PETA has responded to my column in the Weekly Standard about the thuggery of SHAC and animal rights terrorism in the cause of shutting down Huntingdon Life Sciences. Here is the letter in its entirety:
In his condemnation of the tactics of some British animal activists, Wesley J. Smith neglects to mention why these people are protesting some animal testing companies and their suppliers (“Wall Street goes wobbly,” Oct. 17).Here’s a sample of what he didn’t explain: At Huntingdon Laboratories in Cambridgeshire, England, beagles were videotaped screaming as two technicians simulated intercourse with each other while one jabbed the dogs with a needle. At the Royal College of Surgeons a baby monkey was found with the word “crap” tattooed onto his forehead. One of the top animal experimenters in Britain had his license suspended by the Home Office when an animal rights activist secretly filmed him leaving a rabbit to burn under a surgical lamp while he chatted with another researcher.
Can Smith explain how this behavior can be called science, how it helps us find cures for disease and how he can possibly defend it?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA”
Such incidents of animal abuse have nothing to do with legitimate medical research and should be prosecuted. (Note that the undercover animal rights activist was apparently more interested in getting pictures than saving the burning bunny.) But isolated violations of animal cruelty laws do not justify lawless vigilantism. SHAC and other animal liberationist thugs (who operate in America as well as the UK) are not merely “protesting some animal testing companies and their suppliers.” Tertiary targeting is terrorism. It victimizes innocent people who work for banks, insurers, and other companies whose peaceable lives are criminally disrupted by threats, vandalism, harassment, etc. PETA’s response to my article demonstrates that the organization is not at all bothered by lawlessness in the cause of animal liberation, proving my concluding point that the animal rights movement is losing the right to call itself peaceable.