This morning on a freeway overpass in Austin, Texas, activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) unfurled a banner expressing outrage at the March of Dimes for funding medical experiments involving animals. PETA is apparently following in the footsteps of its unofficial subsidiary, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which has had a long-standing beef with the well-known birth-defects-research charity. PETA funneled over $400,000 to PCRM last year through a private foundation co-chaired by both groups’ leaders. Now it appears that the groups plan to maintain a tag-team assault, taking on the March of Dimes together.

What will happen next? PETA’s own Bruce Friedrich hinted at the dominant activist mindset during last week’s Animal Rights 2001 conference: “If we really believe that animals have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then, of course we’re going to be blowing things up and smashing windows… I think it’s a great way to bring about animal liberation, considering the level of suffering, the atrocities. I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories and the banks who fund them exploded tomorrow. I think it’s perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through windows.”