Earlier today, I posted a review of The Animal Research War, which details the lengths that animal rights extremists are willing to go to in order to further their cause. Coincidently, the AP yesterday published a detailed article on the rise of animal rights extremism in the US. Here’s a taste:
In the hills above the University of California’s Berkeley campus, nine protesters gathered in front of the home of a toxicology professor, their faces covered with scarves and hoods despite the warm spring weather.
One scrawled “killer” in chalk on the scientist’s doorstep, while another hurled insults through a bullhorn and announced, “Your neighbor kills animals!” Someone shattered a window.
Borrowing the kind of tactics used by anti-abortion demonstrators, animal rights activists are increasingly taking their rage straight to scientists’ front doors.
Over the past couple of years, more and more researchers who experiment on animals have been harassed and terrorized in their own homes, with weapons that include firebombs, flooding and acid.
Scientists say the vandalism and intimidation threaten not just themselves and their families but the future of medical research. Specialists in such fields as addiction, eyesight and the aging brain have been targeted.
“It used to be everyone was worried about their laboratories being broken into and their data being destroyed, their animals being taken away,” said Jeffrey Kordower, head of the Society for Neuroscience’s animal research committee. “What they’ve decided to do now is make things more personal.”
Accompanying the attacks is increasingly tough talk from activists such as Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front press office. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said he is not encouraging anyone to commit murder, but “if you had to hurt somebody or intimidate them or kill them, it would be morally justifiable.”
The Washington-based Foundation for Biomedical Research said researchers were harassed or otherwise victimized more than 70 times in 2003, up from just 10 the year before. The number of attacks has held steady or risen ever since, according to the group.
The quote from the ALF spokesperson is particularly revealing. For more, check out the full article.
Hat tip to Jacquie Calnan of Americans for Medical Progress.