Just to be sure I am very clear, I do not believe that all animal rights activists are terrorists or extremists. I make three distinctions that are very important. First are the activists - people who engage in peaceful protest and sometimes in peaceful civil disobedience. They belong in the very reasonable category of activist, even though I believe they are wrong. Then there are the extremists, people who do not engage in, but who advocate violence and other terror tactics. And finally there are the terrorists - people who engage in terror tactics. There is a great deal of difference between activism and the latter two categories, while there is only a fine line between the last two. When I am writing about animal rights issues, I am generally not talking about the activists, except insofar as I am talking about something they believe in too.
I just received an email from the David Jentsch PhD, of the organization Pro-Test. Apparently some animal rights extremist web sites have noticed the petition that, if you have yet to sign, you should absolutely sign now. While they do not publicize your personal information, your name does appear and some extremists are now doing searches for information on signatories and harassing us.
Yesterday, a few websites hosted by animal rights activists have encouraged their readerships to visit the list of Pro-Test signatories in order to find names and to contact those persons to express their opposition to animal research. While your email addresses on the RaisingVoices.net website are secure and not publicly listed, the animal rights groups encourage people to use the wide array of Internet tools to find contact information and to use it.
I just got a response to a request for the specific sites involved; The websites "Negotiation Is Over" and "Thomas Paines Corner," have simulposted a piece entitled; "Pro-Test Was Kind Enough to Provide a Directory of Vivisectors." Please be warned that these are extremist hate sites.
David Jentsch was one of the growing ranks of scientists who happen to do research that involves animals, to be attacked by these terrorists, in March of this year. Unlike many of the victims of these attacks - ten on UCLA professors in the past three years, Dr. Jentsch decided that enough was enough and taking the cue from colleagues in the UK, Pro-Test came to the U.S.
As many of you know, I am an ardent opponent of terrorism, regardless of the cause they claim to support. Over the last several months I have tangled with animal rights extremists online, on several occasions. They sometimes pay lip service to opposing these terrorist fucking bastards, but it is more than a little obvious that they have a great deal of sympathy and some have outright appreciation for their actions. I have been vaguely threatened by a couple of these assholes and expect to be in the future.
Terrorism is - always is inexcusable. I have denounced terrorism in the name of environmental issues, losing friends in the process. I have denounced terrorism among the Palestinians - again, losing friends in the process. And I have denounced terrorism for animal rights - and refused to join protests at OHSU, yet again, losing friends in the process. I was told by some of those same animal rights extremist friends, that I am evil. That I am disgusting and my support of animal testing is little different than offering my children for experimentation. I was told that karma would come back on me for being such a horrible fucking person.
Makes me wish there was such a thing as karma, because I am pretty sure that some scumbag who firebombed someone's car, terrorized someone else's family, blowing up labs and generally terrorizing people - intimidating people to get them to do what the want - they would have some serious repercussions for that. And now these people are out to intimidate some more - over the internets no less. Well, good on them for letting us know that our efforts - small as they may be on the parts of many of us, are not in vain. It is nice to know that they are displeased and feel the need to try to stop us from apposing their extremist and often terrorist agenda.
So please, if you have not signed, now is the time to lend your support. Let these vile cretins know that you support science, you support medicine, you support a better understanding of disease, you support new medicines and improving old ones.
Let them know you support a better future for your parents, your children, your grandchildren, your friends - yourself. Let them know you support the scientists who are helping make that better future and will not tolerate violence against them.