Activists campaign for animal rights

by Bei Hu

At a Tuesday animal rights rally, about 20 members of the Student Organization for Animal Rights debuted their new strategy to single out University researchers for their experiments on live animals.
“We are going to do a different one each month,” said Julie Geldner, a University junior and animal rights organization member. “We are going to target them, expose all the atrocities of their experiments.”
The organization has chosen University psychiatry professor Marilyn Carroll as October’s “vivisector of the month.” She has been using monkeys and rats in her studies of drug addiction.
Carroll is no stranger to campus animal rights activists. In 1995 two organization members were arrested in University President Nils Hasselmo’s office for disorderly conduct while protesting Carroll’s experiments with live animals.
Protesters on Washington Avenue and Church Street carried signs Tuesday calling animal research “scientific fraud.” They also handed out pamphlets with images of starving baby monkeys. The pamphlets describe Carroll’s research as “cruel and useless.”
“Animal suffering is no solution to human suffering,” the handout reads. It suggests funding for such laboratory research should instead be used to aid humans through drug education, prevention and rehabilitation programs.
Carroll said the Student Organization for Animal Rights’ accusations are “libelous” and contain “clear-cut lies.” She said she has not used baby monkeys or vivisected animals in her studies. Carroll said it is unethical and unrealistic to use humans in her research, which focuses on drug prevention and relapse.
She said she is considering suing the organization for libel.
Organization members said they do not know who will be named “vivisector of the month” in the future. But they said they will continue to take aim at faculty members who use animals in their research.
“Animal liberation is human liberation. It doesn’t make sense to cause more sufferings in the world,” said Katie Fedor, an organization member and University of St. Thomas student.
The protesters also presented a petition to Hasselmo, urging him to stop animal research at the University.