Rule Five Friday

2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (1)Speaking as the guy who wrote the book on animal rights kooks, it has been gratifying over the last few years to see that particular brand of nutballery sort of fading away.

But while the animal rights nutbars may be in decline, they ain’t gone yet.  Now they are protesting the use of animals in labs at Yale.  Excerpt:

Students returning to campus yesterday afternoon were greeted by a choreographed demonstration outside of Old Campus of a protestor in a cage being treated by two others dressed in animal costumes.

Demonstrators at the performance art protest, staged by Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), alleged that Yale research scientists have been violating U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations for testing on animals for years. The group also claimed that Yale laboratories hold over 2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (2)150,000 animals in captivity. Two protestors appeared dressed in animal costumes and lab coats, as the demonstration centered around the question “What if the tables were turned?”

“Many of these animals have holes drilled into their brains and are exposed to electrocution or potentially fatal drugs as part of laboratory experiments,” DxE said in a press release Friday. “Lab technicians routinely kill primates, sheep, rodents and other animals after the experiments are completed.”

The protest drew a crowd of 10 residents, most of whom were not Yale affiliates. Many drivers blew their horns in solidarity with the protestors, who were situated at the intersection of College Street and Elm Street.

2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (3)Before we engage in a serious discussion of the use of animals in research, feel free to indulge in a gratuitous snicker at the “crowd of 10 residents, most of whom were not Yale affiliates.”  That’s right.  Ten.

OK, now that we’ve got that over with; if you were to rate cluelessness on a scale of one to ten, the nuts that protest the use of animals in research, especially biomedical research, would rate at least twelve.  The fact is that medical progress would come to a screeching halt without the use of animals in research.

The animal rights nuts are quick to advocate “alternatives,” but they are (again) clueless.  Some of the alternatives include:

Computer modeling.  It won’t work.  Why?  Because the most complex models we can derive, even today, are laughably crude when compared to biological systems.  There are no models that can simulate the billions of complex interactions that make up the biochemistry and metabolism of a living organism.

2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (4)Tissue cultures.  They won’t work.  Why?  Because safety and efficacy testing requires a complete organism.

I’ve even seen animal rights nuts propose using prison inmates for pharmaceutical testing – involuntarily.  Too bad about that pesky Constitution, but what are you gonna do?  If it saves just one white rat, wouldn’t it be worth it?

When I was writing Misplaced Compassion back in the late 1990s, I identified four personality traits common to all animal rights nutbars, those being misplaced compassion, denial, intellectual laziness and arrogance.  All four are never more in evidence than when the kooks protest the use of animals in research; they show 2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (5)compassion for animals over people, they deny the overwhelming benefits of biomedical research that uses animals, they can’t be bothered to actually learn anything about biology and research practices – and they don’t care if the realization of their agenda would be harmful to humanity.

It’s a weird kind of totalitarianism they advocate; an animal-worshipping fascism that would reduce the medical arts back to the 1800s.

It’s just as well that they seem to be slowly fading away.

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