We have on occasion remarked upon the chronic incoherence of "animal rights" activists who too often align themselves with the tobacco control industry.
Just as a broken clock tells the correct time at least twice a day, so have the anti-animal testing crowd found a preposterous research program that is truly worthy of termination. The commentary by Debra J. Saunders, to which we link, lays out the anti-scientific agenda of animal rights activists who oppose most, if not all, medical research using animals. The author lists the hair-raising intimidation tactics used to dissuade those whose research involves animals. From bombs placed on researchers’ doorsteps to viciously harassing their children, animal rights activists are relentless in their mission to end the suffering of animals. Laws and basic human decency don’t apply to these zealots.
After building her case against the fanatics who appear to care more about animals than finding a cure for AIDS or cancer Saunders diminishes our growing outrage by letting slip just what her poster child for persecuted scientists does (emphasis added):
"[Michael Conn, co-author of book, ‘The Animal Research War’] doesn’t understand how a woman can have her home flooded and torched — because she is researching nicotine addiction — and there is no outrage."
The woman whose home was flooded and torched, as well as having a bomb placed under her car and her child’s soccer game violated, is Edyth London, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Studies and director of the Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California at Los Angeles. She is known for her work on drug addiction in primates and other animals. According to animal rights activists her work involves administering nicotine to rhesus monkeys in amounts that would be the equivalent of smoking up to 17 packs of cigarettes a day. The animals, highly social in nature, are then isolated in solitary confinement where their "addictive" behavior is studied. After a sad life of loneliness and self-mutilation the beasts are killed so that their brains may be studied.
From London herself in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, dated November 1, 2007 we read the following:
"I have devoted my career to understanding how nicotine, methamphetamine and other drugs can hijack brain chemistry and leave the affected individual at the mercy of his or her addiction. My personal connection to addiction is rooted in the untimely death of my father, who died of complications of nicotine dependence… To me, nothing could be more important than solving the mysteries of addiction and learning how we can restore a person’s control over his or her own life. Addiction robs young people of their futures, destroys families and places a tremendous burden on society."
Now that we’ve presented both sides we can safely say that while we deplore the illegal and violent actions against this woman we do ask why the hell is she torturing animals in the name of nicotine addiction and why is she making money at a state institution doing so? Certainly her nonsensical ramblings, listed above, can only produce incredulity or peals of contemptuous laughter. Nicotine is only "addicting" because the definition was altered a decade ago to include a host of substances and behaviors, none of which were ever considered addictive in times of sanity. Edyth London is a quack and snake oil saleswoman. As to the animal rights activists making her life miserable one can hope that they don’t fall into the anti-tobacco trap that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals fell into several years ago. A pox on both their houses.