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A few months later, Miller found a mentor far more militant than Greanville: Steve Best. A professor of philosophy at the University of Texas-El Paso, Best was banned from the United Kingdom in 2005 after he reportedly told an animal-rights crowd: "We will break the law and destroy property until we win." In early 2008, Miller interviewed Best for his blog, and the two became friends. Shortly after, Miller converted to veganism — a diet and lifestyle eschewing any animal-derived product.
Best introduced Miller to Jerry Vlasak, press office coordinator for the Animal Liberation Front, an anonymous network of activists who operate underground and use tactics such as property destruction and arson. "Those activists — whatever violence they engage in is very mild compared to the violence of the people who are exploiting and torturing and slaughtering animals," Miller says of the ALF.
In March, members of the ALF blew up the car of David Jentsch, a researcher at the University of California-Los Angeles whose experiments have used monkeys. Afterward, Miller spoke on behalf of the organization. "As with any social-justice movement, when met with resistance from the state, violence becomes inevitable," he told Fox News.
Jentsch, who calls Miller a terrorist, has since installed an expensive security system and hired an armed guard for his home. "There are a significant number of people on our campus who live with the concern that they may be targeted next," he says.
In June, Miller took his activism beyond the computer screen. At an animal-rights conference in Portland, Oregon, he pressed graphic photos of force-fed ducks against the windows of a French restaurant, screaming along with a crowd of protesters: "Their blood is on your hands!" The next night, Miller joined a group of mostly masked activists who had gathered outside the homes of a furrier and of a medical researcher with Oregon Health & Science University.
"I loved it," Miller says.
In July, he traveled to Los Angeles for another animal-rights conference. Participants mobbed the UCLA campus, protesting Jentsch and his fellow researchers. On the flight home from that trip, Miller wrote his most inflammatory essay yet — one that brought two agents from the FBI to his door.
"If a bully is abusing the weak or defenseless, it's morally laudable to knock the shit out of him — with a ball bat, a metal rod or any weapon at hand," he wrote. He called hunting accidents "a beautiful manifestation of karma" and darkly joked that the activists' outraged correspondence with animal researchers wouldn't go unheeded if "said letters were contaminated with a biological warfare agent."
He knew it was time to act locally. "I wanted something to draw people in, a way I could get people's attention," he says. The deer at Shawnee Mission Park were just what he needed. Taking inspiration from one of his favorite movies, Fight Club, Miller founded an organization to stop the deer harvest: Bite Club of KC.
Like Miller, the group's blog pulled no punches.
"Fuck Compassion," the title of the first entry read. "We whack 'em and stack 'em."