Peter Daniel Young

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Peter Daniel Young is an American animal rights activist. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 1998 on charges related to fur farm raids in Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin in 1997. He was in hiding for seven years, before being arrested in San Jose and sentenced to two years' imprisonment in 2005.[1] Young was released in February 2007.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Young grew up in Los Gatos, California. At the age of nine, he moved to Mercer Island, Washington, near Seattle, where he graduated from Mercer Island High School. He became vegan in 1994.[3] Young describes himself as becoming more active after being shocked by his visit to a chicken slaughterhouse in the Seattle Chinatown-International District.[4] He participated in a campus animal rights group at the University of Washington, but was not a student there.[4] Young describes himself as being strongly influenced by mid-1990s vegan straight edge bands like Vegan Reich, Earth Crisis, and Raid: "The vegan straightedge scene is directly responsible for the course my life has taken."[3][5]

Fur farm raids[edit]

In the fall of 1997, Young and a friend, Justin Samuel, set off from Washington with the plan to release animals from fur farms in the Midwest on their way to Florida. A two-week period in October saw the release of at least 8,000 mink and fox from six fur farms in Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, along with the destruction of the breeding records at each farm. On October 28, police officers pulled over Young and Samuel in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, after officers received a call from fur farmers who suspected that the two were surveying farms. Their vehicle was impounded, and a search warrant application was granted the following day. The search of their vehicle yielded animal rights literature, fur farm addresses, and other suspicious items.[6]

Arrest and imprisonment[edit]

In September 1998, a federal grand jury indicted Young and Samuel each on four charges of "Extortion by Interfering with Interstate Commerce", and two charges of "Animal Enterprise Terrorism".[7] Young remained wanted by the FBI for over 7 years.

Samuel was arrested on September 4, 1999 in Belgium and was extradited to the United States to face trial. He agreed to cooperate with the government in exchange for a reduced sentence of two years. Young was arrested in San Jose, California on March 21, 2005 on charges of shoplifting CDs from a local Starbucks and was extradited to Wisconsin to face trial for the fur farm raids.[6]

In August 2005, prosecutors were forced to drop the extortion charges against Young because a Supreme Court ruling had changed the definition of "extortion."[8] In September 2005, Young pleaded guilty to conspiracy to release mink from six fur farms in South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa; and the actual release of 2400 mink from a farm in Medford, Wisconsin.[2] Prosecutors argued that Young had acted on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front, but Young's attorney denied this.[9]

Young was sentenced to two years in federal prison; 360 hours of community service at a charity "to benefit humans and no other species"; $254,000 restitution; and one year probation. He was released from Victorville, California's federal prison on February 1, 2007. Before being sentenced, he told the court, addressing fur farmers, that he would "forever mark those nights on your property as the most rewarding experience of my life." [10][11]

Since release from prison[edit]

Since his release, Young has been giving speeches, selling merchandise on Earth Crisis's reunion tour, and helping to release a vegan straight edge hip hop compilation.[12][13]

Young has also done numerous speaking engagements and continues to be involved in the animal rights movement. He has been a featured speaker at animal rights conferences held in the United States and has spoken at animal rights conferences in Europe.[14] Young serves as an advisor for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.[15]

Animal Liberation Front-line[edit]

Young also operates a website named Animal Liberation Front-line. The website reportedly is intended to, "report on the Animal Liberation Front (A.L.F.) and all actions for animals carried out above the law."[16]

Film appearances[edit]

Young had a cameo appearance in the film Bold Native, a film concerned with the topic of animal liberation. Young played the role of "Peter" in the film.[17] Young has also been featured in documentaries, including Skin Trade,[18] Edge - The Movie,[19] and Speciesism: The Movie.[20]

Home raids[edit]

In March 2010, the FBI served a search warrant on Young's home. It was reported that cell phones, computers and other electronic items were confiscated by the FBI. Young believed the FBI raided his home in an attempt to connect him to a 2004 Animal Liberation Front raid at the University of Iowa and because he was a supporter of the ALF. Young stated, "The message is if you vocally support ALF, we're coming after you."[21]

In August 2010, Young's home was raided by the FBI. The search warrant alleged Young and his roommates had harbored Walter Bond, an individual suspected of setting fire to a leather shop and restaurant. Young denied that Bond stayed at the home.[22]

Law enforcement scrutiny[edit]

Young has been a vocal supporter of the ALF. As a result, he has continued to come under scrutiny from law enforcement, as demonstrated by the raids on his home. This scrutiny not only resulted in raids on his home, but law enforcement has also used confidential informants to monitor Young.[23]



  1. ^ a b Wanted animal rights activist arrested after 7 years on the run, Associated Press, March 29, 2005.
  2. ^ a b Animal activist to plead guilty and serve two years, San Diego Union-Tribune, Associated Press, August 31, 2005.
  3. ^ a b "Interview with Peter Young". No Compromise. 2005. Archived from the original on February 19, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Animal Liberation Activist Peter Young Discusses Legal Issues at UW Law School". Indymedia. Seattle, Washington (published April 21, 2007). April 5, 2007. Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2007. 
  5. ^ "Peter Young Interview". Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved September 25, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b ALF Biography on Peter Young, Animal Liberation Front website.
  7. ^ Richmond, Todd. Associated Press, October 7, 2005.
  8. ^ Richmond, Todd. Feds drop extortion charges against accused mink farm raider[permanent dead link], Associated Press, July 23, 2005.
  9. ^ Richmond, Todd. Activist who freed mink gets 2 years, Associated Press, November 10, 2005.
  10. ^ Peter Young's Statement to the Court on sentencing, Portland Indymedia, 21st November 2005.
  11. ^ Peter Young's Statement to the Court Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine., North American Animal Liberation Press Office, November 8, 2005.
  12. ^ Animal Rights: Activist, former animal liberator to speak at Pitt - News - News - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh
  13. ^ Vegan Edge Hip Hop Archived 2014-12-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ AR2008 Biographies Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ North American Animal Liberation Press Office, Press Office Contact Information Archived 2010-11-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Animal Liberation Front-line, About Page
  17. ^ Bold Native, IMDB
  18. ^ Skin Trade, IMDB
  19. ^ Edge, IMDB
  20. ^ Speciesism - The Movie, IMDB
  21. ^ Fruhwirth, Jesse “Vegan activists condemn raid of their home by FBI.” March 17, 2010, Salt Lake Weekly.
  22. ^ Fruhwirth, Jesse. “Vegan activists raided by feds—again” August 13, 2010. Salt Lake Weekly.
  23. ^ Fruhwirth, Jesse. “Animal Activists Fight for Their Own Rights.” May 12, 2010. Salt Lake Weekly.

Further reading[edit]