Misplaced priorities motivate terrorists

The breaking into and ransacking of several University labs earlier this week shocked and saddened us. The vandals struck out at research projects by University scientists who were investigating, among other things, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. A group called the Animal Liberation Front took credit for these actions that caused millions of dollars in damage. By perpetrating this terrorist act, ALF was seeking to further the cause of animal rights. By attacking research that sought to better human life, this group has clearly shown which side it comes down on in the debate of human vs. animal.
Make no mistake, this was an act of terrorism, not activism. By disrupting these labs, ALF has effectively shortened the lives of those who suffer from the diseases these researchers were studying. By doing so, they have shown where their true biases lie.
The fundamental problem with the animal rights movement, and especially actions like this, is that it places an unwarranted premium on the life of animals at the expense of human beings. In truth, a hierarchy does exist between the way we value human life and the way we value animal life. In a world with a finite ability to solve problems, sooner or later we must decide how to place value on these two different types of life. As Gov. Jesse Ventura has observed, the last time he checked, humans were at the top of the food chain.
Humans are rational creatures; animals are not. We certainly have a responsibility as caretakers of the planet to not exploit other creatures needlessly. However, we do have the right to make use of nonrational life when valuable benefits will result for humankind.
It is particularly telling that this action came at a time when human life is being significantly degraded in Kosovo. These terrorists could have spent their time publicizing the genocide that is going on in the Balkans. Instead, they childishly trashed research labs that exist to extend and better the lives of human beings. As for the argument that animal research is scientific fraud, those who feel that way should consider the evidence before making their emotional claims. Animal research is valuable. To say it is not is on par with outdated claims that the earth is flat.
ALF has sullied the cause of animal rights in general. Its behavior has shown an infantile misunderstanding of the consequences of its actions. By stealing these critters, the terrorists have seriously damaged the image of all animal rights proponents.
It is our sincere hope that those who are responsible for this vandalism will be found and brought to justice. A suggestion for how they should be punished: The criminals should be ineligible to receive medical treatments that were discovered and tested with animal research. At the very least, they should be forced to view those whose suffering they have prolonged. Peaceful animal rights protesters do have a constitutional right to express their viewpoints. However, what took place Monday was indefensible.