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Science

Animal Rights Group Targets NIH Director's Home (sciencemag.org) 222

sciencehabit writes: Late last month, hundreds of people in two Washington, D.C., suburbs received a letter in the mail claiming that one of their neighbors was tied to animal abuse at a government lab. Science has learned that the letters, sent by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), targeted U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and NIH researcher Stephen Suomi, revealing their home addresses and phone numbers and urging their neighbors to call and visit them. The tactic is the latest attempt by the animal rights group to shut down monkey behavioral experiments at Suomi's Poolesville, Maryland, laboratory, and critics say it crosses the line.
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Animal Rights Group Targets NIH Director's Home

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  • The PETA folks occasionally have valid points, but this is not one of those times. They latched on to some information that is - at best - partially true and now they are trying to destroy someone's career over it. These people are no better than the "Earth Liberation Front" that "released" a bunch of study animals only for them to be quickly run over by cars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      PETA is a PITA. Their aims may be noble, but their methods border on criminal. They once picketed a hospital I worked at for doing animal research - which had never been done there. They apparently based the idea on the fact that there were some dog pens behind the hospital. Those were for guard dogs that had been used at the boiler plant many years ago and are all overgrown with weeds now.
      • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@mac.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Thursday November 19, 2015 @01:08PM (#50963265) Journal

        Their aims may be noble

        Nope. Not even close.

        PETA is a criminal nut-cult, run for the sole purpose of propping up the ego of its crazy founder. It might as well be scientology.

        -jcr

        • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @03:39PM (#50964729)

          And the irony is that PETA puts down dogs that could otherwise adopted because the head of Peta doesn't believe in pets.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            And the irony is that PETA puts down dogs that could otherwise adopted because the head of Peta doesn't believe in pets.

            Peta once "discarded" a dozen dead cats on the cars of a fast food joint I was at. Really creepy that was.

    • misinformation (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mschaffer ( 97223 )

      Gee, I thought that PETA stood for "People Eating Tasty Animals". I guess I was misinformed.

    • by Rob MacDonald ( 3394145 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @02:26PM (#50964013)
      Destroy someones career? They are basically asking their followers to murder these people.
      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        All it takes is one mentally unstable person getting it into his or her head that it's his or her 'duty' to save the world from this evil person PETA is talking about.

  • by mamono ( 706685 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:23PM (#50962809)
    Because the monkeys have better behavior than they do and they are jealous.
    • They believe in being dumb to kind animals.

      And being dumb is pretty much all they have going for them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:30PM (#50962869)

    Humans are animals, too. How is this treating these victims ethically?

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Peta tends to forget that. However so do most people.

      I think the ACLU and OSHA are the main ones but you would think someone would start PETP people for the ethical treatment of people. Or I suppose you could name it PETH if you wanted to be specific.

    • Exactly - they do the vegan and animal rights movement an injustice with these actions. Their logic is flawed, and may as well be harassing lions because they kills zebras.
  • Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:30PM (#50962873)

    All PETA members and their families should be identified.

    If they should ever turn up needing medical services, they should only receive services that were not devised/tested via animal experimentation.

    I expect they'd quickly be whistling a different tune.

    • Re:Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @01:05PM (#50963231)

      All PETA members and their families should be identified.

      If they should ever turn up needing medical services, they should only receive services that were not devised/tested via animal experimentation.

      I expect they'd quickly be whistling a different tune.

      I don't think that's entirely fair since their belief is those same medical services could have been produced without animal experimentation.

      I think they're mostly wrong of course, and more than a bit loopy, but I'd rather treat them with well deserved scorn than trying to saddle them with our version of what we think they want.

      • Re:Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @01:47PM (#50963659) Homepage

        I don't think that's entirely fair since their belief is those same medical services could have been produced without animal experimentation.

        Then let the PETA members volunteer to be experimented on in place of the animals.

    • "...and their families should be identified."

      What if it was like the crazy outcasted sibling that went batshit and joined PETA? Why should the rest of the family be punished?
    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      PETA members should be denied medical treatment for anything that isn't an injury.

      Won't SOMEONE think of the bacteria and viruses!!!!

    • Excuse me, but I like being the good guy. This means I want to act so my actions are distinguishable from those of the bad guys. I'm not going to suggest withholding treatment for anyone based on their beliefs.

      Also, I have some unpopular opinions (not all of which I reveal in public). If PETA members don't get properly treated, what's to stop "them" from extending it to people who don't have "unmutual" thoughts? I like to defend the rights of assholes, since I never know who "they" will start on once

  • Not news. (Score:5, Funny)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:34PM (#50962919)
    "...People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ... crosses the line..."

    Stating a tautology is not news.
  • Science learning? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by keith_nt4 ( 612247 )

    Science has learned that the letters ...

    Really, science learned something? Science is an entity now? It goes around learning things?

    • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:38PM (#50962963)

      No, but Science IS the title of a magazine. The one linked to for the article in fact.

      • Well, Science is the title of a magazine.

        Once upon a time, there existed an entire profession devoted to finding and fixing problems like that in written works. Perhaps Slashdot should start calling their employees by some title other than "editor".

      • Perhaps it should have read something like

        Science Magazine has learned...

        You know, some kind of indication that "Science" in this context is some kind of organization or group people versus a "method of study". Too much to ask?

        • Why? To prevent snarky cynics from embarrassing themselves with stupid rhetorical questions? Where's the fun in that?

      • No, but Science IS the title of a magazine. The one linked to for the article in fact.

        It's a pity the magazine wasn't Nature. GP's head would have exploded.

        • Ah, but nature *does* learn things - it tends to be slow and random, with the results being stored as DNA changes rather than in a cognitive mind, but just look how it learned to make bald apes with minds sophisticated enough to debate the subtitles of communication through abstract symbols with individuals half a world away. All starting with just some single-cell organisms. (or less, but we many never know the details for sure)

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            Nature doesn't "learn". Nature adapts. Those are different. A river that changes course doesn't have a memory of the old path. It didn't learn a new way. The new way happened, so it took it.
  • PETA is worthless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:37PM (#50962947)

    https://www.petakillsanimals.com/ [petakillsanimals.com]

    PETA's "animal shelters" would do Auschwitz proud.

  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:38PM (#50962969) Homepage
    How about you start by treating people ethically, PETA?
  • Goose meet gander (Score:4, Informative)

    by fred911 ( 83970 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:39PM (#50962971)

    PETA President's home address
    Ingrid Newkirk
    40 Rader St Apt 407
    Norfolk, VA 23510

  • Mrs. Brisby unavailable for comment.

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:51PM (#50963101)

    The only thing they've done is further prove the case for abolishing all tax exemption for political activism and making contributions to the same not a valid deduction on the income tax.

  • by RevDisk ( 740008 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:57PM (#50963153) Journal
    Trying to influence government officials with threats is a very good way to end up with prison sentences.

    Sure, PETA is trying to outsourcing harassment of government officials by misleading information and probably omitting very pertinent information. If anything happens to them, I sincerely hope the responsible folks at PETA are charged as accessories. PETA may or may not have decent points. But the crazies in their leadership negate any possible positives.
  • by whitroth ( 9367 ) <whitroth@NospAm.5-cent.us> on Thursday November 19, 2015 @01:34PM (#50963519) Homepage

    First of all, this is harassment.

    Second, all of them are ignorant idiots. Anyone who wants to discuss this, let me know, and I'll post a link to the official NIH book on the ethical design of experiments, including both human and animal guidelines.

    Third... have *any* PETA members *ever* volunteered themselves to replace animals in medical trials, bearing in mind that if they don't work, the side effects could be dangerous?

                      mark

    • Third... have *any* PETA members *ever* volunteered themselves to replace animals in medical trials, bearing in mind that if they don't work, the side effects could be dangerous?

      Now there's an idea...

  • ....and offer my support and ask if he needed anything. I'd also stand watch on his porch for a few hours a week to chase off loons if necessary.

  • Today it was announced that the NIH has decided to retire all of their research chimps:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/19/... [cnn.com]

    • Most studies that use non-human primates don't use chimps. Macaques are much more common, as they're cheaper, easier, and safer to work with. PETA is upset about all non-human primates, not just the chimps - although they are undoubtedly happy about that news.
      • "Most studies that use non-human primates don't use chimps".

        That's a good point, that's for bringing that up.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Why did I want that link to be to an Onion article about congressional term limits?
  • Of course this crosses a line. Medical research absolutely needs animals for research purposes. Sometimes, monkeys are the only way to learn something. It's expensive, and the requirements for doing monkey experiments are understandably much more stringent, so scientists try to avoid using them whenever possible, but they are necessary in some cases. It's unfortunate, and nobody likes doing it, but is something medical research needs to succeed.
  • Replace each monkey with a member of the Animal Rights Group!

    They're not exactly like human beings, but they're closer than monkeys.
  • Then contribute to the Humane Society, the SPCA, or any of a dozen other organizations that don't sponsor criminal activity.

    -jcr

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."

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