The Christian Science Monitor on Constitutional Amendments to Protect Hunting

The Christian Science Monitor’s Patrick Jonsson wrote an interesting article recently surveying efforts to add amendments to state constitutions that protect the rights of hunters. Since 1996, Alabama, California, Minnesota, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia have enacted such amendments to protect hunting. Efforts are underway in at least 13 other states to enact such amendments.

Of course animal rights activists are highly critical of such efforts. Jonsson quotes The Fund for Animals’ Jeff Leitner saying,

I think that, because the number of hunters across the country is dwindling, the hunting community sees this constitutional amendment approach as a way to give themselves a public relations boost for an otherwise flagging pastime. More and more Americans don’t want anybody hunting in their back yard.

But despite the decline in the number of hunters, hunting is still viewed positively. People might not have the time or ability to hunt themselves, but in a 2001 Roper Starch poll conducted for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 87 percent of respondents said hunting was as acceptable as golf and tennis.

And such broad support means these constitutional amendments are very likely to become the norm in states where animal rights activists are trying to limit hunting.


‘Right to hunt’ vs. animal rights: What’s fair game? Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, April 3, 2002.

PETA Wants University of South Carolina to Drop the 'Gamecocks' Name

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently sent a letter to University of South Carolina president John Palms asking him to drop the Gamecocks nickname from the university. USC’s football team is receiving a lot of national attention for its 5-1 record, and apparently PETA decided to try to piggyback on that publicity.

In its letter, PETA spokesman Kristie Phelps wrote that, “Like spousal abuse, bank robbery and driving while intoxicated, cockfighting is illegal in South Carolina.” She told The State that, “It’s a safe bet that officials at the University of South Carolina would never dream of calling their athletic teams the Dogfighters, the Wifebeaters, the Looters or the Road-Ragers.”

And what would PETA suggest as an alternative name? “The Gym Socks or the Pet Rocks or anything that doesn’t perpetuate animal cruelty. The Gamecocks can score points for kindness; they can be champions of compassion.”

A spokesman for USC responded by saying, “We can’t imagine there would be any interest by the Carolina community in changing the name of their mascot.”

PETA also sent a letter to Jacksonville State University in Alabama which also uses the Gamecock nickname. JSU president Bill Meehan told The State, “We have no plans to change at this time, and there is no movement in the student body to change.”


Animal rights group targets Gamecock. Jeff Wilkinson, The State (South Carolina), October 17, 2001.

The Official Response to Animal Rights Extremism in the United States

       In addition to the FBI’s investigation
of ALF as a terrorist organization from 1988 through 1990, and the ultimate
enactment of the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, federal authorities
have responded to animal rights extremism by launching a number of grand
jury investigations of major incidents. Some of these currently are ongoing,
including inquiries into the following incidents:

  • June 1991 break-in and firebombing of mink farm facility at Oregon
    State University. The facility damaged by fire was used for storing
    feed and equipment. ALF claimed responsibility.

  • June 1991 destruction by fire of the Northwest Farm Food Cooperative
    facility in Edmonds, Washington. The cooperative supplied animal feed
    and bedding to northwest fur farms. ALF claimed responsibility.

  • October 1992 break-in, release of animals, and arson at Utah State
    University. The target was a USDA-sponsored predator ecology project
    in which coyotes were maintained for experimentation. [19: Many of the
    university-based research projects victimized over the years have been
    funded-either partially or in full-by government agencies such as the
    U.S. Department of Agriculture or the National Institutes of Health.]
    ALF claimed responsibility.

  • On July 16, 1993, a federal grand jury in Grand Rapids, Michigan returned
    a five count indictment against Rodney Coronado-a suspected ALF member-in
    connection with the February 1992 break-in, vandalism, and arson at
    Michigan State University. [20: Rodney Coronado, who also is wanted
    in Canada on charges relating to the vandalism of fur retailers, is
    still at large.] The indictment includes charges of arson, destruction
    of government property, theft, and the use of an explosive. The targeted
    project involved fertility research using minks for experimentation.
    ALF claimed responsibility for the incident.

       Since the appearance of illegal
activity relating to the cause of animal rights, only nine persons have
been convicted in connection with a specific incident. Only one person-Fran
Trutt-was convicted on federal charges (see footnote number 27 below),
and only one person – Roger Troen-has been convicted of involvement in
an incident claimed by ALF. [21: In January 1988, Roger Troen was convicted
in an Oregon county circuit court on charges of first-degree theft and
second-degree burglary relating to his involvement in an October 1986
break-in and theft at the University of Oregon in Eugene.] To date, no
one has been charged under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992.

        Since 1988, 32 states have
enacted laws aimed at protecting-animal enterprises from animal rights-inspired
violence and destruction. They are, by year of enactment, as follows:
























New York

South Carolina


North Carolina

South Dakota


North Dakota











       As of June 1993,
similar legislation was being considered by legislatures in New Jersey,
Alabama, and New Hampshire.

Section: Animal Rights Extremism in Other Countries