Imagine a group of strangers breaking into your home, claiming you’re abusing your pets, and then stealing your pets. You’d be outraged.
That’s how farmers feel when they are targeted by Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), a California-based animal liberation group. DxE has made a name for itself by going into farms and taking livestock, claiming to be “rescuing” the animals. But DxE is not a veterinary group–it’s vegan vigilantes who want to prohibit all animal farming. The claim of “rescuing” animals is a euphemism to try to justify aggressive tactics.
Fortunately, DxE is being held legally accountable for this vigilantism.
After a week of deliberations, a California jury found DxE co-founder Wayne Hsiung guilty of a felony and two misdemeanor charges, while deadlocking on a fourth charge. The charges stem from two DxE actions in Sonoma County where activists swarmed poultry farms and removed livestock they claimed were being mistreated.
Following the jury’s verdict, Hsiung was cuffed and led out the courtroom to jail, where he will stay ahead of his sentencing hearing on Nov. 30.
Hsiung was previously convicted in North Carolina of felony larceny and breaking and entering for stealing a goat. But DxE activists were found not guilty in two other cases, one in Utah and one in southern California.
The outcome of this case may reverberate well beyond Sonoma County. If DxE’s co-founder had gotten off, we would expect to see more of this activity across California. As things stand, we’ll see if DxE, which continues to claim it has a “right to rescue,” continues to do direct actions at farms.
Here was the live reaction from an animal rights TV show when the news broke:
It’s a reminder that there are people who root for extremists and think the end justifies the means for their cause. But for today, justice is served.