The AMP (Americans for Medical Progress) have issued a press release about tonight's forthcoming 60 Minutes segment, in which Ed Bradley will report on extremist Animal Rights groups. The segment will reportedly contain an interview with Jerry Vlasak, MD, who in his October 26, 2005 Senate testimony creeped the Senators out by reaffirming that animals and humans are "morally equal" and that assassinating some biomedical scientists was an acceptable tactic to use to intimidate others into abandoning animal experiments. Here's the AMP release:
CALL FOR MURDER OF SCIENTISTS SHOWS VICIOUS SIDE OF ANIMAL RIGHTS, SAY MEDICAL ADVOCATES
(November 13, 2005 - Alexandria, VA) The call to assassinate research scientists, heard on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, is a call to action for Congress to give law enforcement the powers necessary to investigate and arrest those who would carry out such crimes, according to Americans for Medical Progress, a nonprofit organization that counters the animal rights threat to biomedical research.
“The outrageous statement by Jerry Vlasak is not new, and confirms what we in the biomedical research community have known for years: that there truly is a violent element among the animal rights movement that would stop at nothing – even murder – to achieve their agenda,” said John Young, Director of Comparative Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and chairman of Americans for Medical Progress. “We are seeing the dark, vicious side of animal rights activism and it is appalling.”
Actually, some of us — and I would count Dr. Young as one of us — have seen the "dark, vicious side of animal rights activism" for quite some time.
Hopefully, the 60 Minutes segment will reveal to the world what we have long known. And hopefully, a part of this segment will cover the links of Dr. Vlasak to the larger and well funded Animal Rights groups to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and PeTA, the group it fronts for. (Follow the links here.)
But why stop there? Why not show how the PCRM is linked to SHAC, and PeTA funnels money to the likes of the Earth Liberation Front and arsonist Rodney Coronado? (Follow the links here.)
In the 60 Minutes interview, scheduled to be aired on CBS Sunday, Vlasak, a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front, told Ed Bradley that “If they won’t stop when you ask them nicely, they don’t stop when you demonstrate to them what they’re doing is wrong, then they should be stopped using whatever means are necessary.”
Of course, to Dr. Vlasak, "right" and "wrong" are based on the core AR premise that the life of an animal and a human are of equal value — that there should be a single moral standard that governs how we treat animals and humans. Dr. Vlasak believes that "speciesism" — treating a dog, cat, bird or mouse differently from a human simply because none of them is a human — is as great a sin as racism (Senate testimony - op cit).
To a a person who believes in Animal Rights, if it is immoral or unethical to do something to a human, it is equally immoral or unethical to do it to an animal (don't eat them, don't exploit animals for entertainment, don't hunt them, don't use them for experiments, etc.). Dr. Vlasak differs from other, more timid Animal Rights activists only because he has the courage to follow the AR logic to its conclusion, and to advocate what that logic dictates — if each life, animal and human, is morally equal, then if you can save "n + 1" animals by killing "n" humans, you're on the good side of virtue.
I also hope Mr. Bradley asks Dr. Vlasak to square the core anti-speciesism belief with his advocacy for spaying and neutering animals, which he ADL-LA (Animal Defense League — Los Angeles) he calls for as a "No Kill Solution" (left sidebar) to animal overpopulation on the ADL-LA's www.stopthekilling.net page.
In pressing that animals be spayed and neutered, is Dr. Vlasak violating his anti-speciesism core value, or would he press for the forced sterilization of human beings for the same reasons he'd spay and neuter animals?
This is the latest in a long series of threats against scientists who study research animals in their quest for medical advances. Vlasak told an animal rights meeting in 2003, “I think for five lives, ten lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, two million, ten million nonhuman lives.” At the time, Vlasak was a spokesperson for Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, an animal rights group that works in close association with PETA. Last month, Vlasak told a Senate committee that he stood behind that statement and in fact expanded his threat to include families of research scientists. “These are not innocent lives,” he testified.
Ouch! But yes . . . I sincerely hope Mr. Bradley and his researchers have read up on this stuff and ask Dr. Vlasak about it.
Or better, that they interview someone who knows the AR game and can articulate it well — like AMP — who stand ready and available for interview (see below).
On 60 Minutes, the FBI confirms that there is a serious domestic terror threat posed by those willing to commit crimes for the sake of animal rights. The FBI is concerned that the call by animal rights activists to kill scientists will be acted upon by “lone wolves,” and notes there may have been such an attempt in a series of bombings in California in 2003.
“It is just a matter of time before someone is killed. The attacks against scientists are increasing in intensity. We aren’t talking about peaceful pickets: already there have been arsons, break-ins, thefts, bombs, even beatings on the doorsteps of scientists’ homes. Biomedical researchers and their loved ones are being threatened simply because of their work, which is providing new treatments and cures for us all,” said Jacquie Calnan, president of Americans for Medical Progress. “Americans need to urge Congress and the President to pass laws to ensure that everything possible is done to protect scientists and their families.”
It is just a matter of time before someone is killed — and by advocating murder, Dr. Vlasak has lowered the bar for murder to happen.
NOTE TO REPORTERS: John Young and Jacquie Calnan are available for interviews. Call (703) 836 9595 x100. More information on the 60 Minutes report is available on the CBS News website: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/10/60minutes/main1036067.shtml
Well, there you have it . . . one hopes that reporters will avail themselves of just this opportunity, and contact the good folks at AMP.