With scientific breakthroughs piling up, it is no longer possible to deny the powerful role animal research plays in advancing life-saving science. Unwilling to surrender their misguided anti-science philosophy, however, a host of animal-rights extremists are waging war on the medical mainstream (when they’re not busy targeting your cheeseburgers).

The battle lines have been drawn. On one side lies People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), its affiliate Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, the Animal Liberation Front, and everyone who condones or perpetrates violence against the scientists whose life-saving research requires the use of animals.

On the other side stands a majority realizing that it can no longer afford to be silent. Instead of firebombs and death threats, medical-research supporters like young Englishman Laurie Pycroft have armed themselves with reason, courtesy, and doughnuts.

The last of these weapons were for Friday’s “Operation: Doughnut,” where Pycroft’s research advocacy group Pro-Test handed out doughnuts and other morning treats to construction workers at Oxford University. These construction workers, who are building a new animal research facility, have been targeted (along with Pycroft and research scientists) by animal-rights militants.

Pharmaceutical companies complain of the animal-rights threat to their work, often to no avail. Universities that train research scientists warn that violent extremists “pose real threats to universities and other research facilities.” Our lawmakers recognize the dangers of animal rights extremism. The officers who enforce our laws call it “the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the country.” And yet, a 16-year-old English schoolboy has made people stand up and pay attention. Even without considering the death threats his advocacy work has brought him, Pycroft (who hopes to become a neurosurgeon) knows that it’s the health of his generation that’s at stake.

Of course, PETA is doing its best to make sure there won’t be any future Laurie Pycrofts for them to contend with. Learn more about the “humane education” propaganda they push on children in our report, “Your Kids, PETA’s Pawns.”