The LA Times has an article today about the founder of the UCLA chapter of Pro-Test, David Jentsch, a neuroscientist whose car was torched last month by animal rights extremist. This point is particularly relevant:
“People always say: ‘Don’t respond. If you respond, that will give [the attackers] credibility,’ ” Jentsch, 37, said in a recent interview in his UCLA office. “But being silent wasn’t making us feel safer. And it’s a moot point if they are coming to burn your car anyway, whether you give them credibility or not.”
Jentsch is right. The lesson of Pro-Test Oxford was that silence only encourages the extremists, and scientists have to stand up for their work in order for any real change to occur.
Just to put all of this in perspective, though, this is what the animal rights extremists have to say about the attack:
Two days after Jentsch’s car was burned, a profanity-laced Internet message from the murky Animal Liberation Brigade took credit for the fire, as it had for past UCLA assaults.
“The things you and others like you do to feeling, sentient monkeys is so cruel and disgusting we can’t believe anyone would be able to live with themselves,” the message read. “David, here’s a message just for you, we will come for you when you least expect it and do a lot more damage than to your property.”
Jerry Vlasak, a Los Angeles-area physician and frequent spokesman for the animal rights movement, said he and fellow activists do not participate in the attacks and do not know who is behind them, although he sympathizes with the actions.
Jentsch, according to Vlasak, “is hurting and killing non-human primates every day. And if it took harming him to make him stop torturing, it is certainly morally justifiable.”
Vlasak is so full of it. Whether or not he personally participates in the attacks is really immaterial, given that, as a spokesman for the terrorist organization ALF, he’s one of the primary people responsible for publicizing these various attacks and giving extremists a platform to incite more violence. And, his statements on the lengths that he thinks animal rights activists should go to in order to stop animal research are absolutely chilling.