On October 12, an Australian TV show aired a program on the use of animals in research, which can be viewed here (
cue to time index 04:54 for the pertinent part) and a transcript read here. Our old friend Jerry Vlasak, MD, surgeon and, in my opinion, incendiary advocate and apologist for Animal Rights violence, had this to say:
JENNY BROCKIE: How far are you prepared to go though, because you've been quoted as saying, I think, five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives would save 1 million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives. And you've also said that violence is a morally acceptable tactic, and that it might be useful in the struggle for animal liberation. Do you stand by all that?
JERRY VLASAK: I do stand by all that. If you look at historically, at all the struggles against oppression, whether it was against apartheid in South Africa, slavery here in America, other struggles in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Iraq, Vietnam - everywhere that there's been struggles against oppression and for liberation, violence has been used. And, by the way, they are using violence on their side all the time. They are using violence in laboratories where they kill all these animals in slow tortuous ways, and they are using violence against animal rights campaigners. At least a dozen animal rights campaigners have been killed by the animal abusers, but yet no-one seems to be talking about that.
JENNY BROCKIE: So would you take a human life to save an animal life, is this what you are saying?
JERRY VLASAK: I am not saying that's never going to happen.
JENNY BROCKIE: That's pretty close to what you said in the quote.
JERRY VLASAK: Would I advocate taking five guilty vivisector's lives to save hundreds of millions of innocent animal lives? Yes, I would.
JENNY BROCKIE: Pretty scary prospect Professor Graham Jenkin in London. What do you think when you hear that? You're a scientist, you experiment on animals, what's your response to this?
PROFESSOR GRAHAM JENKIN, MONASH UNIVERSITY: Yes, I'm somewhat intimidated by Jerry's attitude. However, I think that I should correct a few statements that he's made . . . So using terms such as "tortured to death", 'violence', and terms like that, I think, are inappropriate in a reasoned debate.
So you make the call: when Dr. Vlasak advocates "taking five guilty vivisector's lives to save hundreds of millions of innocent animals lives" does this brush against the limits of free speech, or go beyond them? Is this an incitement to do violence? If an AR or Eco zealot offs a scientist, does Dr. Vlasak assume any criminal liability for his rhetoric?
And notice Professor Graham Jenkin's response: "Yes, I'm somewhat intimidated by Jerry's attitude."
And well you should be, Professor. That's the point!
For more on Dr. Vlasak and how he fits into the universe of Animal Rights, check this piece from The Center for Consumer Freedom.