Last week, students at the University of Iowa participated in their school’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Week. Despite the event’s emphasis on human rights, Steven Best — philosophy chair at the University of Texas El Paso and co-founder of the Animal Liberation Press Office along with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine spokesperson Jerry Vlasak — managed to worm his way onto the speakers’ list and make the case for his decidedly anti-human agenda. Speaking to over 100 horrified spectators, Best said he’d sacrifice the life of a stranger to save his dog.
Here’s how The Daily Iowan reported the incident:
“If you saw a baby dying and a dog dying, which would you save?” one audience member asked.
“You need to be more specific with your question,” Best replied. If a house with his dog and someone he didn’t know was burning, he said he would save his dog, prompting another wave of gasps.
Best was invited to campus only months after the Animal Liberation Front — which Best has supported on numerous occasions — vandalized University of Iowa labs, stole hundreds of animals, intimidated researchers and their families, and destroyed irreplaceable research. Beyond the painful irony of Best’s attempt to devalue human beings during an event with the words “human rights” in the title, there’s something disturbing about a college professor traveling 1,400 miles to defend the destruction of another university’s work. One targeted researcher told the Des Moines Register that Best’s appearance was “a continuation of terrorism against us.“