Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

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Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:04 pm UTC

http://www.nature.com/news/animal-right ... ry-1.12847
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Activists occupied an animal facility at the University of Milan, Italy, at the weekend, releasing mice and rabbits and mixing up cage labels to confuse experimental protocols. Researchers at the university say that it will take years to recover their work.

Many of the animals at the facility are genetic models for psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

No arrests have been made following the 12-hour drama, which took place on Saturday, although the university says that it will press charges against the protesters. The activists took some of the animals and were told during negotiations that they would be permitted to come back later and take more.

The attack was staged by the animal-rights group that calls itself Fermare Green Hill (or Stop Green Hill), in reference to the Green Hill dog-breeding facility near Brescia, Italy, which it targets for closure. Five activists entered laboratories in the university’s pharmacology department on Saturday morning. The lack of signs of a break-in suggests that the activists may have used an illegally acquired electronic card, says pharmacologist Francesca Guidobono-Cavalchini, who works there. They prised open the reinforced doors of the facility on the fourth floor, and two of them chained themselves by the neck to the main double doors such that any attempt to open the doors could have endangered their lives.

They posted pictures of themselves on their organisation’s website, where they also declared that they would stay for as long as it took to get agreement to leave with all the animals. The facility hosts around 800 animals, mostly genetically modified mice but also some rabbits, according to Martino Bolognesi, a structural biologist at the university. The activists had brought supplies of food and sleeping bags.

Meanwhile, hundreds of animal-rights sympathizers demonstrated outside, according to reports in the Italian press.

Researchers who turned up at the lab to work on their experiments found dozens of civil and military police at the scene, says Guidobono-Cavalchini.

Paola Viani, deputy director of the pharmacology department, worked with police to negotiate with the activists. By evening they had reached a compromise whereby the activists left with fewer than 100 animals, with the understanding that they could return for the rest later; negotiations about whether they may do so are still continuing, according Bolognesi.

Some of the mice they removed were delicate mutants and immunosuppressed ‘nude’ mice, which die very quickly outside controlled environments.

In addition to mixing up animals and cage labels to ensure that ongoing experiments would be ruined, the activists also took the names of the experimenters from the cage labels, some of which they later published on their Facebook page.

The university is now calculating the damages and deciding what charges it will press, according to Guidobono-Cavalchini.

Michela Matteoli, a neurobiologist who works on autism and other disorders and lost most of her own research in the attack, says that she found some research students crying in the disrupted facility on Monday morning.

“It will take three people at least a year to build up the colonies we had of mouse models of different psychiatric diseases,” she says.

On Sunday Italian media reported that around 60 scientists held their own demonstration in Milan to protest what they call the ignorance and bullying tactics of Fermare Green Hill. Researchers in the department have published an open letter in an Italian biotechnology trade journal explaining the value of their research, which is financed by many different national and international research agencies.

More anti-science brilliance from Italy.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:14 pm UTC

two of them chained themselves by the neck to the main double doors such that any attempt to open the doors could have endangered their lives.


I think this problem has a built in solution...

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:16 pm UTC

Sounds like they are simply ignorant. They were ostensibly trying to help the animals, but their actions will result in more animals being experimented upon. Whoops.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:20 pm UTC

I don't think you can call this "anti-science" in the way that sentencing seismologists for failing to predict an earthquake or awarding damages on the theory that vaccines cause autism is anti-science. Those things were anti-science because they were born from scientific ignorance. But this is about whether it's OK to perform those experiments, regardless of whether they're "good science."
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:27 pm UTC

I would say releasing immunocompromised mice to 'free them' falls pretty far under the realm of ignorance.

Actually, releasing any laboratory animal...
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:40 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I don't think you can call this "anti-science" in the way that sentencing seismologists for failing to predict an earthquake or awarding damages on the theory that vaccines cause autism is anti-science. Those things were anti-science because they were born from scientific ignorance. But this is about whether it's OK to perform those experiments, regardless of whether they're "good science."

They're condeming animals to a slow agonizing death because they're against experimenting on animals because it's cruel.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Darryl » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:45 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I don't think you can call this "anti-science" in the way that sentencing seismologists for failing to predict an earthquake or awarding damages on the theory that vaccines cause autism is anti-science. Those things were anti-science because they were born from scientific ignorance. But this is about whether it's OK to perform those experiments, regardless of whether they're "good science."

Yeah, this is more of a standard animal rights action than some thread of anti-science, and the only reason it got captioned as anti-science is due to its occurrence in Italy. When, in fact, ALF has done basically the same thing several times in the US.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:56 pm UTC

Iz, when you referred to this as "anti-science" I took you to be talking about, and I think most people would take you to have been talking about, the fact that this was an attack on a lab. Now if you want to talk about mistakes that the activists made, that is another thing, but it strikes me as shifting. If the Boston bombing had failed because the bombers were poor chemists, nobody would have called the attack "anti-science."
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:02 pm UTC

While I don't usually* wish harm on people, my poetic justice bone sincerely hopes these people contract some sort of disease that would be easily treatable with animal testing or products. Sort of like the leader of PETA being a diabetic and using insulin derived from pigs, despite insisting that all others forgo any animal products no matter how critical (because stating alive helps animals more or something).

It's ok to be squeamish about animal testing, and try to attempt some base ethics, but the fact is much if our research depends on animal research. What, we should go back to the old days of testing on coma patients, mentally ill, disabled, prisoners, or minorities? That's better?

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:21 pm UTC

Truthfully, I have a hard time differentiating between 'you scientists didn't predict the earthquake, sue!' and 'you scientists are harming the pretty animals, vandalize!'. Both stem from a profound misunderstanding of what's going on, why it's going on, and what the appropriate course of action is.
EDIT: And I admit, this hits close to home for me, and I am fairly upset about it.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Zamfir » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:37 pm UTC

Is there really a misunderstanding? They don't want animals used as testbed for medication. If you explained them what was going there, there is a good chance they would believe you, and still want to stop it.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

The notion that A ) the animals tested on are just normal animals kidnapped from the wild, and should be returned to the wild, B ) that the animals are being treated inhumanely, and C ) that this laboratory is doing useless research (e.g., cosmetics) is, yes, a profound misunderstanding based on fairly idiotic ignorance.

But yes, fine, their platform is 'animal testing is bad', and thus, any group using animal models is bad. I'd say that's fairly ignorant, but sure, it's not perhaps anti-science, as much as 'anti-animal testing'.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby darkone238 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:45 pm UTC

I think the misunderstanding is how they probably wouldn't be alive today without such testing (unless, as was said, we began testing on the disabled, mentally ill, etc. again).

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:49 pm UTC

darkone238 wrote:I think the misunderstanding is how they probably wouldn't be alive today without such testing (unless, as was said, we began testing on the disabled, mentally ill, etc. again).

Why would we test on them? The mentally ill, and disabled aren't representative of the normal population. If we wanted good test results, we need to experiment on healthy animals(people), and then selectively damage parts of them to see what makes them tick. It's quite valiant of these animal activists to volunteer themselves to further the cause of science...oh wait.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby darkone238 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:52 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
darkone238 wrote:I think the misunderstanding is how they probably wouldn't be alive today without such testing (unless, as was said, we began testing on the disabled, mentally ill, etc. again).

Why would we test on them? The mentally ill, and disabled aren't representative of the normal population. If we wanted good test results, we need to experiment on healthy animals(people), and then selectively damage parts of them to see what makes them tick. It's quite valiant of these animal activists to volunteer themselves to further the cause of science...oh wait.


Experiment: Discover what happens when people tie chains around their neck and attach them to doors.
Hypothesis: They get removed from the gene pool
Testing: In progress

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:56 pm UTC

It's an example of ignorance/idiocy standing in the way of progress. For all we know, some of those animals may have held data that could lead to a cure for Alzheimers. ALS. Parkinsons. A better understanding of the causation of Autism.

But no, better set that mouse free! It wants to be freeeeeeeeeee in the wilderness! (Meanwhile the thing is dead because it's an inbred immunocompromised lab tool. Or picked off by a hawk because it's effective an indoor pet)

If you, hypothetical activist, cared about those animals, you'd do something to ensure their proper treatment. You'd get yourself on an advisory board for the IRB or whatever the Italian equivalent is, and ensure that animals are being treated ethically and their use is responsible. But no; it's easier to walk into a lab, trash years worth of data, kidnap a bunch of bunnies, photograph yourself holding a scared lab animal, and say "See! I stand for the animals!"

It's fucking horseshit, and I hope this organization is held financially responsible, hope Italy gets it's shit together and condemns this attitude, and most importantly, hope the research catches up and they/we can get back to working on diseases that take a terrible toll on people the world over.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:03 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
darkone238 wrote:I think the misunderstanding is how they probably wouldn't be alive today without such testing (unless, as was said, we began testing on the disabled, mentally ill, etc. again).

Why would we test on them? The mentally ill, and disabled aren't representative of the normal population. If we wanted good test results, we need to experiment on healthy animals(people), and then selectively damage parts of them to see what makes them tick. It's quite valiant of these animal activists to volunteer themselves to further the cause of science...oh wait.


We did test on them. People would be infected with things like syphillis to see how the disease progressed, with biopsies along the way (even if fatal). Many surgical procedures would be tested on coma patients first (as well as animals), such as organ transplants.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby natraj » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:15 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:It's an example of ignorance/idiocy standing in the way of progress. For all we know, some of those animals may have held data that could lead to a cure for Alzheimers. ALS. Parkinsons. A better understanding of the causation of Autism.

But no, better set that mouse free! It wants to be freeeeeeeeeee in the wilderness! (Meanwhile the thing is dead because it's an inbred immunocompromised lab tool. Or picked off by a hawk because it's effective an indoor pet)

If you, hypothetical activist, cared about those animals, you'd do something to ensure their proper treatment. You'd get yourself on an advisory board for the IRB or whatever the Italian equivalent is, and ensure that animals are being treated ethically and their use is responsible. But no; it's easier to walk into a lab, trash years worth of data, kidnap a bunch of bunnies, photograph yourself holding a scared lab animal, and say "See! I stand for the animals!"

It's fucking horseshit, and I hope this organization is held financially responsible, hope Italy gets it's shit together and condemns this attitude, and most importantly, hope the research catches up and they/we can get back to working on diseases that take a terrible toll on people the world over.


No. Wrong. I understand that your priorities are not animal liberationist priorities, but liberationists also have different priorities than welfarists. I would not campaign for ethical treatment of lab animals as The Right Thing To Do because I believe using animals for research is wrong. Fullstop. Don't tell people what they SHOULD be doing to fit into YOUR framework of morality.

I mean, that is a separate question entirely from whether releasing those animals had any net positive value for their cause, but you have a different idea of what their cause should BE in the first place.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Puppyclaws » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:28 pm UTC

darkone238 wrote:I think the misunderstanding is how they probably wouldn't be alive today without such testing (unless, as was said, we began testing on the disabled, mentally ill, etc. again).


Wait, animal testing is responsible for the improvements that have decreased the infant mortality rate? Because that is really the only medical breakthrough that has significantly improved human life expectancy.


What is being called ignorance and misunderstanding in this thread is clearly just differences of opinion. Of course, I don't believe in "progress" in the way that it is generally used here. I don't agree with these people either, but they aren't ignorant; they just think that these animals' rights to a free life is worth more than the medical advancement that will come from testing. If some person "cares" about the animals enough to feel they should never be tested on, being an ethical advisor to a lab doing animal testing is not really a position they can abide; a person in that position is not going to be able to get the lab shut down and all the animals released to good homes as pets.

EDIT: Second paragrah largely Ninja'd by natraj.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby darkone238 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:31 pm UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:
darkone238 wrote:I think the misunderstanding is how they probably wouldn't be alive today without such testing (unless, as was said, we began testing on the disabled, mentally ill, etc. again).


Wait, animal testing is responsible for the improvements that have decreased the infant mortality rate? Because that is really the only medical breakthrough that has significantly improved human life expectancy.


What is being called ignorance and misunderstanding in this thread is clearly just differences of opinion. Of course, I don't believe in "progress" in the way that it is generally used here. I don't agree with these people either, but they aren't ignorant; they just think that these animals' rights to a free life is worth more than the medical advancement that will come from testing. If some person "cares" about the animals enough to feel they should never be tested on, being an ethical advisor to a lab doing animal testing is not really a position they can abide; a person in that position is not going to be able to get the lab shut down and all the animals released to good homes as pets.

EDIT: Second paragrah largely Ninja'd by natraj.

Perhaps I'm ignorant on what animal testing has accomplished then. I figured that animal testing may have helped give their parents a better life (the insulin example from earlier, perhaps) which allowed them to be conceived in the first place, but that's an assumption. I yield :)

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:33 pm UTC

@Natraj: For fucks sake; if you want animals to be not used in research, come up with a cohesive argument for why this should be (and explain to all the sick people why bunnies are more important than their well being) and do something within the confines of the system to enact change. Don't storm into a facility and set a bunch of lab rats free.
My framework of morality includes not destroying other peoples property. If you feel that they have a right, being bent out of shape activitists fighting for the cause, man, to go around smashing shit because they feel like it, then sure, we got nothing to talk about. I find it hilarious that in the same breath you tell me not to impose my framework of morality on others, and then justify the behavior of these vandals.

@PuppyClaws: this lab was doing neurodegeneration research, that also encompassed autism and psychological disorders. These animals were being used to research cures to very pertinent human disorders.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Puppyclaws » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:40 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:My framework of morality includes not destroying other peoples property. If you feel that they have a right, being bent out of shape activitists fighting for the cause, man, to go around smashing shit because they feel like it, then sure, we got nothing to talk about. I find it hilarious that in the same breath you tell me not to impose my framework of morality on others, and then justify the behavior of these vandals.

And yes, Puppyclaws; this lab was doing neurodegeneration research, that also encompassed autism and psychological disorders. These animals were being used to research cures to very pertinent human disorders.


The point is not that they have a right to do what they did, but rather that arguing that they are ignorant/uninformed/anti-science is not entirely on the level. Your argument was not framed around the crime they committed but their motivation for said crime. I agree that leading a peaceful campaign in the name of their cause would be a better way for this group to act.

I never said that there wasn't value to the research being done, either. My entire point in my first paragraph was that saying "they probably wouldn't be alive if not for this type of research" is fallacious. Medical research, including animal research, has improved human quality of life; I'm not arguing that.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:50 pm UTC

Sorry, edited for clarity; the top two paragraphs of my last post were directed at natraj.

Puppyclaws wrote:My entire point in my first paragraph was that saying "they probably wouldn't be alive if not for this type of research" is fallacious. Medical research, including animal research, has improved human quality of life; I'm not arguing that.
Sure, the claim is hyperbolic, but not entirely fallacious.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:14 pm UTC

natraj wrote:
No. Wrong. I understand that your priorities are not animal liberationist priorities, but liberationists also have different priorities than welfarists. I would not campaign for ethical treatment of lab animals as The Right Thing To Do because I believe using animals for research is wrong. Fullstop. Don't tell people what they SHOULD be doing to fit into YOUR framework of morality.

I mean, that is a separate question entirely from whether releasing those animals had any net positive value for their cause, but you have a different idea of what their cause should BE in the first place.


Which medical treatments would you give up if it meant no animals were tested on? Insulin injections for diabetics? Organ transplants? Antivenom? Antibiotics? Cancer treatments? Everything that has anything to do with genetics? When you contract an illness whose treatment comes from animal testing, lets see you do the moral thing and refuse treatment.

Think it's possible for humans and animals to get along in perfect harmony? No. By the very existence of any one animal, it prevents the existence of another animal. By that deer living in the woods, it's eating food that 20 rabbits could've eaten, and you could argue it's more moral for 20 rabbits to live than 1 deer. When you eat food, even if all vegan*, you are still taking up space that would've been wilderness.

Nature rewards the murderers; you might save the tree but how many other trees did that tree kill to survive, by hoarding nutrients and blocking the sun? Yet the biggest tree which kills the most neighboring trees is the one that gets to fill the firest with its seeds. The fattest bear which has denied the most other animals of the sustenance they need, is the one that gets to produce the most cubs.

You can work to reduce harm to animals, you can work to reduce the impact humanity has on nature, but you can't eliminate it, nor should you. Humanity will only 'deserve' extinction to protect all the rest if we are so stupid that we commit suicide.



*veganism itself doesn't even maximize food production per acre. There are some food products that Hans can't even digest. Currently on my phone so I can't get the study for you, but food production maxes out at around 2 oz of meat a day, which although much less (and healthier) than many people eat, is not vegan.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Puppyclaws » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:22 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Nature rewards the murderers; you might save the tree but how many other trees did that tree kill to survive, by hoarding nutrients and blocking the sun? Yet the biggest tree which kills the most neighboring trees is the one that gets to fill the firest with its seeds. The fattest bear which has denied the most other animals of the sustenance they need, is the one that gets to produce the most cubs.


Well, I killed ten men, but that's OK, officer, because the money and resources that I got from them allowed me to raise a bunch of kids. What do you mean, human morality is not the same as the accidents of natural animal behavior? Naturalistic fallacy? Never heard of it. What's with the handcuffs?

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:24 pm UTC

[quote="Puppyclaws"][quote="CorruptUser"]Nature rewards the murderers; you might save the tree but how many other trees did that tree kill to survive, by hoarding nutrients and blocking the sun? Yet the biggest tree which kills the most neighboring trees is the one that gets to fill the firest with its seeds. The fattest bear which has denied the most other animals of the sustenance they need, is the one that gets to produce the most cubs.[/quote]

Well, I killed ten men, but that's OK, officer, because the money and resources that I got from them allowed me to raise a bunch of kids. What do you mean, human morality is not the same as the accidents of natural animal behavior? Naturalistic fallacy? Never heard of it. What's with the handcuffs?[/quote]

Civilization can be measured by how much we say "fuck you Mother Nature!".

The guy that murdered the other guys was rewarded in the form of more kids. Genghis Khan is an ancestor of 1 in 200 humans, after all.

Lions have interesting mating habits. A pride is made up of a several lionesses who do the hunting, a male to keep them pregnant, and the cubs. When the cubs come of age, the makes are kicked out and the females stay in the pride. If there are too many in the pride given the herds it follows, it splits. The male has two jobs; breeding, and fighting off rival males. If the male lion is killed and replaced by a new male, the very first thing the new male does is kill every last lion cub. This causes the lionesses to go into heat. Sometimes, a lionless pack of lionesses will fight off any males to prevent that from happening, until the cubs are grown.

This is not completely foreign to humanity. Stockholm Syndrome is not just a freak occurrence in human psychology. Nuts it's when we say, fuck you, might doesn't mean right, that we have civilization. It's when we as a whole say that no, the murderer/rapist doesn't get to win, when we eliminate the benefit of theft and rape, when we say that no individual has the right to use force to get what ze wants, that we have morality.

Fuck you nature, fuck you.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:29 pm UTC

The tangent about 'might means right' aside, the point of the matter is an incredible amount of utility and good has come from animal models. If you blithely object to using animals for scientific research, protest that life saving research and human knowledge improving progress the responsible way; don't vandalize progress, rise above being what amounts to a petty thug.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby EMTP » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:17 pm UTC

The animal testing argument is fairly simple. You have the empiric questions:

* Do people benefit? If so, how much?
* Do animals suffer? If so, how much?

Then you have philosophical/moral questions:

* How much suffering is it right to inflict on animals for a given amount of benefit to humans?
* Do all animals, or some animals, possess to some degree the intrinsic rights we commonly attribute to humans, who we tend to argue should not be tortured/murdered/experimented upon against their will, even if the utilitarian calculus would favor, say, butchering some people for the multiple useful organs they can provide.

Looking at these questions, it seems to me the answers are not obvious, and reasonable people can disagree. I don't see any reason to call the anti-experimental position anti-science. Anti-vaccine, anti-climate change, even moon landing conspiracy theorists have strong opinions about the facts of the subject and reject the findings of science. But in a moral disagreement, science doesn't have a position. You could call it anti-science in the sense anything that hinders scientific research is anti-science, but then you'd have to call the Nuremberg Code anti-science.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Adam H » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:36 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:I don't see any reason to call the anti-experimental position anti-science.

I think the argument is that these people who "freed" the lab animals from captivity are willfully ignorant of what they are actually doing (killing the lab animals, making the lab obtain more lab animals, and decreasing sympathy for the anti-experimental position). And willful ignorance is the epitome of anti-science.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:
EMTP wrote:I don't see any reason to call the anti-experimental position anti-science.

I think the argument is that these people who "freed" the lab animals from captivity are willfully ignorant of what they are actually doing (killing the lab animals, making the lab obtain more lab animals, and decreasing sympathy for the anti-experimental position). And willful ignorance is the epitome of anti-science.


I would agree.

The position of being against animal testing is not necessarily anti-science, but the actions taken certainly were.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby EMTP » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:05 am UTC

Adam H wrote:
EMTP wrote:I don't see any reason to call the anti-experimental position anti-science.

I think the argument is that these people who "freed" the lab animals from captivity are willfully ignorant of what they are actually doing (killing the lab animals, making the lab obtain more lab animals, and decreasing sympathy for the anti-experimental position). And willful ignorance is the epitome of anti-science.


That doesn't scan. You could similarly argue (and many occupying armies have) that insurgents are morally bankrupt because they only cause the occupying army to squeeze the civilians harder. "You shouldn't resist us because we'll do more of the same" is a weak argument and one which, if accepted, would basically rule out all acts of civil disobedience or any fight against the powerful. Think about it. What do you think was the immediate effect on the lives of black Americans in the South when activists started sitting down at lunch counters? What do you think is the first argument of every anti-union owner ever? "If you fight me for a living wage/safe factory/etc I'll fire everyone, therefore if you cared about the workers you'd stop fighting."

It's not about which side is right. I personally have pleasant memories of intubating kittens and once, when a practice session went wrong, doing CPR on a pig. But that argument doesn't pass the test of logic, or the test of common sense. Because while they may replace those animals at that lab, the fact remains that if a lab had a few incidents like that per year, every year, the work would soon be so prohibitively expensive and they'd have to close up shop. So those tactics certainly could have a discouraging effect on animal experimentation.

Even if one thinks the tactic was stupid and/or counterproductive, that doesn't mean they exhibit "willful ignorance" nor is that, I think, "the epitome of anti-science." The epitome of anti-science is simply being anti-science; being overtly hostile to scientific conclusions and the process of science, and using motivated reasoning to maintain a state of denial about the facts of the physical world discovered by science. It's a broad category, ranging from climate change denial to anti-vaccine campaigners to gun fetishists to theorists of the contraceptive effects of "legitimate rape."

It's an important social phenomenon with roots in American anti-intellectualism and conspiracist ideation (1) and it is devalued into meaninglessness, I would argue, if it becomes a synonym for every opposition strategy one thinks is stupid.

1. See an interesting recent paper, "NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:
An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science" http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/l ... piracy.pdf
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:15 am UTC

This is one reason I find forumites who are blocking or ignoring people to be particularly obnoxious.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:19 am UTC

I don't have people blocked, but I do ignore about a quarter of the posters after a while, only sometimes looking at what they have to say.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:31 am UTC

EMTP wrote:That doesn't scan. You could similarly argue (and many occupying armies have) that insurgents are morally bankrupt because they only cause the occupying army to squeeze the civilians harder. "You shouldn't resist us because we'll do more of the same" is a weak argument and one which, if accepted, would basically rule out all acts of civil disobedience or any fight against the powerful. Think about it. What do you think was the immediate effect on the lives of black Americans in the South when activists started sitting down at lunch counters? What do you think is the first argument of every anti-union owner ever? "If you fight me for a living wage/safe factory/etc I'll fire everyone, therefore if you cared about the workers you'd stop fighting."


It isn't merely that. It's the fact that they are harming the very things they are trying to purportedly save.

It's like insurgents striking back at a cruel government by shooting the population. That's just...wtf, mate?

If they swiped the animals, and made sure they were properly taken care of and the like, then yes, they would have a valid case to be made for helping the animals. Releasing the animals into the wild, though, merely ensures they will die a miserable death. That's a very strange "pro animal" action. It's also not a particularly scientific action, as any belief system that does not comprehend what will happen to these poor animals cannot be based on much science at all. Plus, trashing science labs just isn't terribly pro-science to begin with.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:38 am UTC

Just because they are against animal testing doesn't mean that they want to protect all animals from hunger and hawks. It just means they oppose animal testing.

And suppose they had moved all animals to other cages where they could be taken care of. Would that have changed anyone's reaction? Would that have made the action less anti-science?

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby alessandro95 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:45 am UTC

I live in Brescia, pretty near to Milan, as the article says in Brescia as well animalist freed animals (eapecially beagles) from the "green hill" laboratory and i know they were searching people who could take care of them but I don't know how the whole story ended because I moved to china which is also the reason why I'm not informed about what is going on in Milan.

Anyway I agree that setting free in the wilderness laboratory animal is just a cruel way to kill them, but I also think that animal rights activist have some reasons. Is animal testing truly necessary? I'm afraid it is, thought I do not like it, but still, if it is unavoidable than it should be done.


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I do not want to start another argument but sometimes we pay more attentions to the condition of animals rather than caring for other humans

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby curtis95112 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:51 am UTC

There's anti-science, and then there's abject stupidity.
If they had moved the animals to get proper care, then they'd be more like people who bomb abortion clinics. Right now they're trashing the clinic, inducing premature births, and then setting the babies free into the wild.
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Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby addams » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:17 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Is there really a misunderstanding? They don't want animals used as testbed for medication. If you explained them what was going there, there is a good chance they would believe you, and still want to stop it.

Yes. Maybe.

There is a conversation we can and should be having; Always.

Do we harm? Experiments are a Wonderful Thing. Do we harm more than is required?
Do we ease harm? What are our intentions?

Yes. Living creatures are used.
Now; How do we allow animals to be used?

No! Do Not Vandalize Labs!

Do ask questions. What are you doing? Why?
How do you feed and care for The Beasts?

Do you enjoy your work? What part is your favorite part?
(The morning kill, is a bad answer.)

I know for a Fact in the Name of Science has been used to do Horrible Things.
Scientists are usually so sweet. But; Not All!

I talked to a woman that is a Chemist.
She is good at what she does.

She was crying about The Butterflies.
Everyone makes mistakes.
She and her team were doing what they could.
They were people we can all be proud of.

They fixed it. They fixed it, because they gave a damn.

I know a little about The Subject.
There are Assholes with PhD's.
Assholes attract Assholes.

We work with animals. It is sacred.
We hold their lives in our hands.
Like farmers, we must be Good Stewards.

Human, Monkey, Dog, Mouse, Rat, eeww.
There are bugs in Labs. There are fish in Labs.

People! Vandalizing a lab is, just, wrong.
Yet; Secret programs may be worse.

Of course, The Common People will not understand.
They could if they went to school and paid attention.

It is easier to Not Believe in Evolution than it is to Understand it.

To rush to The Side Of Science blindly is a Bad Thing, too.
There are, most likely, still persons doing Wrong Things in Science.

It is important to be careful of the lives of others, even immunosuppressed mice.

So, funny. I don't like to kill anything. But; I will, sometimes.
Mice. I have done it. I felt bad, about it. I said a little prayer.

Inside the United States our systems of Oversight are All Fucked Up.
In every area of life that I have encountered recently.
Why Not Science, Too?

What did you learn about this At School?
If a person gleefully harms animals, then Humans may very well be a next step.

If a person is proud of Torturing Humans, then what animal is safe?
The answer is His Own.

It is good to consider improvements.
Always consider improvements.
Implement those improvements when possible.

I know people get a little nutty about animal experiments.
I prefer people to be a little nutty to people being cruel or indifferent.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:43 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:And suppose they had moved all animals to other cages where they could be taken care of. Would that have changed anyone's reaction? Would that have made the action less anti-science?
I'm more upset with the breaking and entering and theft and destruction of data. That the protestors are waving an animal rights activism boner in the face of a lab that is doing research on human mental disorder research screams to me of such absurd idealism and nearsightedness, that I don't really care what your moral platform or message is. The lab isn't violating any animal testing codes, isn't doing frivolous research, and I'd be fairly comfortable suggesting that at least one of those activists knows someone affected by mental health disorders. I hope they looked that person, or that family in the eye and said "Fuck you and your issues, this bunny was more important."

Zamfir wrote:Just because they are against animal testing doesn't mean that they want to protect all animals from hunger and hawks. It just means they oppose animal testing.
Suresure.

alessandro wrote:I do not want to start another argument but sometimes we pay more attentions to the condition of animals rather than caring for other humans
This is absolutely true; due to animal rights regulations, there are a number of experiments that cannot be conducted because they are considered to cause unnecessary suffering to animals. Hilariously, this particularly event is an example of people caring deeply about the health and well being of the animals, so they can be used to improve the health and well being of humans, and otherr humans having a problem with that, so probably killing the animals.
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Re: Animal Rights Activists Trash Italian Lab

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:52 pm UTC

curtis95112 wrote:There's anti-science, and then there's abject stupidity.
If they had moved the animals to get proper care, then they'd be more like people who bomb abortion clinics. Right now they're trashing the clinic, inducing premature births, and then setting the babies free into the wild.


Exactly. I would still disagree with them, but surely we can agree that NOT killing all the animals is a superior solution, all other things being equal.

Differences of opinion are fine, but when those stretch to civil disobedience, and don't even really produce the ends you claim to be fighting for...it's kind of odd.

I've got a grandma that used to work at a mink farm that got hit up by protesters. Now, this wasn't a science thing, this was just animals being raised for their pelts. Generally less important by a long shot. Still, while they released all the animals, over the next couple of days, most of them actually returned to the farm. It's where the food was, as far as they knew. Being raised in captivity doesn't provide a great training for being dumped into the wild.

Which brings me to my next point. Choice of targets. There are a LOT of potential targets for animal rights activists. Some of which actually do treat animals pretty crappily(think modern chicken farms). The science lab is probably less horrifying for the animals by far, and probably one of the most morally justifiable cases. Their choice to target them IS anti-science.


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