The LA Times reports.

The FBI and the Los Angeles Fire Department are investigating an anonymous claim that animal rights extremists placed an unexploded incendiary device found under the car of a prominent UCLA eye doctor last weekend. The incident was similar to one last year in which another UCLA researcher was the intended target.

A gasoline-filled device was discovered Sunday by the car outside the Westside home of Dr. Arthur Rosenbaum, who is chief of pediatric ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. The device did not ignite despite evidence of an attempt to light it, authorities said Thursday.

An e-mail on Wednesday signed by the Animal Liberation Brigade said the group put the device there to stop experiments on animals in Rosenbaum’s laboratory. The message claimed a gallon of fuel was set alight under the vehicle, but authorities said there was no fire.

Attacking scientists again, but it appears – as with the unexploded incendiary device used against a previous UCLA target – their incompetence has spared them from doing great harm.

And Vlasak, the former spokesman for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and now loosely-affiliated animal rights terrorist spokesman even gets a mention.

A Woodland Hills-based group called the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, or NAALPO, alerted reporters to the anonymous claim signed by the Animal Liberation Brigade concerning Rosenbaum’s car. NAALPO said it had nothing to do with the incendiary device and does not know who was responsible.

However, NAALPO spokesman Jerry Vlasak, a trauma surgeon, said he agreed ideologically with such violent tactics against anyone leading painful experiments, particularly on primates. When peaceful protests don’t work, “we certainly advocate taking it to the next level,” he said.

Now last time we discussed this, some of you were more reluctant to call it terrorism despite the secondary risks of arson and massive property damage. I disagree but still, I get the point. It’s terminology that is over-used and incorrect a lot of the time. But here we have ALF trying to bomb this ophthalmologist with Vlasak saying they “advocate taking it to the next level” – do we agree we’ve crossed the threshold yet?

Comments

  1. #1 factician
    July 3, 2007

    I agree that the word terrorism is vastly overused. That said, this is clearly an example of terrorism.

    The last medical school that I worked at kept their primate facility a secret. Very few people actually knew where it was or who worked in it (it was separate from the main animal facility) to keep the folks there safe.

    I hope that these anti-animal research folks carry a card in their wallet saying something to the effect of “If I am in the hospital and require medical care, please do not provide any medical care that required animal research to be perfected.” Otherwise they’re just damn hypocrites.

  2. #2 Rob
    July 3, 2007

    factician: I hope that these anti-animal research folks carry a card in their wallet saying something to the effect of “If I am in the hospital and require medical care, please do not provide any medical care that required animal research to be perfected.”

    Of course not. The deputy of PETA is an insulin-dependent diabetic. Somehow that treatment’s okay despite the research and its other animal-using origins. Maybe her life is just more important than other people’s.

  3. #3 ERV
    July 3, 2007

    factician–The last medical school that I worked at kept their primate facility a secret.

    The one good thing Ive found about living in Oklahoma: we’re relatively safe from PETA/ALF/etc.

  4. #4 Janine
    July 3, 2007

    I guess my definition of terrorism is simple, make an attempt to injure or kill a person for an ideological reason. And the reason for this attempt fits.

    Funny, it seems to me the lots of these animal rights activists have an almost Jehovah’s Witness view of animals, that if we humans were not trying to exploit them, all of the animals would get along. Long ago, I read an essay by an animal liberation activist who got arrested for throwing red paint at an anti-fur protest. He talked about what his Brother Wolf would do if he were in the same situation. Someone needs to point out to him, if the wolf is hungry enough and there was nothing else around to eat, the wolf would attempt to eat even a nasty little creature like a mink.

    Janine

  5. #5 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 3, 2007

    I guess my definition of terrorism is simple, make an attempt to injure or kill a person for an ideological reason.

    I’ll add this…

    “With the intent of causing political change via instilling fear in the target population”

  6. #6 woronterra
    July 3, 2007

    also from the article:
    Rosenbaum earlier this month helped diagnose a serious right eye deformity in the infant son of the Anaheim Ducks’ star goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The child underwent a four-hour surgery June 12, led by UCLA retina expert Steven Schwartz, who was hopeful for a positive outcome.

    Doc Schwartz: “Hey Gigi, can I get an autograph? oh. sorry, sorry. right. look we can fix your kid. but first you have to go into this closed room over here so our special counselor, “Dr.” Vlasak, can advise you”

    Vlasak: “Gigi, you can’t fix your kid’s eye because this all rests on animal research. fruit of the poisoned tree and all. I know, it’ll be tough on him not to have this effective procedure and he’ll have an avoidable handicap for the rest of his life. well, you have to not break any eggs!”

    Gigi: “WTF???”

    [indecipherable banging and screaming.....]

    Gigi: “okay Doctors Rosenbaum and Schwartz, we’ve opted to go with the procedure over the “advice” of your expert”

  7. #7 Andy
    July 3, 2007

    Jerry Vlasak helped get the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act passed by going in front of a Senate hearing and saying he had no problem with killing scientists if it saved the lives of animals.

  8. #8 Brian
    July 3, 2007

    Re: Rob

    Actually, it’s ok _now_ to take insulin. It comes from bacteria, don’tcha know? I assume that she would have just died back when insulin came from pigs (before those evil animal-killing scientists at Genentech put it into E coli).

  9. #9 David
    July 3, 2007

    So, should *any* experiment on animals be permitted, no matter how much suffering the animal feels? I persoanlly don’t think so. I am not a Peta supporter and certainly not a supporter of these nuts who tried to bomb a medical doctor, but I also don’t support the notion that it is o.k. to do anything to an animal so long as medicine or science might progress. I know several toxicologists who freely admit that there may in fact be zero correlation between a drug’s affect on a mouse, say, and on a human. Should a dog be put through excruciating pain to develop drugs? I have my doubts- especially when most of the drugs developed today seem to be for small populations of exotic disease victims, since these are the most profitable for drug companies. Limits need to be drawn. I once read in the L.A. Times about a UCLA Psychology professor (I think it was UCLA, but this was maybe 10 years or so ago) who studdied a mother’s comittment to her young versus her own self preservation nstincts by slicing open the belly of a female dog with a knife- no anesthesia involved- while pulling her puppies away. This was an apporved experiemtn under “strict government guidelines”. I think he belongs in prison. I studdied science in college and graduate school. I am pro-science. This does not mean every experiment needs to be done. Botox in Monkey’s eyes? What’sthe purpose here? From what i ahve read Botox is used for cosmetic purposes. I hardly think primates- or any animal- needs to suffer four our cosmetic needs.

  10. #10 Brian X
    July 4, 2007

    David:

    Animal research is pretty much inescapable, since living models are necessary to test drugs. In vitro tests only go so far (and don’t always tell you everything you need to know about in vivo effects such as, I don’t know, blood-brain barrier interaction or systemic toxicity), and even if the correlation isn’t that strong, it does give a good first approximation of what to expect in clinical trials. Yes, surprises will pop up (TGN1412 is only the most horrifying miss in recent memory), but a flawed or incomplete model is generally better than no model at all.

    Yes, ethical guidelines are necessary — we don’t want any more Mengeles, after all. But what the radical animal rights bunch are doing is not the way to do it, especially as many of them simply don’t know what they’re talking about to begin with.

  11. #11 Suricou Raven
    July 4, 2007

    I find it interesting that quite a few people are willing to classify animal-rights bombers and murderers as terrorists, but not to classify pro-life bombers and murderers as terrorists (There have been a *lot* of arson attacks on abortion clinics, and a few murdered doctors over the years). It may apply vice versa too.

    People seem willing to class those with opposing political views as terrorists. But when they see the same means being used by extremists on their own side, they make up excuses to dismiss the attacks as just a routine crime performed by a misguided individual in need of help.

  12. #12 Brian X
    July 4, 2007

    Well, I’m certainly not going to make that distinction. If the working definition of “terrorism” these days is “political intimidation by destruction of property or life” (seems a pretty reasonable definition, no?), then I’m going to call a spade a spade and put Eric Rudolph (Christian), Ted Kaczynski (Luddite), Timothy McVeigh (miscellaneous far-right nuttery), and any random animal-rights monkeywrenchers on the same list. These are not nice people, and all of them have a more or less flexible definition of the value of human life. The fact that the eco-extremists don’t necessarily have a human body count to their credit only means that they don’t go to prison for life, only a decade or so. But political intimidation using violence is terrorism whether it has a body count or not.

  13. #13 Another Anonymous Poster
    July 4, 2007

    David said: “…especially when most of the drugs developed today seem to be for small populations of exotic disease victims, since these are the most profitable for drug companies”

    Actually, the drug companies don’t want to touch the exotic diseases with small populations. They’d prefer to make a me-too variant of something that has to be taken by the entire population, like high cholesterol, hypertension, or acid reflux. That’s where the real money is.

    Ask Brian Druker how easy it was to get Gleevec approved. No drug company wanted to touch it for close to a decade, despite the fact that it was almost 100% specific for a very specific disease (Chronic Myelogenous Lukemia). What was the problem? CML ‘only’ kills about 3,500 people a year. And no drug company wants to deal with a population that small.

  14. #14 david
    July 5, 2007

    Brian,

    I agree, but animal suffering need to be taken into account as well. I am appalled at companies which do animal tetsing in China- I can only begin to imagine the pain tye will inflict on their “models”. China is a country where animals are skinned alive in some cases, and where bears are kept in tiny cages and have tubes stuck into their gall baldder to supply bile for chinese “medicine”.

    To do spine research cats and dogs and primates ahve their backs broken…. Did anyone of *them*tell Christopher Reeves to go horse back riding??? Isn’t most cardiac diease the result of poor diet and excerise habits?

    I am just amazed at how callously toxicologists, for example, kill dogs, primates, rats…. as though they aren’t even alive.

  15. #15 aApe
    July 6, 2007

    hopefully the targeted researchers will cease torturing animals before they are executed. though, even if they do stop, they’ll have to answer for their crimes at the truth and reconciliation hearings, should they still draw breath by the time we win.

    mock and harumph all you want, you all are the 21st cent. version of the slave owners in dixie saying how you’d always have your slaves.

    you. will. lose. the movement has never lost a gain they’ve made. we’re like a ratchet – we never go back.

    don’t bother posting snotty replies, i only stumbled on your page by sheer serendipity and won’t be back.

  16. #16 Rick Bogle
    July 8, 2007

    What a hoot!

    Mark Hoofnagle posts “Animal rights terrorists have their next target” on July 3, and links to his goofy past post, “ALF Qaeda.”

    People read, “ALF Qaeda,” respond to it, and Hoofnagle replies, “I don’t know how you found this thread after all this time, but you’re an embarrassment to our species….blah, blah, blah. This thread is closed.”

    If you listen carefully, you can hear the stamping of his little baby foot.

    I totally missed the fact that this blog isn’t about denialism, it’s written by and for denialists. LOL!!

  17. #17 MarkH
    July 8, 2007

    Whatever Rick. You’re the one who showed up on the previous thread and compared arson and firebombings to writing letters. Is this another example of a letter writing campaign Rick? I guess in your mind firebomb under car = letter to the editor and that makes me the goofy one?

    I actually forgot I linked that post from this one – it frequently occurs that through searching people dig up old posts and start commenting on something off the main page. The effect is that they end up having a conversation with themselves, and hijack the thread with no real ability for people to respond (except me since I get the notifications). I kill the threads when this happens because it’s a waste of my time trying to keep the thread from being contaminated with crank nonsense.

    If you guys want to post your silly garbage about how medical researchers torture animals for no good reason do it here on this most recent thread, where people will see the comments and a real dialog can occur. It’s better etiquette.

  18. #18 Jason
    July 8, 2007

    Animal research is pretty much inescapable, since living models are necessary to test drugs.

    Maybe, although I’m not convinced. But the issue isn’t just whether animals are used in drug testing at all, but the number and type of animals used, and the kinds of risk and harm they are subjected to. Is it possible to use fewer animals to achieve the same degree of safety testing? Is it possible to use simpler animals like mice in place of more complex ones like cats or pigs? Is it possible to design tests that cause less suffering and harm to the test animals?

    The animal rights movement certainly seems to have been successful in raising the consciousness of both the general public and the biomedical research community on these questions.

  19. #19 MarkH
    July 8, 2007

    Jason,
    Much of the problem with arguing with ARAs is that they act like there isn’t already a great deal of regulation of the things they complain about. I’ll give you a simple breakdown.

    1. All animal research requires oversight by Internal Animal Use Committees – IAUC’s. These are comprised of scientists, veterinarians and members of the community and they oversee all animal research protocols.
    2. All animal research requires approved protocols from the IAUCs before research can be done.
    3. In these protocols you must describe why animals are necessary for the study, and why other reagents can not be used.
    4. You must describe how the research fits in the field, how it is necessary, how you have looked for alternatives to animals, and how you have minimized the number of animals in use for the study.
    5. Further, you must describe any instance in which the animals might be subjected to stress or pain, and why those are necessary for the study. You also must describe the steps taken to minimize any pain or suffering including your methods of analgesia, post-op analgesia if you do surgery etc.
    6. Animals are housed and maintained under strict guidelines, are monitored daily by veterinarians, and their health and welfare is monitored carefully.

    It’s difficult for people who don’t study biology to understand how critical animals and animal research are to the study of biology. One of the reasons I consider ARAs to be denialists is because they lie about the procedures in place, the necessity of animals for research, and the nature of alternatives. They also hype and exaggerate instances of abuse as if they are typical, when they are not. If they simply said “animals shouldn’t be used” that’s one thing, and I’d simply disagree with them. It’s that they are deceptive about what we do, our procedures in place and the necessity of animal products.

    Briefly I can describe where animal products come into use in biology.

    1. From the most basic studies in cells – often cited absurdly as a replacement to animal studies since they are not highly reliable – reagents such as serum are required to keep the cells alive, as well as hormones, proteins, and other biochemicals of interest. Additionally, immortalized cell lines are notoriously weird things, that often show biologically irrelevant effects – cells like the HeLa cell line for instance are useful but ultimately very strange cells since they are cancers. Therefore many cell lines are repeatedly derived directly from animal tissues – primary lines – that may more closely recapitulate real biological effects.
    2. Physiology is highly dependent on tissues to test and understand how cells work as part of a tissue or organ, a system that rapidly becomes more complex than cells laying in a monolayer under serum.
    3. Many reagents that are critical for bio-assays, such as antibodies, and various proteins simply can not be synthesized artificially, and these aren’t just useful for basic science but are used more and more as clinical therapies. These must be derived from animals like mice, rats, rabbits, etc.
    4. In vivo studies are far more of a gold-standard for the understanding of biological effects, since things must be understood on the organismal level.
    5. Animal models, while often criticized by ARAs as not being vital to medical research, are actually highly informative in many instances. Many have been shown not to be relevant to human physiology, but that’s just the nature of science. You have 10 failures for every true result. Once a good animal model is developed it is often invaluable.
    6. As far as drug and toxicity studies – often the most cited area of concern since ARAs have no respect for basic research – animals really are critical. While no drug is completely trusted after animal testing, the idea of going straight to human testing without first doing basic toxicology studies in other systems is frankly insane.
    7. The understanding of molecular biology is critically dependent on gene knockouts – which requires the derivation of mice lacking a specific gene. It’s very difficult to understand the function of genes until the gene is removed from the organism to understand its effect.

    One of the things they latch onto is that medical researchers try not to publicize the use of animals in studies, I personally think this represents a strategic mistake because it ultimately leads people to think that there is some need for secrecy other than security. If people understood how animals are critical for research, and I think the majority of people are mature enough to understand the facts and come to the correct conclusions, people would be more supportive of biological science’s use of animals.

  20. #20 Jason
    July 8, 2007

    Mark,

    The kind of regulations and practises you describe were adopted in part because of pressure and publicity from the animal rights movement. All those pictures of dogs with cigarettes in their mouths and rabbits having shampoo injected into their eyes do have an effect. I think there is probably much more that should be done to reduce the number of animals used in biomedical research and to reduce the amount of suffering and harm that is inflicted on them. Europe seems to be ahead of the U.S. in pursuing alternatives to animal research and in looking for ways to improve the welfare of research animals.

  21. #21 MarkH
    July 9, 2007

    OH boy, here’s my chance to do it.

    What is your EVIDENCE that we overuse animals? Where is the study that shows that Europe uses fewer animals or less than the US?

  22. #22 David
    July 9, 2007

    I receive a weekly science magazine. I studdied science in college and graduate school. Biology is a favorite subject of mine.I read an article last night and this morning about the effects meth has on the cardiovascular system. rats ahd tubes installed in their back so that they could receive a dose of meth. Their hearts frquently suffer damage from the drug. Of course the rats are also killed after a few months to studdy the effects on their heart tissue. Here’s the question: did the rats force the emth addicts to start taking drugs? How much suffering should “even” a rat suffer for detrimental activities that people willingly engage in? I think this is a reasonable question to ask. Rats are actually pretty intelligent. I would think they are conscious, though this really can’t be proved. I have read that they seem ot have as sne of humor. Most likley a lab rat has, in general, a pretty good life compared to a wild rat- nature is afterall red in tooth and claw and it’s nothing like the image Peta likes to rpesent (little moise familie etc- forgetiing about the fact that in some mice species the young males force the father out of the nest and he is thus essentailly sentenced to death..)
    Still, I really ahve problems with deliberately causing pain and suffering to an animal. And what kind of person becomes inured to this? What does it say baout their state of mind?

  23. #23 Jason
    July 9, 2007

    Mark H,

    I didn’t say that Europe uses fewer animals in total (although that may also be true). I said that it seems to be ahead of the U.S. in pursuing alternatives and in looking for ways at improving the welfare of research animals. It’s a little old (1997), but here is a piece from Scientific American. Quote:

    Starting in the 1960s, humane organizations and governments began to fund studies in alternative methods. European governments, especially, have invested considerable resources. For the past 15 years, Germany has been giving out about $6 million a year in research grants alone; the Netherlands spends $2 million a year (including overheads
    for its alternatives center). The European
    Center for the Validation of Alternative
    Methods, a body set up in 1992 by the European Commission, requires another $9 million annually. In the U.S., governmental interest has been comparatively low; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is now offering $1.5 million worth of
    grants a year, for three years. And industry
    provides the $1 million a year that the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at Johns Hopkins University disburses in grants. (Although 15 federal agencies have recently formed the Interagency Coordinating Committee
    for Validation of Alternative Methods, this venture is as yet unfunded.)

  24. #24 David
    July 9, 2007

    Jason:

    Another thing I’d like to point out is that more and more biotech companies seem to be engaging in regualtaory arbitrage and conducting animal trials in China (which has just an abysmal record when it comes to the treatment of animals), Brazil, S.Korea, Eastern Europe…. If it’s too costly or burdonsome to care for a pig or dog humanely here they can farm the study out to a cou ntry with less concern for animal well-being.

    As for regulations in the US- they are not terribly burdonsome. A neurotoxicologist working for a very large CRO (contract research organization) told me that it was not unusal for a drug company to simply decide it was cheapera nd easier to test early stage molecular candidates on a bunch of dogs, killing almost all fo them, rather than doing some additional chemical research to winnow out the more candidates more likely to be highly toxic. Essentailly he told me very clearly that there was a choice made- it was cheaper to kill the dogs, but that it didn’t have to eb this way- if the company would spend more money they coudl have used existing processes to reduce the likelihood of toxicity so that they would at least be killing far fewer dogs etc. He also worked on monkeys and killed quite a few of those.

  25. #25 Jason
    July 9, 2007

    By the way, the SciAm article I linked to also describes several examples of experimental protocols that have been changed to reduce both the number of animals used and the amount of suffering the animals are subjected to without compromising the quality of the results.

    Mark H may believe that we do not “overuse” animals in biomedical research, but examples like this (and the toxicology research David describes above) suggest that this is not true.

  26. #26 Rick Bogle
    July 9, 2007

    Mark,

    A couple of things: Given that recent comments show up in the left-hand column of your blog, it’s disingenuous to claim that

    … it frequently occurs that through searching people dig up old posts and start commenting on something off the main page. The effect is that they end up having a conversation with themselves, and hijack the thread with no real ability for people to respond.

    Why wouldn’t people have an opportunity to respond? And, even if you are correct, why didn’t you say to those hijackers, “Hey guys, post over here?”

    Instead you called them names and acted like a baby.

    [An ironic twist born from your arrogant dismissal and denialism: One of the posters you insulted, Brian Carnell, is a reasonably well known ardent defender of your industry. The article he linked to was very interesting and totally on point regarding the question of terrorism. Are you always a prick?]

    Your claims about animal research make me think that you don’t really know very much about it or its regulation, generally. Granted that you vivisect mice and rats, but how does that equate with knowledge about the system generally? It’s like a house painter claiming to be an art historian because she uses a paintbrush. Ego run amok.

    You wrote

    1. All animal research requires oversight by Internal Animal Use Committees – IAUC’s. These are comprised of scientists, veterinarians and members of the community and they oversee all animal
    research protocols.

    [BTW, these committees are not "Internal Animal Use Committees - IAUC's" These are IACUCs - Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees.]

    You seem to imply that this in-house oversight is meaningful. There has been very little investigaton into this system. Making this claim in the absence of evidence is an expression of faith.

    You are denying Plous and Herzog [Animal research. Reliability of protocol reviews for animal research. Science. 2001 Jul 27.] Have you read this paper?

    Claim #2 repeats #1.

    These two claims are an example of the chronic misrepresentation of fact by the animal research community. You should at least become informed and speak knowledgably rather than recite propaganda.

    If your community actually cared about oversight, wanted meaningful oversight, in other words, actually cared about the animals, there would have been continuing follow up to Plous. There wasn’t and hasn’t.

    Claims #3-5 are generally accurate, but they leave out the key point that these assurances, explanations, and justifications are being made to a group of people who are predisposed to accept what is claimed (as Plous demonstrates) and who accept the paradigm on blind faith.

    Claim #6 is an expression of faith. How do you know? What facts can you cite? Your expresion of faith seems to deny the United States Department of Agriculture Inspector General’s report on APHIS-AC oversight problems http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/33002-03-SF.pdf.

    The rest of your claims don’t seem to be much stronger or rooted any deeper in fact. Vague generalities like “Once a good animal model is developed it is often invaluable” are just expressions of faith. [And, did you really mean to claim that some "good animal models" sometimes aren't
    invaluable?" Your thinking seems really fuzzy.] Can you give a clear unequivical example or two of a currently used “good animal model” that has proven to be “invaluable” for a recent medical advancement?

    Your claim that animals are critical for the study of animal biology seems to be a projection of your personal reliance on rats and mice. Assuming that you are the MA Hoofnagel at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, your research is a pretty good example of the false assumptions that rule so much of what is passed off as relevant science.

    Experimental results and conclusions based on the biology of bioengineered mutant mice have little meaning to other mice or to humans. You should read Shanks and LaFollette.

  27. #27 MarkH
    July 10, 2007

    ACUC is correct generally. I recalled my institution has a different name for it, the Institutional ACUC I conflated all the acronyms. Sorry for the imprecision.

    Hmm, articles that support my position. That’s interesting. It’s just like arguing with a creationist about articles that support evolution. How about, well, all of them?

    Your link is broken on #6 but I can assure you it’s not an expression of faith. It is what we do.

    I think the best example of how people like Rick are totally full of it would be this coverage by Nature last year. In a survey of 1700 life scientists they found that the overwhelming majority of them (99%) felt that animal research was necessary for life science research.

    The only people who say otherwise are animal rights cranks like yourself.

    So, I guess you could say it’s all a matter of faith, scientists are liars blah blah blah. May I suggest a guest commentary over at Uncommon Descent? I’m sure they’d welcome another crank viewpoint that conflicts with the overwhelming majority of scientists who actually do the work.

  28. #28 Rick Bogle
    July 10, 2007

    What a wonderfully denialist response Mark.

    Proof of the efficacy of animal models? Why just look at all the publications! (Ever read the Glass Bead Game?)

    Proof of God? Why just look at all the churches! Rich.

    [BTW, the address at 6 is correct. The blog's software turned it into a link and included the final period. But, here it is as a link. http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/33002-03-SF.pdf]

    Why do you keep avoiding Plous? For the sake of being honest about oversight, have you decided to quit chanting IACUC, IACUC?

    Here’re are a couple more crank opinions about basic science:

    The Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Science convened a Clinical Research Roundtable in 2000 to analyze the success of basic research. They reported in 2003 that there is a “disconnection between the promise of basic science and the delivery of better health.” And that unless new strategies are enacted, the “data and information produced by the basic science enterprise will not result in a tangible public benefit.” The Journal of the American Medical Association characterized the report as not worded strongly enough.

    In 2004, William Richard Rodriguez, M.D. Chief Medical Director, Veritas Medicine and Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School had this to say [Rodriguez, WR Can biomedical research in the United States be saved from collapse? 2004 MebMD, Veritas Medicine http://tinyurl.com/l75kv]:

    “There is an assumption that the recent exponential growth of scientific information about disease, as evidenced by the substantial increase in the numbers of published articles [like yours, Mark] in biomedical journals, heralds a rapid move to improve human health.

    This illusion is the subject of an intense analysis… [my emphasis]

    I don’t want to be accused of hijacking your little discussion, so, with my faith renewed that your ilk are not genuinely interested is substantive discussion about this issue, I’ll go away now. Just remember this, it is precisely your attitude, pervasive in your industry, that bodes ill for the sort of public discussion that could circumvent the odious results of the obviously growing frustration among animal activists. The next time a vivisector gets their car spray painted or a bomb left on their door step, you will share the responsibility.

    Stick your head back in the sand.

  29. #29 David
    July 10, 2007

    It’s silly to say that you could understand biology without animal research. To say that, for example, disecting a mouse provides no insight into human biology is to forget that all mammals have stomachs, intestines, hearts, lungs etc. Not everything ill work exactly the same way but, for example, intesstinal epithileal cells are very much alike in all placental mammals, and studying absorbtion in a mosue intestine most defininiley sheds light on how our own intestines work. There will be differences for specific products in the intestine, but not for all products. The average will be very informative. To say that animal studdies are scientifically useless is simply ridiculous. You *can* debate whether it is *worth* doing these studdies but *not* whether animal studdies have scientific merit or not.

    My issue isn’t with the merit of using animals in studdies. My issuse is there suffering and quality of life. If we are injecting botox in primate eyes to make sure botox is safe for cosmetic surgeons to use than forget it.

  30. #30 jcm
    July 10, 2007

    Evidently, it is very common for pro-vivisectors to insult those who do not share what they “think”. Because they do not possess a gram of creativity, nobody can show theirs.
    I do not belong to ARA nor any “movement”. It is simply from ignorants to consider other animals as things, denying their suffering and their USELESS deaths. It is very strange, by the way, that a doctor has so much time posting idiotic thoughts on the internet, defending wrong doing from vivisectors and attacking all who are concerned about the suffering and killing of animals ,instead of learning something on how can medicine help us (humans) without using other species. Changing the cause of a disease won’t give anybody the “good model” to research the disease. Forcing human diseases in those poor animals IS WRONG.
    And that is what all vivisectors are doing!
    Instead of playing on who can be the best, or worst Frankenstein, vivisectors should at least, accept that somebody else can be creative and find a way to discover how to treat / cure our diseases in a more advanced and scientific way. Closing completely this door is what makes me reaffirm that THEY are WRONG, not us.
    And thanks God not everybody thinks the same way!

  31. #31 MarkH
    July 11, 2007

    My issue isn’t with the merit of using animals in studdies. My issuse is there suffering and quality of life. If we are injecting botox in primate eyes to make sure botox is safe for cosmetic surgeons to use than forget it.

    It wasn’t for cosmetic surgery it was to test a treatment for strabismus I understand. That’s far more than a cosmetic problem and can be disabling.

    Evidently, it is very common for pro-vivisectors to insult those who do not share what they “think”. Because they do not possess a gram of creativity, nobody can show theirs.

    I don’t insult you because you don’t share what I think. I insult you because you lie about science. Oppose animal research all you want, I don’t care. But don’t say animal research doesn’t teach us anything, that’s just a flat out lie, and 99% of scientists would disagree with you.

    I do not belong to ARA nor any “movement”. It is simply from ignorants to consider other animals as things, denying their suffering and their USELESS deaths.

    Their deaths are not useless if it teaches us something, and we don’t cause suffering. The only people who think so are people outside of science who routinely lie about our procedures and care. Go pester big-agra, we actually care about reducing suffering in our animal subjects. Stressed and suffering animals make for bad science.

    It is very strange, by the way, that a doctor has so much time posting idiotic thoughts on the internet, defending wrong doing from vivisectors and attacking all who are concerned about the suffering and killing of animals ,instead of learning something on how can medicine help us (humans) without using other species.

    Oh wait, you’re not an ARA, hmmm. You sure know their speaking points. Using the term “vivisector” is a dead giveaway. Also I’m not a doctor. I’m a student – that’s why I have so much free time.

    Changing the cause of a disease won’t give anybody the “good model” to research the disease. Forcing human diseases in those poor animals IS WRONG.

    That’s a legitimate point of view. However, it is consistent with the continued study of biology.

    And that is what all vivisectors are doing!
    Instead of playing on who can be the best, or worst Frankenstein, vivisectors should at least, accept that somebody else can be creative and find a way to discover how to treat / cure our diseases in a more advanced and scientific way. Closing completely this door is what makes me reaffirm that THEY are WRONG, not us.
    And thanks God not everybody thinks the same way!

    Wait, how are we wrong? Where is this fabulous science coming from animal rightsists that will replace animal models, animal tissues, animal cell lines, antibodies, proteins, and other products? It’s just like arguing with the Discovery Institute about intelligent design creationism. You think editorials and nitpicking of real science is some great proof. Where are the cures coming from, well, the ether? What are these alternative systems that we can use? We’d love to have them! I’m not being facetious. When surveyed, the overwhelming majority of biologists (99%) said animals were necessary for biology. An overwhelming majority also said they would use an alternative if there were one. What is this alternative? Please give it to us!

    What is this magical and creative alternative? Are the tens of thousands of scientists worldwide just not creative like you suggest? Or maybe, just maybe, the people who actually do the research no something you don’t? Like how science works, and how biology works, and how to actually do biology. Classic crankery if you ask me. Dismissal of the opinion of people who know what they’re talking about based on some absurd and false notion of how we operate, what is necessary for the study of biology, and our options that are available.

    That’s why I mock you. Not because of what you believe but because you people simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

  32. #32 Brian
    July 11, 2007

    I hate the constant assumption from activists that researchers are emotionally unaffected by suffering in animals. My brother has been doing this research for years, and though his studies are incredibly productive, they have to use animals. He’s a sensitive dude, and it takes a lot of effort for him to get past the animal-use. Fortunately he, like most other scientists, understands that his research has value and so he can get past it, but we’ve had countless conversations about it. It sucks, but until computer simulations reach sci-fi movie levels, animals are all we’ve got.

  33. #33 jcm
    July 11, 2007

    From the scientific point of view: I think it is YOU who is lying about science, because YOU are the student and you don’t have ANY interest in even learning what other non-vivisector scientists are working on WITHOUT animals….
    We should believe that animal researchers are using less and less animals …. and if you do know math, you will see that on the contrary, they are using more and more. The trade is repulsive, and generates also a lot of illegal “jobs” that the “not enough authorities” are unable to stop.
    You can investigate all this much easier than I, as you are in the “circle” of the untouchable people. ( I never learned of any vivisector punished with jail after been caught in doing the job without the proper care of the animals). The regulations are broken very often by too many, and the USDA themselves keep repeating that they do not have enough people to inspect that all “those regulations” be complied. So I do not know what are you talking about.
    You lie when you deny the suffering of animals. I am surprised that students in biology do not learn that apes / monkeys (primates, like humans) have ALL feelings. SO, if they have feelings, they suffer in situations that are abnormal, and / or under pain and or … just for being “in jail” 24 x 7. I am very dissapointed with you, because you have all the chance to give a honest answer here regarding the “importance” of killing animals and you are just denying their suffering completely. Not only that, you reject MY suffering as a human with feelings regarding primates, and my anguish regarding on what can we hope in medicine in the future with scientists without feelings ,like you… Not everything is black & white, and that is one of the reasons why research is SO COMPLICATED. SO it is a big mistake to put everybody under the same “label”. Some vivisectors agree on the animal suffering, but do not care about that because they “are going” to discover a “breakthrough”… but what I know is that more and more people are getting sick of the same “old diseases” plus “new ones”, and those promises are never fulfilled in the way they mean.
    Well, you are not good convincing (neither do I, I know)but those in a hospital bed who are hoping to live and wait in vain (like many people I know), and suffer later from the side effects of the “new medicines” that come from such “research of human diseases” on different species are paying with their lives too.
    At least in other countries the labs “evolved” a little bit and stopped using / killing the chimpanzees…

  34. #34 MarkH
    July 11, 2007

    Where is your proof that we abuse animals and make them suffer? That we use more? Ever think that’s because funding for medical research doubled 10 years ago?

    The USDA doesn’t have enough regulators, fine, whatever, but that doesn’t equate to scientists make animals suffer. Further, you still haven’t provided me with all this animal-free biologically relevant science. What are these alternatives?

    How will we generate antibodies without mice for instance? How will we generate the next generation immune modulators from monoclonals without using animals? How will we feed our cells? Where will we get our cells? Immortalized cell lines don’t work for many things. How will we study physiology in tissues? How will we understand gene function without cell lines, serum to feed them, antibodies to probe them?

    99% of biologists believe animals are critical for research. I guess we’re all liars? Religious zealots in the church of science? No, this isn’t like arguing with creationists at all.

    Your comment is just paranoid raving with no viable alternatives presented.

  35. #35 jcm
    July 11, 2007

    I am going to end my postings with you, because there is no more ignorant than the one who DOES NOT WANT TO LEARN. You are not learning anything about science whereever you are studying. You are just copying what they did before.

    I never said we have ALL the alternatives, I never told you I AM a scientist. And I am not here to teach you anything.
    I am not a “know-it-all”, but I can learn (nobody “brainwashed me”)and I want to (otherwise I wouldn’t even talk). But I don’t learn anything from you about science.
    I just can see how narrow a science student mind can get, that keeps insulting. You never presented the big help or the important cures thanks to opening skulls or forcing toxics into primates bodies…You never excluded an experiment from being done because of moral reasons or because it was done before, or because there is no need to do it.
    That is your position: “everything is valid in the name of science”. That sounds more like a political posture than a honest presentation of facts.

    I am repeating (for the last time) that is very dishonest to say that the animals DO NOT SUFFER .
    .. Or you believe THAT because the animal can’t tell you “it hurts”?

    YOu know that living in a cage is not the same as living in a forest, and all that that life implies.(Otherwise you shoudn’t be able to study that career).
    You always mention the 99% of biologists thinking the same … even if so, since when an inventor or a discoverer have the same thinking as the rest of people?
    On the contrary, they had to tolerate the same “mocking” you are having right know with me.
    I see that nothing is going to come from your “work”… maybe you would be better as a major or even governor….
    Don’t loose your time in something you can’t even valorate.

  36. #36 MarkH
    July 12, 2007

    Valorate. Valorate…Hmmm. Major? Governor?

    I’m afraid that amongst all your neologisms I can’t quite figure out your meaning.

    If your point is that animals suffer living in cages, that’s a valid criticism. Maybe they do, they can’t tell you that they’re suffering, they can’t tell me that they’re not. I’m not sure that life in the wild is without stress and pain and suffering. It actually might be quite nice to live in a place where you get fresh water, constant food, even regular sex without having to worry about predation, finding food, and the basics of survival. Nature, after all, is far more cruel than you give it credit for. The life expectancy of these animals in the wild is far lower than those in captivity.

    Anyway, that’s besides the point. You can say they suffer from being in cages, but you have no evidence. Scientists, on the otherhand, have performed studies to find what conditions minimize stress in laboratory animals and abide by recommendations based on those studies.

    If you don’t want animals used in research fine. That’s legitimate. You don’t have evidence that they suffer more in captivity than they do in the wild. You also don’t have any alternatives for the study of biology without animals. If you don’t want to have animals used to study biology that’s fine, that’s your opinion, I do not object. However, you have to acknowledge it will be the end of the study of biology in any meaningful way. If you can accept that, bully for you. Most people will not.

  37. #37 jane smith
    July 23, 2007

    Most of you on this forum have come across as unbelievably ignorant to the issues as well as what is at the core of this important issue. You are all spewing out the same garbage force fed to you by the media. Try reading the extensive philosophical arguments for animal rights so you have a balanced view of what is going on before proclaiming such ignorant and uneducated views. I am pro animal rights but I only came to this position after years of research and debate. I have all the answers now and it is difficult to see people like you all in this forum attempting to discuss the issue without even knowing anything about it. Do your homework or else shut the fuck up.

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