Animal activist Jonathan Paul was sentenced in June 2007 to four years and three months in prison for his involvement in the arson of the Cavel West Horsemeat Slaughterhouse in Oregon, a company that killed 500 horses a week. He was incarcerated in a medium security prison in Phoenix, Arizona and was deemed a ‘danger to society’ by the federal government. Jonathan received the harshest sentence in proportion to any of the other indicted activists because he refused to reveal the names of the individuals involved in exchange for a reduced sentence, and because the US government viewed him as an “animal rights leader.” He was released on July 1st, 2011 after spending 3 years in prison and six months in a half-way house.
Jonathan was involved in animal liberations through the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), an international, underground organization of animal rescuers who seek to free captive animals from research labs, fur farms, factory farms and anywhere else animals are being caged and mistreated. For two decades, Jonathan liberated dogs, cats, monkeys, mice and rabbits from research labs where they were held in tiny cages to be surgically operated on (often without anesthesia) for their entire lives. He released wild horses that were captured by the Bureau of Land Management and auctioned to the highest bidder to be slaughtered for their meat. He also freed minks raised on furs farms that were destined to be executed for their coats by anal electrocution.
A vegan for 25 years, Jonathan wears no leather, wool or silk, he uses no products tested on animals, adopts cats from shelters and rescues abandoned dogs. In 1987, Jonathan co-founded Hunt Saboteurs US, a worldwide organization that uses direct action to stop the hunting of animals. For five years, he protected bighorn sheep, deer, Tule elk and black bears from being shot by hunters by putting his body between their guns and the animals. In 1990, Jonathan spent a year documenting the horrific practices of fur farms around the country. Posing as a legitimate buyer, he purchased a fur farm in Montana and rehabilitated over 65 mink, two Canadian lynx and two bobcats. In 1995, he co-founded the non-profit Sea Defense Alliance which seeks to stop the annual shark hunt in the waters off Santa Cruz, California, and to protest the low frequency sonar ships looking for oil off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. In 1999, his organization, Ocean Defense International, worked for four years to protect whales off the Washington coast by steering their boats between the whales and Makah tribesmen with high powered rifles. And in 2005, he drove a Whale Bus up and down the west coast educating schoolchildren about whales and other endangered marine mammals.
Jonathan has committed his life to ending the suffering and killing of animals.