The extreme elements of the animal rights movement, led by outfits like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), had been strangely quiet for several years. They’ve often and gleefully characterized themselves as Molotov cocktail tossing terrorists on a mission to free every little old lady’s pet cat. Bombing research sites and threatening university professors and their families with great harm has been their modus operandi.

I’m using that Latin phrase because those groups seem to appreciate using big words, probably to wrap their questionable cause and insane tactics in a cloak of imagined “big ideas.” They don’t do press releases, for instance. They issue ‘communiqués’ and make non-negotiable demands.