Saturday, August 11, 2007
On Sunday, June 24 ... [Dr. Arthur] Rosenbaum, a highly regarded pediatric ophthalmologist who had been regularly harassed by animal-rights activists for his research work with cats and rhesus monkeys at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, noticed a device underneath his luxury sedan. The bomb squad was dispatched to the scene and hauled away a makeshift -- but deadly -- explosive. A faulty fuse was the only reason it didn't go off. [bold added]This very informative article, which is a must-read, errs only in being perhaps too eager to dismiss such terrorism as being a fringe phenomenon, an error that is all too common due to the fact that too many people fail to think in terms of principles.
Consider the case of 49-year old trauma surgeon Jerry Vlasak, who mysteriously remains a free man while openly inciting murder:
"I think the animal-rights movement has been way too slow in taking radical actions," he says. "And they've been way too nice."The animal "rights" movement equates human life with that of other animals because it (incorrectly) sees animals as having the same rights as man. Seen in this light, waging a military campaign of animal "liberation" is not just an aberrant phenomenon. It is the logical end result of a consistent application of the philosophical principles of this movement.
Besides posting communiques and press releases on the NAALPO Web site, Vlasak understands that his medical background gives the animal-rights movement a certain amount of cachet. Journalists come to him for quotes, and he gives them. In a 2004 interview with the London Observer, he said, "I don't think you'd have to kill too many [researchers]. I think for five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million nonhuman lives." Those remarks caused him to be banished from England, but in Southern California, he practices surgery at Riverside Community and Parkview Community hospitals in Riverside County, as well as Community Hospital and San Antonio Community Hospital in San Bernardino. [bold added]
It is thus a major mistake to shrug off the utterances of a Dr. Vlasak or the illiterate ramblings of "communiques" such as the one cited by LA Weekly. We not only have to start thinking about how to protect our country's great scientists from attack, but also how to offer an intellectual counteroffensive against the philosophical chaos in our culture that permits such groups to have far wider support and sympathy than they deserve.