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I agree that these people are best ignored, unless they do something that
hurts people or seriously damages property, in which case they should be
treated like common criminals.
But I recall two stories in the last few years that might be illustrative of
the mind sets of those people.
One took place in England, where a group of extremists broke into a mink farm
and "liberated" the animals therein. As reported in the Wall Street Journal,
most of the creatures hung around the farm and were recovered. Some climbed
the legs of the workers there and a few even tried to get back into their
cages. But some did escape to the wild, raising concern among
environmentalists and others that they would exterminate in that area the
beloved river vole, an endangered species.
The second story also involved a mink farm, this one in Colorado. Another
attack was foiled by an alert watchman. The police who investigated were
puzzled as to why people would release those tame, domestic animals, who
would surely become easy prey for the many coyotes in the area.
I guess with those people, it's not the animal, it's the publicity.