AC readers may recognize the name Janet Tomlinson from a prior post.
Those who aren't familiar with her need know only a few things about her: she is an aggressive Animal Rights activist who unequivocally opposes the use of animals in biomedical research or tests; she has breast cancer; and, she has found a way to set aside her commitment to the AR moral cause so that she can undergo medical treatment for her condition — treatment that was developed using animals — even though by accepting such treatment she's creating profits for pharmaceutical companies, some of which profits will be used to fund future animal-based studies.
A couple of weeks ago, Tomlinson was again given an opportunity have her say, and she still sees no inconsistency in accepting treatment for her cancer:
THE woman leading protests against a guinea pig farm has been branded a hypocrite for using drugs tested on animals to treat her breast cancer.
Janet Tomlinson, 61, has outraged campaigners seeking cures through research.
Vicky Cowell, of the Seriously Ill for Medical Research, said: "It's hypocritical that one minute she is campaigning furiously against medical research using animals. Then she becomes ill and is willing to take drugs which go against all she stands for. We all have a choice whether we take drugs on offer to us. She should admit the very medical research she is campaigning against is benefiting her. She should be honest."
Miss Tomlinson said: "I'm not a hypocrite. The law says all such drugs should be tested on animals first.
What the law says is irrelevant: Ms Tomlinson is under no obligation to accept treatment or take her medications simply because the law mandates that all drugs be tested on animals.
Her goal is to change the law, to make it illegal to use animals in research or testing, and she should live by what she regards as a higher moral standard than that offered by mere anthropocentric laws.
"They are the only thing on offer to someone like me with breast cancer. There is no alternative medicine. I've got no choice.
Of course she has a choice! Just like the soldier who throws himself on a hand grenade for a principle!
Ms Tomlinson has chosen her own life over the lives of the animals whose deaths she will fund by contributing to the profits of the pharmaceutical companies! The animals who die from her decision to accept treatment will have Ms Tomlinson to thank for their deadly fate.
"Should animal rights people reject treatment and die?"
Yes. Of course they should! It's just that simple.
The whole point of AR is to place principle above expediency, to embrace the idea that it is immoral for humans to exploit animals for such self-serving enterprises as the eradication of human disease: "Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it" (Ingrid Newkirk, Vogue — 9/1/89.) That is the principle.
From the point of view of Animal Rights ideology, Ms Tomlinson has an opportunity — no, a moral duty — to martyr herself for a higher purpose, viz., the greater good of defenseless animals.
She has failed in that duty, failed her cause, failed the nameless animals she expresses such reverence for.
Ms Tomlinson — like Josh Harper (link, link, link) — came to a fork in her ideological road: she could act consistently with her AR principles and head down the path of martyrdom, or she could act out of expediency and self-interest, against the core AR principle, and try for life.
I'm not the only one who has nits to pick with Ms Tomlinson.
But Dr Simon Festing from the Association of Medical Research Charities said Miss Tomlinson was "living proof of the failing of her own philosophy".
He added: "It's not just testing. The use of animals is essential to develop the medicines in the first place. She can't slip out of the argument by saying it's a legal requirement."
Miss Tomlinson is at the forefront of the campaign against Darley Oaks farm in Newchurch, Staffs, although she insists she knows nothing of the terror attacks there.
During the five-year campaign against the farm, workers have been sent hate mail and had their vehicles acid attacked. Businesses serving Darley Oaks have all been threatened.
And last week, the remains of Gladys Hammond, farmer John Hall's mother-in-law, who died aged 82 in 1997, were dug up and stolen.
Miss Tomlinson said she was a peaceful campaigner but added: "If peaceful revolution is denied, violent revolution is inevitable. We target the animal abuser only. But anybody having dealings with an abuser is fair game."
Words from the mouth of someone who herself is actively contributing to the future abuse of animals ...
We're talking revolution here — discarding the conventional ethical and moral standard, which accepts the use of animals to diagnose and cure disease, and replacing it with a higher AR standard which would make such animal use immoral, unethical and illegal. And if the revolution doesn't come about peacefully, then violence is inevitable.
The foolish Ms Tomlinson just fingered herself as a potential AR target: by accepting treatment, she's having dealings with abusers, and is herself "fair game."
"We have a moral responsibility to protect the defenceless. If you had your little daughter assaulted by a man would you let him walk into his local pub? I'd want to cut off his whatsits. That's what I feel about these animal abusers." . . .
And yet ... and yet ... by accepting treatment, Ms Tomlinson places expediency and self interest above principle, and even more damning, contributing cold cash to the "animal abusing system" that she would destroy!
This is hardly protecting the defenseless.
The key point, of course, is that by accepting treatment, Ms Tomlinson isn't just sitting quietly in a neutral position: she is actively participating in the industry it is her goal to bring down.
Put another way, she's doing more than passively enabling the use of animals in research, she's actively funding it.
There is blood on your hands, Ms Tomlinson, and it will take more than asserting your innocence to cleanse them.