Charges: Ex-animal rights activist caught with machine gun

[It takes all kinds. The things done to animals for product testing could make anyone crazy. Still, If they want to find arsenals, they'd should check the homes of poachers and other hunters.]

By Levi Pulkkinen, staff   Apr 23, 2014

SEATTLE – A onetime radical animal rights activist now faces federal gun charges after investigators claim he was caught bragging to an informant about his “baby” – a machine gun.

Previously caught hacking a phone line to harass a pharmaceutical company executive, Nathan Brasfield is alleged to have shown a fully automatic rifle to an FBI informant while offering to sell the man pistols. Brasfield, 35, was arrested Tuesday after the FBI searched his Lake Forest Park home and seized the suspected machine gun.

Investigators contend Brasfield, a nine-time felon, was caught on tape expounding on his right to possess the modified weapon, which he kept loaded in a hallway closet at his home.

“I still have the legal right to possess and bear firearms, guaranteed to me by the Constitution no matter what the (expletive) government says about it,” Brasfield was caught on tape telling the informant, according to charging papers.

First convicted of property crimes at age 20, Brasfield was dubbed a political prisoner in radical animal rights circles in 2003 after he was caught sending “black faxes” opposed to a former executive of a firm that tested drugs on animals.

The faxes, sent from a Tukwila phone line Brasfield had broken into, targeted a Kirkland man who previously directed the pharmaceutical testing firm. At the time, the man was drawing fire from the Animal Liberation Front, an animal rights group opposed to testing on animals and meat production whose members engaged in burglaries, arson and sabotage.

Sentenced to a year in state prison for breaking into the phone line, Brasfield was caught with stolen checks, computers and construction equipment in 2011.

A Seattle police detective searching the Lake City home described an “enormous” number of tools scattered around the home; Brasfield claimed he was working as a computer consultant and electrical contractor. Most of the items appeared to have been taken in burglaries in and around Bellevue.

Brasfield ultimately pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and was sentenced to three months on work release.

As currently charged, Brasfield faces up to a decade in prison if convicted. He could face even more prison time, though, if investigators’ suspicions that his short-barreled rifle was fully automatic prove true following tests by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Writing the court, an FBI special agent said an informant first claimed to have seen Brasfield with the automatic rifle in July 2012.

According to the informant’s account, Brasfield said he wanted to show the informant “something cool” and pulled a rifle from the trunk of his Mercedes sedan. The informant said Brasfield explained he’d modified the weapon to allow for automatic fire.

Federal law heavily restricts access to automatic weapons. Though they look nearly identical on the outside, essentially all AR-15-style or AK-47-style rifles sold to civilians are semi-automatic. As a convicted felon, of course, Brasfield wasn’t allowed to possess even a musket.

During that early interaction with the informant, Brasfield explained he believed the Second Amendment meant the government couldn’t keep him away from firearms, the Seattle-based special agent said in court papers. Brasfield is alleged to have discussed shooting the machine gun on properties in Kitsap and Snohomish counties.

In February 2013, the informant met Brasfield at a Kenmore home where he was then living. Brasfield had apparently forgotten he’d shown the rifle to the informant previously, the FBI agent said, and did so again.

“Did I ever show you my, my, my baby?” Brasfield is alleged to have told the wire-wearing informant as he pulled a Vector Arms .223 cal. rifle from a closet.

“That’s my home defense weapon,” he continued, according to charging papers. “If somebody’s gonna break in here, out in the middle of nowhere … they’re not gonna find the body.”

Brasfield is alleged to have gone on to regale the informant with a host of other firearms crimes he claimed to have committed.

According to the FBI agent’s statement, Brasfield claimed to have made silencers and shortened the machine gun’s barrel so he could carry it under a coat. Investigators contend Brasfield had a pistol and rifle modified to accept silencers.

Brasfield is also alleged to have explained he was able to buy “door-breaching” shotgun ammunition and armor-piercing rifle rounds online despite his criminal history. Apparently, his seller didn’t bother with background checks.

Early this month, Lake Forest Park police received a report that Brasfield was growing marijuana in the basement of his home there. FBI agents searched the home on Tuesday and arrested Brasfield.

Agents recovered the Vector Arms rifle as well as two handguns, including a Fabrique Nationale Herstal pistol designed to penetrate body armor, according to charging papers. Also seized were a rifle scope and several flash suppressors, as well as boxes of ammunition.

On initial inspection, the rifle appeared to be shorter than allowed under federal law, the agent said in court papers. The ATF will now examine the weapon to determine whether it is in fact a machine gun.

Brasfield appeared Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court at Seattle. He is expected to return to court next Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Veganism: Inventing the NEW NORMAL

by Butterfies Katz

If any two words were synonymous with veganism – it would be ‘animal rights’. Since its inception in 1944, veganism has been a position of non-participation in animal exploitation. With the word ‘vegan’ becoming more popular, the meaning has become weakened, or the benefits to humans are touted more than the original intent of animal rights. ALL animals – whether human or other species – by virtue of being feeling and conscious – possess the birth right not to be bought and sold as a commodity, owned like a slave, oppressed, exploited, or attacked by humans. Animals have the inherent right not to be forcibly impregnated, have their newborn who they painfully just gave birth to – kidnapped and then killed – all socially accepted “normal” practices of the dairy industry. What society accepts as normal is in fact not normal – customary, but it’s not normal behavior to separate a newborn from his or her mother so people can drink the milk of another species; milk which is meant to grow an 80 pound calf into a 1,000 pound cow in less than a year. How normal would it appear to see a human suckling on a cow’s udders? 

An animal farmer selling cows online described my vegan views (that we don’t have a right to buy and sell a cow) as strange. I have a very different way of defining strange. Eating corpses is strange. Being entertained by animals who were forced to endure painful misery, humiliation, and captivity – horse and dog racing, animal fights, circuses, rodeos, animal acts, seaquariums, zoos – now that’s strange. What is socially accepted and passes for normal is actually cruel and callous. We need to raise the ‘normal bar’. 

Because humans are in fact animals, we are able to have empathy for fellow animals; who have many similar features. And when we empathize, we can clearly see that animals feel. They leap in joy. They speak – but like someone from another country, they speak a different language. If we tune into them and want to hear what they are saying – we can communicate and see that they feel much like we do – they want to live their lives naturally and free from harm, and protect and nurture their offspring. When we empathize, we see that animals have two eyes, a face, and a brain. They have a nervous, reproductive, digestive, circulatory, and respiratory system. They have pain receptors; and therefore feel pain as we do. Animals feel; that’s essentially what it means to be an animal. 

We have known friendship with dogs and cats, but those of us who have rescued animals of various other species – are certain that these animals are more ‘family’ than ‘food’. They’re more friends than enemies to dominate, wear their skins, hunt and hang their heads on walls as trophies. Farming, imprisoning, and anally electrocuting fur-wearing animals so we can adorn ourselves in their skins, as well as any number of business-as-usual practices presently considered ‘normal’ by society – are, in reality – savage. We can all do better. Each of us can do our part in uplifting the collective consciousness of humankind. What role could be more important for us to play in this feature film called Life? We can be forerunners, pioneers of a new world; a non-violent one…it’s what “everybody” has been wishing for ~ Peace on Earth…Goodwill to All… But to actually bring about Peace on Earth, we necessarily have to live the ideals of veganism. We can’t just say “we love animals” while we eat, wear and use products containing remnants of their tortured and mutilated bodies. We have to expand our respect for others to include anyone; any being with feelings and consciousness. 

Long-term vegans have established a way to live without directly demanding animal exploitation. For 35 years, my cosmetics and toiletries, food, clothing, and products have been free of animal ingredients nor were they tested on animals. Despicably testing products in the eyes of bunnies, forcing beagles to inhale cigarette smoke, vivisection on cats and pigs, holding primates captive and forcing them to learn what humans want them to learn, medicines tested on rats and mice and whoever else, dissecting frogs in schools – ‘animal experimentation’ is just too similar to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment; where African-American men were unknowing and did not consent to being “guinea pigs” in a lethal-to-them experiment. When humanity adopts veganism, there won’t be derogatory or speciesist words that are an abomination to the English language. For example: “guinea pigs”  or “livestock” – “the butcher” – “slaughterhouse” – “leg of lamb” – “kill two birds with one stone” –  “you rat, you dog, you animal”; as if being an animal is bad or lowly. It is a mistaken belief that animals are higher or lower – they are other species of animals, fellow Earthlings.
What is considered normal – is not normal. Humans have been bullies, captors, slave-masters. In Truth (with a capital T), what is really normal is the vegan concept; the perspective where every animal has the right not to be exploited or violently assaulted by humans. We can be protectors, defenders, friends to animals, rescuers – however, at the very least, people have a duty to not harm beings that are unquestionably sentient. Humans must return to the animals what is rightfully theirs. Animal rights advocates are not asking for “better treatment” or “better welfare conditions” within a system that is completely unethical. Would we ask for bigger beds in the Holocaust’s concentration camps – or – would we work to wipe out the concentration camps? We are advocating for fundamental rights of anyone sentient. We are shining a light of Truth on indefensible habits, social custom, traditions that have been accepted as the “norm”.
The many benefits of plant-powered living are too vast to ignore. Veganism is a solution for what ails our planet; violence and war, dwindling resources and expanding human population, lack of health and vitality, and a ‘clouded way of thinking’. The United Nations and World Watch Institute have reported that animal agriculture is the worst threat to environmental devastation and global warming. The human population is unfortunately ever-growing, and the logical way to feed all these humans is to stop syphoning most of the grain and soy crops inefficiently through animals. Theoretically, we could feed all the starving children by simply making it illegal for humans to purposely breed animals into existence. It is morally wrong to breed other animals. Plus these billions of farmed animals together are contributing greenhouse gases to global warming; more than all the transportation in the world put together, while greatly depleting and polluting our water supply. Animal agriculture is the reason for the clear cutting of Amazonian rainforest, which is the lungs of our planet.
Most significantly, we are misguiding the next generation that violence is normal behavior. You and I were indoctrinated since day one by society – that humans are ‘top of the food chain’, the crown of all creation, that God gave us the right to kill and eat animals, or that some animals are “pets” while others are to be ill-treated, and other falsehoods that molded all of us. The time has come for us to break the cycle and stop filling the precious innocent minds of children with the lies we were taught; lies like humans can abuse animals. Teach the next generation to respect feeling, breathing, living, and perceptually-aware animals, regardless of species. We may like to be close to a dog, while not a fish, some animals might be adorable while some look alarming – but they all deserve, at least, not to be harmed (by humans). We are reaching a point in human evolution where we are undeniably able to thrive without consuming anything animal-derived. Many plant-powered athletes, for example, the world champion extreme marathoner and vegan: Fiona Oakes and other vegan athletes – are living proof that we can more than thrive on a vegan diet. 
The reason we can legally own, enslave, buy and sell, and murder animals – is because of the almighty ‘money god’ that humans truly worship over their other deities. The profit motive supersedes what is right. However, ethics and social justice must trump immoral ways of attaining money. Slave masters were driven by their personal monetary gain only, which is comparable to animal harmers (oops farmers). Abolitionists proclaimed that money and profit are irrelevant when it comes to the objectionable behavior of owning a human being. It still holds true. We need to build a new world that is not built upon enslaving anyone sentient. Animals are individuals that should have basic rights, equally under the law, not to be a slave to a human, not to be “a someone” who is perceived and treated as “a something”, not to be a he or a she who is seen and referred to as an “it”. This objectification of other animals is to make people feel okay about their abnormal violent exploitation of others; that is socially accepted but is nonetheless wrong – even if the majority doesn’t yet see it.
Be vegan for ‘what is right’ – including every individual animal’s right. The vegan ideal is open to all; rich or poor, atheist or theist, young or old, any shade of skin, any nationality or ethnicity; any gender identity, anybody – everybody. Help educate others that what is presently accepted as normal; is unacceptable. Veganism has far reaching ramifications for a saner, cleaner, less violent world. Veganism is a protest to “the way it is”. Veganism is a Great Truth whose time has come. Veganism is the antidote to a world ravaged with violence. It’s a solution to our planetary problems.  Veganism is our next step. With humanity’s acceptance of vegan living, we are making history; bringing about a world where veganism is the new normal. 


Petitions: Prosecute man who Killed Cat with BOW for fun in Australia!

You might be thinking, who the hell hunts cats or dogs? Well, just yesterday I received a comment from someone who started off, “I already ate a dog, I love dog fights, blood,…” etc., etc., blah blah blah.

There are plenty of psychopaths out there; it’s up to us to put laws in place to keep them in their place (hell preferably).

Please sign these two petitions for domestic animals, one against cat hunting and one on to  Prevent cruelty to dogs and cats in China:


Prosecute Australian man that KILLS Cats with BOWS AND ARROWS! Sign here for justice:
Petition text: Tyler Atkinson form Ballarat, Victoria in Australia boasts online and in hunting forums about killing cats with his prized possession, a professional hunting bow. He even posted pictures of his deeds, a good thing because we can use it as evidence!He said: “Got my first feral cat this morning.Called him into about 3 meters after spotting him sniffing around about 50 meters away, and put a supreme on track and he was mine inside 6m”We urge the Chief Police Commissioner to start an investigation and prevent any other innocent animals from being killed by this man. – See more at:


Animal rights: Clean kill still ends precious life

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

[The nice thing about letters to the editor is that this sometimes the truth gets published, even in Missoula, Montana.]
April 13, 2014 10:11 am

In so many ways, animals are the same as you and I. Mothers give tender loving care to their babies and will fight to the death to protect them. Parents may go without food to feed their young. They play games, have tempers, get jealous, frustrated, angry, feel the loss of loved ones, pain, anxiety, hunger, happiness, and sing with joy at just being alive and most of all, their lives are precious to them and they will fight tooth-and-claw to keep it. Yes, they have the same emotional attributes you and I have.

Best of all, the animals we call wild are free, free from human imprisonment and enslavement. They’ve managed themselves for millions of years without human interference.

Then, men with guns appeared. Five billion passenger pigeons once darkened the skies of this land, now not a single one is alive today. Sixty million buffalo were callously slaughtered, left to rot on the prairies, and had not 260 miraculously escaped detection, hidden away in a remote valley in Yellowstone, the bison too would now be extinct.

All the wolves were slaughtered by guns, poison and traps to the last whimpering pup; other animals were also victims of these idiotic genocides. And there are those who say the bison and wolves should be exterminated again. Some management.

A recent letter implied it was OK to kill an animal if the kill was clean. Well, no death in the wild is clean, no, not from the barrel of a high-powered rifle, or painfully caught in a steel trap waiting for their executioner to bludgeon them to death.

Yes, their lives are as precious to them as ours are to us. They are different in that they kill to survive and not for sport or a few silver dollars.

Leonard Stastny,


Most people are repulsed by hunting


Most people are repulsed by huntingThe survey cited in Ken Perrotte’s March 27 column wasn’t “recent” at all–it took place nine years ago ["Support for hunting continues to rise"].

It polled people by telephone from only one area of the country, and at the time it was conducted, fewer than half of respondents said they accessed the Internet daily.

Today’s generation considers animal rights to be one of the most important social justice issues of our time, and that’s why PETA created our youth division, peta2.

PETA has the most youth engagement of any social action group: We work with more than 300 college groups nationwide, and our Street Team has more than 83,000 dedicated high school and college-age supporters.

According to the youth-culture research company Label Networks, PETA is the No. 1 nonprofit for which 13- to 24-year-olds in North America would volunteer, and Elle Girl readers voted animal rights the “Coolest Political Cause.”

People of all ages want animals to be treated with respect and compassion, and only about 6 percent of the U.S. population hunts. The fact that pro-hunting organizations have to carefully choose their words to make the ugly, bloody reality of hunting more palatable to the public just goes to show that most people are repulsed by the idea of killing wildlife for “fun.”

Ryan Huling

Los Angeles

The writer is associate director, International Youth Outreach, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.


2014 NY State Animal Rights Lobby Day

Please join us and help us promote our
2014 NY State Animal Rights Lobby Day

1)If you have not yet done so, please register now to attend.
(see link below)

2)Forward the attached e-flier to other lists on which there are
New York State Animal Rights activists.

3) Distribute the paper flier to other activist wherever activists gather (meetings, rallies, health-food stores etc.)

  On 2014 NY State Animal Rights Lobby Day we will meet with your
New York State Legislators in Albany to help these three bills
become enacted into law in this 2014 session
New York State Legislators in Albany to help these three bills
become enacted into law in this 2014 session


Ban Shooting Contest Prohibit Devocalization Prohibit Extreme Confinement of Farmed Animals

The sponsoring organizations for this event are:

LOHV-NY      The League of Humane Voters of New York
FOA      Friends of Animals
IDA      In Defense of Animals

On lobby day we will have an orientation and organize into lobbying teams in the Terrace Lounge (street level) of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Albany from 10:45 am to 12:00 noon.

We will then lobby from 12:30  to 3:30.

There will be a bus from New York City to Albany and back ($20 roundtrip)

There is no charge for registration

Please Register Now to Attend

After you register for the event
you  will be given an opportunity to buy a bus ticket on-line or by mail


be given directions to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) by car or public transportation

Please crosspost this announcement by email and facebook



Please join us for this special Lobby Day on May 6th. Meet with your
New York State Legislators in Albany to help these three bills
become enacted into law in this 2014 session

Please Forward!!!




I (Can’t) Accept That

Text and Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

Blame it on animal cruelty overload, or maybe it was the beer (I only had one, in dog years), but the other night at the annual family spring birthday party, I finally came unglued and lashed back at some glib remarks from my brother-in-law.

You see, my wife and I have been vegan for upwards of 15 years now, but we’ve managed to keep get-togethers with corpse munching, secretion gulping extended family members relatively civil—mostly because we’ve avoided talking about the subject, while they’ve “accepted” our being different.

Oh, there were a number of years when they went along with having a mostly vegan meal to humor us (except for their precious cheese). But then came the wisecracks. If there’s one thing I won’t stand for, it’s mockery from meat-eaters who can’t seem to conceive of compassion for non-human animals (besides maybe their own dog or cat).

On the night in question my sister had decided we should all bring lasagna for the birthday dinner. While they had the standard beef dish, ours was a vegan version (of course), with Daiya non-dairy cheese and Tofurky Italian sausage inside. We also had a shaker of dairy-free parmesan cheese on the table. When my sister asked what it was, my brother in law made some crack about it not being “real” and therefore did not contain the good for you things dairy supposedly has in it.

“You mean like pus?” I said, to everyone’s shock. “And then there’s the veal calf who has to suffer for every glass of milk or slice of cheese.” To that my willfully uninformed brother-in-law retorted, “I don’t have any veal in my cheese.”

“Sure you do,” I told him, “dairy cows won’t produce milk without first being impregnated—and the newborn male calves all end up dragged away from their mothers and stuck in tiny crates or chained to the floor in windowless veal barns.”

His only response? “I accept that.”