I have been looking at a few forums regarding the first SHAC trial and would like to respond to some of the main points.
To start with the hypocrisy charge. Animal rights activists protesting against vivisection, it is argued, still use animal tested products. This is a very fair point which needs addressing to the best of my humble abilities. My personal view is that for a start everything water, aromatherapy oils, homeopathic medicines, mobile phones, pesticides etc, etc have at some stage been tested on animals. To avoid animal tested products is well nigh impossible in our society although we should do so as far as is practicable. A similar charge could also be made against climate change activists who could be labelled “hypocrites” if any fossil fuels are used or against human rights activists who will find it very difficult to boycott Chinese products (this is also well nigh impossible).
For some reason those in favour of animal testing always argue that we should not take medication as this will have been tested on animals, they never argue about ink in printers or additives in soft drinks (chemical laden fizzy pop is an abomination which afflicts the young). Of course logically it would be more ethically viable for an animal rights activist to take paracetomol an analgesic and anti pyretic which has been around for decades than an artificial sweetener such as “splendour” which was only recently tested on animals. If we look at a drug such as ergot (from a fungus on wheat) used to stop post partum haemorrhage it was in use thousands of years ago in ancient Eygpt. All medication has been tested on animals but we argue that there are other, better ways of checking drugs are safe to use.
There is very little information concerning how a product was tested, where it was tested, on which species, when it was tested and whether or not it contains bits of dead animal. The onus should be on the drug and assorted animal testing industries to provide this information to the public so that informed choices can be made by those who do not wish to use animal tested products for ethical , scientific, medical or religious reasons. Someone then might decide that they do not wish to use a floor cleaner tested on dogs at HLS and reach for the borax instead.
Roche produce vitamin K which is given to nearly every baby in the UK to prevent the rare but potentially lethal haemolytic disease of the newborn. It contains glychocholic acid from bovine bile which is hardly vegetarian or Hindu friendly, I also suspect that as the bovine bile is probably not Halal or Kosher strict Muslims and Jews may be none too impressed with Roche followed closely by those who are rightly or wrongly concerned about CJD. Maybe we should campaign for very clear labelling after all the vivisectors have proposed that they label animal tested things as animal tested why not go one step further and tell us when and for what reason. I know that aspirin has been around for a very long time and can use it with a clear conscience but it could be labelled as animal tested recently as ongoing experiments on everything already on the market are commonplace, I would also like to know the reason why it is being repeatedly tested. Aconite, a homeopathic remedy has been around for a long time, I believe it is ethical to use, if a drug company commission animal tests on aconite does that make my choice unethical? Of course not.
Some of the most sinister comments have centred around denying animal rights people access to medical assistance. Animal rights people pay taxes and many of us have worked in the NHS for many years. In fact I might be the biggest hypocrite of all because rather than dying when I was attacked by a police officer I accepted surgery on several occasions to my smashed femur, a blood transfusion, surgery to my face (my cheek was hanging off) and antibiotics to control the MRSA and pseudomonas which wracked my body. I could have denied all treatment and died of course and there are a few of our number who would have done just that. It would have meant on a practical level that they would have put my leg in traction and hoped for the best causing more disruption for the NHS staff and indeed a murder charge rather than GBH for the PC concerned if I had died within a year. On a moral level quite simply I believe that we should use drugs and surgical techniques that already exist. It would be highly unethical for example to ban insulin just because it was once tested on animals. Drugs could have been developed in other ways with quite probably better results.
Not one of us whether vivisector or animal rights activist can possibly know everything about every drug but we want animal testing to stop, not scientific medical research. This does not involve throwing out medications which have been used often for decades just because they were tested on animals. Of course presuming that xenotransplantation ever happens it would be the height of hypocrisy for an animal rights activist to accept an organ from a pig killed to order. I find it rather despicable to be told by vivisectionists that not only is it acceptable to be attacked by the police but that I should then be denied access to what is the prerogative of everyone in the UK the NHS , followed by whining over how THEY felt “harassed” by the incident.
Furthermore chiropractors, homeopaths, aromatherapists, herbalists etc are only available to those who pay privately. Someone with mild depression might be better off seeing an aromatherapst rather than being dosed up with Prozac. Medication is often dished out as the first resort when it should be the last in many cases. I would have a health service which in addition to “conventional” medicine and surgery would also have practitioners such as highly trained chiropractors, arnica for those post surgery, an emphasis on diet and aromatherapy oils in every drug cupboard.
Animal testing is also an inexact process. No-one really knows what will happen in the human body until humans have used a product for a considerable amount of time. Rats are a different creature altogether and can survive things we cannot. To extrapolate data from experimenting on rats is dangerous enough when we regard life saving medication but to test a food colouring on rats and then feed it to young human children on the mere assumption it is safe because the rats did not die is positively evil profiteering, HLS do this every day along with all of their contract testing lab’ chums. Even more disgusting is the fact that if I want to avoid an animal tested pesticide I can’t it is in the air, the water, the earth and being absorbed by my skin, HLS(and others) test a pesticide on animals tell everyone it is safe and whether we like it or not we are forced to absorb it into our bodies passing it on to the next generation through the womb and breastmilk. I for one do not trust HLS to rubber stamp anything as safe for me to eat, drink or breathe as they have been known to falsify results and they do not bother to monitor the animals 24 hours a day perhaps missing vital clues.
The Nazis experimented on human prisoners, they came up with some useful (and some not useful) data on hypothermia after torturing their victims which has been used by others since. If they had found a cure for cancer I would utterly condemn the methodology, lament for the murdered and put steps in place to stop such an atrocity ever happening again but the cure should still be used. In fact Marion Sims experimented on the poor and on slaves in the US and he is still celebrated as a great gynaecologist, the Sims speculum is still in use today. No-one (I hope) would ever seriously suggest that it is OK to experiment on innocent humans without fully informed consent (or even not so innocent ones) and I would argue that it would be throwing out the baby with the bath water to exclude every medical and other intervention which came into being by abusing humans. Using for example techniques perfected by the Nazis to save a life on an air/sea rescue operation does not involve condoning the atrocity. Driving on a road once made by slaves does not condone slavery.
Experiments on humans without their consent have been conducted by drug companies this century notably Pfizer. What I would suggest is that those responsible are put on trial for mass murder and if found guilty incarcerated for the rest of their lives and the company’s assets seized. The victims or their families should be compensated handsomely, sod the share holders. Then if for example they have actually found out something useful such as a cure for Parkinsons that should be used for the benefit of humankind.
Some people posting have suggested that animal rights activists should be carted off to HLS and experimented on. I do not think that this was meant seriously, if it was of course if the law is even handed this would be regarded as a threat to torture and kill, so be careful out there we would hate you all to play into our hands!
Were the suffragettes “terrorists”? Or the miners? Or the feminists? Campaigns have always consisted of those who operate legally and others unlawfully. In the 70s some fire bombed porn shops in the name of feminism, in the 90s miners went to Michael Heseltine’s home and dug up his lawn, the suffragettes massed on Knightsbridge with hammers smashing in every shop window, did home demos with hundreds of people, set fire to buildings and anything and everything stopping short of seriously injuring or killing people. The animal rights movement over a long distinguished history dating back to when the Band of Mercy wrecked grouse butts back in Victorian times have not killed anyone and this is no coincidence. Animal rights is based upon the premise that humans have rights and that it is despicable to infer inferiority due to race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, language, physical or mental impairment etc. We simply go one step further by believing that it is despicable also to infer inferiority on the basis of species.
Killing someone even in extremis defending self or those who cannot defend themselves is a very heavy undertaking which none have been able as yet to enact. Respect for human rights is part and parcel of animal rights actual terrorism by which I mean no regard for life and limb has as yet not happened. The UK SHAC 7 ran a legal campaign which continues, they are not terrorists. For the record they have been found guilty of conspiring to blackmail with persons unknown, they have not been convicted of doing the multitude of things suggested in the press, nor is it in any way proven that they knew the people who did these things, approved or encouraged. Persons unknown did stuff, other people, those who are openly stating that they are opposed to HLS will go to prison for it.
Imagine a campaign against phonemasts. Should those in the public eye go to prison for up to 14 years just because persons unknown to them have carried out arson attacks on said masts? Even though they have put disclaimers against illegal acts on their website? Even though a barrister has sanctioned every leaflet and newsletter?
The conspiracy to blackmail charge could have been used against the Suffragettes, the miners and he feminist movement as well as many modern counterparts. Methinks that we have not seen the last of this charge against protestors.
One of the things that concerns me is that the reason why SHAC campaigned against HLS is being vilified more than the tactics used by some people who remain for the most part unknown. Surely if it is wrong to send a used condom or brand someone a paedophile it is wrong for any reason whether the sender is trying to make a point about vivisection or child slave labour? Much of the debate centres on the premise that animals are nothing and that it is heretical to even suggest otherwise let alone try and protect them from greedy selfish fellow humans. The word “traitor” has even been uttered on Oxford Gossip re to the human race (now there’s a suprise) and even a suggestion to hang the defendants (made in jest I’m sure..I hope!) suggesting that it is not the so-called crime that is at issue but the motive i.e compassion for other creatures.
More nauseating are the occasional comments from animal rights activists trying to disassociate themselves from SHAC on the grounds that they do not approve of everything the media have reported the defendants did. I actually do not approve of every single thing done in the name of animal rights, first of all I don’t know of every single action but I do know that the media have blatantly lied to the public in actually reporting that the 7 defendants sent incendiary devices, yucky things in the post and hate mail themselves. Logic and common sense makes it impossible that Dan A, Dan W and Gerrah could have dug up Gladys Hammonds grave when at that time they were still at school and had probably not even heard of SHAC, HLS or the Newchurch campaign.
It is however brilliant to see that vivisection is being discussed and thought about albeit in the narrow confines of cosmetic and medical testing. Why are we not discussing pesticides, GM crops, plastics, chemicals, paint, noxious gases, artificial sweeteners, health foods, fridge coolants, chemical cleaners, aromatherapy oils, cosmetic botox, ad infinitum all of which are forced on our animal brothers and sisters before being forced on us? Come on then all those who support animal testing I can’t wait to see you justification for testing floor cleaner on a wild caught primate something I would call extreme cruelty which would induce a violent response from Joe public if anyone were to do this in any town centre.
A few words to all those who are naive enough to believe the crap they have been spoonfed by the media;
The police lie, it’s true sorry to burst the bubble. They lie all the time look at what they said about Earth First! in the Observer. They even have been known to fib in court. They arrest activists illegally and then have to compensate them financially.
The police via NETCU have said that they are in favour of animal testing. They have openly taken a political stance and if this does not bother you well….it should. The police should hardly have had links on their site to pro vivisection lobby groups such as the Research Defence Society. Imagine if the police said publicly on a website that they supported abortion or shooting pheasants very, very bad. NETCU and all their little underlings are nothing more than the lackeys of the vivisection industry who would love to play lap dog to EDO and EON as well.
The courts are not fair. Do not think ever that you have heard the whole story in court. Behind the scene evidence is omitted, threats made and all sorts of shenanegans. The courts are infinitely better than stringing people up from the nearest lamp post but favour the powerful and the wealthy. Senior executives from certain corporations could if the police put their mind to it be tried for conspiracy to blackmail, pollute, murder and perjure but it is a bit unlikely. It is however interesting to fantasise about how much worse a company like Shell would look like if put under the same scrutiny as SHAC using the same state resources. I think that the individuals cherry picked for the occasion would look positively demonic.
Some of the “victims” we all hear about are not very nice people. They have also sent yucky things in the post including a dead mouse and loads of weird racist stuff. In fact during the Newchurch campaign pro vivisection yobs cracked a few skulls beating protestors whilst the police turned their backs on the assaults. My apologies again for ruining the image of the benign, besieged, brainbox who would have cured cancer by now if it wasn’t for those wretched villains in the animal rights movement.
Vivisectors are flesh and blood not deities. Somehow the police, the government and media have deified them the end result of which is greater protection in law than those who actually do save lives such as Doctors, Nurses, Firemen all of whom often run the gauntlet of abuse and assaults at work. Punch the GP because he “dissed” you and you might get community service if you are very unlucky, demonstrate peacefully outside a place that makes cages for laboratory animals you could be sent to prison for 4.5 years and have your liberty curtailed for a further 5 years with a CRASBO. This is also a prime example of human supremist extremism.
Hope that this might be of assistance to someone.