The Conference for Human Extermination
By Alex Epstein (Clarion Publications, June 28, 2001)
Scientists are closer than ever to discovering cures for AIDS, cancer, and other deadly illnesses. More research and testing are needed, however, and much of it must be done on animals. But will it happen? Not if the activists at the upcoming Animal Rights 2001 conference have their way.
Beginning June 30 in McLean, Va., many of the world's most prominent animal rights activists will gather to strategize and network in order to make their goals--which include banning animal testing--a reality.
There is no question that animal testing is absolutely necessary for the development of life-saving drugs and medical procedures. According to Nobel Laureate Joseph Murray, M.D.: "Animal experimentation has been essential to the development of all cardiac surgery, transplantation surgery, joint replacements, and all vaccinations." Explains former American Medical Association president Daniel Johnson, M.D.: "Animal research--followed by human clinical study--is absolutely necessary to find the causes and cures for so many deadly threats from AIDS to cancer."
Millions of people will die unnecessarily if animal testing is stopped. Animal rights activists know this, but are unmoved. Chris De Rose, director of Last Chance for Animals, writes: "If the death of one rat cured all diseases, it wouldn't make any difference to me."
Given their attitude toward human life, it is not surprising that many supporters of animal rights use terrorism to bring about their goals. Animal rights terrorists commit more than 1,000 crimes--including arson, theft, and physical assault--every year. One of their current victims is Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British company that tests new medical products on animals--mostly rats and mice--to help determine if the products are safe and effective for human use. Terrorists are attempting to shut down the company by using violence and death threats against its employees, shareholders, and customers. Fearing for the lives of their employees, many companies have cut all ties with Huntingdon, bringing it to the brink of bankruptcy.
Some conference attendees, like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) cofounder Alex Pacheco, encourage violence: "Arson, property destruction, burglary, and theft are 'acceptable crimes' when used for the animals' cause," he says. And while other attendees oppose terrorism--"the role of violence" is one of the subjects to be debated at the conference--such opposition is merely a pretense at concern for human life. Both sides seek a goal that will lead to millions of unnecessary human deaths in the future; they disagree only on how to achieve it.
Do not make the mistake of writing off terrorists or those who want to end all animal testing as "extremists," while maintaining that the majority of people in the animal rights movement have benevolent intentions. The movement is one of man-hatred, an attitude inherent in the very notion of animal "rights." According to PETA, the basic principle of animal rights is: "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment." As Michael Fox, vice president of The Humane Society, explains: "The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration." To abide by this principle, humans must forego any benefit we derive from animals, no matter how many deaths result.
Animal rights advocates place the lives of animals over the lives of human beings. This is a formula for human suffering and death. Proclaims the Animal Liberation League's Freeman Wicklund: "We need a drastic decrease in human population if we ever hope to create a just and equitable world for animals."
Human survival and progress demand that we kill animals when they endanger us, eat them when we need food, run tests on them to fight disease. Without horses for transportation and oxen for plowing, without furs to keep warm and meat for food, mankind's ascent from the cave to civilization would have been impossible. Today, to discover the causes and cures for the diseases that destroy human life, we must use animals for research.
Those who attribute rights to animals ignore the purpose and justification of rights--to protect the interests of man. Rights make it possible for rational individuals to coexist peacefully, to produce and trade, to provide for their own lives, and to pursue their own happiness free from the threat of violence. Animal "rights"--which demand man's subordination to rats--are the antithesis of rights. The activists who attempt to destroy the essential, life-preserving medical testing industry reveal the true goal of their doctrine: human extermination.
Alex Epstein was a writer and a fellow on staff
at ARI between 2004 and 2011.