Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Clueless Media Promotes Animal Rights Views by Permitting Research Denigration to Go Unchallenged


PETA has filed a complaint against a research lab with the USDA. Par for the course. Often (but not always) such complaints are found to be baseless.

But this entry is not about the complaint, rather the reporting about it that tells only half the story. This AP article, byline Judith Kohler, permits animal rights activists to denigrate the value of medical research using animals without challenge or opposing comments. From her story:

Dr. John J. Pippin, a Dallas cardiologist who works full-time for a group that advocates alternatives to animal research, said animal experimentation is "inhumane and cruel" despite the best intentions of researchers...

Pippin, who works for the Washington-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [me: an animal rights advocacy group masking itself as scientifically based], said he used to conduct research on dogs but stopped about 20 years ago after deciding it wasn't ethical or scientifically sound. He said breakthroughs in medicine and science typically happen after research with humans because most of the results in animals don't transfer. "I do believe that most people on the research side of things believe in what they're doing," Pippin said. "I also think, by and large, that looking at the big picture, they have tunnel vision."

But this is false and fails to take into account the full breadth and scope of the scientific method--a matter I will deal with in the book I am writing on animal rights. At the very least, if she was going to include the above in her story, the reporter should have contacted researchers and/or their advocates to counter the false assertion that medical research with animals does not help advance science and lead to the substantial alleviation of human (and animal) suffering! Failing to do so misinformed instead of elucidating the story's readers.


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