Putting Animal Rights Extremists on the Hate Map

Those who believe themselves to be morally righteous have a virtue — they are usually candid in their public statements.  With an absolute conviction in their world views, it is not surprising they also have a rather loose tongue.  The hate and violence that lives within animal rights extremists is always near the surface.  This was evidenced in a recent interview by Camille Marino of the extremist site “Negotiation is Over” with Leah Nelson, a journalist with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a well-known and respected nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry in our society.

The SPLC blog is worth a read as it will raise the eyebrows of anyone that has a minimal respect for our democratic institutions, highlighting the hateful speech that comes from the fringe of the animal rights movement.  Apparently, Ms. Marino had second thoughts about the views she offered to the journalist and attempted to backtrack.  The SPLC Editor refused, noting that:

Marino was fully aware during the interview that she was talking with a blogger from the Southern Poverty Law Center, even volunteering that she is familiar with the SPLC’s history of denouncing radical animal rights activists like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). She approved a transcript of her interview, writing in an E-mail, “I think you captured everything I said perfectly.” Hours later, Marino contacted the blogger and said she wanted to withdraw her consent to be quoted, saying that she did not want to be quoted on “a blog filled with the most contemptible groups of racists, bigots, madmen, and hatemongers … groups that I despise.

It was too late for that…  the SPLC editor further explained:

Following widely accepted journalistic practice that once an on-the-record interview is conducted, permission cannot be withdrawn, Hatewatch decided to publish quotes from the interview.”

Of course, Ms. Marino is accompanied in her crusade against the use of animals in biomedical research by Dr. Steve Best (Caution: extremist website), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso, an active contributor and participant in the NIO web-site and vocal defender of Marino’s words and actions.  Dr. Best has previously been banned from entering the UK.  He was deemed a threat to the “public good” and “public order” and joined a list that also includes Islamic extremists and neo-nazis.   Here is an example of the kind of speech that probably prompted the Home Office to keep such individual away from British soil:



Hopefully, and given the available evidence, SPLC will take the logical step of declaring animal rights extremist groups like NIO hate groups.  This is, after all, what these groups are and, hopefully, they will formally be recognized as such in the SPLC hate map where they belong.

Of course there are many who do not need to be told that animal rights extremist groups like Negotiation is Over and the Animal Liberation Front are hate groups.  The University of Florida students newspaper “The Independent Florida Alligator” recently published an editorial strongly condemning the harassment of students and scientists by extremists, indicating that any students who may be targeted by extremists will find a lot of support among their fellow students, and in California the neighbors of scientists target by extremists have made their support for their harassed neighbors very clear. We’ve also seen the success of the Pro-Test movement in Oxford a few years ago, when students, scientists and members of the public joined to express their support for animal research, and delivered a decisive blow to the campaigns of harassment, intimidation and violence then being waged by animal rights hate groups in the UK.

Extremism and hate can be defeated, and the first step in doing so is to recognize it for what it is, and we applaud the SPLC for once again doing so.

Speaking of Research

17 thoughts on “Putting Animal Rights Extremists on the Hate Map

  1. Two quick corrections: first, the posting mechanism lost the quotes around my initial paragraph, above. The initial paragraph is Dario Ringach’s, not mine. Second, the phrase intended in the second paragraph is “met the devil at the crossroads,” not “made the devil at the crossroads,” though I suppose the latter phrase might mean much the same thing

  2. It would take some text to explain why I feel most of those that oppose animal research believe there is no moral dilemma facing in our work – in essence they reject the benefits of the science and argue we do the work for ulterior motives other than to benefit mankind. You probably heard these arguments before.

    Actually, I cannot recall ever hearing an animal advocate argue that there is “no moral dilemma facing” scientists who do animal experimentation, & I have been aware of relevant animal advocacy views for most of my life, having first refused to dissect animals in 1966.

    For my grandmother, who took her own position against dissecting animals in rural Michigan, before the Brown Dog Riots occurred in Britain, the “moral dilemma” was simply that certain scientists made the devil at the crossroads & sold their souls. Close variations of that perspective are probably still the prevailing view.

    But I have heard the view before that animal researchers do not or should not consider matters of ethics & morality. This view was vehemently espoused by Facultié de Médicine d’Paris professor Léon LeFort, in an open letter responding to criticisms published by the 19th century feminist and anti-vivisectionist Anna Kingsford.

    “Speaking for myself and my brethren of the Faculté,” wrote LeFort, “I do not mean to say that we claim for that method of investigation [vivisection] that it has been of any practical utility to medical science, or that we expect it to be so. But it is necessary as a protest on behalf of the independence of science against interference by clerics and moralists. When all of the world has reached the high intellectual level of France, and no longer believes in God, the soul, moral responsibility, or any nonsense of that kind, but makes practical utility the only rule of conduct, then and not until then can science afford to dispense with vivisection.”

    One may hear in LeFort’s words an echo of the French Revolution rallying cry “Man will be free when the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

    Uttered first by the atheist priest Jean Meslier, 1664-1789, this phrase was popularized by Denis Diderot, 1713-1784.

    Diderot made use of information obtained from vivisection in his translation of Robert James’ Medical Dictionary and in his opus, the first encyclopedia, but ––ironically––he opposed the Cartesian view that animals are mere machines, questioned human consumption of animals, and contributed to the philosophical basis of later arguments for animal rights.

  3. Kim Bartlett said:

    “People who harm other people (or who cultivate hatred) are not helping animals. The welfare of animals used in science has come a long way since the days of Descartes, and it is because people have been persuaded by reason and calls to compassion and not as a result of the use of terror tactics.”

    Kim, I’m confused. Since Decartes, the most recent reports state that 125 million animals are poisoned, burned, mutilated, blinded, starved, and tortured daily by methods that are inconceivable to any normal human being. This is what reason and compassion have accomplished, This is why Ringach applauds your impotence.

    What about the animals, Kim? Do they not donate enough?

      1. dario,

        reasoned & rational as your statement appears, i’m certain that as an alleged “scientist,” you realize that your conclusion is preconceived and unsupported. so your commentary, much like your research, is wholly irrelevant and incredible.

        nice try though…

        the issue, dario, is how exactly kim believes compassion has benefited your victims.

        you see, unlike you, one begins with a premise and either proves or disproves the theory with factual evidence. but, please, don’t concern yourself with such minutia. you and any respectable activist have nothing to discuss with one another… although you do amuse me at times.

        vivisectors and blood-money parasites start with a conclusion and don’t have much regard for science, logic, or credibility.

        and i have less than no regard for you and your ilk.

  4. Kim,

    I’d also be glad if you could also provide a copy of the statements/editorials of “Animal People” about violence within the animal rights movement…

  5. I welcome your refreshing statement about violence.

    However, your equating of slavery with the status of animals is deeply flawed. People realized that slaves were not only “sentient” but equal to others in their ability to behave as moral equals among our community. Moreover, there were no morally relevant properties that differentiated them from the rest of the population. Thus, “it is self evident that all men are created equal”, but not evident at all that all life is created equal. Animals, no doubt, are worth of our moral consideration. But to compare their status to that of slaves is simply wrong.

    I understand that you feel AWA, NIH guidelines, FDA regulations are all deficient. So my question to you (and to other animal welfare organizations) is what specific kind of reforms you would like to see enacted that would render animal research acceptable to you.

  6. “Property” was the legal status held by human slaves in this country only about a century and a half ago. The only way in which human slaves were treated differently than animals was that they were not commonly eaten. It was recognized that slaves were sentient, and attempts were made to improve the welfare of slaves and to prevent cruel treatment, but they were classified as property just the same, and so are animals today, though few would deny their sentience. As an example of how confused and inadequate the legal system is when it comes to animals, the federal Animal Welfare Law that regulates biomedical use of animals limits the definition of “animal” to just a few lucky species, as I am sure you know. But to address an earlier statement you made regarding “the silent approval of other animal activists” to “the call coming from specific groups within the animal rights movement to use violence and threats to achieve the goals in the agenda,” Animal People (the organization that I co-founded with Merritt Clifton in 1992, which publishes the newspaper with the same name) has repeatedly and vehemently editorialized against the use of violence and threats in the name of animal rights or welfare. We do not oppose non-violent civil disobedience, because it is sometimes necessary to step outside the law in order to change the law, but threatening and harassing people is a form of violence that is counterproductive to the advancement of a humanitarian social movement. People who harm other people (or who cultivate hatred) are not helping animals. The welfare of animals used in science has come a long way since the days of Descartes, and it is because people have been persuaded by reason and calls to compassion and not as a result of the use of terror tactics.

  7. Your obvious sensitivity is noted, but the anti-cruelty statues to which you refer do not forbid owners of animals from killing those animals, including dogs and cats. What is illegal is killing them with “unnecessary” cruelty or treating them in a manner that is considered cruel or neglectful (such as not feeding them or providing them with shelter). Such laws proscribe conduct that is considered “inhumane” by the norms of society, but they do not grant animals a status other than “property.” And all U.S. state anti-cruelty statutes exempt from coverage under the law all livestock, wildlife who may be hunted or trapped, and animals used in biomedical research.

    1. “What is illegal is killing them with “unnecessary” cruelty or treating them in a manner that is considered cruel or neglectful…”

      And this means that animals have a status other than other property. You may argue that you think this is not sufficient in your view, or that you disagree about the exceptions you noted, but stating that our laws (anti-cruelty and animal welfare) do not recognize the status of animals as more than “mere things” is wrong.

  8. “Politics of Animal Liberation” was the text of a document prepared by me, the late Henry Spira, feminist theorist Marti Kheel, and others who made up an animal rights caucus of the Green Party at its convention in 1987, and we tried without success to get the principles accepted as part of the U.S. Green Party platform. There was nothing “hateful” or anti-human about about any of those principles. We published the document in the Animals’ Agenda magazine, of which I was editor at the time, and though the statement of principles was never put to a vote, it was not controversial with our readers. In the years since 1987, however, many of the people who would have described themselves as radical animal rights advocates have moderated their positions. While there are certain points that I have come to reconsider––such as the call for reintroduction of extirpated species––for the most part, my philosophical views are the same now as they were in 1987. What came to be most controversial in the statement is the principle calling for a cessation in the breeding of companion animals, and many animal rights advocates came to disavow that position. Personally I do not disavow it. In my opinion, the breeding of companion animals is an exploitation of animals, and the pet industry is fraught with cruelty. It is a good deed to adopt and care for animals who cannot fend for themselves because they are of a domesticated species or because they have been injured or debilitated in some way, but what is the point of breeding them for the pet industry except for profiteering or to perpetuate a “breed” which is often a distortion of the animal as it evolved in nature? Animal are sentient beings, and while they are presently considered nothing more than “property” to be bought, sold, maimed, tortured, and murdered (with a relative handful respected or beloved as friends or members of the household), there will be a time in the future when civilized society will create a separate legal status for animals––certainly not the legal rights held by humans participating in a democratic society, but a status that elevates animals from their current status of “property.”

    1. Kim,

      Animals may be legally considered property, but there are many laws that recognize their status as sentient beings. Certainly, you are free to destroy your car by smashing it with a hammer if you so desire. It is your property and you can do with it as you please. But you certainly cannot do the same with your dog, even though he is your property too. The dog is protected by anticruelty laws that recognize animals are not mere things. Therefore, in a way, they are already afforded have a separate legal status that is not shared with that of your car. So you are wrong that in today’s society animals are “mere” property, but you are right that there is much that can be improved in terms of animal welfare.

      You may find it surprising that I will condemn many other uses of animals the same way that you do. Here, however, we focus the discussion on the use of animals for biomedical research to advance the health of you, your family and the rest of human kind.

  9. James, you’re a clown. I unequivocally hate every animal abusing piece of slime on the face of the earth and would love nothing more than to see vivisectors, especially, entombed in their own personal hell conceived of and constructed by me. And some in the NIO community tend to be more extreme than I. ;)

    But here’s a little rememdial lesson for you, nimrod… in order for nio to be declared a “hate group,” you and your depraved sadistic minions would necessarily need to be declared a statutorily “protected group.” Good luck with that pal!

    In the meantime, I cannot tell you the hours of entertainment I get out of this circle jerk of parasitic life forms pleasuring each other on SOR.

  10. LOL Marino, do you really think you believe your guff about a surge in your membership? We know it as imaginary as those biker gangs you were always banging on about a while back.

    No, what gets you is that the SPLC, an organization with a long history of exposing hate groups of all stripes took one look at your website and thought “hate group”. Then they interviewed you to confirm their initial impression, and I have to say that you were very obliging, and it was very good of you to try to persuade them to not publish the interview. It must have hurt to see yourself there along with all the other dysfunctional freaks and sociopaths, the SPLC clearly sees you as you really are.

    Marino, you are a hate filled shell of a human being, and thanks to good people like the SPLC and the editors of the Independent Florida Alligator more and more people are recognizing this. Your campaign against the students at UF is failing, because people now know who and what you are…something repugnant and almost pitiful.

  11. I’d like to personally thank David Tiller Jentsch for his endorsement of NIO on the SPLC article which has been responsible for a surge in our membership:

    “Such personal attacks have been going on for about a decade, he said, but NIO is the first website he’s seen to promote them so aggressively. ‘One of the things that’s been distinctive in [Marino’s] website and her movement is you see this commiseration, this coming together of a group of people across the country that are the most hateful and the most willing to be blatant about their sort of lust for violence [against soulless vivisectors]. … She creates a permissive environment by being a model, and then she provides the information. Here’s the person, here’s the email, send it. She becomes this vehicle for almost unbelievable animosity and hatred.

    ‘She has taken this to a level that very few others have. She’s really become sort of the nationally visible representative of ‘just pummel [abusers]. Take them on personally. Put all the cards on the table and do everything possible to crush them.’ That part is distinctive about her; it’s almost an art form.'”

    I dub Monkey Murderer Jensch NIO’s Chief Recruiter!

  12. This is interesting.

    The agenda calls for abolishing the use of animals to advance medicine but merely encourages vegetarianism? What is the ethical reasoning that calls for this kind of conclusion?

    Clearly, the first point in the agenda should have read:

    We are committed to the abolition of any animals as a source of food and a full vegan society.

    After all, many more animals are used for food than animal research that saves lives.

  13. The Animal Rights Agenda

    The animal rights platform sets the goals for ending the use of animals: The animal rights agenda was published in “Animals’ Agenda” magazine in November 1987 in an article “Politics of Animal Liberation” by Kim Bartlett and reprinted in “The Hijacking of the Humane Movement” by Rod and Patti Strand.

    1. We are firmly committed to the eventual abolition by law of animal research, and call for an immediate prohibition of painful experiments and tests. The billions of dollars disbursed annually by the National Institutes of Health for animal experiments should be rechanneled into direct health care, preventive medicine, and biomedical research using non-animal tests and procedures. In addition, the government should fund projects to develop and promote non-animal technologies where they do not yet exist so that animal experiments may be rapidly phased out. In the meantime, procedural mechanisms must be established to allow for greater public scrutiny of all research using animals.

    2. The use of animals for cosmetics and household product testing, tobacco and alcohol testing, psychological testing, classroom demonstrations and dissection, and in weapons development or other warfare programs must be outlawed immediately.

    3. We encourage vegetarianism for ethical, ecological, and health reasons. As conversion of plant protein to animal flesh for human consumption is an energetically inefficient means of food production, a vegetarian diet allows for wiser use of the world’s limited food resources. Livestock production is a major source of environmental degradation. Furthermore, a shift in human diet from animal foods to plant food would result in a lower incidence of heart diseases and cancer and better health generally. Vegetarian meals should be made available to all public institutions including primary and secondary schools. Nutritional education programs currently administered by the Department of Agriculture should be handled by an agency charged with promoting public health rather than promoting the interest of agribusiness.

    4. Steps should be taken to begin phasing out intensive confinement systems of livestock production, also called factory farming, which causes severe physical and psychological suffering for the animals kept in overcrowded and unnatural conditions. As animal agriculture depletes and pollutes water and soil resources, and destroys forests and other ecosystems, we call for the eventual elimination of animal agriculture. In the meantime, the exportation of live farm animals for overseas slaughter must be regulated to ensure humane treatment. Livestock grazing on US public lands should be immediately prohibited. Internationally, the US should assist poorer countries in the development of locally-based, self-reliant agricultural systems.

    5. The use of herbicides, pesticides, and other toxic agricultural chemicals should be phased out. Predator control on public lands should be immediately outlawed and steps should be taken to introduce native predators to areas from which they have been eradicated in order to restore the balance of nature.

    6. Responsibility for enforcement of animal welfare legislation must be transferred from the Department of Agriculture to an agency created for the purpose of protecting animals and the environment.

    7. Commercial trapping and fur ranching should be eliminated. We call for an end to the use of furs while recognizing Western society’s responsibility to support alternative livelihood for native peoples who now rely on trapping because of the colonial European and North American fur industries.

    8. Hunting, trapping, and fishing for sport should be prohibited. State and federal agencies should focus on preserving and re-establishing habitat for wild animals instead of practicing game species management for maximum sustainable yield. Where possible, native species, including predators, should be reintroduced to areas from which they have been eradicated. Protection of native animals and plants in their natural surroundings must be given priority over economic development plans. Further, drainage of wetlands and development of shore areas must be stopped immediately.

    9. Internationally, steps should be taken by the US government to prevent further destruction of rain forests. Additionally, we call on the US government to act aggressively to end international trade in wildlife and goods produced from exotic an/or endangered fauna or flora.

    10. We strongly discourage any further breeding of companion animals, including pedigreed or purebred dogs and cats. Spay and neuter clinics should be subsidized by state and municipal governments. Commerce in domestic and exotic animals for the pet trade should be abolished.

    11. We call for an end to the use of animals in entertainment and sports such as dog racing, dog and cock fighting, fox hunting, hare coursing, rodeos, circuses, and other spectacles and a critical reappraisal of the use of animals in quasi-educational institutions such as zoos and aquariums. These institutions, guided not by humane concerns but by market imperatives, often cruelly treat animals and act as agents of destruction for wild animals. In general, we believe that animals should be left in their appropriate environments in the wild, not showcased for entertainment purposes. Any animals held captive must have their psychological, behavioral, and social needs satisfied.

    12. Advances in biotechnology are posing a threat to the integrity of species, which may ultimately reduce all living beings to the level of patentable commodities. Genetic manipulation of species to produce transgenic animals must be prohibited.

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