This cartoon was originally posted in February 2004, and is one of over 450 cartoons in our book Black & White World II.
Animal rights extremism -- which the FBI has labeled the biggest domestic terrorism threat -- has encountered a number of serious reverses recently. These reverses are a great victory for science, free inquiry and public health. In particular, Americans could learn from a popular movement in the UK that is standing up to the threats and intimidation of the animal "liberation" movement and asserting the moral arguments for animal testing.
The article quotes Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West:
"Several years ago I volunteered to be a human trialist of a potential new AIDS vaccine, developed here in Oxford. I know that would not have been possible without the use of animal models and safety testing in animals. I said at the time that animal research was vital if we are to conquer AIDS, TB and malaria, and every time politicians talk about their concern for the developing world and those diseases they should mention the role that animal research will play.
"My message to the extremists is that you will never win. Every vile action of harassment, intimidation, or violence undermines any legitimacy your cause ever had and strengthens the resolve of those of us who support the rule of law and the role of science to resist you and to speak out against you." ...
"My message to the scientists, researchers and students who carry out biomedical work using animals is that you are heroes -- under paid , under-pressure and under-praised. You have always had my full public support and that of the vast majority of my constituents, of my parliamentary colleagues and of the British people. Your work is legitimate, necessary, carefully regulated and - where authorized -- the only or best way to provide insight into the causes and therapies of human diseases. You are right. You are brave. You are valued."
The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for "the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that currently are only enjoyed by human beings." The PSOE's justification is that humans share 98.4% of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7% with gorillas, and 96.4% with orangutans.
UPDATE -- April 29: Barcepundit finds a connection between Zapatero and "The Simpsons". (via Tom Pechinski)
Posted by Forkum at April 26, 2006 06:28 PM