I just finished watching "I Am an Animal," an HBO video about Ingrid Newkirk and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Great movie, fascinating stuff.
The most fascinating of the fascinating elements: the story line about people who go undercover into slaughter houses and animal labs to videotape the goings-on. They do the work they completely abhor in order to be in a position to videotape other people doing it. They spend days and months killing chickens, inflicing pain and bodily injury on monkeys, etc., and come out with extraordinary footage that shows both "business as usual" in these places and the excesses of their more sadistic co-workers.
Here's what I wonder. Is it a sign of being less than absolutely opposed to these things to be willing to do them even for the purpose of creating damning footage? I can't imagine abortion protestors getting themselves inside clinics and assisting in abortions (or am I wrong about that? has it been done?). I really can't imagine a death penalty opponent wanting to work down at the Huntsville, Texas prison (death penalty capital of the western world).
Could it be that the animal activists are less than convinced of their position? I'm going to say that's got to be the wrong interpretation. It's got to be that they have reasoned that it can't possibly do any good for animals for them to keep their hands clean. Somebody's going to take those jobs if they don't. They know their investigations have done a lot of good.
But is there any line here...anything a good person just can't possibly do, even for the good of the cause? Hmm.