The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims
They fall under that definition, therefore they are terrorist. To argue that they did not kill anyone or that their goal is not political is false. The assumption that it is a "just cause" is also the same thing every terrorist will think.
Of course, if an animal activist is resorting to unjustifiable and excessive forceful action (such as blowing up people to bits) to raise awareness for their cause, they would meet the criteria of being a terrorist.
In the first place, I seriously question if these people are fit to be called animal activists. Animal activists lobby for the welfare of animals. In doing so, they are making their mission to protect the lives of sentient beings. If they rob their fellow humans of their right to live, it would defeat the purpose of becoming an activist in the first place (not equating humans to animals of course. We are creatures of higher intelligence)
However, if ' violence ' (say subduing an animal to tranquilize it to give it medical treatment) is committed for the welfare of the particular animal, it is usually acceptable.
If violence is a means of raising the welfare of humans living in the same enviro or future gen of animals (say during overcrowding), it would have to depend on 2 factors: 1. The scale of the activity ( does it actually terrorize the general poo public/ cause much emotional upheaval) 2. The morality of the event as perceived by society (which is relative. I'm not very sure how I feel about such activities myself honestly ).
The definition of terrorism is the act of committing fear and violence against civilians and property for a specific cause and that's what animal rights "freedom fighters" are now doing, groups like the ALF are raiding laboratory, firebombing greyhound races and also property of meat industry vandalized, furthermore, they had even assaulted scientists and mailed parcel bombs to professors,isn't that acts of terrorism?
In order to be a terrorist, the said person or group must disregard the safety and lives of non-combatants. If a person or group who are advocates for animal rights use violence or criminal means to advance their cause, if they do not kill non-combatants, that makes them different from terrorists.
You can be an activist and not have to use violence to get your point across. A matter of fact a lot of people are activist but use no violence at all. Those people are trying to show you what the heck is going on with the world and how animals are being treated. If an activist is not using violence against you or a larger group of people, I do not think that you can call them a terrorist.
Also look back in history, all the wars that we have fought. Does that make us a terrorist? No because we had to fight to save what was ours and that is what animal rights activists are doing.
Because i said so so deal with it, ha just kidding of course not its not like they are going to embark on a mission of very hard violence anyway because that would just make everybody hate them which is stupid because they need more people to side with them to get more popularity, you can breath now.