Sunday Times Claims Wealthy UK Developer Is Linked to Animal Rights Extremists

The Sunday Times filed a story on March 13 claiming that one James Gorman, 57, is linked to extremist animal rights activists in the United Kingdom.

According to the Times, Gorman made his fortune as a property developer and now spends his time giving lectures on the benefits of vegan diets. The Times quotes Gorman as saying he has committed “direct action” attacks in the past and carried out surveillance for other activists planning such attacks.

The Times quotes Gorman as saying,

I’ve rescued animals — no problem at all . . . I have been involved with surveillance, undercover work. . . . The ALF are freedom fighters fighting the terrorists who are terrorizing the animals.

According to the Times, Gorman is a “nutritional adviser” to the UK’s Vegan Prisoners Support Group whose mission is “to fight for the daily rights of vegan animal rights prisoners whilst being detained in prison establishments.”

The Times claims that Gorman is in regular contact with UK animal rights extremists Keith Mann, Greg Avery, and Natasha Avery.

Gorman tells The Times that he plans to leave about 1 million pounds to animal rights groups when he dies, but that he won’t be donating it to groups like Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty out of concerns that the government will seize any such donations.

Its worth noting that The Times uses an extremely deceptive headline for its story, which reads (emphasis added), “Vegan bodybuilder funds animal extremists.” But there is not a single sentence in the story which backs up this claim. The only mention of Gorman’s providing funds to the movement is related to his will, with Gorman telling The Times that, “My money is left in my will, and I’ve left over Pounds 1 million” to animal rights groups. The article contains nothing about whether or not Gorman is currently funding animal rights groups in the UK. Perhaps The Times should require that its editors actually read its articles before writing the headlines.


Vegan bodybuilder funds animal extremists. Nick Fielding and Gareth Walsh, The Sunday Times, March 13, 2005.


The British media, in general, does a horrible job of covering the animal rights movement. Is it really asking too much, for example, for reporters to actually know a bit of background on the groups and individuals they are covering?

On November 18, for example, the BBC ran a bland profile of SHAC headlined “How animal rights took on the world.” The profile contains numerous quotes from Greg Avery saying SHAC has focused on companies because,

“Businessmen don’t care about ethics; all they care about is profit. They don’t make ethical decisions; they make financial ones. So we turn it into a financial decision — we will hit you where it hurts and that’s hitting you in the pocket.”

The BBC profile incredibly continues claiming that,

For all of the sophistication of the movement [??] they are well aware that if arguments and legal pressure fail there is always illegal intimidation. The SHAC campaign says it is against all such tactics but some nasty things have happened to companies it has named and shamed on its website.

Would it have reporters Simon Cox and Richard Vadon to note that SHAC’s three primary organizers, Avery, his ex-wife Heather James, and current wife Natasha Avery, were all sentenced to six months in jail in 2001 after they plead guilty to conspiring to incite a public nuisance. The three published newsletters that published personal details of various individuals associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences and urged readers to commit a number of illegal acts, such as order goods on behalf of the individuals in an effort to harm their credit ratings.

Nor is it true that SHAC has simply named companies and individuals. It has a long history of posting personal information along with clear threats such as “smash them.”

One thing those of us opposed to the animal rights movement must do is make these links clear. Every time Neal Barnard or someone else from Physicians Committee for Medical Research pops up with a press release, for example, the Center for Consumer Freedom quickly responds with a press release noting that PCRM is simply a PETA front. This is clearly annoying Barnard and company, but more importantly it typically leads to followups (as it did recently over PCRM’s airport food ratings) in which reporters and newspapers admit they were had and concede that PCRM is simply another name for PETA. That sort of sustained effort will eventually suck the oxygen out of media efforts of groups like PCRM.

There are two other interesting quotes from the BBC profile. First, Avery admits to what is widely believed in anti-animal rights circles. If SHAC should succeed in closing down Huntingdon Life Sciences, it would simply be the first salvo in an all out war against animal enterprises. The BBC quotes Avery as saying,

We won’t just go on to another company [after HLS falls]. We will go on to a whole area of animal abuse. And look to knock out big chunks — puppy farming, factory farming, circuses and zoos. All these could be finished. We’re becoming bigger, even more intelligent and even more determined not just to take companies down but to finish whole areas of animal abuse.

Finally, the BBC quotes National Animal Interest Alliance chief Patti Strand as giving the UK a tongue lashing for allowing a viable animal rights extremist movement to gather steam and take hold. The BBC quotes Strand as saying,

We view the United Kingdom as the Afghanistan for the growth of animal rights extremism throughout the world. The animal rights movement that we are dealing with in the United States is a direct import from the United Kingdom.



How animal rights took on the world. Simon Cox and Richard Vadon, The BBC, November 18, 2004.

SHAC's Lunatic Delusions about UK Injunctions

Courts in Great Britain have granted Huntingdon Life Sciences and some of its affiliates temporary injunctions over the past few months, and the High Court there is now considering whether to make those injunctions permanent.

Four Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty Activists — Greg and Natasha Avery, Heather James and Claire Percy — have asked for a trial before the court on whether or not the injunctions should be made permanent, while Huntingdon Life Sciences argued that the trial was unnecessary. Mr. Justice Mackay ruled that the issue should go to trial for resolution.

In making the ruling, according to a Press Association account,

Mr. Justice Mackay said that he believed the claimants, HLS and Mr. Cass had a “formidable” case and one which appeared likely to proceed, but he was not satisfied there was no real prospect of a successful defence for the four defendants.

Based on that reasoning, Greg Avery declared that HLS had suffered a “spectacular” failure and told the Press Association (emphasis added),

The judge has recognized that SHAC is now a peaceful organization. The temporary injunctions were granted on the basis of unchallenged evidence. We shall now have our day in court.

Aside from Avery’s delusional reading of Mackay’s ruling, it is interesting that Avery said that SHAC is now a peaceful organization. Of course anyone can see that SHAC has been a violent organization in the past, and by now a peaceful organization, Avery apparently meant for the length of time it took him to finish that sentence.

As for those covered by the temporary injunction who did not challenge the proceedings, Mackay made permanent the injunction against six individual defendants and London Animal Action.


Animal rights protesters given go-ahead to challenge harassment injunction. Cathy Gordon, Press Association News, May 26, 2004.

Animal Rights Extremists Threaten UK Judges and Their Families

In February animal rights extremists posted on a web site the names and addresses of two British judges involved in animal rights cases. And, for good measure, the extremists added the names and addresses of family members of the judges.

Justice Hallet, 54, was targeted because she granted an injunction preventing protesters from harassing Chiron employees, while Justice Owen, 59, has made a series of rulings in favor of Huntingdon Life Sciences and against animal rights activists harassing its employees.

The web site included a veiled threat that the judges are, “not immortal — they do not live in fireproof houses.”

The kicker, though, was Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty spokesman Greg Avery’s take on the threat — according to Avery, the research industry is behind the site,

Somebody involved in the industry has set this up. I don’t believe that it is anything to do with the animal-rights movement.

Right, and when Avery was harassing employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences, he was probably under some hypnotic spell implanted by the industry in order to make the animal rights movement look bad.

Watch out next week when we learn that Brian Cass actually beat himself up in 2001.


Animal activists target judges. Christopher Hope, The Daily Telegraph (London), February 23, 2004.

British Judge Grants Anti-SHAC Injunction for Emerson Development

In January a High Court judge in Great Britain granted Emerson Developments an injunction against several animal rights groups and individuals that will restrict how and where the activists can protest against Emerson Developments and its employees.

Emerson is a property company that has been targeted by activists because it leases property in the UK to Japanese firm Yamanouchi. Yamanouchi, in turn, is a major customer of Huntingdon Life Sciences. According to the Financial Times, 19 Emerson directors were sent letters purportedly from the Animal Rights Militia accusing them of “swimming in the blood of innocent animals” and threatening “violent retribution” if Emerson does not end its relationship with Yamanouchi.

Named in the injunction were the Animal Rights Militia, the Animal Liberation Front, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty as well as SHAC activists Greg Avery, Natasha Avery, and Heather James.

For its part, SHAC issued a statement claiming,

Following legal advice, the three defendants and SHAC wish to clarify that these companies are not, and never have been, targets of the SHAC campaign or of interest to the three named defendants.


Judge puts curbs on Huntingdon activists. Nikki Tait, The Financial Times (London), January 27, 2004.

SHAC, The Alf, The Animal Rights Militia And Yamanouchi’S Landlords – SHAC Statement. Press Release, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, January 24, 2004.

Legislation used to contain protesters. Tiesenhausen Cave, The Financial Times (London), January 28, 2004.

HLS Offers Criticism of Company that Withdraws Under SHAC Pressure

As far as I can remember, Huntingdon Life Sciences has never criticized a company that severed its relationship with the testing firm due to pressure from animal rights activists. To some extent, it’s difficult to blame companies that don’t want their employees and their families subject to harassment because they happen to provide cleaning supplies or some other tangential service to Huntingdon.

But when Securicor announced it would not renew its current contract with HLS, a spokesman for HLS criticized the move and rightly so, in this writer’s opinion.

Securicor is a private security firm that provided security guards and other personnel to protect HLS facilities. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty recently targeted Securicor, and the firm capitulated very quickly, drawing a bit of criticism from an HLS spokesman who was quoted by Cambridge News as saying,

It seems slightly ironic when their staff have been taking all this flak for years that they have a few demonstrations at their head office and they capitulate.

Apparently when the working stiffs on the front lines were the subject of animal rights harassment that was perfectly okay as long as HLS kept signing those checks. The second a few of the company’s executives and manager had to experience this sort of harassment, however, and the company cut and run as quickly as it could.

Of course for good measure SHAC’s Greg Avery said his group would keep up the pressure on Securicor until the company withdrew its security personnel when its contract expires in March 2004.


HLS raps Securicor for contract decision. Cambridge News, February 2, 2004.