Animal rights fanatics offer stunts, not real solutions

This post is simulposted with the Unlikely Activist blog, run by this post’s author, David Jentsch.

Fanatical animal rights groups in the US love attention-getting stunts. PeTA creates video games extolling violence and propagates advertisements that exude adolescent sexuality. White Coat Waste uses Tea party rhetoric to insist federal investment in research is tantamount to borrowing money from China. And the Humane Society of the United States [HSUS] reels endless videos of sad animals on the television to raise money for their lobbying efforts, while tricking people into thinking their donations actually help animals in shelters.

An animal rights extremist group, White Coat Waste, uses Tea Party rhetoric in an attempt to undermine support for research investment

An animal rights extremist group, White Coat Waste, uses Tea Party rhetoric in an attempt to undermine support for research investment

These are stunts, nothing more – nothing less.

In Los Angeles, local animal rights zealots are trying hard to carve out their own niche in the “stunt” art form. They light candles during vigils on the beach, hand out post cards decrying UCLA researchers at art events and recite chants in eerie synchrony, while standing in front of our homes. In truth, the occasional bizarre chanting during these stunts is slightly less demented than their usual shrieks, threats and harassment.

Later this month, the ironically named anti-science group – Progress for Science – will mount an 11-day campaign to “honor” the 11 monkeys they believe are involved in scientific research projects at UCLA. They will probably once again come to my home and threaten my neighbors, while trying to make my life miserable.

But if Progress for Science truly has the respect for life than they claim they do, perhaps they should consider a different strategy. Perhaps before mounting their 11 day campaign for 11 hypothetical monkeys, they should find it in their hearts to lead initiatives for real people affected by real disease. For example, they could:

Lead a 930 day campaign for the number of Africans that have died from Ebola so far this year.

Initiate a 4,600 day campaign for the young people in our country who took their own lives last year, often due to mental illness.

Kick off a 1.1 million day campaign for the number of people living with HIV in the US.

Support a 2.2 million day campaign for the people suffering from or disabled by schizophrenia in this country.

Demand an 8.2 million day campaign for the number of people that will die from cancer in one single year, worldwide.

Health care providers and patients rally in support of mental health services

Health care providers and patients rally in support of mental health services

It is, of course, true that multi-million day campaigns are impossible, but biomedical researchers in many cases dedicate their entire working lives to addressing the harm in these diseases: our own life-long campaigns. Animal rights fanatics could contribute positively to these efforts, rather than standing in the way of progress, but they won’t do that because they are not actually interested in preserving life. They are interested in stunts.

If you are interested in preserving life, then please support biomedical research, including that which involves animals. This year alone, two Americans received a treatment for Ebola that was developed based upon animal research and that likely saved their lives. This is the promise of science. Stunts, on the other hand, contribute nothing, save no lives and end no suffering.

David J. Jentsch

21 responses to “Animal rights fanatics offer stunts, not real solutions

  1. Yeah Jentsch, all that addicting monkeys to drugs you do really saves the world… Whatever helps you sleep at night.

    As a recovering addict of almost 10 years, the only thing your research has done for me and other addicts is induce empathetic terror and sadness of what you put animals through for money. You make our former drug dealers look like saints.

    I’m waiting for any actual evidence that nonhuman animal research offers anything that human research isn’t actually responsible for. This site is so sad, for humans and nonhuman animals.

  2. $tunts, huh? How much are you getting paid to post this? How much money do the animal rights activists forgo in order to shed a light on animal suffering?

    • No one on this blog is paid any money to post anything. I think you will find many animal rights groups make a healthy amount of money – PETA make $35 million per year – more than every animal research advocacy group in the world combined (several times over).

      • I was alluding to what the vivisection industry pays y’all and what you do “on their time”. I have no ties to PeTA…

        • So if a climate change scientist is paid by their university to do research and they speak out about the dangers of rising CO2 levels then we should ignore them?

          • Nice try, but climate change scientists don’t destroy (torture) the environment…

          • That wasn’t the point your original reply made – which was merely about payment suggesting bias.

          • Y’all are hella biased against the animals!

          • Where do you think veterinary medicine comes from?

          • Oh, you are a vet now? Quit your job!

          • Tom, I think Jon V Green is saying quit your job because you obvious lack of empathy for animals means you put them in danger by being around them. If you’re giving props to a guy who addicts monkeys to meth for a living then I wouldn’t trust you for a second with any animals of mine.

          • Tom, I assume Jon V Green is saying quit your job as a vet because you obvious lack of empathy for animals means you put them in danger by being around them. If you’re giving props to a guy who addicts monkeys to meth for a living then I wouldn’t trust you for a second with any animals of mine.

            I also assume that you reply of a “?!” means you also couldn’t understand this, another reason why you should not be involved with animals.

          • My confusion comes from the sudden declaration that I’m a vet… something I am not.

      • May I suggest to the anti-animal activists that they release and submit their own family pet to scientific research, and vivisection.

        Dont just talk the talk, but walk the walk.

        Put up your own pet for vivisection. .It is for the better good right?

        Dont use strangers you dont know, use your own pets.

        Stand up for your convictions please.

        • Pets are not used in research because they’re not suitable. You need animals which have been brought up with a full medical history from birth. You do this to reduce the variables that would otherwise confound your research……and who has monkeys as pets?

  3. Animal rights is a cult movement and these people believe truly believe like Noah in the recent movie that was rewritten to follow this cult propaganda that God no longer wants humans on this earth. These people are no different from previous cults that killed their own members and poisoned their own children. Its time to understand that cults are full of mentally ill people who cannot think rationally especially long term vegans who eat no meat at all. Remember that the human brain requires active VB12 which is found only in meat products. Inactive VB12 comes from plants and does not work in the human body. Over the years the lack of Active VB12 causes irrational thinking and overly emotional responses. VEGANS are no different than drug addicts as they are incapable of rational decision making. Its time to end their reign of terror over the rest of us who truly understand nature, and biology.

    • Jennifer L. Aron

      What an ignorant and hateful post. How many vegans do you actually know? I get the sense that you don’t know any, so allow me to relate my personal experience. Eating vegan for 17 years (half my life) has not turned me into an irrational, overly emotional “drug addict” and “cult member”, as you say. I simply want to live my life in the most compassionate way possible. Not supporting factory farms is part of that for me so I don’t eat most animal products, in addition to abstaining from lab exercises using animals throughout my training and doing research only in human subject laboratories. Being an MD from a top US medical school (actually, reading about my former pathology professor Larry Hansen brought me to this site), I think I understand a little biology. That said, you don’t have to know much about biology to understand the importance of vitamin B12, which is only made by bacteria. Many vegan products are supplemented with the vitamin, and one only needs a few MICROgrams daily; however, vegans typically supplement just in case. I encourage you to at least try a plant-BASED diet, for your health’s sake. Joining the vegan “reign of terror” is optional, and you can find plenty of supporting literature in PubMed. Best of luck to you.

    • Please can we not describe vegans as drug addicts – it does little to enlighten conversation and is patently false.

  4. Gary C. Payne

    The stunts and screaming of animal rights fanatics does nothing for animals. Those that fuel their anger are running outrageous fund raising scams.