including threats and intimidation, property destruction, vandalism, arson, and even inflicting extreme physical harm. One of the most notorious of these extreme groups, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), was formed in 1976 by a band of activists whose desire was to terrorize those who use animals. Activists claim to see themselves as modern revolutionary heroes, and in the belief that they occupy a moral high ground, have bombed buildings and risked lives in order to remove animals from farms and laboratories. Because of these acts of intimidation and violence, mainstream public opinion of the movement has been unfavorable, and even from within the animal rights movement, there has been criticism of the form of animal rights activism practiced by groups such as ALF. The public reaction has been so negative to these acts of violence, that today the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice labels underground groups such as the Animal Liberation Front as domestic terrorist organizations.
Animal Rights Extremism in the News (pdf)