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Saturday, December 8, 2007

The monkeys are smarter

If you're an activist, the best thing you can do for animals is not act like one yourself.

Comments (22)

Protests outside these "researchers" homes didn't generate press time, yet some spray paint and thinner did.

A quick google search on your site has two mentions of ALF ... both in comments. They've succeeded in getting their message out through this action, having failed to attract your attention through their protests outside this "researcher's" house.

The reason groups like ALF are resorting to actions like this is simple = presstime. (I'm not calling it terrorism, regardless of what the FBI says; the OK city bombing is domestic terrorism ... this is vandalism). They politely protest for years without coverage, but some spray paint and thinner gives them coverage through the local news and blogosphere. Its effective.

I have to disagree that it's not terrorism. The goal is to change public policy, and they use violence. The fact that they just wreck a car is irrelevant. If a Hamas car bomb went off in Jerusalem but damaged only property without killing anyone, that would certainly be terrorism. So is this.

I suspect the researcher and his family feel terrorized.

Definitions of terrorism include several components, many of which are not found in these actions. Wikipedia's article tracks nicely with the sociology of terrorism class I took in undergrad.

Most importantly, terrorism is targeted against "civilians" or "non-combatants." Since this researcher was actively engaged in the practice to which ALF is protesting, he isn't considered a bystander -- he's the target. This differs from the Hamas example above in that that destruction was NOT targeted. Had the Hamas bomb went off against a specified target (i.e. an IDF warehouse), it would have been a legitimate combat tactic, not terrorism under any definition.

In addition, the destruction of personal property without threat to life is not violence. Violence requires a victim to be the subject of the force ... and an SUV doesn't have feelings.

Just to clarify though: I don't think vandalism is an appropriate tactic for social change. It encourages people to dismiss their very real points as "terrorism" without dealing with the very real facts of animal cruelty.

My point is merely that (1) its gotten the attention desired, and (2) its not terrorism.

"The saboteurs hinted in a written claim of responsibility that if the scientist didn't quit the "torture industry," their next attack might include firebombs. "

Gee, that sounds like a threat of violence to me...

"A lot of what comes out of this place alleviates human and animal suffering," said Michael Conn, the acting head of the primate center's animal services division.

oh, the ends justify the means. now i get it.

what a profound statement: testing Monkeys until they're dead or mutilated alleviates animal suffering.

I don't think vandalism is an appropriate tactic for social change.

yeah, that Boston Tea Party fiasco was completely inappropriate.

I have sometimes wondered whether the ALF is a straw creation of the medical research establishment itself to distract public attention away from both real debate and real abuses. It seemed to become visible and active in the mid-1980s shortly after the Animal Welfare Act was enacted.

One of the problems of which I am aware is that the act doesn't provide that researchers obtain subject animals legally. Last I heard, Earl Bluenauer was sponsoring a bill to close that loophole. It is a huge problem, but it goes beyond the legality of the source; obtaining research animals from shelters IS legal in most states, including Oregon. And this creates a pretty obvious conflict of interest.

Given that the pen is mightier than the monkey wrench, I will be happy when the press starts to realize that research scientists are human like the rest of us and as in need of watchdogging and critiquing as any other vested interest.

As for the FBI, after the Brandon Mayfield debacle and its studied indifference to Oregon real estate shenanigans, does anyone stiil take it seriously?

Earl Bluenauer? I rather like it.


ECCENTRIC has determined that your chosen profession is offensive in the extreme. We have decided now is the time to FIGHT BACK!

Educuate Chris Coyle in Egalitarian Notional Transaction Related Income Corps (ECCENTRIC) will vandalize your property tonight unless you seek employment more closely aligned with ECCENTRIC's definition of right and wrong. We will not harm you or your family pets, we just want to throw acid on your cars, smash a few windows, and then fax an anonymous email (taking full credit!) from a nearby Kinkos. Because we are trying to get the word out about how much we dislike your choice of employment (nothing personal).

Would you feel terrorized if you believed this message to be true? While I'm being facetious, I am trying to personalize the casual dismissal of "mere" property crimes.

I certainly don't condone these acts of vandalism.

However, I had a close acquaintance who was a researcher at the Primate Center. He gave up work not only at the Primate Center, but in the health care research field entirely because of what he witnessed at the Center. According to what he told me, the prime researchers on several projects were, according to him, sadists in regards to how they treated their animal subjects. This person had no problems with animal testing, but he was appalled at how much totally unnecessary abusive behavior was directed at the animals who had no defense and no escape. Those attitudes, along with the arrogance which stalks that profession in particular, compelled him to get out.

I no longer trust a thing which the National (formerly Oregon) Primate Research Center releases to the media. Plus, it's part and parcel of the urban cancer known as OHSU, a well-known source of entirely candid public information. ;^l

I know a young lawyer who once was a microbiology grad student at Northwestern in Chicago. She told me she could not handle the systematic disregard of animal life she saw; ;in particular of a student who overslept, and so had a flunky euthanize his animal subjects so he could start over later. I think arrogance blinds people. I periodically see big O editorials that stres we need animal studies for the "fresh insight" they give scientists; I suggest they start with learning some kindness and humility, as well as how to carry on a debate about a subject that ultimately does matter: how we treat helpless beings who are part of God's creation.

Godfry and Cynthia

I totally agree that there should be humane treatment of the animals. Let's ask ecohuman: "what does ALF considers the humane treatment of animals for research purposes?"

When he have an answer, then we can go forward.

one question that i keep asking is this:

what does this kind of testing make of *us*, as human beings? any possible correlation between how we treat the world and how we've come to use all kinds of animals (dogs, cats, monkeys, rats, many others) as meat puppets for drug testing?

nobody seems to be curious about the answer.

oh, and just for Mike, here's a 9-minute global warming education:

I'm curious, ecohuman. And it seems to m,Mike, that the ALF wants to abolish testing on animals. One question I have is whether researchers are resourceful enough to solve problems without animals.

Something I found laughable in another recent O article on the Primate Center was its assertion that the public would trust a bureaucracy- like USDA over some activist. Anyone who has ever worked in Ad Law knows how brilliant and trustworthy bureaucracies tend to be. The reasoning and grounding of these people is strictly from hunger.


Don't make the mistake of assuming you think you know my take on global warming. You would be making a huge mistake.

Damn right, no animal testing. Everything should be tested on humans instead. Everyone needs a first job, right?
Hey, I wonder if the current workforce for the "jobs Americans arent doing" will take up the slack?

Don't make the mistake of assuming you think you know my take on global warming. You would be making a huge mistake.


really? then ignore the video. or, give your actual opinion on global warming.

That's why I wonder if the ALF is a strawman-we get into either or and us vs them time water arguments instead of looking at possibilities and having a discussion.


I have said nothing about global warming here on this thread or to the best of my knowledge, ever on this site. The only way you would know of my views of GW would be to see my blog. THat is the appropriate forum for this discussion.

We are debating the role of animals in medical research here. Thank. Look forward to your visit to my blog.


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