Beginning today, every single car of every single train in the Washington, DC metro transit system will feature an ad attacking People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for its opposition to all medical research using animals. Click here to view the ad, which highlights PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s comment: "Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it." The lunatics at PETA continue to use their tax-exempt millions thwarting contributions to health charities like the March of Dimes, the American Red Cross, and the American Heart Association.
Last week, when the Center for Consumer Freedom discussed its online petition to cancel PETA’s federal tax-exempt status on the Fox News Channel, PETA once again insisted that "none of this research [on animals] is necessary." Since PETA isn’t exactly the most reliable source on biomedical research, we thought some expert opinion might be useful.
Seriously Ill for Medical Research, a patients’ group, points to a survey of Nobel Prize winners in physiology and medicine on the use of animals in medical research. Ninety-two percent of them "strongly agreed" with the view that "animal experiments are still crucial to the investigation and development of many medical treatments." The other eight percent? They merely "agreed." Meanwhile, 74 percent strongly agreed with the statement: "animal experiments were essential to your Nobel prize-winning work."
Americans for Medical Progress has published a timeline of medical advances that resulted from animal experimentation. Highlights include the discovery of treatments for rabies, smallpox, anthrax, polio, cancer, measles, and on and on.
The helpful website of the Foundation for Biomedical Research includes this quote from Dr. Albert Sabin, who developed the oral polio vaccine: "My own experience of more than 60 years in biomedical research amply demonstrates that without the use of animals and human beings, it would have been impossible to acquire the important knowledge needed to prevent much suffering and premature death not only amongst humans but also amongst animals."
"Without insulin treatments to regulate their blood sugar levels, many more diabetics would die," says the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. And lab animals "were crucial to the research that identified the cause of diabetes, which led to the development of insulin."
Animal rights zealots turning a blind eye to science is nothing new, even though they benefit just like the rest of us. PETA vice president Mary Beth Sweetland has diabetes and injects herself daily with insulin that was tested on animals. Yet she campaigns against experiments on animals — making her a veritable poster-child for hypocrisy. She concedes that her medicine "still contains some animal products — and I have no qualms about it … I don’t see myself as a hypocrite. I need my life to fight for the rights of animals."