At the time I wrote this statement it’s really impossible to convey accurately what life was like for me at the time. Although before my incarceration I was an activist for Animal Rights and Veganism I was never a visible person within the movement. I worked in a local health food store. on the weekends I worked for an Animal sanctuary and I tabled events in my spare time teaching people about the Animal’s plight and the ethics behind Veganism (not just about the food).
In late April of 2010 I burned down the sheepskin factory in Denver and never again would my life be the same…. I don’t feel the same. It no longer matters to me if I can change the world, I don’t spend long hours ranting and raving about how terrible my non-Vegan family or friends are or how they just don’t get it. I don’t waste my time or emotional energy crying over the cruelties of this world. And I don’t give up on, or compromise Animal Liberation because I can’t change things single handedly. These are the unfortunate phases that many who come into this movement go through. A kind of activist burnout ritual that is both superficial and selfish.
It’s not about crying all the time for Animals, Being angry on their behalf, or inventing a new line of feel good Vegan crap to make consumers and companies feel the activist fever. It’s not about me in this prison, or how you, I, or we feel about anything! It’s about positive action that saves Animal’s lives today! that stop their exploitation and enslavement today! no matter what we feel like or think about it!
In this statement that I made to the court I sat down a few months in advance staring at a blank page in my notebook in the county jail and said to myself. “what would you say in defense of Animals if you didn’t care what the media, your supporters, your detractors or the judge thought about it?” It took me 8 minutes to write it. My hand could barely keep pace with my thoughts, it literally pored out of me.
When my sentencing day came I all but had it memorized. I remember the smugness of those in the court relishing my demise and the judges serious and intimidating tone. And then I deliver my statement and by the time I was finished all faces in the room had changed, despite it being my dooms day. It was the truth I had to say for the Animals and on my own behalf, that held sway that day.
And as my sentence was being read in the court room I remember thinking to myself about the statement I made as if I didn’t care what anybody thought and I smiled to myself because I think, maybe for the first time ever, I didn’t give a fuck! And years later in my prison cell……. Well. “prison is no great hardship to me”.
Before he was sentenced by the judge on that day 8 years ago, Walter Bond said this …
Statement to the court in Denver, Colorado, February 11, 2011
I’m here today because I burnt down the Sheepskin Factory in Glendale, CO, a business that sells pelts, furs and other dead Animal skins.
I know many people think I should feel remorse for what I’ve done. I guess this is the customary time where I’m suppose to grovel and beg for mercy. I assure you if that’s how I felt I would.
But, I am not sorry for anything I have done. Nor am I frightened by this court’s authority. Because any system of law that values the rights of the oppressor over the down trodden is an unjust system.
And though this court has real and actual power, I question its morality.
I doubt the court is interested in the precautions that I took to not harm any person or by-stander and even less concerned with the miserable lives that sheep, cows and mink had to endure, unto death, so that a Colorado business could profit from their confinement, enslavement, and murder.
Obviously, the owners and employees of the sheepskin factory do not care either or they would not be involved in such a sinister and macabre blood trade. So I will not waste my breath where it will only fall on deaf ears.
That’s why I turned to illegal direct action to begin with, because you do not care. No matter how much we Animal Rights activists talk or reason with you, you do not care. Well, Mr. Livaditis (owner of the Sheepskin Factory), I don’t care about you.
There is no common ground between people like you and me. I want you to know that no matter what this court sentences me to today, you have won nothing!
Prison is no great hardship to me. In a society that values money over life, I consider it an honor to be a prisoner of war, the war against inter-species slavery and objectification! I also want you to know that I will never willingly pay you one dollar, not one! I hope your business fails and you choke to death on every penny you profit from Animal murder! I hope you choke on it and burn in hell!
To my supporters, I wish to say thank you for standing behind me and showing this court and these Animal exploiters that we support our own and that we as a movement are not going to apologize for having a sense of urgency.
We are not going to put the interests of commerce over sentience! And we will never stop educating, agitating and confronting those responsible for the death of our Mother Earth and her Animal Nations.
My Vegan sisters and brothers our lives are not our own. Selfishness is the way of gluttons, perverts and purveyors of injustice. It has been said all it takes for evil to conquer is for good people to do nothing. Conversely, all it takes to stop the enslavement, use, abuse and murder of other than human Animals is the resolve to fight on their behalf!
The Animal Liberation Front is the answer.
Seldom has there been such a personally powerful and internationally effective movement in human history. You cannot join the A.L.F. but you can become the A.L.F. And it was the proudest and most powerful thing I have ever done.
When you leave this courtroom today don’t be dismayed by my incarceration. All the ferocity and love in my heart still lives on.
Every time someone liberates an Animal and smashes their cage, it lives on! Every time an activist refuses to bow down to laws that protect murder, it lives on! And it lives on every time the night sky lights up ablaze with the ruins of another Animal exploiters’ business!
That’s all Your Honor, I am ready to go to prison.
Walter Bond is currently incarcerated, due to be released April 2021.
FCI Terre Haute CMU
PO Box 33
Terre Haute IN 47808