UCLA challenges AR misinformation

In the rush of other news including the SfN conference and the Pro-Test for Science gathering I forgot to mention this important development.

On Sunday, October 18th, UCLA put a full page advert in the LA Times aimed at educating the public on the important role of animals in lifesaving medical research. On top of this it spells out its opposition to animal rights extremism and urges readers to sign the Pro-Test Petition.

Inroads against disease can originate from a variety of sources. Yet there is overwhelming agreement among physicians, veterinarians and scientists that laboratory animals provide invaluable and irreplaceable models for human systems and for how the human body functions. While the vast majority of research conducted at UCLA does not involve the use of animals,this work has played an essential role in creating lifesaving breakthroughs that could not have been accomplished without it.

View the full advert here.

UCLA Advert LA TimesIt is bold actions like this, aimed at winning hearts and minds, which can have the most effect in dismantling support for extremist actions, and consequently their activities. Speaking of Research applaud this step forward in clearly explaining why animal research is crucial for medical progress. I finish this post as the advert does, by urging readers who have not done so to sign the Pro-Test Petition.

UCLA needs and welcomes your support on this critical issue. While questioning our work is everyone’s right, attacking our researchers and administrators is criminal. To add your name to thousands who’ve signed a Pro-Test petition that supports this necessary work, please visit www.raisingvoices.net.

Regards

Tom Holder

16 responses to “UCLA challenges AR misinformation

  1. Oh I did get legal help and recieved compensation. He was arrested and his house raided but then came the threats to at least one witness and inevitably I have been hounded ever since. By the way very often the police do not understand the law and make illegal arrests and assaults which is why I have successfully sued them 8 times. You as the blue eyed boys and girls of the establishment will not understand this, hopefully you never will, if you ever do the slide into a police state will be complete.
    Camomile works with some people, why not use it, so what if it is just a placebo

  2. I suggest if you unnecessarily attacked by a police officer that you seek legal help – we are not promoting violence on either side of the fence. Providing you were entirely complicit with the police officer’s instructions he should have no reason to resort to violence.

    I suggest the effect of camomile is:
    a) likely to be largely placebo – if it cannot be recreated under lab conditions
    b) not useful to those in severe pain

    The Lancet did a review of over 100 homeopathic trials and concluded that it had no benefit above a placebo. As I understand, acupuncture is one of the few “alternative medicines” with results significantly above and beyond that of a placebo.

  3. Human milk banks HAVE been established, there is one where I work mothers can donate milk which is screened to feed small and sick babies whose own mothers can not breastfeed. Whereas of course we disagree about experiments on animals there are many ways to alleviate suffering. I am often in a lot of pain due to the injuries inflicted by that police officer. I could be dosed up on all sorts of pain killers but my GP recommended chiropracty and exercise for my trapped nerve. If I am in a lot of pain I often find that a small ammount of alcohol works. Pain is incredibly complex and we all percieve pain differently in my job there are many different reactions to childbirth from serenity and even enjoyment to agony and terror. If frankinsense is calming to many pre op patients why not offer it? I know of surgeons who recommend that patients buy arnica to alleviate bruising, why not make that standard? I have known camomile tea and lavender work where temazepam failed surely a cup of tea is far less invasive? Just because some of these things have not been “proven” to work in a laboratory setting this does not mean that they do not work.
    I know little about homeopathy and I am no expert in what is called “alternative medicene” but certainly in my practice aromatherapy is quite a useful tool. Properly qualified herbalists, accupuncturists etc have a knowledge base that should be utilised far more than it is now. I do agree with you that “conventional” medicene is essential in many cases but why not have the best of both worlds with far more emphasis on prevention and health?

  4. “A good model for healthcare would start with the promotion of breastfeeding and human milk banks for mothers who were unable to breastfeed followed by a good healthy eating model and an abolition of the promotion of junk food to children with exercise.”

    I doubt you’ll find a single person involved with Speaking of Research who would disagree with this, such measures would without doubt contribute to a healthier society (though human milk banks might be difficult to establish) but the fact is that even with such measures there will still be a necessity for medical intervention in many cases.

    Any medical intervention carries risks of adverse effects, and the more serious the intervention the greater the risk of adverse effects usually is. Many very useful drugs have adverse effects that are an unavoidable, though usually managable, consequence of their mode of action. I don’t doubt that in some cases drugs are sometimes prescribed without enough care to avoid interactions etc. and some doctors are too willing to prescribe drugs such as antibiotics and statins when they are not necessary with all the attendent problems this overprescription cause, but this is an argument against the misuse of medicines, not against the medicines themselves. Nevertheless thanks to medical advances many people now survive injuries and diseases that would in years gone by have killed them.

    I don’t share your enthusiasm for alternative medicine, especially homeopathy, the one woo to rule them all, and as for chiropractic while it does appear to be of benefit for some types of back pain all I can really say is “Simon Singh”. I certainly recognize the power of the placebo effect, and the benefits to a parients well being of a pleasant atmosphere and a sympathetic medic. IMHO the NHS could learn a lot by asking itself a lot more often why people turn to alternative medicine when the evidence for benefits from it is so weak.

    As to the necessity of animal research in developing new medical treatments I have studied enough to be convinced that it plays an indispensible role, and will do for some years to come. Certainly the animal research being done now in areas such as neuroscience, stem cells, tissue engineering and gene therapy, and nanotechnology is crucial to progress in these very exciting areas, just as it was to transplants and antibiotic research when these were at the leading edge of medical research.

  5. I must say that I do not approve of every single thing done in the name of women’s suffrage, fighting facists, the ANC or animal liberation. In general though just because an action is illegal or may upset the target this does not mean to say that it is immoral. Of course the ANC and French Resistance were fighting for their very existance and were facing certain death if caught and thus their methods were, justifiably, much more militant but “necklacing” for example whereby a tyre soaked with petrol was hung around the targets neck and set alight is to my mind very wrong, but then I am blessed never to have lived under an apartheid regime.
    As for having some respect for the rights of not just vivisectors but all animal abusers I think that we all have our own views but the fact remains that not one of you has been seriously and deliberately harmed neither have any hunters, butchers, dog fighters, furriers, sealers etc. Meanwhile we end up in ambulances, morgues and prison. You may not think of prison or arrest as “violent” but it could be considered so certainly when an activist has done little more than express an opinion, held a banner or run a website. If you were facing a 10 year sentence for what you do would you regard that as a violation? By the way retribution through prison is not something that seems to interest many activists, personally I just want you to stop violating innocent animals.
    Essential oils, in fact homeopathy, acupuncture and many other methods are not to be trifled with because like all medical treatments they can be very effective and can also go horribly wrong if someone botches up. Interestingly some NHS wards do use aromatherapy oils especially maternity, care of the elderly and hospices. Peppermint is a useful antiemetic, frankinsense relieves stress, clary sage is a useful tocolytic ional” . Crtainly for example maybe someone should be sent to a chiropractor to sort out spinal pain before dosing them to oblivion with strong analgesics. Aromatherapy oils are, like everything else animal tested. They need not be.
    As for drugs which are animal tested we would have to examine in minute detail every single medication in existance and ask ourselves why, when, how, why was this tested on animals? Was this drug really necessary? Did those who took the drug have any serious side effects? Could this drug have been developed differently without using non consensual subjects? Did this drug exist prior to animal testing e.g morphine and ergot? What is in the drug pig sperm, bits of bovine bile or human fetus? I would like this information to be available so that patients can make an informed choice.
    The fact remains that without animal testing we would still have a health system in place, we would still have treatments. This would look very different to what we have now but I presume that there would be far less iatrogenic diseases, more of a focus on prevention, good diet and an incorporation of other older disciplines such as acupuncture. A good model for healthcare would start with the promotion of breastfeeding and human milk banks for mothers who were unable to breastfeed followed by a good healthy eating model and an abolition of the promotion of junk food to children with exercise. BASIC health promotion is often thwarted by corporations seeking to profit from the population.
    I am very strongly of the view that non humans are different but not inferior to humans . This is both logical and morally consistant as not one of you can state why a human is of more import than a chicken, apart from the obvious species loyalty thing. I think that we would all rather that someone we do not know dies rather than a family member but it is hardly a basis for morality. Our illnesses are our problems. I don’t know of anyone who says that there should not be treatments for disease just that testing on animals is abhorrent and can lead to misleading results which have harmed human beings

  6. Lynn, the French resistance were fighting against the occupying army of a fascist dictatorship, the ANC were also fighting against a profoundly undemocratic regime in South Africa. I certainly wouldn’t attempt to justify all actions the ANC committed, some were definately terrorist attacks. Even a good cause doesn’t necessarily justify all actions taken on its behalf.

    As for the Suffragettes, when they torched Lloyd George’s house they torched the house of somebody who supported women’s sufferage. The more militant attacks of the suffragettes on the public at large (e.g. mail bunring) and arson attacks did their cause no favours, as opposed to their earlier efforts when they set out to get arrested. My objection is not to breaking the law in protest but to attacks that target individuals and their families, especially those carried out by people who operate by night. Regarding the WSPU I think their over-enthusiastic attitude to the first world war (including pinning white feathers to concientious objectors) says something about the mentality of some of their more militant members.

    “At the end of the day you are living, feeling sentient beings who have families and can suffer which is perhaps why no-one has really harmed you. ”

    I suspect a lot of viictims of AR campaigns would disagree with you on that.

    “I understand that in the UK a police officer was saved by penicillin in an experimental attempt to save his life and that although it was tested on non human animals that we would have still discovered it without animal testing.”

    No, that police officer died, the penicillin was working but ran out before he could be fully cured. This was because the early forms of penicillin broke down very quickly in the body, something Fleming had noted soon after it’s discovery and which discouraged him from further work on it since he could not produce it in the large amounts required. The only reason that there was enough penicillin to even think of trying to save him was due to the work of Florey, Chain and Heatley who produced enough penicillin to be able to test wheather it could protect mice from infection and with the success of those studies went on to develop methods to produce sufficient quantities to start testing it on people. Without the successful mouse studies it is very unlikely that Penicillin would ever have been produced in sufficient quantities to be assessed in human trials.

    I really don’t care whether or not you use products that were tested on animals is between you and your conscience, I just find it rather ironic that your life was saved by the discoveries of the “vivisectors” Richard Lewisohn and Karl Landsteiner. My greatest concern is that your activities may deprive patients of medical advances that are yet to be made or are currently under development.

    As to animal tests that arn’t part of medical research, I’ve stated before that I’m against routine animal testing of cosmetics, though I do appreciate that some testing of industrial, agricultural or household chemicals is necessary as humans (and other animals) are exposed to these (and often not by choice). I can honestly say that I never heard of animal testing of “essential oils” though having done a little reading I can understand why some regulators are concerned at their toxicity, I think I’ll leave them to you!

  7. I do not consider myself to be a hypocrite. I am a pragmatist. If I was rescued from the sea and the lifeguard instigated measures to stop hypothermia which may have origionated from experiments in Nazi Germany as an anti facist should I tell them to stop? Would you deny such treatment? Furthermore I question whether or not drugs, surgical treatments and dressings are the direct result of research on non humans. Honestly it is indeed the case that in some cases humans may benifit from some experiments on animals, equally true in some cases humans are poisoned as a result of animal testing. Really the only time we all really know that a product is “safe” is when decades have passed allowing birth defects and long term usage to show various pathologies.

    My answer is not to take us back to some animal rights year zero but to stop all non consensual research on all live subjects now with the exception to use an experimental drug or technique in an emergency.

    What I find interesting is that vivisectors always argue that animal rights activists should never take medication regardless of the fact that many drugs ahve been in circulation for decades or even decades in the case of ergot and many opiates. Is it not just as hypocritical to use a mobile phone or drive a car as many animal tests have been carried out by mobile phone manufacturers and car manufacturers? Are you all embarrassed by the fact that many tests on animals are not for “life saving” research? I do not ask that animals are tortured in my name but yes I will drink tap water and use essential oils, these things are not yours to give, I owe you lot nothing.

    As for the mediaction, well morphine has been around for ages, I am more comfortable with that than ANY washing powder. Ditto paracetomol. Hartmans.IVI.SO WHAT. Yes I had anaesthetics and a blood transfusion but as I have just said I do believe that we would have had these things without testing on animals. Antibiotics for the MRSA..why is there MRSA let us think ….overprescibing, billions of farm animals forcefed antibiotics with slurry entering the water supply, lack of staff in our hospitals. Antibiotics are a miracle drug again I understand that in the UK a police officer was saved by penicillin in an experimental attempt to save his life and that although it was tested on non human animals that we would have still discovered it without animal testing.

    I would like to see drugs labeled properly. When, where, how and why was this tested on animals and what is in it. Maybe if the police did not beat the living snot out of us we would not have to go to hospital. To pretend that there would be no drugs, no emergency treatment, no skilled staff, no hospital beds, no pain relief without animal testing is fraud of the highest degree.

    I wonder Jack how pure you are. I presume that you are opposed to child slave labour are you sure that you have nothing in your house which is from a factory which abuses children?

    I am certainly not an explosives expert but if we were proper terrorists there would be kidnaps, shootings, torture etc, none of which I would want any part of. Homes being torched? As long as no-one is at home I would not condemn it although I would not do such a thing or advocate such a thing. Really though 35 years on the ALF/ARM have not killed I do not think that it is luck, I think that it a respect for life. At the end of the day you are living, feeling sentient beings who have families and can suffer which is perhaps why no-one has really harmed you. It is called compassion.

    As they say one man’s terrorist is anothers freedom fighter. the ANC and the French Resistance were called terrorists by their detractors. Were they? If they had lost they would defineately be called terrorists. By your definition the Suffragettes who used arson (they torched the Home Secretary’s house) and “intimidation” were also terrorists. I think that terrorism is a word used by those who do not like the actions of another. Personally I am not sure what constitutes “terrorism” but I think that it involves more violence i.e holding down an innocent victim and experimenting on them.

  8. OK, well you’re a hypocrite but that’s OK. It’s OK to use the benefits of animal research when it suits you but not to continue to develop any more. Bizarre, but whatever.

    ALF may not have hurt anyone physically yet, but that’s pure luck. It’s not like you lot are master explosives experts. The fact that none have killed anyone is pure luck. I’m not sure what part of burning peoples homes, threatening them with physical abuse and harassing them you don’t see as terrorism? I’d certainly wonder what your definition of terrorism might be.

  9. Aha Jack I am glad that you found this amusing, so when your stooges in the police, your security guards and yourselves are violent that is supposed to be funny? Anyway what the animals go through makes any of your experiences nothing by comparison and in fact the human victim of the worst violence in this conflict is me an anti vivisectionist, really I would rather my car was torched than my body mashed to a pulp, thankfully none of you have had that experience.

    When we are “violent” everyone is supposed to listen to your whining. Just admit it, you are violent to your victims and you extend this outside the labs as well. One thing I will say for Brian Cass is that he did not exagerate his injuries back in Feb 2001, when asked by a reporter about whether he thought he was going to die he was almost frosty in his response to this hysterical interpretation of what was a fairly minor head wound. Brian Cass and I do not exactly like one another but he certainly appears to cope better with what happened better than the rest of you. For the record I do not approve of what I have heard about this case, SHAC condemned the attack on the basis of what was known about the circumstances. Brian Cass was back at work the next day, it took me 9 months and believe you me the police officer concerned meant to hurt me which is why he was arrested and his house raided and witnesses threatened with death.

    Yes I have been heavily involved in SHACbut I have not physically harmed anyone, nor have I threatened to do so. I would not tolerate racist, homophobic, religious or sexist abuse on a demo or elsewhere of any of you.

    As for me tasting the fruits of the NHS, so what? In fact I am a midwife so work for the NHS and dispense drugs. Furthermore in my daily life I use products which were at some stage tested on non-human animals e.g aromatherapy oils, tap water, non organic food. I am campaigning for a compassionate world which does not abuse non humans. Animal abuse is interwoven within our culture, the job of the animal rights movement is not disintangling the wreckage to assume some sort of pure existance, it is to stop animal abuse. Morphine for example is an ancient drug you do not have a patent on it, nor can any of you decree who can be admitted to hospital.

    Many of us in the UK and the US are benificiaries of slavery, should we therefore tear up roads built by slaves ? The damage alas, is done. Likewise the Nazis experimented on Russian prisoners in horrific hypothermia experiments. Personally I would use what had been learnt to good purpose whilst condemning the barbarous method which is what has been done with lives saved. Avoiding animal tested products is impossible without reverting to living in a cave which I am sure you would like us all to do but tough luck, we do our best to be consistant by being vegan as far as is practicable. Climate change campaigners can not completely avoid omitting carbon, does that make them all hypocrites as well? Should an environmentalist refuse to get in an ambulance because it is run by deisel?

    Anyway clearly you want to be the victims of the big bad ALF. Truth is even the most militant of us respects your lives so much that as yet not one of you has been seriously harmed, after all you are animals too. If the best you can come up with is Brian’s head injury and as you all know scalp injuries look ar more dramatic than they actually are, then really we must be a real bunch of softies. It is good to discuss these matters though eh?

  10. Lynn,

    Wow, who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor? I mean how ironic is it that you’re in the hospital, perfectly willing to take advantage of medical treatment developed through animal testing, such as the treatment of MRSA , resulting from injuries sustained while protesting animal research? Now that’s classic! I guess it’s OK for you to take advantage of the cures but no one else can? I’m not sure how that works, but it’s incredibly funny nonetheless. I also assume you recieved stitches for your laceration and perhaps another antibiotic for the Pseudomonas?

    You’ve made my day Lynn! Here I was feeling a little down because it’s winter here in the States. It’s getting cold and dark, and there are no leaves on the trees. But along you come and give me a good laugh. I thank you!

    Jack

  11. Lynn, you are a member/supporter of SHAC, an organization that has for a decade engaged in a campaign of harassment, intimidation and vandalism against anyone associated with HLS. This is the organization that published the names and addresses of “targets” online along with the “top ten terror tips”. Your campaign and it’s offshoots have been associated with numerous cases of threats, arson, blackmail, etc.

    http://news.cnet.com/Police-blotter-Web-at-heart-of-ecoterror-lawsuit/2100-1030_3-6145522.html

    I had an insight into this a few years ago (long before I became an animal research advocate) when a friend who didn’t know my opinions ion animal research told me about how her parents has received very nasty threatning phone calls after visiting a friend who bred animals for research, the police reckoned it was because a SHAC supporter at the DVLA passed their details on to the extremists

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/may/12/animalwelfare.topstories3

    Given your close involvement with the SHAC campaign, a campaign that is open about using illegal methods and closelt associated with those who advocate volence, is it really any wonder that the police should take an interest in what you are up to?

    The police officer who shook you off a tripod probably didn’t intend to cause you such serious injuries, the animal rights thugs who assaulted Brian Cass with a pickaxe handle and attacked a neighbour with CS gas clearly did.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1494924.stm

    That Brian was ultimately “less injured” than you was down to pure good luck on his part, he could easily have been killed.

    It wasn’t the first violent attack by an AR extremist group by any means, for example

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/30/newsid_2525000/2525525.stm
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3576409/Blair-could-be-bitten-by-the-hands-that-feed-him.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/journalist-seized-and-branded-by-animal-activists-738914.html

    And of course your survival following the accident owed much to medical advances developed by the very “vivisectionists” you attack.

    My personal opinion is that the police in the UK go way over the top (kettling etc) far, far too often when it comes to policing protests, and in doing do exactly what you and your fellow extremists want them to do. Of course animal rights activists also very good at creating situations where the police have no option but to use some force to enable other citizens to go about their daily lives without being harassed or threatened. AR activists deliberately blurred the line between peaceful protest and violent intimidation to the extent that it is sometimes difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. Now plenty of genuinely peaceful protest groups are paying the price through overzealous and often misguided ploicing.

    As Jack says attacks on peoples property are violent, they are intended to terrify the person being targetes, and arson attacks in particular usually carry a high risk that the target or a member of their family will be injured or killed. I wonder if Will or Lynn would support the use of similar tactics (and very similar justifications) by anti-abortion extremists who picket clinics, attack the homes of doctors and have even murdered clinic workers, or does their endorsement of violence extend only to their own cause?

    America is a democracy with universal sufferage, it’s not a perfect system by any means but if you can persuade enough people to agree with you you can change the law through the democratic process. In California you can even propose a ballot proposition so you don’t have to depend on politicians.

    That AR extremists feel the need to resort to violence says a lot about their lack of confidence in the support that is out there for them. They know that when it comes down to it the public will back the scientists and doctors.

  12. Hi Jack,
    Yes I have had men with dark glasses turn up at my home and photograph me, they were employed by vivisectors, I do not regard this as violent, my property HAS been damaged, again this is not violence.

    In 2000 a police officer shook me off of a tripod whilst I was protesting peacefully against HLS, I could have died from my injuries and sustained multiple fractures to my left femur and a severe facial laceration, I lost a litre of blood and contracted MRSA in my leg wound and psedomonous in an ulcer just above the wound. I am still in pain 9 years on from my injuries, have a permanant limp, a trapped nerve and flashbacks. Now that’s what I call violence! I have been attacked by police and security at the behest of vivisectors since as well and have had a few bruises. Many other activists have also been hurt.

    As far as humans are concerned I think I win the most injured as the result of being attacked award as a result of beliefs on vivisection certainly within the UK.

    Compared to the victims of vivisectors though the violence suffered by either side is nothing in comparison.

    I would not hurt a vivisector unless it was to defend myself or another being. Interestingly many vivisectors ask US to condemn violence whilst not condemning violence themselves

  13. Will,

    Property damage isn’t violence? Really? It’s meant to intimidate people into caving to your demands so technically it’s terrorism. It’s certainly violence because I honestly don’t think that the fact one of the incendiary devices your side has placed under cars or at homes is because you guys are some sort of master explosives experts. It’s pure luck. Had it actually killed someone I highly doubt any of you would have shed a tear. Even if it wasn’t the intended target.

    The thing is you don’t care about anybody but yourselves and the “animals”. I’m not even convinced most AR activists even care about the animals really. You’re just interested in publicity and causing chaos. I also don’ t think you really care about the animals because if you did you wouldn’t release laboratory raised animals into the wild. That’s akin to killing them.

    But I guess it doesn’t matter to you so long as you can run around in black masks and feel good about yourselves. Childish really.

  14. 1. If researchers were outside of AR activists homes harassing them (or perhaps exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech) rather than tormenting and killing animals it would be a staggering degree of moral growth.

    2. I will be happy to acknowledge any violence against researchers as violence; of course, we may disagree over whether it is justified or not. I don’t consider property damage violence, but a physical assault (etc.) would clearly be violence.

    It is similar to when police had to kill the gunman who opened fire at the Holocaust Museum; the police had to resort to violence but it was justified. I assume you support that particular use of violence because it was to protect human beings…we just disagree about when violence is justified (unless you are a pacifist and are ready to condemn the way that the shooter at the Holocaust Museum was apprehended).

    3. See point 1 – if vivisectors stopped tormenting animals and began careers as vandals it would represent a drastic improvement in their moral character. If they destroyed property in an effort to reduce violence against innocent parties, then they would be heroes.

  15. Will,

    1) You don’t see the researchers outside the AR activits homes harassing them do you?

    2) You’re claim about the victims being attributed such low status can be said about the AR activists as well. You hold the researchers in such low status that violence and harassment against them is not acknowledged, by you, as violence.

    3) I have often heard AR activists claim animals are not ours to use so leave them alone. Well, our cars and homes aren’t yours so leave them alone. You wouldn’t like it if I came by your place and set fire to it would you? You certainly wouldn’t want me to then say, “But it’s only property”.

  16. The target is a nice touch. Vivisectors are desparate to portray themselves as victims despite the fact that they are the aggressors.

    It is easy to claim to be nonviolent when one’s victims are attributed such low status that they are not even acknowledged as victims and violence against them is not even acknowledged as violence.

    Millions of animals suffer and are killed in laboratories…so forgive me if I am not overwhelmed by a story of someone’s car being vandalized…