Pharyngula

Terrorism works!

A neurobiologist at UCLA, Dario Ringach, has stopped doing research on primates. The reason?

Colleagues suggested that Ringach, who did not return e-mails seeking comment, was spooked by an attack on a colleague. In June, the Animal Liberation Front took credit for trying to put a Molotov cocktail on the doorstep of Lynn Fairbanks, another UCLA researcher who does experimentation on animals. The explosive was accidentally placed on the doorstep of Fairbanks’s elderly neighbor’s house, and did not detonate.

Whoa. Incompetence and thuggish violence—what a combination. I love animals and think they needed to be treated with care and respect (although, if our cat pees on the furniture one more time…), and I can sympathize with people who are concerned about animal research. I would suggest, though, that they spend less time firebombing people and more time working for their local humane society. It’s penny wise and pound foolish to harrass scientists when all you have to do is visit your local grocery store’s dumpster to find malnourished, diseased, and injured cats scavenging for something to eat. Or look into animal hoarding—it’s more common than you might think.

Whatever you do, though, don’t throw away your moral compass as some fanatics do.

Jerry Vlasak, a practicing physician, a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Press Office, and a former animal researcher, said that “obviously the roughly 30 non-human primates [Ringach] was killing every year would be ecstatic” with his decision to halt his work. Vlasak said that when he was an animal researcher, he published papers on his work, but didn’t feel that he contributed anything important to society. As to the Molotov cocktail, Vlasak said that “force is a poor second choice, but if that’s the only thing that will work … there’s certainly moral justification for that.”

Why, no. No there isn’t.

It’s really that simple.

There is no excuse for bombing people. There is especially no excuse for being so stupid that you try to bomb random people. What this is is terrorism, plain and simple, and Dario Ringach is a victim of domestic terrorism.

(via Virtually Shocking)