When People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Vice President Bruce Freidrich famously told a convention of animal rights activists that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows [is] a great way to bring about animal liberation,” and added “Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it,” it turns out he was very well plugged in to the movement. This morning, we imagine PETA’s number-two is directing his Hallelujahs toward Santa Cruz, California. That’s where two biomedical researchers were the victims of premeditated animal-rights firebombs over the weekend.
In one attack, a university researcher’s family (including two small children) narrowly escaped a smoke-filled home through a second-story window after their home was firebombed. The other arson attack engulfed a scientist’s car on the campus of U.C. Santa Cruz. Just last week a series of “wanted” posters surfaced in Santa Cruz featuring the names, photos, phone numbers, and home addresses of researchers whose work involves the use of animals. They read, in part: “[B]eware; we know where you live; we know where you work; we will never back down.”
In this morning’s San Jose Mercury News, long-time animal-rights violence promoter Jerry Vlasak called the arson attacks “necessary” to bring about the goals of his movement. Vlasak is best known for openly advocating the “political assassination” of medical researchers in 2003, while a spokesman for the PETA-affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). “For 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives,” Vlasak said, “we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives.” Luckily, no one perished in Saturday’s vicious attacks. But we’re chalking that up to luck, not design.
It’s important to remember that the animal rights movement is one big happy family. Its leaders have decided that the life of a lab rat is so important that human suffering — whether from AIDS, breast cancer, leukemia, tuberculosis, or any other disease — simply isn’t reason enough to justify the forward march of science. And these activists who want legal standing for lab rats are the very same people who want “rights” for cows, chickens, and pigs.
Here’s a fair question: If organizations like PETA, PCRM, and even the Humane Society of the United States have decided that they don’t care if we live or die, do they have any business deciding what we should eat, or how we should feed our families?
We didn’t think do.