Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Animal Rights

The Denialism Blog has a post about a biological researcher getting her house fire bombed by some animal rights nutcases.

Of course that's a bad thing.

But Denialism makes some claims in that post that are just nonsense.
Let's be clear, biological science and medicine are dependent on animals and animal products. From basic research to implantation of heart valves, the success of medicine and medical research is dependent on the use of animals and biological materials. While one can disagree with the ethics of using animals for research, one can not deny, without being dishonest, the absolute requirement of animals for the advancement of biological science, and for current therapeutic modalities used every day in medicine. And I think we can all agree that setting fire to Edyth London's house has more than met the definition of domestic terrorism on the part of the animal rights extremists.

Well, yes, biological science has become dependent on animals. But it does not follow from that that the torture of animals by mad scientists is an absolute requirement for the advancement of biological science. Not even close.

In fact, the point of view that many of the animal rights nutcases have is that the torture of animals isn't even a requirement to maintain the current level of advancement -- you could substitute the torture of humans and probably actually speed up that advancement. (you could maintian controlled genetic strains with cloning).

Of course we don't want to do that, it wouldn't be ethical, but that's the point of the animal rights nutcases -- they think animals have souls, that the essence of life and self-awareness is such that it's never ethical to harm self-aware life.

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