Ronnie Lee—the veteran British animal rights activist, who in 1976, founded the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)—muses about how to reconcile a lad whose childhood, in its basic contours, resembled many people’s childhood, yet he went on to become a firebrand activist. The subject of a new book, “The Animals’ Freedom Fighter: A Biography of Ronnie Lee, Founder of the Animal Liberation Front,” Lee addresses the way intense anger—fundamentally, over the injustice at how animals are treated– fueled much of his work as a young zealot. And how he strove to direct that rage in the most focused, effective manner to achieve the goals of ALF and other organizations he was affiliated with at the time of that direct action or other deed. Observing that ALF is minimally active currently, at least in the U.K., and that he no longer maintains much of a relationship with the organization he founded, he does point proudly to what he views as two of ALF’s most significant accomplishments: Drastically reducing the fur trade in the U.K., and dramatically reducing experimentation on animals. (Asked about the portrayal of an ALF crew in the acclaimed new Netflix film, “Okja,” answers that he hasn’t seen the film, adding that he tends not to watch films or television.) Lee also described how, in widening out his activism in the post-ALF era, and after he and his wife adopted two former racing greyhounds, he devoted considerable time and energy to greyhound education and advocacy, while emphasizing that his fundamental remains (www.facebook.com/generalronnielee, www.animalliberationfront.com)
ALSO: I spoke briefly with Alexandra Crockett, the photographer who, three years ago, assembled “Metal Cats,” a book featuring a wide array of images of metal musicians with their cats. She’s just released a variation of that book, converting it into an coloring book, entitled, fittingly enough, “Metal Cats Coloring Book”–which connects smoothly to the adult coloring trend, which shows no sign of diminishing.
COMEDY CORNER: Nick DiPaolo’s “Animal Activists” (www.nickdip.com/)
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Beatles’ “Dig A Pony”
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