Respectful Insolence

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for self-proclaimed “animal rights” activists, the ones who are more than willing to terrorize scientists doing research to understand disease better and thereby develop better treatments and even cures. None of this means that I am some sort of “animal abuser” (to steal the animal rights jargon) or that I’m cruel and advocate “torturing” animals. There is a difference between animal rights and animal welfare; animal rights activists in essence equate a mouse with a rat with a dog with a pig with a human being. In any case, I’ve reported how animal rights activists have tried to intimidate scientists through terrorism and intimidate their children, using dubious scientific and moral arguments to justify their actions. Indeed, one of the movement’s high priests, disgraced trauma surgeon Dr. Jerry Vlasak even argues that murder is an acceptable in his cause. Meanwhile, they pull stunts that are impossible to parody, so ridiculous are they to begin with. Even death doesn’t sway some of them from their beliefs, and some of them also appear to fetishize violence.

One of most odiously despicable of the animal rights terrorists (or terrorist wannabes, given that many of them, like Vlasak, assiduously avoid being associated with anything blatantly illegal but instead prefer to use inflammatory rhetoric to inspire college-aged kids who are long on idealism but short on wits to do their dirty work for them) is Camille Marino, who runs the equally odiously despicable Negotiation Is Over website. We’ve run into her before as a supporter of targeting researchers’ children, having said:

If daddy makes a living bathing in blood, you have to expect some of it to drip off onto junior.

Well, she’s at it again.

At Florida Atlantic University, there is a student named Alena Rodriguez. She is a junior majoring in biology who wrote:

Hello! My name is Alena Rodriguez, and I’m a junior at FAU. I’m working toward a BS degree in biology with a minor in psychology. I developed a passion for life sciences early in high school and have been studying for a career in biology ever since. My goal is to become a research biologist.

During my time at FAU, I have taken advanced science courses, excelled in my academic labs, tutored my peers, and held an executive position for the Chemistry Club of FAU. There was only one thing missing; I had yet to be in a real lab. Luckily, I heard about the URM-NSF program, which is now providing me with the opportunity to do just that! I look forward to participating in this program in hopes that it will provide me with the training and knowledge to be a successful graduate student, and, ultimately, an influential scientist.

Specifically, I am interested in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, as well as biochemistry. I hope to someday be a part of the growing research that aims to find treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases. I am also inspired by biotechnology because its discoveries improve human health.

Let me tell you, it warms the cockles of this scientist’s heart (or the multicolored blinking lights of this Plexiglass box) to read such words coming from a young, enthusiastic student studying science. This is exactly the sort of young woman we want in science: straight A, enthusiastic, and willing to speak her mind. Unfortunately, her willingness to speak her mind ran her afoul of hte animal rights movement. In response to solicitations to attend an animal rights event near her school called Bioblitz!, Alena wrote an e-mail back to someone named Ghazal Tajalli (Facebook page) that said:

Actually, I’m an undergrad researcher aiming to work at Scripps! I currently test on animals and think that it is perfectly fine. In fact, it is the one of the only ways that we, scientists, can test drugs in order to treat human diseases. I’m sure someone in your family or even a friend you know has suffered from a disease or pathology that was treated (or cured) by medicines THAT ONLY CAME INTO EXISTENCE BECAUSE OF ANIMAL TESTING.

Her willingness to speak out and tell it like it is is another reason why Alena is just the sort of student we want to recruit into science. One week ago NIO posted a gloating article Alena Rodriguez: Publically Denounces Vivisection & Abandons Career Plans With Scripps. Apparently, the animal rights activists, led by the self-same Ghazal, “reeducated” Alena:

Having received some intense education from the networks of Florida activists overnight, however, Alena now understands that, just like every other student being indoctrinated into the horrific world of institutionalized animal abuse, “I was naive…I really just did not know about all this stuff.”

In the rest of the post, NIO included a statement from Alena denouncing animal research, pleading “ignorance” of all these “horrible things” going on, and offering an apology for her previous statements. It’s all very Soviet-style in that the straying comrade has been brought into the fold and forced to publicly confess her “crimes” before being offerend a chance at absolution.

Gee, I wonder what that “intense education” consisted of. I don’t know for sure, but I can make a reasonable guess. My guess is that they flooded Alena’s e-mail with threats, and posts like this cached post entitled Alena Rodriguez: Hang your head in shame you disgusting ANIMAL ABUSER! This post is no longer posted on the NIO blog, probably because Alena recanted under pressure, but of note Ghazal published Alena’s e-mail address on the NIO website, urging her fellow animal rights loons to “e-mail her.” She also posted the link to Alena’s Facebook page. Ghazal even urged people to spam Alena’s FAU Chemistry Club.

Sadly, Ghazal’s harassment obviously worked. As P.Z. Myers mentions and NIO gloats about, Alena recanted, apologized, and begged Ghazal to leave her alone. The bully had won. She had done what she had promised to do upon joining NIO Florida, taking the position of Senior Editor of Disturbing the Abusers’ Peace, where she was described as “part of the core group working to organize a network of militant activism across the state” for NIO Florida. Clearly, Ghazal abused Alena’s peace until she gave in, which is the way animal rights activists work, just like criminal thugs. Indeed, in the early morning hours of March 23, Alena e-mailed Ghazal saying:

I’m sorry! You all are right! : ( please stop saying such horrible, untrue things about me. It’s hurtful. I’ve done nothing but fruit fly research. I’m crying because of this… I’m sorry….

I can’t help but wonder: Aren’t fruit flies animals too? Will Camille and her gang of motivated but not too bright terrorists keep harassing Alena if she continues to do Drosophila research? Think of the carnage! Thousands upon thousands of innocent fruit flies will be slaughtered! Some of them will suffer from mutations induced in their DNA or have exogenous genes inserted into their genome that alter their anatomy or function, all in the name of science trying to figure out what these genes do! The horror! To Camille and company, apparently the mass slaughter of fruit flies in the name of science is morally acceptable, but experimenting on mice is not. After all, Alena recanted her previous belief that animal research was morally acceptable, but she said nothing about stopping her Drosophila research. Truly, the thought processes of radical animal rights terrorists like Camille that lead to the conclusions that animal experiments utilizing rodents are pure evil while such experiments that slaughter insects are not are beyond the puny ethical faculties of mere scientists.

Dubious moral reasoning to justify harassment and intimidation aside, buoyed by the success of its intimidation of a college student, NIO has now gleefully decided that its members and supporters should generalize these tactics. In a spittle-flecked and disturbing post, NIO über-crank Camille Marino crows about Bringing the War to the Student Body – The Soft-Bellied Target of the Vivisection Complex:

…while many above ground strategies remain ineffective, the MDA campaigns of the animal liberation underground — liberating animals from captivity, inflicting economic damage through sabotage, and creative intimidation tactics — have yielded quantifiable gains. But even tougher means may be necessary to end the billion-dollar animal holocaust industry by bringing the war home to the vivisectors, professors, academic departments and administrators, and the entire staff of private research facilities. But only about 2% of the animal liberation/anti-vivisectionist movement is fought by underground activists. That leaves 98% of us free to use the light of day to start chipping away at the aspects of industry that remain hidden in shadows.

Every time a vivisector’s car or home — and, eventually, the abuser him/herself — blows up, flames of liberation light up the sky. And now we have a golden opportunity to begin to destroy the foundations upon which Bogus Big Pharma and the academic-industrial complex rest — the vivisection research model can be made unworkable and obsolete.

“Creative intimidation tactics”? Is there any clearer statement that intimidation through the threat of violence against researchers is the stock in trade of how these people work? But it’s even worse than that. What Marino wants to do is to target young, aspiring scientists when they are still young, because they are “far more malleable and easily manipulated.” In addition, she threatens:

Like all young adults, college students are acutely concerned with how they are perceived by their peers. They need to maintain a certain persona if they wish to continue to enjoy the acceptance of their community. This makes them infinitely more susceptible to negative and inflammatory publicity than their veteran-mutilator counterparts. When education fails, smear campaigns can be highly effective. Abusers have forfeited all rights to privacy and peace of mind and, if an abuser-to-be should fail to make the correct choice now, NIO is here to broadcast all of their personal information. Remember, young people document every facet of their personal lives online. In about 30 minutes, we were able to compile an impressive and comprehensive profile for Alena.

Despicable smear campaigns do appear to be the animal rights movement’s stock in trade, which is why I have likened the anti-vaccine movement to the animal rights movement. I like the part about “when education fails, smear campaigns can be highly effective.” Basically, to the animal rights movement “education” consists of harassment and intimidation. Those who stand up to the harassment and intimidation can next expect a smear campaign. Then, if the smear campaign doesn’t work to intimidate its enemies into silence or recanting (as Alena did), then NIO, like other animal rights terrorists, will ratchet up the threats:

Students also need to understand that making the wrong choice will result in a lifetime of grief. Aspiring scientists envision curing cancer at the Mayo Clinic. We need to impart a new vision: car bombs, 24/7 security cameras, embarrassing home demonstrations, threats, injuries, and fear. And, of course, these students need to realize that any personal risk they are willing to assume will also be visited upon their parents, children, and nearest & dearest loved ones. The time to reconsider is now.

The problem is, Marino has probably hit on a fairly effective strategy. College students are probably more susceptible to intimidation and threats than older scientists. On the other hand, college students don’t usually have children whom the animal rights movement can threaten; so they are probably less susceptible than established scientists to threats against family. Be that as it may, what Marino forgets is that people, when under threat, will sometimes say anything to get their harassers off their back. Indeed, i wouldn’t blame Alena in the least if she had done exactly that. After all, she doesn’t need this nonsense; she needs to study and continue to earn straight A’s in order to be accepted to a good graduate program. Almost any reasonable tactic to get the idiots off her back would be hard to argue with, and, if that’s what Alena did, I don’t blame her in the least. Indeed, I might have advised her to do the same thing to get rid of the loonies: Tell them what they want to hear and then do what you were going to do anyway. Indeed, I hope that’s what Alena did. I don’t want to lose her as a future biologist.

In the meantime, I can’t help but contemplate what utter Luddites Camille Marino, Ghazal Tajalli, Jerry Vlasak, and the rest of the animal rights terrorists are. They’ve now intentionally decided that the best way to achieve their goals is to target the youth of America, specifically the youth we most need, those who are interested in becoming scientists. Given how hard it is to be accepted to graduate school and how long and hard the training is to become a biologist or biomedical researcher, only to look forward to the absolutely dismal chances of achieving independent funding that exist in the current federal budgetary environment, the last thing we need now for our national competitiveness in science is a bunch of anti-science loons trying to frighten young people away from a career in the biological and biomedical sciences with visions of car bombs and 24/7 intimidation.

Fortunately, I believe that our college students are made of sterner stuff than Camille Marino apparently does. I don’t think they’re quite as “soft” an underbelly” as Marino does. When push comes to shove, I predict that fewer of them will back down than Marino thinks, providing far fewer recantations than she wants for her twisted website.

Comments

  1. #1 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    March 30, 2011

    Maybe re-educating the NIO lot is the only possible situation in which Lovaas’ ‘work’ could actually be put to any ethical use!

    I’m not beyond using it for that purpose, given how they treat people like Alena.

  2. #2 Bruce Gorton
    March 30, 2011

    You know, I oppose animal testing but not from any sort of concern for “Animal rights.”

    I just think animal rights activists would often make better subjects.

  3. #3 Brett
    March 30, 2011

    Isn’t Marino more or less openly calling for violence against students in animal testing? I thought that crossed the boundaries of free speech into criminality.

    In any case, have the FBI go after some of these psychotic scumfucks, and slap the more extreme ones with domestic terrorism charges. That’ll scare them, and get some of the truly dangerous ones behind bars (I hope).

  4. #4 Lawrence
    March 30, 2011

    That’s more than blantant & does cross the line into areas of “incitement of violence.” I can guarantee you that the FBI is already involved.

  5. #5 Eric
    March 30, 2011

    I’ve read some of the posts at NIO before, but even by their standards this is pretty chilling stuff.

    The threats of AR extremists like Marino are 90% bluster, that is little comfort to those who suddenly find themselves at the receiving end of it for the first time. I expect that you are right about Alena lying to NIO to get them off her back, after all, there’s no shame in lying to terrorists.

    I hope that Alena receives the support from her friends and colleagues at FAU, and the wider scientific community, to eventually be able to tell NIO to go to hell.

    There is good precident for students standing up to animal rights extremism. In the UK the ALF no doubt thought that students were “Soft bellied” when they threatened students at Oxford University a few years ago, but they got a very bloody nose when the students decided that they weren’t going to put up with it anymore http://scientificactivist.blogspot.com/2006/02/oxford-scientists-bite-back-at-animal.html

    I hope that students in the US are made of the same stern stuff!

  6. #6 DLC
    March 30, 2011

    Typical bully tactics.
    Oh, and — it may be 90% bluster but it’s meant to attract the attention of someone who’s unbalanced enough to actually do something.

  7. #7 P Smith
    March 30, 2011

    Apparently the “animal rights” nutbags have been observing how nutbags operate, like anti-woman/anti-abortion types: Use rhetoric to incite violence and murder, then disavow responsibility after they succeed.

    It’s also used in politics. Remember “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,” then the lie that “we never claimed they had nuclear weapons”? You can’t get the stupid to perpetrate and justify violence if you don’t create the climate for it to happen.

  8. #8 Lucario
    March 30, 2011

    The tyranny of the animal-rights activist has to stop. Why is it that we can’t just harass and hurt them back? Turn the tables and pour out am equal measure of wrath? Show them that they do, indeed, reap what they sow?

  9. #9 Paul
    March 30, 2011

    Lucario “Why is it that we can’t just harass and hurt them back? Turn the tables and pour out am equal measure of wrath? Show them that they do, indeed, reap what they sow?”

    Because we are better than that!

  10. #10 JKW
    March 30, 2011

    I wonder from a legal standpoint, where does criminal harassment end and terrorism start?

  11. #11 Wesley Hanna
    March 30, 2011

    Just like the author, I don’t know the content or tactics of the ‘intense education’ – unlike the author, i have no direct interest in animal experimentation and i’ve never been on the receiving end of the animal rights crowd’s wrath. Therefore, I won’t make any assumptions one way or the other. But perhaps the reason students are more susceptible to that content and tactics is less because they’re kids concerned with acceptance and more because they’ve yet to have a vested interest in the practice. people don’t like to feel that what they do is bad – and when confronted with evidence they either justify, excuse, differentiate, or tune out. if your life’s work is built on animal experimentation, you’re a lot more likely to have a psychological need for justification than a student who has never engaged in animal experiments or has only dabbled. plus, people tend to justify things that are in their self interest. i’m a lawyer involved in civil litigation and you don’t know how many times colleagues cite the virtues of our system of civil justice to justify the rotten role they play in it – i’m sure their conviction has something to do with self interest. law students are far more likely to be idealists.

  12. #12 zero
    March 30, 2011

    You should see Camille’s blog; she’s practically squeeing with delight over all the attention. I wonder if she’ll be as happy when the FBI knocks on her door.

    Has anyone from scienceblogs tried to contact Alena’s (notice how the ARA loons can’t even spell her name right, half the time it’s Elena) school to make sure she is alright? I hope that her instructors at school are helping her.

    I also wonder if this whole attack on her is just out of spite. Ms. Tajalli contacts her thinking she’s another ARA and she turns out to be a research student. The whole thing seems very high school to me.

  13. #13 BB
    March 30, 2011

    quote: Isn’t Marino more or less openly calling for violence against students in animal testing? I thought that crossed the boundaries of free speech into criminality.

    I think Marino is, based on what I received from Americans for Medical Progress. So I sent a heads-up to fellow IACUC members and vivarium staff at my place, and sent the notice to daughter in college. She’s sending it on to her dean to ensure the security of students, faculty, and staff. Daughter has a rat dissection lab tomorrow.

  14. #14 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 30, 2011

    But perhaps the reason students are more susceptible to that content and tactics is less because they’re kids concerned with acceptance and more because they’ve yet to have a vested interest in the practice.

    Frankly, that’s stupid bullshit. You’re saying “Young people who have only just recently become adults have not yet gone into the careers that give them a vested interest in the practice, therefore they see the situation more honestly than older people; they give in to what the animal rights activists want because they see the rightness of the activists’ cause.” Except if that was true, the animal rights terrorists wouldn’t need to use threats!

    These nutcases refer proudly to their “creative intimidation tactics” and “smear campaigns” and “broadcast[ing] all of [a victim’s] personal information” and “impart[ing] a new vision [of] car bombs, 24/7 security cameras, embarrassing home demonstrations, threats, injuries, and fear [which] will also be visited upon their parents, children, and nearest & dearest loved ones” — and you have the stupidity to stand up on your hind legs and bray that it isn’t the announced intention of the animal rights activists to coerce compliance through terror that evokes compliance, it’s some more refined perception of the moral landscape shared between the animal rights terrorists and the victims they call in plain language their “soft-bellied target”??

    It’s too bad that you’re only involved in civil litigation. I’d love to see you disbarred when the bar association discovered that you knew your client was attempting witness intimidation but you condoned it because you thought that trying to instill witnesses with ‘a vision of car bombs visited upon their loved ones’ was an attempt to appeal to a finer, less blunted moral sense in them.

  15. #15 Scott Cunningham
    March 30, 2011

    The real irony is that animal rights activists have such small minds, they could benefit a lot from having a vivisected rat brain inserted into their heads as a better substitute.

    Even without the threats of violence, the disappearance of lab animals from classrooms (for budget and ethical reasons) makes us all worse students.

  16. #16 Dario Ringach
    March 30, 2011

    I wonder legally if this does not amount to solicitation to commit a crime. http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/criminal-solicitation/

  17. #17 Dianne
    March 30, 2011

    In any case, have the FBI go after some of these psychotic scumfucks, and slap the more extreme ones with domestic terrorism charges.

    But they don’t appear to be Middle Eastern or Islamic therefore they can’t be terrorists. (/snark)

    One NIO supporter on the Pharyngula thread said, apparently seriously, that terrorism was crashing planes into buildings. Period. No other act was terrorism. It’s an interesting rationalization.

  18. #18 Scott Cunningham
    March 30, 2011

    Feldspar @14

    You have the stupidity to stand up on your hind legs and bray that it isn’t the announced intention of the animal rights activists to coerce compliance through terror that evokes compliance, it’s some more refined perception of the moral landscape shared between the animal rights terrorists and the victims they call in plain language their “soft-bellied target”??

    I thought that’s what happened in every Iranian confession video where Western tourists realized the error of their ways and denounced the wickedness of America. You’re not telling me those weren’t real heartfelt moments of remorse, innocently captured on state television, are you?

    I’ve heard of lawyers naively believing a client was really innocent but this beggars immagination.

  19. #19 Alex
    March 30, 2011

    *yawn*

    You make yourself look the crazy person by calling ARA’s all sorts of things under the sun in this article.

    We all know (well the EDUCATED ones) that animal testing = more drugs thrown down the pan than drugs being successful on humans, and not all diseases have been ‘cured’ by animal testing. So what the student said was absolute nonsense.

    That said, you whine and moan about the tactics ARA’s use yet continuously use similar tactics/or styles on the animals you abuse in the lab. You abuse and murder animals in a lab then you should be the ones who REAP WHAT YOU SEW.

    It’s sad how scientists will continue to defend their sick, twisted job, probably because the nice paycheck and a secret satisfaction in having power over another being is worth more than any ounce of respect for said living being to them. Shame on you.

  20. #20 Leni
    March 30, 2011

    Wow. What a bunch of bullshit that NIO site is.

    It struck me as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. They marginalize themselves with the violent rhetoric, which means that (at least in their perception) they have even fewer normal opportunities to advance their cause, thus “ensuring” that the only avenue left open to them is one of violence, intimidation, and terrorism. Yet it’s completely manufactured and entirely their fault that no one takes them seriously. Like typical bullies, they act like assholes and then blame the rest of us for treating them like pariahs.

    If it weren’t so insidious and nasty it would be like a child throwing a temper tantrum.

    The other thing occurred to me is that it is disturbingly similar to the acts of Taliban thugs who throw acid in little girls’ faces on their way to school. Actually, it’s more or less the same thing, minus the acid. I wonder if they have enough self-awareness to notice that?

  21. #21 Todd W.
    March 30, 2011

    @Alex

    While not all medical procedures or products came about through animal testing, a great many have. If you feel that strongly about it, then I recommend that you put your convictions to the forefront and refuse any and all medical treatment should you ever require it. After all, acquiescing to medical care would merely validate the animal testing you so despise.

    Also, you may want to note that some things that were tested in animals for humans ended up becoming medicines to treat and save animals!

    All that said, advocating intimidation, bomb threats and outright violence is never a solution to any problem and just speaks to the moral bankruptcy of the individual advocating those tactics.

    It’s sad how ARAs like you will continue to defend sick, twisted tactics against animals (i.e., homo sapiens sapiens), probably because of a secret satisfaction in having power over another being is worth more than any ounce of respect for said living being to them. Shame on you.

  22. #22 Poodle Stomper
    March 30, 2011

    I read the Parody linked page and wondered; am I the only person who read their phrase “After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.” and got hungry?

  23. #23 Phoenix Woman
    March 30, 2011

    Alex, speaking of reaping what you sow, are you looking forward to having heart surgery done on you by someone who, once you ban all animal use in research and training, has never done it before on any entity?

    Then again, if you’re an anti-research loon, you probably don’t believe in science in general, and so will happily die about thirty years before your time chanting sutras while clutching a cross in one hand and a dreamcatcher in the other, in true finest woo-age belief syncretism.

  24. #24 JohnV
    March 30, 2011

    @Alex,

    “secret satisfaction in having power over another being is worth more than any ounce of respect for said living being to them.”

    I totally agree,

    Signed: Threatening people’s children to make them agree with you

  25. #25 Leni
    March 30, 2011

    Diane:

    One NIO supporter on the Pharyngula thread said, apparently seriously, that terrorism was crashing planes into buildings. Period. No other act was terrorism. It’s an interesting rationalization.

    Apparently you answered my question before I even asked it :)

    Alex:

    That said, you whine and moan about the tactics ARA’s use yet continuously use similar tactics/or styles on the animals you abuse in the lab.

    Actually, I worked at a contract testing lab and the animals were not treated half as badly as people like Camille want you to think.

    They certainly weren’t terrorized. See, something you might not know is that harming the animals can ruin your test results. So if you prefer to believe that all the people who work in such labs are evil torturers [they aren’t], you can at least be assured that they have selfish motivations for not abusing the animals.

    Where I worked, even yelling at an animal would get you fired, no questions asked. You’d just be walked out the door.

  26. #26 Todd W.
    March 30, 2011

    I wonder if the ARAs fling the same kind of vitriol at folks who own animals as pets and, unlike most labs, abuse them.

  27. #27 Poodle Stomper
    March 30, 2011

    I work with animals for my research and the same thing applies. We have strict rules on how they can be treated. they are not allowed to be stressed in any way that we have control over as that can cause problems (they won’t breed, data is unreliable, ect…) it actually behooves researchers to treat their animals well. Of course idiots like Alex can’t/won’t understand this because, like other zealots, it doesn’t fit into their little models of how the world works.

  28. #28 Scott Cunningham
    March 30, 2011

    Animal rights activists: proving the old adage that the one with the morals is worse than the one without them.

    When you’ve got morals, you can exnominate every evil deed done for those morals, it seems.

    “Sure, I bugged telephones, but they were liberal pacifist telephones!”

    “It’s not terrorism. I’m white, he was a cell biologist and he was eating a hot dog! The bastard!”

    “Sure I had a rifle with me, but I was yelling at people outside an abortion clinic! It’s all cool, officer!”

    Morals disgust me. Somebody should ban them. I proposed this in a moral issues class, and I got a 40% final grade. Vindicated!

  29. #29 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    Whether the research requires the animals be treated well or not, the law in the U.S. is very strict that they must be treated well. A whole university’s research can be shut down if any lab violates this.

  30. #30 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Whether the research requires the animals be treated well or not, the law in the U.S. is very strict that they must be treated well. A whole university’s research can be shut down if any lab violates this.

    Wouldn’t mistreating the lab animals bias the results? When you get down to it, “good” is really nothing more than a form of enlightened self-interest.

  31. #31 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    When PZ first posted about this, the rhetoric in question looked fairly isolated; and I had a small suspicion that it may have been planted by outsiders as a means of nudging the AR movement into marginalizing itself. It’s an old COINTELPRO tactic, so it should not be ruled out, at least not too quickly.

    Having read Orac’s more extensive coverage of the overall behavior of AR activists, however, I’m inclined to think this latest rhetoric is genuine. Either that, or the COINTELPRO marginalization tactic worked better than anyone anticipated.

    AS for how to respond to all this, what about expulsion from the college? IF hounding and bullying students, and deliberately interfering with academic work, doesn’t merit expulsion, then what the frack does?

  32. #32 Craig
    March 30, 2011

    @Poodle Stomper #22

    Yes, I got hungry, and loled.

    If we aren’t supposed to eat meat, then why is it so tasty?

    I hear a grilled Filet Mignon calling me.

    Mmmmmmm…..meat *drools*

  33. #33 Denice Walter
    March 30, 2011

    Apparently, Ms. Marino’s great compassion for the suffering of animals doesn’t extend to that of children -if they happen to have the *wrong* parent- or to students who have the “wrong” outlook.

    While considering the appalling vitriol flung at advocates of SBM by HIV/AIDS denialists, anti-vaxxers, and other proponents of alt med ( esp.”buyers” rather than “sellers”), I always try to remember – and it can be *hard*- that we’re dealing with _suffering_ people. Most die-hards come to woo because of a *diagnosis*- they’re HIV+, or they have cancer, or their child has an ASD, and a *long* road ahead, fraught with danger. It’s shocking to them – they may have poor coping skills, little or no counselling, a particular personality style. They are offered a panacaea or alternate reality that doesn’t seem to *hurt* as much as that of SBM… in the short run at any rate.

    These people use the escapism of woo to “relieve” their own psychological pain: worry, fear,uncertainty, endless speculation, sleepless nights, panic. The question, “What will be?” can encircle your waking mind space like a noose. Fear can induce paralysis: woo-meisters step into this emotional maelstrom and sell their wares, be they “answers”, potions, or psychological analgesics. I try to have empathy for the victim of the both condition and the charlatan.

    I don’t know what sets off the animal rights activists or violence-inciters in the first place other than a largely imagined mental image of animals’ suffering rather than their own. I can’t understand how they can cold-heartedly interfere with a young woman’s life because she disagrees with them. Are animals idealised to be more worthy or “pure” than a scientist’s child or a biology student? Threats of violence take us to a whole other realm: that of socio-pathology and criminality.

  34. #34 Kirsi
    March 30, 2011

    Thank you Leni, for both of your comments, very nice analysis, and a great reply to the ARA.

    I hope Alena, or someone who knows her reads this. Whether your words to the terrorists were true or not, do not be ashamed! Decide what’s right for you, and work towards your goal.

  35. #35 Old Rockin' Dave
    March 30, 2011

    I remember an incident some years back when self-proclaimed animal rights activists removed the animals from a veterinary science lab – that’s right, a lab dedicated to improving the health of animals. Then there was the release of minks from a British farm that resulted in massive wildlife destruction and a landscape littered with dead minks. Greater stupidity in the name of a cause might be harder to find.
    I also support the challenge that anyone who feels so strongly about animal experimentation should forgo any medical care based on it (This includes most of modern trauma surgery.).
    But what bothers me most is their gleeful descriptions of what incurring their anger will bring down. Theirs is a seriously disturbed and disturbing love of violence, terror and murder that tells me that those who engage in it don’t love animals so much as they hate humanity and will seize on any excuse to terrorize and harm other humans.

  36. #36 G
    March 30, 2011

    As a reminder to those who probably have not spent a lot of time among those who have strong animal welfare/AR beliefs, the vast, vast majority of people who even are against animal testing out there condemn these kinds of people. I was a member of one of the largest vegetarian/animal welfare/AR forums for about 7 years, and a moderator for about 2-3 years. Anyone who spewed this kind of stuff was quickly run out by other members, and any violent rhetoric was deleted by moderators and those members given a warning or banned. I also have spent much time socializing with people who care about animals through veggie meetups and activism. I have yet to meet anyone who condones this sort of thing.

    So for the sake of intellectual honesty, I think “AR extremist” is the proper terminology for these types. It may sound petty, but there are people out there who are simply trying to stop puppy mills or other obvious animal abuse that any non-sociopathic person would abhor, and they get lumped into the same pile with these ***holes and thus not taken seriously.

  37. #37 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    BlackCat: animals in labs are certainly better treated than animals in the wild. And they’re no less “free” either. Failure to understand or appreciate this is one of the most fundamental flaws in the ARAs’ moral “reasoning.”

  38. #38 Militant Agnostic
    March 30, 2011

    The AR extremists posting on Pharyngula think that setting fire to a building with no-one in it is A-OK.

    They must think no firefighter ever got lost and ran out of air, or had a wall fall on them or got caught in a flash-over (where the heat of the fire causes combustible gases to build up to the point where everything ignites).

  39. #39 MedPhys
    March 30, 2011

    NIO may be right that students make easier targets for intimidation, but this course of action also has a much better chance of blowing up in their faces. An eager, bright eyed young student being threatened with violence will garner a lot of sympathy and media attention.
    Think about all the media coverage of cyber bullying stories over the last few years, particularly those that ended in suicide or some other act of violence. Now imagine that the perpetrators were not a bunch of teenagers, kept anonymous by youth justice laws, but an organization of “adults” who openly and explicitly coordinated this harassment. If NIO continues with these tactics and someone gets hurt, they will be facing a serious shit storm. Between, the media, the feds, and the many non-animal rights vigilantes out there, the folks at NIO will be the ones hiding out.
    Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.

  40. #40 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    …the vast, vast majority of people who even are against animal testing out there condemn these kinds of people.

    What are you doing to STOP those kinds of people? IF those extremists are such a tiny minority, where is the sensible majority when teachers, researchers and students are targeted by concerted bullying campaigns like this one? How many of you have tried to make contact with victims like Alena and tried to give her support against the extremists?

    We’ve all seen the extremists’ capacity for concerted action. When and where will we see the “moderate elements'” capacity for a concerted and effective response to mitigate the extremists’ actions? We’re waiting…

  41. #41 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Leni:

    Where I worked, even yelling at an animal would get you fired, no questions asked. You’d just be walked out the door.

    Sorry, I missed your comment, but it makes sense. Most animals can be pretty sensitive to that, and even that could skew results. I have a friend with a niece who works with lab rats in a psychology lab, where they’re studying the process of learning, such as teaching them how to play video games. (Seriously!) You’d definitely need to treat the rats well to get results, abusing them could be disastrous.

  42. #42 Orac
    March 30, 2011

    So for the sake of intellectual honesty, I think “AR extremist” is the proper terminology for these types. It may sound petty, but there are people out there who are simply trying to stop puppy mills or other obvious animal abuse that any non-sociopathic person would abhor, and they get lumped into the same pile with these ***holes and thus not taken seriously.

    Quite frankly, I do not see AR sympathizers or activists clearly dissociating themselves from these terrorists particularly strongly. In all fairness, perhaps I simply haven’t been looking hard enough or am not exposed to the proper AR groups. On the other hand when I write about these things I do do some rather extensive Googling, Binging, and Yahoo!ing, and I’m hard pressed to find AR activists strongly denouncing the tactics of people like Camille. What I do find is a lot of weaselly statements of the “I can understand their anger although I can’t condone their threats” kind of nonsense.

    Hmmm. Maybe the sane AR activists are intimidated by these nutjobs too.

  43. #43 Kirsi
    March 30, 2011

    Raging Bee, your last comment sounds like the people who are asking why the moderate Muslims in the US aren’t educating all other Muslims in Islamic countries on how to treat Christians…

  44. #44 imr90
    March 30, 2011

    Given what we now know about brain function, personality and decision-making the fact is that the behavior of these people has nothing to do with a concern for animals. The animal “rights” part is just an excuse for a particular type of disturbed individual to rationalize an excuse to commit violence and give “meaning” to their pathetic lives.

  45. #45 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    Kirsi: the moderate Muslims have been answering the call for years. Now it’s the “moderate” ARAs’ turn…

  46. #46 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    What I do find is a lot of weaselly statements of the “I can understand their anger although I can’t condone their threats” kind of nonsense.

    Yeah, they excuse extreme tactics after insisting they don’t condone them. (Although, to be fair, G’s language @36 above is the strongest condemnation of AR extremism I’ve yeat heard from the AR camp. Not that that’s saying a lot.)

  47. #47 Eleanor
    March 30, 2011

    What vile sickos. Like someone pointed out above, why are the worse offenders often driven by moral zealousness? If your morality dictates you be exceptionally horrible to someone, you’re probably wrong. Have a cup of tea and a biscuit instead.

    I really hope this student is OK, and the University is being fully supportive of her.

  48. #48 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    @ Raging Bee:”Although, to be fair, G’s language @36 above is the strongest condemnation of AR extremism I’ve yeat heard from the AR camp. Not that that’s saying a lot.”

    If their idea of “condemning” is erasing their comments and not letting them express their views at events, I think that says a lot about their mind-set. That isn’t condemnation in any sense of the word I have ever heard of.

  49. #49 Clinton
    March 30, 2011

    The so called “moderate AR” position does exist, but they don’t even register as “AR” because the “moderate” position is that of Animal Welfare.

    What I do find is a lot of weaselly statements of the “I can understand their anger although I can’t condone their threats” kind of nonsense.

    Exactly.

    You also see lots of credulous parroting of the fundamentalist AR extremist lies- that animal use is unregulated, that the subjects are “tortured”, that animal-based research is meaningless, that the evil scientists refuse to use “alternatives” out of…malice?, etc. Also a lot of hypocritical parsing of personal lifestyle choices and personal use of medical care that relies on animal-based research science.

    Even in the face of patient explanations of the facts, such as are provided on Scienceblogs, Speaking of Research but also in many other media and on-the-ground venues.

    People who persist in their “moderate” support of AR motivations in the face of this are a part and parcel of the violent terrorist movement to bypass the political process which they are losing (for good reason, they are just plain wrong on the facts) with intimidation.

    If you don’t want to be associated with these fringe elements, there is a simple solution. Stop associating yourself with them!

  50. #50 Paul
    March 30, 2011

    If you want to show Alena that you care please go over to the Speaking of Research website at http://speakingofresearch.com/2011/03/30/a-new-low-at-nio/ and add your message of support.

    Lets show the AR extremists that they are making a grave mistake!

  51. #51 Pablo
    March 30, 2011

    OlRockinDave…

    I remember an incident some years back when self-proclaimed animal rights activists removed the animals from a veterinary science lab – that’s right, a lab dedicated to improving the health of animals. Then there was the release of minks from a British farm that resulted in massive wildlife destruction and a landscape littered with dead minks.

    Your comment reminded me of the story in the Onion where the animal rights activists let all the cows go free.

    They were found 1 mile down the road grazing in the ditch on the side of the road, rounded up, and brought back.

    And for some reason, I have Far Side in my head, but that is just because that’s what I think of when I think of cows

  52. #52 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    The so called “moderate AR” position does exist, but they don’t even register as “AR” because the “moderate” position is that of Animal Welfare.

    I totally agree. It’s uselss to think about animal “rights,” when they’re not sentient enough to exercise rights or fulfill obligations, and have zero power to make cognizant choices in their daily lives. I tend to think in terms of human obligations instead: we’re the master species, we have near-total control over all other life-forms, therefore we have obligations to preserve and protect other species, and at least keep them from going extinct. Protect the environment, make every animal experiment count, no unnecessary cruelty, that sort of thing.

    The concept of “rights” for non-sentient species is completely divorced from reality. Which could well be why it is so attractive to people who are also completely (and bitterly) divorced from reality.

  53. #53 Bing
    March 30, 2011

    Back when I was an undergrad at UWO (London, Canada) ARA’s broke into a lab, “liberated” a number of animals and destroyed several years of research data in file cabinets (IIRC). The campus was polarized by the actions of the ARA’s who had also used the lesser tactic of hunger strikes before resorting to break-and-enter and vandalism.

    I made a small fortune (or what appeared as one to a poor student at the time) by printing and selling buttons on campus that said, “Save a baboon, Experiment on a Hunger Striker!”

  54. #54 jenbphillips
    March 30, 2011

    The so called “moderate AR” position does exist, but they don’t even register as “AR” because the “moderate” position is that of Animal Welfare.

    Indeed. And I hasten to point out, again, that the vast majority of IACUC officers, Animal Use policy makers, and clinicians/scientists who use animals in their research, could accurately be described as proponents of Animal Welfare.

  55. #55 han
    March 30, 2011

    @Pablo

    That’s funny, I also had a comic strip-related association with that comment, but mine is from Bloom County. IIRC, Opus the penguin was freed from the Mary Kay lab by animal rights extremists and stashed in his “natural habitat,” aka the ice bin in front of the 7-11.

  56. #56 MaryL
    March 30, 2011

    @David Lovaas’ work has saved my son. My son was a nonverbal autistic who did nothing but stim off of his hands all day. The beloved teacch method did nothing for him. Intensive aba has taught him to not only speak, but also has taught him to interact with people, follow directions, play with toys, maintain joint attention for long periods of time, eat with a fork and spoon, and interact with his environment. I finally have some hope for him. Plus, the scientific research has shown Lovaas’ methods to be the only methods proven to help autistic children gain functioning. I know it is not warm and fuzzy, but it works I’ll take that over warm and fuzzy educational placebos anyday.

  57. #57 Just Sayin'
    March 30, 2011

    We all know (well the EDUCATED ones) that animal testing = more drugs thrown down the pan than drugs being successful on humans, and not all diseases have been ‘cured’ by animal testing. So what the student said was absolute nonsense.

    Perhaps I’ll start an organization to protest the over-the-top abuse of so many strawmen in which Alex engaged above. Didn’t Mommy or Daddy ever tell Alex that lighting so many on fire at one time can burn the whole house down?

  58. #58 Just Sayin'
    March 30, 2011

    Your comment reminded me of the story in the Onion where the animal rights activists let all the cows go free.

    They were found 1 mile down the road grazing in the ditch on the side of the road, rounded up, and brought back.

    Cows with guns

  59. #59 Dan Weber
    March 30, 2011

    Well timed. Driving home with my son from setting up his science fair just yesterday, I asked him if he had any ideas on what he wanted to do next year. He liked seeing one science fair that was about a pet mouse running through a maze.

    We got into a discussion about the ethics of science, and what you are and aren’t allowed to do to animals (and humans). I emphasized that there are review boards that have to approve your study. I hope I didn’t scare him off.

    If their idea of “condemning” is erasing their comments and not letting them express their views at events, I think that says a lot about their mind-set.

    Why should they have to play hero? There are all sorts of viewpoints I hold that are also held by people that I don’t like, but I don’t spend all my time writing letters to the editor condemning them. Life is too short to deal with the a-holes all the time.

    It’s uselss to think about animal “rights,” when they’re not sentient enough to exercise rights or fulfill obligations, and have zero power to make cognizant choices in their daily lives.

    You realize this argument applies to infants, too, right? Sure, we don’t let newborns vote, just like we don’t let cows vote. But they still feel pain and discomfort. The amount of “rights” these beings have is surely less than that we give to adult sapient humans, but it’s also surely more than “complete property to be abuse or destroyed at will.”

    Also, like others, I think these threats have a good chance of crossing the line. Someone should call the police, just in case they aren’t already aware.

  60. #60 a
    March 30, 2011

    as someone that has worked with some of these people recently, i can say that some of these groups do good work against abusive pet stores and animal shelters, and ghazal was a big part of stopping amerijet’s animal transportation trade this winter.

    that said, things haven’t been so great lately, everyone just spouts violent rhetoric & preaches about abortion & chases away anyone that doesn’t immediately agree with them. i hope some of these activists can get back to what we’re supposed to be doing, performing a public service.

    i don’t go to NIO much or know all the contributors. but yes, i strongly disagree with virtually everything camille does.

    and would i get shouted down/deleted for disagreeing with them? absolutely.

    thanks for covering this, tho, science blogs. you guys got a lot of good, smart people, and animal rights activists could learn a lot if they were involved in more rationale debates with gusy like you.

  61. #61 Edward Kimble
    March 30, 2011

    I support using animals for research. And my research often lead to the death of animals, mostly food animals. Where possible these animals were then consumed for food. But while I am retired now, I own a tree farm and wildlife area. And every day I see one or two rabbits or pheasant killed but also mice, worms and insects, rats, frogs, fish, and possum torn apart and eaten by the wildlife, wild cats(2), heron(3), owls(1-3), hawks(2), geese(20+), coyotes(4), buzzards(1-12), muskrat(5), crows, woodpeckers, and by my dog! If such a frenzy ever reached the lab they would declare a national terrorism alert. And although I could do without the dog’s and hawks’ daily attack on the rabbit population, without it my trees would stand no chance whatsoever!

  62. #62 Veganron
    March 30, 2011

    Even if animal testing was not a complete waste of time and resources, leading to mostly wrong information causing unnecessary human deaths, it would still be unconscionable. The animals we humans so cruelly and arrogantly exploit have as much right to lead their lives in their natural habitat as does any human. There are other research modalities which give better information more cheaply. Given the present sorry state of medical research, completely banning animal testing for ethical reasons would lead to an explosion of creativity which could revolutionize modern medicine.

    Most of you are completely misinterpreting what Camille Marino said. It is certainly gratifying to see all of you defenders of horrific abuse frothing at the mouth and falling over each other to post your illogical, ignorant and largely irrelevant, self-serving drivel. Camille is a hero for the animals and her ability to agitate the mindless zombies who defend the immoral and broken status quo is unmatched. I hope she continues to pull the strings of the heartless, mindless puppets amongst you.

  63. #63 plutosdad
    March 30, 2011

    “Wesley Hanna”
    A someone said, if that were true they wouldn’t need to threaten them.

    Secondly there is another response: attack the evidence. Some evidence of abuse is made up. For instance: the charge that experimenters do not use anesthesia is utterly false, it is often required, yet the activists still repeat it.

    Thirdly, everything you say also applies to the activists: They need funding, living off of donations, and therefore need to keep up the rhetoric, keep up the attacks, make things seem worse than they are. Someone whose livelihood and also entire worldview depends on things being one way, cannot admit they might be different.

    Also, you might as well turn your point around on the activists: they are naive kids, and don’t know how the world works. Just like the anti-vaccine loons who never lived through polio and measles epidemics and don’t think it’s a big deal. These kids don’t live in a world without medicine, and are not old enough to have many friends with debilitating medical problems who were saved or have livable lives because of medicine.

  64. #64 Hey Zeus is my Homeboy
    March 30, 2011

    @Veganron = this guy

  65. #65 plutosdad
    March 30, 2011

    Veganron :

    how could we possible ever leave animals alone to live in their natural habitat?
    1. farming kills animals, even organic sustainable environmentally friendly, even if you have a special picker that has rubber fingers on the end to shoo mice away (yes those exist) animals still get killed

    2. predators don’t exist. In Chicago we have people shoot deer to keep the population down. we Have to do this, if we don’t, the deer eat everything, and that will kill off trees, kill birds, wreak havoc on the ecosystem. It is hard enough on humans to repatriate wolves in the plains states. No one is going to repatriate wolves and cougars in a city.

    3. There is a difference between individual animals and the welfare of the animal species. As I point out above, if you try to treat individual animals as though they have rights, you are guaranteed to start killing off species. We have enough trouble trying to keep species from dying out, without making it harder. Animal Rights activists usually respond with the death of species as “just nature at work” and shrug their shoulders. However, most other environmental activists do not feel this way. And the widespread destruction large herbivores could wreak would have untold consequences to human life let alone everything else’s.

    4. No animal lives in harmony with nature. Any animal smart enough to change its environment deliberately does so. From beavers to monkeys, animals will also non-deliberately change their environment. The only thing stopping them is predation. Without killing animals, they will starve and die and eat other animals food.

    5. Just like animals, no indigenous people live in “harmony” with nature. Native Americans practiced controlled burnings throughout the NorthEast, which is why there was so much oak, because the Indians burned and killed Maple. Without that, the Maple kills off the Oak trees and takes over. I don’t see people condemning indians for this but instead praising them. Let’s not even get into them running herds of Buffalo off of cliffs and eating only the good parts.

    Animal rights is a recipe for environmental destruction. It’s not even about medicine, it’s about feeding the planet. Feeding both Humans and animals.

  66. #66 Todd W.
    March 30, 2011

    @Veganron

    Umm…how does one interpret the following in a positive, non-terroristic way:

    We need to impart a new vision: car bombs, 24/7 security cameras, embarrassing home demonstrations, threats, injuries, and fear. And, of course, these students need to realize that any personal risk they are willing to assume will also be visited upon their parents, children, and nearest & dearest loved ones.

    And even the best-designed artificial systems are no match for the variety that nature presents. We can think of a hundred ways to simulate, say, a surgery or particular drug, but nature will come up with a hundred other things we never envisioned. Even the best surgeon, trained on a simulaide, will be worse off for never having been trained on a living creature (human or non-human) and will, thereby, put his or her patients at increased and needless risk.

  67. #67 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    If their idea of “condemning” is erasing their comments and not letting them express their views at events, I think that says a lot about their mind-set.

    Why should they have to play hero? There are all sorts of viewpoints I hold that are also held by people that I don’t like, but I don’t spend all my time writing letters to the editor condemning them. Life is too short to deal with the a-holes all the time.

    The commenter I was responding to wasn’t just some casual proponent of animal rights, he/she ran multiple conferences and an online forum dedicated to the cause. He/she is obviously able to dedicate a considerable amount of time to the cause. And he/she has apparently had multiple of instances of people at conferences and at the forum advocating such behavior. Yet he/she doesn’t have enough time to put out a press release explicitly denouncing such acts? Sorry, not buying it.

  68. #68 Vayle
    March 30, 2011

    I’m 26, I wanted to become a scientist at one point (primarily interested in becoming a geneticist) but I’m grateful I didn’t.
    Why? I’d hate to have to numb my gradually acquired compassion for animals. I mean, I always loved them, but now that I worked with them more, I see their innocence in the same light I see a child’s.
    They have feelings, emotions, breath.
    Do unto others as you’d like them to do to you.
    Would you like it if you had a painful solution spewed into your eyes for things such as trivial as cosmetics?

    If I carried through with that ambition, I would’ve also focused on the argument, “It’s for a greater good” instead of, “Let’s find an alternatives!”

    I would’ve invested so much time and money in doing so.
    I’d have to convince myself that cruelty to living things was ok…

    Find alternatives to research, synthetics maybe?
    Seek both sides of the story instead of dismissing people with contrasting opinions as loonies.

  69. #69 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    There are other research modalities which give better information more cheaply.

    Such as…?

    I keep seeing this claim repeated, but no one ever seems to say what these methods are.

  70. #70 JohnV
    March 30, 2011

    @vayle

    “Find alternatives to research, synthetics maybe?”

    Do you even know what you’re saying or are you just picking random words from “stock animal rights activist critiques” and stringing them together for us?

    Also, consider what a “false dichotomy” is and then, with that knowledge in hand, reread what you wrote @67 and consider why we just dismiss people with contrasting opinions.

  71. #71 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    I’d hate to have to numb my gradually acquired compassion for animals. I mean, I always loved them, but now that I worked with them more, I see their innocence in the same light I see a child’s. They have feelings, emotions, breath.

    What about animals fending for themselves in the wild, trying to feed their young and avoid being dinner for a larger animal’s young? What’s your take on their feelings and emotions?

  72. #72 Orac
    March 30, 2011

    There are other research modalities which give better information more cheaply.

    Name one such method and show that it gives better information more cheaply and for what application. Certainly, when I hear AR activists make this claim regarding biomedical research, I have to laugh, because such claims make it clear that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Given the present sorry state of medical research, completely banning animal testing for ethical reasons would lead to an explosion of creativity which could revolutionize modern medicine.

    I keep hearing this claim from every animal rights sympathizer from Ray Greek to you but have yet to see any of you provide convincing evidence that there exist these magical mystical other scientific methods that would “provide better data cheaper” or show convincingly that abandoning animal models would “lead to an explosion of creativity.” Maybe you’re different and can do it, but I highly doubt it.

  73. #73 Vicki, Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief
    March 30, 2011

    So, Vayle, not being a scientist has freed you to create alternatives to animal research?

    Please, publish those new techniques. You’ll make a lot of people happy.

    Or does your alternative consist of “do nothing, and abandon all medical and veterinary research and training that uses animals”?

  74. #74 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    @ Vayle: Why are you posting this here again instead of addressing the dozens of responses you already received when you posted pretty much the exact same thing on Pharungula? Are you just spamming any blog that discusses the subject?

  75. #75 Narad
    March 30, 2011

    It appears that Tajalli was a wee bit asshurt over being on the other side of “getting personal” last year.

  76. #76 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    BTW, if anyone cares here is where Vayle made essentially any identical post on Pharyngula:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/03/nio_is_doomed_now.php#comment-3546953

    He/she received numerous responses, but never reappeared. Considering everything he/she said here was already addressed, Vayle either didn’t bother to read the responses or is just dishonest. Several people on the Pharyngula thread concluded “dishonest” for other reasons.

  77. #77 Leni
    March 30, 2011

    Veganron,

    Heroes don’t harass children and specifically target people they think are vulnerable, cowards do.

    If she is such a hero, why does she need to resort to bullying, harassment and fear? Why does she need to target people she thinks are more vulnerable to such tactics? If you think that is the kind of thing that heroes normally do, you should really reconsider your notions of heroism.

    Also, if you think something was illogical or incorrect, why not directly quote and address it? If you want us to understand you better, all you need to do is make a solid case for it. Or would you rather be out there harassing college kids and skulking in the bushes around some researcher’s home?

    ***

    Raging Bee wrote:

    It’s uselss to think about animal “rights,” when they’re not sentient enough to exercise rights or fulfill obligations, and have zero power to make cognizant choices in their daily lives.

    I support animal research and almost completely disagree with this. Animals do make decisions and it’s kind of silly to suggest that they don’t. Sometimes the very thing we study are the decisions that they make.

    Ignoring that only makes our side harder to defend. In general, I very much support strong laws that protect animals because without them, we’d be where were decades ago and I doubt many of us want to go back to that. You need some concept of rights for animals, because without that laws protecting them become meaningless. It’s thorny yes, but it certainly isn’t “useless” to think about it. Frankly, I think it makes us all better that we do.

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, but your remarks seemed rather callous and unhelpful to me.

    I think the thing that most of us want- researchers and AR activists alike- is better treatment for animals. I worked in a facility with hundreds of animal lab techs (although I was not one) and it’s a hard job. Being able to do nice things for the animals (like giving them treats, toys and play time) helped the people there as much as it does the animals. This is a good thing. Part of the reason these improvements happened is because most of us do recognize that animals do have some measure of rights. That they have dignity and that to treat them otherwise is cruel. This is better for all of us, not just animals.

    Belittling the ideas that gave rise to better protections for animals seems supremely unwise to me, although if I’ve misunderstood your intent I apologize.

  78. #78 Vayle
    March 30, 2011

    @john
    69:

    The extent of my animal rights jibba-jabba stems from animal rescue, that is how I fight cruelty.
    I draw my ramblings from my own brain based off experiences. Sorry to disappoint you, but you know what they say about people who assume.

    I don’t live in the black and white, I’ve found the gray area to be more beneficial when it comes to learning. I’m interested in all forms of discussion, I sit on the fence until an absolute is presented, and absolutes are rare. That’s why debates exist.

    I love the concept of science, but I love the concept of alternatives and open minds. If science is so great, it will overcome. Science is always changing..! Never forget that.

    If you were really interested in alternatives, you’d do your own research, and start from there instead of listening to me. Google probably knows more than I do, so why don’t you ask it?
    Oh right, maybe, just maybe, you’re a closed-minded elitist. I can’t be sure. I’m hanging on that fence.

    Oh look, John Hopkins has a link to alternatives. Nice. ;)

  79. #79 Vayle
    March 30, 2011

    I made a similar statement because it’s true? Is that so hard to grasp?
    I post because one of my buddies likes to update us on things. And you can see the legitimacy of my stance, thanks mr. hypocrite!
    Also, I can’t handle all the spam of responses, I must’ve struck a nerve or something. Go me!
    I don’t have all day to sit on these threads like SOME people.

    I have a life outside the internet.

    There’s alternative. Google them. Real easy.

  80. #80 Leni
    March 30, 2011

    Vayle, perhaps you should go into computer science, since you are so interested in alternatives and aren’t comfortable working with animals.

    If models can be made “cheaply”, then they will probably have to be computer models. Not only would you make a lot of people very happy, but you’d make a mint. So get crackin!

    See look, you could be doing something more productive than sitting around complaining about science. You could be working towards actual solutions that helped everyone- human and animal alike.

  81. #81 Vayel
    March 30, 2011

    My b/f said something smart for once, “I’m content to say that anyone who really wants to butt heads to prove they’re right is probably too busy to realize they’re wrong.”

  82. #82 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Vayle, many of the people here aren’t just some people off the street, they have spent years studying medicine and science. They’ve heard everything you’ve said before, in four different languages. If you’re going to impress them, you have to be willing to back up your claims.

  83. #83 Peapoh
    March 30, 2011

    Get that? The burden is proof is on YEW GUIZE because she made the assertion and it’s up to you elitist drones to do her research. Duh. Science!

  84. #84 Todd W.
    March 30, 2011

    @Vayle

    How do you feel about animal research that ultimately benefits animals?

  85. #85 Narad
    March 30, 2011

    My b/f said something smart for once

    You sound like a real catch.

  86. #86 Vayle
    March 30, 2011

    I’m a full time art director. I do volunteer work in the animal rescue field during my free time. I use my artistic abilities to make flyers and spreading educational material on how to best care for pets, so we loose the need to take them to shelters, and prevent impulse buys on things such as a cockatoo that lives 80 years. So I act more than I talk on forums like this.

    Education cures ignorance, I won’t proclaim I know everything, and I don’t think anyone should…

    One of our elderly birds needs cataracts surgery, being a poor rescue, we’re attempting to work with an educational center to do surgery on this little guy. They get a patient, we have hope that this buddy will have sight again.

    Granted, science and experiments aided the procedure, but when it comes to things like lipstick, and nonsense like that, do we really need cause harm to animals?

    There’s me living in the gray. Everything is situational.

  87. #87 Brandon
    March 30, 2011

    I can barely think of more idiotic comment than, “I’m content to say that anyone who really wants to butt heads to prove they’re right is probably too busy to realize they’re wrong.”

    The entire goal of such a comment is to insist that anyone that argues about something is inherently wrong about it. Isn’t that just obviously false and self defeating? It seems like a way to attempt to worm out of defending a position, particularly a position of obstinate ignorance.

    The whole, “I wanted to be a scientist” schtick sounds like a complete load of crap, along lines similar to fundie Christians that claim, “I used to be an atheist”.

  88. #88 Vayle
    March 30, 2011

    And you sound really juvenile..? Ugh. I just sank to your level. =(

  89. #89 Blasphemous_Kansan
    March 30, 2011

    Veganron spewed: “It is certainly gratifying to see all of you defenders of horrific abuse frothing at the mouth and falling over each other to post your illogical, ignorant and largely irrelevant, self-serving drivel. ”

    Methinks thou doth project too much.

  90. #90 JohnV
    March 30, 2011

    @vayle

    “I don’t live in the black and white, I’ve found the gray area to be more beneficial when it comes to learning.”

    Really? Because you posed a couple of (false) dichotomies in your comment @67.

    “Sorry to disappoint you, but you know what they say about people who assume.”
    “If you were really interested in alternatives, you’d do your own research”

    Oh you don’t disappoint. The irony in the same person making those two statements makes me very happy :p

  91. #91 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    Leni: yes, you did seem to misunderstaqnd me. I didn’t say animals weren’t sentient, I said they weren’t sentient enough to take responsibility like humans do in our daily decisions — their thinking is too constrained by instinct and immediate needs; therefore the concept of animal “rights” (as opposed to animal welfare or human obligations toward animals) is simply not practicable.

    Oh, and Vayle? You’re a cowardly dishonest idiot. If you don’t have time to respond to us when we directly address your stated concerns, then you don’t have time to be here at all; and you sure as Hell don’t have time to add more comments about how little time you have to respond to us.

    And when those hypocritical excuses are dispensed with, the rest of your rambling is just empty self-important word-salad.

  92. #92 Vayle
    March 30, 2011

    Until you can see through my eyes and until I can see through yours, we’re never going to draw any valuable conclusions right now. Not much time, and the lag on this thing is irritating.

    I speak to gain incite, remember that open mind I was talking about? I’m better off with a 1 on 1 with someone that has sense, that’s why I seldom post on these things.

    Leni is the only one who gave me something useful out of this. I am disappoint.

  93. #93 Michael Crichton
    March 30, 2011

    TheBlackCat: “There are other research modalities which give better information more cheaply.”

    Such as…?

    I keep seeing this claim repeated, but no one ever seems to say what these methods are.

    Well, duh, that’s because the “vivisectors” keep suppressing them! They’re on the shelf next to the cure for cancer that Big Pharma has been sitting on. ;-)

  94. #94 jenbphillips
    March 30, 2011

    I speak to gain incite

    ROFL.

  95. #95 Vayle
    March 30, 2011

    Ok, time to play on your level, Raging Bee.
    I can summarize this real easy.

    Butthurt much? >;D

    Continue forth and rage, you raging bee, you!

    I’m gonna go make pretty things now instead of humoring your rage.

  96. #96 Leni
    March 30, 2011

    Raging Bee:

    Leni: yes, you did seem to misunderstaqnd me. I didn’t say animals weren’t sentient, I said they weren’t sentient enough to take responsibility like humans do in our daily decisions — their thinking is too constrained by instinct and immediate needs; therefore the concept of animal “rights” (as opposed to animal welfare or human obligations toward animals) is simply not practicable.

    Ok my bad. I was actually kind of surprised. I mean, I know how you feel about libertarians, but that kind of threw me :)

    Vayle:

    Until you can see through my eyes and until I can see through yours, we’re never going to draw any valuable conclusions right now. Not much time, and the lag on this thing is irritating.

    That’s the whole point of having any discussion. And is exactly why, as Brandon pointed out, your bf is still, apparently, full of crap.

  97. #97 Dianne
    March 30, 2011

    People keep asking for these famous “alternatives” that the animal rights idiots keep claiming exist. So far no answer worth talking about. But maybe the question is too vague. So here are some specific examples:

    1. You have a new compound and want to determine how toxic it is to mammals. How do you determine its LD50 without the use of animals?

    2. You have a compound that kills cancer cells in vitro. But you’re not sure what it will do in vivo. It may be metabolized by the liver into something useless or toxic. It might destroy the bone marrow or kidneys. How do you determine efficacy and toxicity without an in vivo model?

    3. You have a compound that might prevent metastatic disease, but not local disease, in a specific cancer. How do you test its efficacy without the use of an animal model (i.e. what in vitro tests are available for examination of metastatic disease)?

    4. You want to test a new drug in cell culture. How do you do that without the use of fetal calf serum?

  98. #98 Composer99
    March 30, 2011

    Vayle:

    There is rather a difference between animal use in medical/science research and animal use in cosmetics.

    Your comment regarding lipstick @85 appears to conflate the two.

    Also, the primary objection to NIO in this thread is based on their own admission to advocate the intimidation of undergrads through threats of violence:

    We need to impart a new vision: car bombs, 24/7 security cameras, embarrassing home demonstrations, threats, injuries, and fear. And, of course, these students need to realize that any personal risk they are willing to assume will also be visited upon their parents, children, and nearest & dearest loved ones.

    I don’t really see how any reasonable person can do anything but condemn this kind of sentiment, whatever their position on the use of animals in research.

  99. #99 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    Leni: no problem. I’m not an animal expert (beyond being a longtime servant of cats), and I was generalizing in haste; and looking back, I see my resonse to you was also a hasty overgeneralization, which those who work with animals might easily disprove. Basically my point was that animals cannot exercise rights or obligations — i.e., cannot make responsible choices — at least not within an ecosystem ruled by humans; therefore humans have to fulfil our obligations to them, rather than pretend they have power of their own.

  100. #100 Vicki, Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief
    March 30, 2011

    Vayle,

    If google knows more than you do, and we all have access to google, why should we listen to you? Not “why should we ask you for specific information?” Why should we listen to you at all, if there is no subject whatsoever on which that we cannot get a better answer from google, which is neither sentient nor sapient?

    Alternatively, if you are sure google knows more about this than you, why aren’t you doing some of the research yourself? Then you’d know where (if at all) animal research can be replaced with other methods, and where (if at all) it can’t be replaced. Wouldn’t you like to be able to tell everyone “Use XYZ technique, as recently invented by Q Lab, for safety testing,” or “the Fred Method of working with cedar twigs, pioneered in Leipzig in 1874, is more effective than working with lab rats for thus-and-such purpose”?

  101. #101 DuWayne
    March 30, 2011

    Veganron –

    Camille is a hero for the animals and her ability to agitate the mindless zombies who defend the immoral and broken status quo is unmatched.

    Camille is an out and out lunatic who advocates terrorism. She isn’t a hero, she’s a sociopath.

    Vayle –

    Seek both sides of the story instead of dismissing people with contrasting opinions as loonies.

    I have. I have spent hours reading, listening to and watching videos of supporters of terrorism in the name of the animals. I used AR terrorism as the topic for a paper I wrote for my world security class and did a great deal of research into some of the key players in the AR terrorism movement. I don’t dismiss these folks as loonies because of contrasting opinions – indeed I don’t actually dismiss them at all. They are insane, but they are also very dangerous people.

    Camille in particular is seriously deranged. She wasn’t a subject of my paper, I just happened to tangle with her a couple of times after I wrote a little something about professor Best. In amongst her lunacy, she posted all of the personal information about me that she could find (a hint – I am explicitly open about who I am and where I live, it doesn’t take a genius to find a whole lot more than she did about me) and mocked both me and a Canuckistanian friend of mine (who is also quite open about himself – he even has a rather unusual last name) for hiding behind the anonymity of the internets.

    Steven Best has made statements that fall just outside the realm of openly calling for terrorists to attack people, instead of property. Vlasak, who Orac mentions has explicitly called for violence against people, as have a great many AR terrorists and their facilitators. These people are accused of being dangerous nuts, because that is exactly what they are. I have communicated with and “debated” several such folks and they are pathologically incapable of accepting any gray areas. Theirs is a religious obsession and like all religious fanatics, many of them are extremely dangerous, vile little creatures.

  102. #102 Kismet
    March 30, 2011

    let’s play! http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Cupcake_Bingo

    “must have struck a nerve” ranks pretty well on cupcake bingo today!

  103. #103 Raqging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    Camille is a hero for the animals and her ability to agitate the mindless zombies…

    Well, that says a lot about the ARAs’ mindset: animals have rights, but humans are nothing but zombies, so that makes it okay to kill humans but not animals. Justifications for indiscriminate terrorism come fast and easy with that lot.

  104. #104 Lucario
    March 30, 2011

    “We are better than them?” Listen, when animal rights zealots are using heavy-handed tactics to dissuade people from taking up medical research involving animals – without which the lives of people would be in danger – shouldn’t there be some justification in ordering a counterstrike?

    Perhaps there are some times in which “an eye for an eye” is justified.

  105. #105 DuWayne
    March 30, 2011

    Veganron –

    Camille is a hero for the animals and her ability to agitate the mindless zombies who defend the immoral and broken status quo is unmatched.

    Camille is an out and out lunatic who advocates terrorism. She isn’t a hero, she’s a sociopath.

    Vayle –

    Seek both sides of the story instead of dismissing people with contrasting opinions as loonies.

    I have. I have spent hours reading, listening to and watching videos of supporters of terrorism in the name of the animals. I used AR terrorism as the topic for a paper I wrote for my world security class and did a great deal of research into some of the key players in the AR terrorism movement. I don’t dismiss these folks as loonies because of contrasting opinions – indeed I don’t actually dismiss them at all. They are insane, but they are also very dangerous people.

    Camille in particular is seriously deranged. She wasn’t a subject of my paper, I just happened to tangle with her a couple of times after I wrote a little something about professor Best. In amongst her lunacy, she posted all of the personal information about me that she could find (a hint – I am explicitly open about who I am and where I live, it doesn’t take a genius to find a whole lot more than she did about me) and mocked both me and a Canuckistanian friend of mine (who is also quite open about himself – he even has a rather unusual last name) for hiding behind the anonymity of the internets.

    Steven Best has made statements that fall just outside the realm of openly calling for terrorists to attack people, instead of property. Vlasak, who Orac mentions has explicitly called for violence against people, as have a great many AR terrorists and their facilitators. These people are accused of being dangerous nuts, because that is exactly what they are. I have communicated with and “debated” several such folks and they are pathologically incapable of accepting any gray areas. Theirs is a religious obsession and like all religious fanatics, many of them are extremely dangerous, vile little creatures.

  106. #106 @lucario
    March 30, 2011

    so they’d attack people for hurting animals, and you’d attack people for saving animals, who may have ended up saving people.
    doesn’t that make you a science-terrorist, or something? if you’re going to criticize you should try not to lower yourself to their level.

  107. #107 altın çilek
    March 30, 2011

    I made a small fortune (or what appeared as one to a poor student at the time) by printing and selling buttons on campus that said, “Save a baboon, Experiment on a Hunger Striker

  108. #108 DuWayne
    March 30, 2011

    There is a very significant difference here lucario. I have never attempted to, or advocated others firebombing the homes of AR terrorists. Nor have I assaulted the families of any AR loons. I have not threatened the lives of AR terrorists, except insofar as I have responded to threats on my own and made it clear that attacking me and mine wouldn’t be a very good idea.

    Bottom line; I have not engaged in terrorist activities, nor have I ever advocated for them (quite the opposite in fact). Doing one or both of those things is requisite to lowering down to their level.

  109. #109 Lisa Grossman
    March 30, 2011

    Alena,
    As a mom and an AR activist, I’m very proud of you for originally coming forward in response to your dreams of helping society become a healthier and better place. Kudos! Not alot of biotech people come right out and say what they do to animals. And as I teach my 19 year old son, this is a very important life skill and character trait.

    As you probably read on other blogs preceding this one, the truth of seasoned vivisectors is dark and based in greed. When they comment here, they’re pretending they didn’t say all the crazy things away from here. So use you’re obviously good heart to make decisions on what they want you to get involed in.

    Most importantly, notice how the collective of vivisectors shamelessly denies the exisistence of in vitro non animal testing research. Cutting up animals and injecting their eyes is just anyiquated, but profitable business! The past is the past. It’ now time to protect weaker beings AND be a part of modern medice. The main truth they do not want you to know is that you, Alena, can do both.

    I would love to see you take your intelligence and goodness to studing ways to help al of society become better- study, invent, expand on current alternative methods.Most of your future professors are going down in history with the likes of Natzi Dr. Mengala as a disgrace to your science.

    Here’s just a molecule of thought to start with- there is a ton of non animal successful, profitable researching going on. Especially in Europe. AltTox.com.

    Trust your conscience and try to see possibilities. And best of luck…I know our future will be a better place because you’ll be there!

    Lisa Grossman

  110. #110 Lucario
    March 30, 2011

    Well, it’s clear that the non-violent approach isn’t working with regard to fighting back against AR’ists.

    And what’s so wrong about “sinking to their level” when the going gewts tough? Certainly there have been numerous times in history when this sort of strategy worked out for the good guys.

    It’s something that should be used in extremis, though.

  111. #111 LisaG
    March 30, 2011

    We decided to target student last year actually but it took some planning to come up with the most effective outcome. They call the very students they claim to love weak. I believe they can be a strong foundation of what’s good and right since they will not have been blooded yet. All the crap we’ve participated in a weeded through the last day or so only strengthens what we know to be right. If we are going to fight the holocaust for the lives of actual living beings, we are obligated to think and act beyond sign waving.

    If you have the time, do go back and read the posts here. We are all on there commenting, but the overwhelming truth shown in the posts of the vivisectors is a new lesson for me. These people are truly very bad people. I have never encountered so many dark thoughts and ideas. They terrorize, torture and murder beings weaker than them all the while spinning as much around this as possible to cover it up, As far as I could see none of them was able to think on a moral or ethical level. And they shamelessly denied even the existence of alternative in vitro research.

    No need to bother reading this, here’s a synopsis: Holy shit these people actually got through to one of our own and showed her the truth of what we do behind closed doors- what we will expect of her eventually! Who knew, students are more than puppets for us to make money with, they actually have minds and hearts of their own and they are starting to consider alternatives that will still fill their silly dreams of helping society become a better place! OMG, what will we do? Everyone run in circles babbling like idiots!!

    P.S. Thank you PZ Meyers! Last night, serveral of your “people” wrote they were convinced that NIO made up Alena. Many thanks for you jumping in to check IP addresses, etc to identify her as a real person forthwith.

  112. #112 herr doktor bimler
    March 30, 2011

    you should be the ones who REAP WHAT YOU SEW

    Abusive cross-stitching is the worst.

    completely banning animal testing for ethical reasons would lead to an explosion of creativity which could revolutionize modern medicine.

    Much as the medieval ban on cadaver dissection led to an explosion of creativity in the study of human anatomy.

  113. #113 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    And they shamelessly denied even the existence of alternative in vitro research.

    Once again, vague claims about “alternatives” without actually listing any.

    I assume you mean in vitro research that doesn’t use animal parts. There is lots of in vitro research techniques that are very valid, but they generally require extracting something from a living animal to begin with, which doesn’t really change anything.

  114. #114 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    Lisa Grossman, do you actually see Ms. Rodriguez posting in the comments? If you had actually read what Orac said, you might learn that harassing college students is not behavior to get you any sympathy to your cause.

  115. #115 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    Most importantly, notice how the collective of vivisectors shamelessly denies the exisistence of in vitro non animal testing research. Cutting up animals and injecting their eyes is just anyiquated, but profitable business!

    The fact that you equate scientific animal research with “vivisection” and “Cutting up animals and injecting their eyes” show you either have no clue whatsoever what you are talking about or are a blatant liar.

  116. #116 LW
    March 30, 2011

    It is telling about the motives of these terrorists that they never stop to ask themselves, if someone had some sick desire to torture animals, for the sake of torturing animals, why would they go into medical research?

    The kind of training required to go into medical research is expensive in both time and money. Why bother?  Why jump through hoops to get institutional permission to experiment on animals, when they could trot down to the local pet store and pick up a few breeding pairs of mice and a cat? They could vivisect all the mice they wanted in the privacy of their own home, and dispose of the evidence by feeding it to the cat.  And if they wanted to torture fruit flies (fruit flies!), I’m sure they could leave out some, um, fruit, and nature would provide.

    Since the terrorists don’t even consider this question, it’s obvious that their only motivation is to inflict pain and suffering on human beings, not to prevent cruelty to animals.

  117. #117 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    Thank you, Lisa “Wormtongue” Grossman, for coming here yourself and once again proving what dishonest, lying, hateful, vindictive bullies you people really are. Your willingness to flat-out lie about what we’ve said here, as well as about the science, really speaks volumes about your “values.”

    As you probably read on other blogs preceding this one, the truth of seasoned vivisectors is dark and based in greed.

    For starters, not all animal research is anywhere near “vivisection.” And that’s only the beginning of your dishonesty. Someone who repeats such blatant lies as this really isn’t in a position to preach about the “darkness” in anyone else’s hearts.

    No need to bother reading this…

    Translation: “if you come here, please don’t actually read anything except MY words, and don’t try to verify my allegations.”

    Oh, and we’re already aware of Alena’s statement that you scumbags have been lying about HER. Not just about science and animal research, but about HER, the person you now falsely claim to respect and admire. Your manipulative act won’t fool anyone here, and it certainly won’t deter us from speaking up for your victims.

  118. #118 Leni
    March 30, 2011

    Since the terrorists don’t even consider this question, it’s obvious that their only motivation is to inflict pain and suffering on human beings, not to prevent cruelty to animals.

    Yup. Like in the case of the AR activist that “infiltrated” (sorry for the scare quotes, that word just always seemed too James Bond for my tastes) Covance a few years ago. Instead of reporting the abuse, she filmed it. Even though one of the requisites of her employment there was to report abuse.

    Note: she could have released the film to the public in a smear campaign and reported it. She could have got on the phone and called the freaking FDA and put a stop to it the moment she saw it happen. But she didn’t. She sat back and recorded it, allowed it to continue, and then acted as if she had no part in it.

  119. #119 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    LisaG:

    And as I teach my 19 year old son, this is a very important life skill and character trait.

    What would you do if your son was in an accident and required surgery and medications? Would you refuse to let him get any medical care? Would you forbid a blood transfusion? Antibiotics? Anesthesia for surgery?

    Really, what would be acceptable animal cruelty free medical care for someone who has been in a car accident with broken bones and internal injuries? And how would you communicate that only those could be used on you and your family?

  120. #120 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    Note: she could have released the film to the public in a smear campaign and reported it.

    That may have meant admitting that the actions in question were against the law, the injustice could have been corrected by legal means, therefore violence, bullying, intimidation and terrorism weren’t necessary after all, therefore the ARAs aren’t as relevant or righteous as they want to think they are.

  121. #121 Raging Bee
    March 30, 2011

    Lisa “Wormtongue” Grossman has a 19-year-old son? Would it be okay with her if we considered him a legitimate target for Grossman’s style of “persuasion?”

  122. #122 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    @ Raging Bee: ‘Lisa “Wormtongue” Grossman has a 19-year-old son? Would it be okay with her if we considered him a legitimate target for Grossman’s style of “persuasion?”‘

    Don’t be silly. She’s right, therefore she and her family are off-limits. Only people who are wrong have to live in constant fear for their childrens’ safety.

  123. #123 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    LisaG is probably okay with her son’s car being bombed, especially if he sneaks a hamburger. Because the animals are much more important than any college aged kid.

  124. #124 Janis
    March 30, 2011

    OH PLEASE! You are lying when you say Alena was threatened. She was put in an article is all. But why am I surprised? Vivisectors are the terrorists, not us animal lovers. I am proud to say I am in NIO. None of us do criminal acts. Vivisectors terrorize animals and they get negative attention. Maybe if you sociopaths did not torture animals, we would not have to protest against you. Maybe if you vivisectors got some psychiatric help for your lack of compassion for the suffering of animals, you would not do horrible things to animals anymore. Also your research does not work because animals are not the same as humans and do not have the same reaction.

  125. #125 Composer99
    March 30, 2011

    Janis, maybe you didn’t read the three easy steps to intimidate young, vulnerable undergrads – sorry, I mean “shut down vivisectors-in-training”. Check out step #2:

    Students also need to understand that making the wrong choice will result in a lifetime of grief. Aspiring scientists envision curing cancer at the Mayo Clinic. We need to impart a new vision: car bombs, 24/7 security cameras, embarrassing home demonstrations, threats, injuries, and fear. And, of course, these students need to realize that any personal risk they are willing to assume will also be visited upon their parents, children, and nearest & dearest loved ones. The time to reconsider is now.

    It strikes me that the kind of people who would advocate behaviour as described above are the kind of people who would, indeed, threaten Ms Rodriguez.

  126. #126 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Janis, these “animal lovers” are terrorists. You boast of harassing people, you incite violence, and if even the smallest hair on a student’s head is burned, you will be sued out of existence.

    Oh, and do some research. Nobody’s performed vivisection in years. Using that term is dishonest. And animal research has produced meaningful results, any of the posters here (many of them doctors) can tell you that.

  127. #127 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    Janis, read the article. How are the following words not threats:

    Every time a vivisector’s car or home — and, eventually, the abuser him/herself — blows up, flames of liberation light up the sky.

    Also, Janis, here is a question for you, please answer honestly: If you get a bacterial infection, especially one that could lead to Scarlet Fever or the loss of a limb, would you accept antibiotics? Or would you skip it because they were tested on animals, and just take your chances with your immune system (which may be lacking some essential vitamins like B12)?

  128. #128 Janis
    March 30, 2011

    I hear some veiled threats against some of us animal activists. Who are the radicals here? Be careful, as some of your threats may be used against you. I have made a copy of some of what you people have said. Where is it going? When you see the police on your doorstep you will figure it out

  129. #129 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    Please tell us which posts are threats against animal rights terrorists? Because I seem to have missed them.

    Please answer the question about antibiotics, thank you.

  130. #130 Narad
    March 30, 2011

    Be careful, as some of your threats may be used against you. I have made a copy of some of what you people have said. Where is it going? When you see the police on your doorstep you will figure it out

    Oh, look, the rare “low dudgeon.”

  131. #131 novalox
    March 30, 2011

    @127

    Resorting to threats and legal action against others just because your “talking points” got shot down, eh?

    Sounds really mature there.

    Your threat is pretty laughable.

  132. #132 Composer99
    March 30, 2011

    Janis, you owe me (and many others, no doubt) an irony meter.

  133. #133 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    This isn’t the first empty legal threat we’ve received. We’re not exactly impressed.

    Also, if you really care about animals, why don’t you go to China and take on the animal smuggling rings, or poachers in Namibia? They’ve done far more damage than any animal researcher, on a far greater scale. Or are you only willing to fight someone you think won’t fight back?

  134. #134 TheBlackCat
    March 30, 2011

    “Also your research does not work because animals are not the same as humans and do not have the same reaction.”

    Biology 101 fail. You can transplant bacteria light sensitive proteins to restore vision to a mammal. Animals are not always the same under every circumstance, but that is not the same as saying that they are never the same under any circumstance.

    You also seem to be under the mistaken but apparently common assumption that the only thing that animal researchers do is applying chemical to animals. Let me guess, you also don’t see a difference between cosmetics testing and antibiotics research.

    This is, of course, doubly ironic since this is about as far from vivisection as you could imagine.

    “Maybe if you ARs got some psychiatric help for your lack of compassion for the suffering of [humans], you would not do horrible things to [humans] anymore” or prevent them from getting life-saving medical treatments.

  135. #135 larry
    March 31, 2011

    Here is a video on animal rights: http://meat.org

  136. #136 Leni
    March 31, 2011

    Janis, honey… if I could own the part of the political spectrum that I inhabit I would kick you the fuck right off it.

    Seriously, your inarticulate, half-assed, thoughtless hero-worship is just creepy. Creepy.

  137. #137 toth
    March 31, 2011

    Shit…I have a mutual friend with Ghazali (well, some girl I talked to online, who recently became an ARA nutjob).

  138. #138 Dianne
    March 31, 2011

    All these ARA posting here and not one of them has responded to my post #96 asking for suggestions about how animal models could be replaced in specific situations. I’m shocked, just shocked that they didn’t jump at the chance to educate me in alternatives and potentially reduce the number of animals killed in experiments. Back to ripping the tails off baby mice for me, I guess.

  139. #139 Raging Bee
    March 31, 2011

    Janis: You’re a “proud member” of an organization, and a movement, that is well-known for repeatedly spouting lies and disinformation. Why should we trust your word, especially when it’s contradicted by your victim, who is NOT known to be a pathological liar?

  140. #140 SomeoneWhoLovesYou
    March 31, 2011

    Please, please, please do not assume that all animal rights activists are like those from NIO. The majority of us are peaceful people who take the interests of animals seriously. Many of us reject violence of any sort, including violence against those humans who use violence against the animals we advocate for.

    I am not going to make a case against animal experimentation here except to say that I don’t think it can be morally justified. That said, it’s the only use of animals that’s not transparently frivolous, so I don’t understand why animal rights activists focus so intently on it. Yes, we oppose it, but we aren’t going to gain any ground on the issue until a large percentage of the population cares enough to stop all of the transparently unnecessary uses of animals (think food, clothing and entertainment).

  141. #141 Chris
    March 31, 2011

    We don’t assume all of the animal rights folks are terrorists. Go up and read Orac’s first paragraph.

  142. #142 Kelly Gage
    March 31, 2011

    I support animal rights, animal welfare, whatever you want to call it. Anyone who hurts, terrorizes, threatens, intimidates well-intentioned researchers (probably 99+% of them) is a terrorist and does not represent me. If I ever see anyone suggesting this kind of behavior online or in person, I will call them out on it. The thing is, the vast majority of the “mainstream” sites and all of the (admitedly few) animal rights/welfare supporters that I know would agree with me and Orac, that these extremists are idiots.

  143. #143 SomeoneWhoLovesYou
    March 31, 2011

    Hey Chris, I’m happy to hear you don’t think all AR folks are terrorists, but I don’t think Orac’s first paragraph makes that as clear as you suggest. All instances of “animal rights activists” should have a modifier in front of it to the effect of, “few,” “some,” or “certain.” It’s is a very small minority of the AR crowd who are involved with crap like this and I wish that would be made more clear.

  144. #144 Chris
    March 31, 2011

    Sorry, he uses complex sentences and long words. Work on it a bit more.

  145. #145 larry
    March 31, 2011

    Here is a video on meat: http://meat.org

  146. #146 Chris
    April 1, 2011

    Larry, if you had some nice fresh crushed unpasteurized apple juice that just happened to have a bit of E-coli from deer droppings, would you take antibiotics? Knowing that antibiotics were tested on animals, and that if the infection continued your other option was multiple organ damage. What is your choice?

  147. #147 Heliantus
    April 1, 2011

    A bit late to the party, but there was something on my mind re:

    LisaG:

    Most of your future professors are going down in history with the likes of Natzi Dr. Mengala as a disgrace to your science.

    Since we are going for Godwin points, I cannot help thinking:

    – Hitler was believed to be a vegetarian, although this is still debated. He was at least for reducing meat consumption, if only to look like a dedicated ascetic.
    (source: Wikipedia, Hitler’s vegetarianism)
    – Hitler outlawed all forms of hunting on horse (fox hunting, deer hunting…) in 1933. The first country in Europe with such a hunting tradition to do this. Other countries outlawed it, but at least half a century later.
    (again, Wikipedia, French article about “Venerie / Chasse a courre”; funny enough, it’s not in the English article “Fox hunting”)
    (and even more funny, I agree with these decisions)

    Also, a number of AR activists propose alternate research modalities like this: {sean on the next thread]

    The sad thing is there’s child rapists, and murderers sitting in prison right now who had the choice of taking the right or wrong path. If you want accurate test results test on criminals not animals.

    I don’t know what was the nazi stand on animal experimentation, but they certainly believed in human experimentation on “criminals”.
    (and here, I do not agree. At all.)
    Granted, they cheated by declaring criminal some minorities as a whole, be it jews, gypsies, commies or gays.

    But I would conclude that nazis may not be a good example of people not carring for animals.
    On the other hand, they are very good examples of people not carring for humans, and also believing that might make right.

  148. #148 Dianne
    April 1, 2011

    I don’t know what was the nazi stand on animal experimentation,

    I’m pretty sure they were against it. For many of the same reasons articulated here: the animal is innocent, we’ve got all these “guilty” people who aren’t contributing anything, might as well use them, etc.

  149. #149 Jessica
    April 1, 2011

    Has anyone read the following comments written by Camille’s friends William Pucci and Rebecca? http://negotiationisover.com/one-monkey-cried-as-he-was-murdered-his-friend-was-left-inconsolable/#comments
    Do they sound so similar to Hitler’s purge of Jews, gypsies, commies or gays?

    Comment 1. William Pucci
    We experiment on monkeys and chimps because they are genetically close to us greedy humans? As I have said before why don’t we experiment on humans because we would get a better result and know for sure if it will work on a human. I know where we can can get humans to test on it called prison. I think all inmates serving life terms for murder,rape,kidnapping etc who have given up there rights should be tested on.

    Comment 4. Rebecca Says:
    April 1st, 2011 at 10:07 am
    Imagine the world without the murdering humans William Pucci…Vegan humans…But Good Vegans…There are nasty bugger vegans ya know…we don’t need them. A world with a gazillion Camille Marinos and the NIO crew and a healthy dose of people like me and well…you get the picture!

  150. #150 Heliantus
    April 1, 2011

    @ Jessica

    Do they sound so similar to Hitler’s purge [..]

    I’m uncomfortable with comparing anyone to Hitler (among other things, it dilutes the horror of the Holocaust), so if I give this impression in my previous post, I will apologize for it and take a step back.

    But to answer you question, yes, I cannot help drawing annoying parallels between past murderous ideologies, and that these AR extremists talk about: the dehumanization of their perceived foes, and the organized suffering and elimination of selected other human beings. Déjà vu all over again; despite all of our technological and artistic achievements, we are just a bunch of tribal cavemen.

    I will not call these AR extremists nazis, because they are not. Nazis are people following Hitler’s ideology. But I will call these AR guys dangerous, misguided idealistic people.

    The 2 people you quoted may be joking teenagers, but I don’t find the jokes very funny.

    The “[criminals] who have given up there rights” annoy me no end, too. Morale and rights should apply at all times to everybody, including (and especially) when it’s harder to respect them. It’s a bit too convenient to have rules on the lines “no murder, except when I don’t like the other guy”.

    Not that I blindly support animal experimentation. Or, for that matter, fur business, poaching or animal breeding factories. I have quite a number of concerns about animal use and abuse, actually. But I would prefer if the debate was not derailed by nasty name-calling.
    That these AR extremist do is completely counter-productive. As any terrorist, they just strengthen the position of the conservatives and hamper any discussion between the two sides.

    A pity. I believe that we need, as a society, as many checks and balances as possible to reduce people cheating and taking shortcuts.

    But a bunch of idealistic bullies, who talk about punishing my relatives for my faults, don’t care if their firebomb kills the old lady next door, and don’t even care if the animals they freed are going to die shortly thereafter their “liberation”?

    God, protect us from the righteous.

  151. #151 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 1, 2011

    So here’s something I do wonder about, about the AR extremists. There is a common flavor to their delusions, whether about these magical modalities that make animal research obsolete or all animal research being “vivisection” or all animal researchers being cackling cartoon sadists — instead of reasoning in the way that actually works, by examining the evidence and letting the evidence point to a conclusion, the thought patterns displayed in the ARE’s writing reflects a process of starting with the conclusion, and working backwards to the premises one wants. Examples:

    * There would be no need for animal research if everything accomplished with it could be accomplished just as well by alternative means. Therefore such alternatives exist.
    * If “animal research” included experiments where the animals are actually treated well, and there is no true cause to complain that they are being wronged, then it could be difficult to distinguish between animal research that is immoral to condone, and animal research that is immoral to oppose. Therefore, all animal research is automatically “vivisection”, even when it isn’t, and it’s always completely immoral.
    * If animal researchers were moral beings, who had weighed the questions of whether a given study was morally justifiable given the consequences to the experimental subjects but also the knowledge to be gained from the study that could prolong and enrich the lives of both humans and animals, then second-guessing the morality of those studies would require actually looking at specifics, and thinking about them in depth. Therefore all animal researchers are immoral beings who are actually seeking to cause suffering.

    The question I don’t know, though, is where this back-to-front thinking came in: is AR extremism something that attracts back-to-front thinkers? or does it attract people who want to leave the thinking to others, who hear back-to-front thinkers propounding superficially plausible doctrines and latch onto them? If only we knew… we might know how to get through to them, might have some hope of communicating concepts such as “threatening college students with car bombs is not moral, even when it’s done to save the fruit flies.”

  152. #152 DuWayne
    April 2, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar –

    is AR extremism something that attracts back-to-front thinkers? or does it attract people who want to leave the thinking to others, who hear back-to-front thinkers propounding superficially plausible doctrines and latch onto them?

    The answer of course is both. In many cases, both in the same individual. AR extremism is religious extremism without a supernatural component. It is predicated on contradictory dogmatic assertions that leave no room for nuance, compromise or even reason. The fundamental premise that the AR extremist movement is based on, is that humans should completely extricate themselves from the natural, animal world.

    AR extremism is not really about reducing animal suffering. The dogma of AR extremism accepts the movement away from human exploitation of non-human animals will cause a great deal of suffering for many of those animals. While I won’t claim that most of them really don’t care – I am sure that many of them do, I will certainly argue that their dogma is inconsistent with their own dogma. The belief that any and all human intervention in the lives of non-human animals overshadows ending the suffering of non-human animals. For many, if not most AR extremists, this premise extends to the rest of the natural world.

    I would strongly suggest that you watch Steven Best “The Politics of Nature,” either google it or click over to my blog and click on the “animal rights extremists” tag (or on the tag as it sits next to my most recent post) which can be found on the left sidebar, in a dropdown menu. He very concisely states the essence of the AR extremist/terrorist beliefs. Jerry Vlasak also has some interesting videos that I think really capture the intensity of the terrorist belief system. Where Best is very good at using rhetorical tools to carefully avoid explicitly calling for violence against humans, Vlasak is very explicit.

    As for the general following, keep in mind these are young people – mainly young men in their very late teens, early twenties. This is important because the midlateral prefrontal cortex isn’t “fully*” developed until somewhere between 21-25yrs. This is very likely where emotional cognition and decision making is mediated. This makes young people, especially young men, particularly susceptible to appeals to strong emotions. It is this factor that makes it relatively easy to recruit young men (and women to a slightly lesser degree) into the military, into cults, into charitable working organizations (ie. peace corps), activism and terrorist organizations.

    * Fully is largely inaccurate, as the brain never stops changing.

  153. #153 Teresa
    April 2, 2011

    Camille has a way with words that expresses all of our emotions very well. But all she said essentially was: “You know, someone is going to kick your ass some day!”
    That’s it. That’s all.

    You know what the last 3 days reminds me of? A bunch of kindergarteners sitting in a line playing the secret game. Its starts as one thing and ends as a totally irrelivant thing. Please tell me you people have more of a life than this.

  154. #154 Chris
    April 2, 2011

    Why do you think insulting us is a valid form of discussion? There are calls for bombing cars and open violence (“You know, someone is going to kick your ass some day!”). Add that to the obvious gaps in knowing what you are talking about, especially with using the term “vivisection” and you are left with this: Pot, meet kettle.

  155. #155 Vera
    April 2, 2011

    Hi Orac,
    I was wondering what you think about the psychologist Ginger Peterson, and what she has to say about cognitvie dissonance and meat consumption?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8n7kmO6oq0&feature=related

  156. #156 novalox
    April 2, 2011

    @teresa

    So you think that making threats, harassment, and defamation is equivalent to having a “way with words”?

    Lord, the amount of stupid in your statement makes me shake my head in disgust.

    And nice try with the ad hominem there. Really makes you look like a child there.

  157. #157 Chris
    April 2, 2011

    Vera, not much. Humans are omnivores. There might be an argument if B12 vitamin supplementation was not required.

  158. #158 herr doktor bimler
    April 3, 2011

    I was wondering what you think about the psychologist Ginger Peterson

    I will think about her as a psychologist when she finishes her PhD.

  159. #159 Vera
    April 3, 2011

    @ herr doktor

    It says on youtube that she is a therapist. How do you know that she doesn’t have a phd?

  160. #160 herr doktor bimler
    April 3, 2011

    On her facebook page she describes her current status as ‘preparing for her disquisition’. If that is out-of-date and she is now qualified, I will happily bear that in mind when weighing her opinions on diet.

  161. #161 Chris
    April 3, 2011

    Vera, not all of us do Facebook. Even if she has her doctorate it does not discount the need for humans to ingest B12 nutrients, which are animal derived. Plus to get the amount of protein to fuel a human brain you need a sufficient about of technology to transform certain vegetable proteins like soy for human function (tofu cheese does not grow on trees).

  162. #162 Vera
    April 3, 2011

    Well B12 can be supplemented now, and it’s my understanding that there are also plant sources of B12. Anyway, I think her focus was on factory farming more specifically, and the cognitive dissonance that is produced when supporting the industry, and purchasing the meat of a tortured animal.

  163. #163 Narad
    April 3, 2011

    Call me shallow, but I’d run like hell from a psychotherapist with a French manicure.

  164. #164 Vera
    April 3, 2011

    lol why would you run from a psychotherapist with a french manicure?

  165. #165 Narad
    April 3, 2011

    Cognitive dissonance, of course.

  166. #166 Chris
    April 3, 2011

    The point is that B12 supplementation is not exactly natural. Also the only B12 supplementation is from yeast cultures, which are not quite plant based (in our home we refer to them as “yeasty beasties”, you may think of them differently to make yourself feel better). So really, you cannot escape the fact that humans are actually omnivores.

    Also, you cannot exist as a vegan without modern food technology. Soy cheese still does not grow on trees.

  167. #167 Vera
    April 3, 2011

    Let’s not even get started on what’s unnatural that we ingest on a daily basis. Me thinks Chris jus doesn’t wanna give up his “tastey” meat.

  168. #168 herr doktor bimler
    April 3, 2011

    FWIW, I am as impressed as the next person by the impressive ability of the human mind to reduce the cognitive dissonance between what we know we should behave, and how we actually behave. We have so many strategies for that reduction!

    “Mistakes were Made” is a good popular account of cognitive-dissonance theory.

    Any snark directed at Ginger Peterson’s qualifications from people not a thousand miles from me are of course irrelevant to her actual arguments, and should be ignored by sensible readers.

  169. #169 Chris
    April 3, 2011

    Miss Vera, how do you satisfy your B12 requirements without taking supplements? Are you relying on the reserve you had before becoming vegan, or do you take supplements derived from yeastie beaties? Be truthful.

    And how processed is the soy you eat?

  170. #170 DuWayne
    April 3, 2011

    Vera –

    I’m not terribly impressed by Peterson’s arguments. She fails to really explain exactly what makes these conflicting ideas. The acceptance that factory farming causes harm to animals is not a belief that conflicts with choosing to eat such meat anyways. Believing something is a necessary evil is not cognitive dissonance.

    For CD to exist in this context, the individual must accept the premise that meat is not an essential part of a human’s diet, and/or they must accept that personal economics could allow them to live meat free. They also must make a firm commitment to actually caring about the welfare of factory farmed animals to the degree necessary to convince them that eating factory farmed meat is wrong. Having a visceral reaction to something does not equal believing it is unjustified, or absolutely wrong*.

    CD is a term that is used with far too much frequency, usually by people who believe that the premises involved are conflicting beliefs, accepted by those they accuse of CD. They make the assumption that everyone accepts those beliefs and sees them as being in conflict. Sometimes that is a valid assessment of the situation, while other times it is not. What is not and cannot be valid, is making generalized accusations of CD – much like Peterson does in that video. She is applying her own biases to others and drawing conclusions, based on the assumption that others are just like her.

    * Ex. I have a very visceral reaction to institutionalizing other human beings – whether in prisons, or mental health facilities. Yet I accept that they are justified, if not overused.

  171. #171 Vera
    April 3, 2011

    lol no yeastie beasties, I just take a daily supplement.

    Duwayne, you make some interesting arguments, but I’m not sure I agree with you when you say “The acceptance that factory farming causes harm to animals is not a belief that conflicts with choosing to eat such meat anyways.” A lot of people make the assumption that the animals are treated well, have access to open fields, and generally live a good life, and then at the time of slaughter, are rendered unconscious so that they feel no pain during dismemberment, and death. When they find out the ugly truth about how the animals are really treated is when the dissonance sets in. Most of us are raised to show kindness towards animals. Even if, say for example, a child were to mistreat a farm animal on a small, local farm, his or her parents would probably admonish the child even though the animal will eventually be killed and used for food.

    You also make the argument that meat is necessary to live. Having met vegans that have refrained from eating meat, or any animal products for that matter, for 20 and 30 years, clearly meat is not necessary to live a healthy life.

  172. #172 Chris
    April 3, 2011

    Vera:

    You also make the argument that meat is necessary to live. Having met vegans that have refrained from eating meat, or any animal products for that matter, for 20 and 30 years, clearly meat is not necessary to live a healthy life.

    The point is that they are only able to do that in a modern society where large agricultural companies can produce high protein legumes and grains (many of which are products of decades of selective breeding). Plus the technology required to create your B12 supplements from yeast, and the many soy and nut* based foods. To maintain a vegan lifestyle is to get far away from “natural.”

    It is vegan living through chemistry.

    * And it is very difficult when a vegan develops a nut allergy, which is precisely the reason one of my son’s college roommates has dropped out of college. He is a very sick young man. Don’t forget that soy is also among the top ten foods that causes allergies.

  173. #173 DuWayne
    April 3, 2011

    Vera –

    First points – not everyone actually cares about animal welfare and many people care more about affordable meat, than they do animal welfare. Again, they might have a visceral reaction to the way factory farming treats animals, while maintaining an acceptance of it. Cognitive dissonance isn’t a factor in any of those contexts.

    Second – I didn’t say that I personally believe meat is necessary to live, I am well aware that it isn’t. While I do eat some meat these days, I have subsisted on a vegan diet in the past and have many friends who still do. As it stands, I eat relatively little meat even now. I would daresay that I am as aware as any vegan, of how to provide the body with all necessary nutrients without meat or other animal products.

    My point wasn’t referring to me and my beliefs. Rather, I was referring to the very large percentage of teh population that believes meat is essential. Cognitive dissonance is based on beliefs, not reality.

  174. #174 Todd W.
    April 3, 2011

    All those ARA, vegan types can shove off. I mean, look at all the carnage they wreak on poor, defenseless vegetables! At least animals have some manner of active defenses, like claws, teeth or running away. But what about the plants? What can they do? Humans have purposefully removed their defenses (poisonous chemicals) and bred them to be sweeter and tastier. They deprive them of free growth, restricting them to farms, then heartlessly mowing them down, sometimes literally.

    Free the veggies!

  175. #175 Dedj
    April 3, 2011

    The most interesting thing of the last few discussions about this subject has been (for me at least) the mention of the number of drugs that animal research has developed for animals.

    Somehow, the arguement that AR has resulted in dozens of new drugs that benefit animals with AIDS and leukaemia(and head injuries and, and ,and) was turned into an arguement against AR.

    Yes, the ARA in question truly believes that the benefit to animals is irrelevant. All that matters is teh humanz.

  176. #176 Militant Agnostic
    April 3, 2011

    Dedj @175

    Yes, the ARA in question truly believes that the benefit to animals is irrelevant. All that matters is teh emotions of teh self important humanz.

    FTFY

  177. #177 David N. Brown
    April 4, 2011

    The ironic thing about this is that college students have, by long experience, been the major recruiting base for “animal rights” and any number of other social-reform causes. So, trying to turn students on each other is an easy way to drive otherwise sympathetic students awaay from one’s cause.

    Another thing: When organized groups commit illegal acts to further a cause, it is fairly standard procedure to claim/accept responsibility. Thus, discussing illegal acts as freely and SPECIFICALLY as Marino does is rather counterproductive. Disclosing too much beforehand carries not only the risk of being reported, but of on one hand having someone else take “credit” for actions you committed or on the other hand being blamed when someone else carries out a similar (possibly more destructive) action on his own initiative.

  178. #178 SomeoneWhoLovesYou
    April 4, 2011

    Chris @ 144: “Sorry, he uses complex sentences and long words. Work on it a bit more.”

    Your smug condescension is completely warranted and refreshing to read. Thanks!

    I don’t know why you would assume I’m unable to understand complex sentences or long words, or why you would think I haven’t already worked on it quite a bit. I read the paragraph several times before writing my comment, and I stand by it. I know! You must be shocked to hear that your insightful comment didn’t cause me to instantly change my mind.

    Anyway, I feel compelled to pick parts out of the paragraph in order to illustrate what I mean. I’m not criticizing for the sake of criticizing here. I’m trying to make a point that the author’s generalizations perpetuate the idea that all animal rights folks are irrational crazed terrorists.

    –“I’ve made no secret of my disdain for self-proclaimed “animal rights” activists, the ones who are more than willing to terrorize scientists doing research to understand disease better and thereby develop better treatments and even cures.”–

    I’m a self-proclaimed “animal rights” activist, but I don’t terrorize scientists. I assume that he’s saying he has disdain for “the ones” from NIO and the like, but the phrasing of this sentence does not do a good enough job of making that clear. Why not write, “for certain self-proclaimed rights activists?” As it stand now, “the ones” could refer to all self-proclaimed “animal rights” activists.

    Yes, an animal rights activist is, by definition (though that depends on who you ask, I suppose), opposed to animal testing. I would argue that they are also opposed to violence against those who test on animals. So I agree with Orac’s choice to put quotes around “animal rights” in this sentence, since those who threaten other sentient beings with violence have a pretty limited understanding of the concept of animal rights.

    On the other hand, it’s possible that he placed quotes there because he felt that anyone who is against the testing of animals in order to increase the quality and quantity human life is not an animal rights activist since they don’t respect the “right” of the human animal to do whatever it pleases in order to increase its quality and quantity of life. Maybe that’s not what he meant. But if it is, he has some serious reading up on animal rights philosophy to do.

    –“There is a difference between animal rights and animal welfare; animal rights activists in essence equate a mouse with a rat with a dog with a pig with a human being.”–

    There are differing views on whether or not an animal rights activist has to be someone who fully equates a mouse with a human being. I would say that I do not equate the two, since they are, in many ways, not equal. The way that they are equal, however, is that they are both sentient beings who have an interest in not suffering and continuing to exist. In that way they are equal, so in regard to those interests they deserve equal treatment (this is the principle of equal consideration which is the cornerstone of any logically consistent moral theory).

    So I agree with Orac that there is a big difference (huge, even) between animal rights and animal welfare. The problem is that he sets up this dichotomy within the context of the preceding and proceeding sentences. It implies that the welfare folks are the rational ones, while the rights folks are the ones who terrorize animal experimenters.

    –“In any case, I’ve reported how animal rights activists have tried to intimidate scientists through terrorism and intimidate their children, using dubious scientific and moral arguments to justify their actions.”–

    Again, there’s no effort to convey the fact that those who try to intimidate scientists are in an extreme minority within the animal rights community (and I would argue that they aren’t even in the community at all, for reasons I’ve already stated). A simple “certain” in front of “animal rights activists” would do a better job of reflecting reality. I’m left wondering why Orac doesn’t take this step. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that the respectful, everyday animal rights activists who don’t intimidate scientists still oppose animal testing. I suppose it doesn’t hurt his case to lump us all into one psychopathic group even if that lumping doesn’t reflect reality, though I would expect more from a Scienceblog.

    –“Indeed, one of the movement’s high priests, disgraced trauma surgeon Dr. Jerry Vlasak even argues that murder is an acceptable in his cause.”–

    What “movement?” The animal rights movement? Why is it that none of the animal rights activists I know have ever mentioned the guy? Seriously, I had to google him. It turns out that he’s loud and says stupid shit. Of course he gets attention from those outside of the animal rights community. Holding him up as a leader of the movement allows everyone to believe that animal rights activists are all bat shit crazy and that allows for the animal rights position to be ridiculed and marginalized. Animal rights must be a crazy position if this guy is their high priest!

    More sentences from Orac’s post that perpetuate the idea that NIO is representative of the animal rights movement:

    “Unfortunately, her willingness to speak her mind ran her afoul of hte [sic] animal rights movement.”

    “Clearly, Ghazal abused Alena’s peace until she gave in, which is the way animal rights activists work, just like criminal thugs.”

    “Despicable smear campaigns do appear to be the animal rights movement’s stock in trade, which is why I have likened the anti-vaccine movement to the animal rights movement.”

    “Basically, to the animal rights movement “education” consists of harassment and intimidation.”

    “On the other hand, college students don’t usually have children whom the animal rights movement can threaten; so they are probably less susceptible than established scientists to threats against family.”

    These aren’t particularly complex sentences and there aren’t even many long words. There are, on the other hand, quite a few unfortunate generalizations about animal rights activists and the animal rights movement.

    It’s no surprise then that these generalizations appear in the comments:

    “The tyranny of the animal-rights activist has to stop.”

    “The real irony is that animal rights activists have such small minds, they could benefit a lot from having a vivisected rat brain inserted into their heads as a better substitute.”

    “Well, that says a lot about the ARAs’ mindset: animals have rights, but humans are nothing but zombies, so that makes it okay to kill humans but not animals. Justifications for indiscriminate terrorism come fast and easy with that lot.”

    Again, I’m an animal rights activist and I reject NIO’s rhetoric and tactics and think they are a bunch of misguided, juvenile chest-pounders. They don’t speak for me, nor do they speak for any of the many animal rights activists I know.

  179. #179 SomeoneWhoLovesYou
    April 4, 2011

    @Militant Agnostic #38

    I agree. Also, it’s pretty short-sighted to think that there aren’t any other critters living in the ducts of that building. Or a janitor somewhere cleaning the floor. There’s no way to verify that the building is void of sentient live, so they’re basically gambling with life.

    That, and it does nothing whatsoever to help the cause of animal rights.

  180. #180 Beamup
    April 4, 2011

    SWLY:

    Based on your description, your position has very little in common with that typically described as “animal rights” while pretty much exactly matching that position typically described as “animal welfare.” You do yourself no service by adopting the label that has, like it or not, come to be irrevocably associated with terrorism.

  181. #181 SomeoneWhoLovesYou
    April 4, 2011

    @Orac #42 “Maybe the sane AR activists are intimidated by these nutjobs too.”

    First off, thank you for pointing out that there are sane animal rights advocates.

    I can tell you for certain that this is the case. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. I have a wife and young children. There’s a reason I am not posting these comments under my actual name. If I didn’t have kids, I wouldn’t give a shit. But given the rhetoric that comes out of NIO, I refuse to take chances.

    That said, there have been plenty of blog posts in the past rejecting the use of violence (and the use of threats of violence) in animal rights advocacy. Here’s one, for example:

    http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/a-comment-on-violence/

    And while you’re there, I suggest checking out this post, which sort of fleshes out the idea that I touched on in a previous comment about how the majority of animal rights activists are not violent, yet the perception is that most of us are.

    http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/on-vivisection-and-violence/

  182. #182 Narad
    April 4, 2011

    In that way they are equal, so in regard to those interests they deserve equal treatment (this is the principle of equal consideration which is the cornerstone of any logically consistent moral theory).

    Beg pardon?

  183. #183 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    April 4, 2011

    @MaryL: “Plus, the scientific research has shown Lovaas’ methods to be the only methods proven to help autistic children gain functioning. I know it is not warm and fuzzy, but it works I’ll take that over warm and fuzzy educational placebos anyday.”

    1- the scientific evidence actually has shown that the ‘work’ done by Lovaas did not satisfy the requirements for proper scientific investigation, and nor did the success claimed for it find any justification in later behaviour analytic research (they found – under proper controlled studies – that effects sizes were much smaller; they also left out the use of aversives which were an ever-present part of Lovaas’ ‘work’).

    2- behaviour analytic work done properly is educational, not clinical: this is because it is about skill development and maintenance, not about changing the basic nature of the person.

    3- much of what is done in behaviour analytic work these days is very different from Lovaas’ ‘work’, and owes more to Skinner’s original paradigm of operant conditioning… which did not include the use of aversives (Skinner was against their use, and for good reason).

  184. #184 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    April 5, 2011

    More for MaryL here…

    In 2009, Howlin et al published a systematic review of the literature on behaviour analytic work conducted with autistic children. The findings of this review included the following:

    “… there is strong evidence that EIBI is effective for some, but not all, children with autism spectrum disorders, and there is wide variability in response to treatment.”

    In other words, response to this way of working can be very strong but not in every case in which it is used.

    Spreckley & Boyd (2009), however, came to this following conclusion: that behavioural intervention “… did not significantly improve outcomes compared with standard care of preschool children with ASD in the areas of cognitive outcome, expressive language, receptive language, and adaptive behaviour.”

    Regarding Lovaas’ own interpretation of behaviour analytic work, it must be said that his study was one study. Even if USD’s MIND Institute claim that Lovaas’ approach was ‘well-established’, there are serious criteria for the appropriate use of this term. Appropriate use, under the APA ruling on the matter, is defined as follows:

    “Criteria for well-established treatments:

    I. At least two good group design studies, conducted by different
    investigators, demonstrating efficacy in one or more of the following
    ways:

    a. Superior to pill or psychological placebo or to another treatment. i

    b. Equivalent to an already established treatment in studies with
    adequate statistical power (about 30 per group)

    OR

    II. A large series of single case design studies demonstrating
    efficacy. These studies must:

    a. Use good experimental designs and

    b. Compare the intervention to other treatments as in I.a.

    III. Studies must be conducted with treatment manuals.

    IV. Characteristics of the client samples must be clearly specified.”

    http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~dgthomas/div17.html

    I have to leave this café now, but I shall return to explain what this means when I have found another place to sit and work.

  185. #185 jennifer
    April 17, 2011

    i’m fairly certain you are an animal abuser. if you eat meat, you take part in animal abuse. you obviously think you are more important than animals, and have decided they are here for you to treat however you like. you are an animal abuser, and anything else you tell yourself is a lie. at least admit to it. if you like to eat and experiment on animals, proclaim it proudly. i like killing animals! i like watching them suffer! at least do that. lying to yourself and others is just sad.

  186. #186 Chris
    April 17, 2011

    Jennifer, do you make blanket assumptions for every person you come into contact with?

  187. #187 Doc Rocketscience
    April 17, 2011

    Oh, jennifer, go kill yourself a plant for lunch. The grownups are talking.

  188. #188 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 17, 2011

    I like to eat meat. I have killed animals (insects, fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and mammals) for food and as a way to eliminate certain pests. I have relatively few moral qualms about animals being killed for food. I don’t harbor most animals (particularly food animals) any ill will, and would prefer they suffer no more than is necessary.

  189. #189 Ruth
    April 17, 2011

    jennifer,

    Do you consider capital letters to be part of the patriarchal system? Jennifer, just tell yourself, “I like being a sanctimonious twit.” Please wear a med alert telling emergency staff not to use treatments tested on animals to save your life.

    I have killed animals, with as little pain as was possible. Those rats often had more personality than the smug animal rights advocates like you.

  190. #190 panax
    November 26, 2011

    Even if USD’s MIND Institute claim that Lovaas’ approach was ‘well-established’, there are serious criteria for the appropriate use of this term..

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