Many of my ScienceBloglings have rightly called out animal rights terrorists who target researchers’ children. They are absolutely right to do so. The one issue I have is that I often read something along the lines of “Terrorism is wrong, regardless of if you’re for or against animal rights…” Actually, I’m not willing to disregard that at all. In the midst of condemning these thugs, we need to remember something very important: the consequences of the ideas that non-violent animal rights advocates hold are still reprehensible. Outsourced to ScienceBlogling Mark (italics mine):
Personally, I’m a strong supporter of animal research. Of course it’s important to minimize any pain and suffering that is inflicted on the animals used in research – but people who do the research, and the organizations that oversee them, are extremely careful about ensuring that. And animal research shouldn’t be done for trivial purposes: the work must be important enough to justify subjecting living creatures to it. But the results are worth the cost. I can say for certain that I wouldn’t be alive today without the results of animal research: I had life-saving surgery using a technique that was developed using animals. I rely on medications that were originally developed using animal models. My mother is alive today because of animal research: she’s diabetic, and relies on both insulin and medications which were developed using animal research. My father survived cancer for 15 years because of animal research: his cancer was treated using a radiation therapy technique that was generated using animal research. My sister isn’t a cripple today, because of animal research. She had severe scoliosis which would have crippled her, but which was corrected using a surgical technique developed using animals. My wife would be terribly ill without animal research: she’s got an autoimmune disorder that damages the thyroid; people with it need to take thyroid hormone replacements, developed – all together now – using animal research. I could easily go on: there’s probably barely a person alive today who hasn’t benefited dramatically from animal research. It’s an essential tool of science.
Sure, most are non-violent–and mean it–but what they stand for would cause immense suffering and death. That too, is reprehensible.