By Rick Bogle
Good job Madeline!
You may have read about Oklahoma State University canceling planned anthrax experiments on baboons after Madeleine Pickens apparently threatened to cancel her and her husband’s $5 million donation to the university’s vet school. (Anthrax study rejected by OSU: Euthanasia of primates may be to blame for decision to cancel veterinary school project; read Anthrax Study on Baboons Rejected by OSU.)
Good job Madeline and Burns! Pickens is better known for her work on behalf of wild horses.
Unsurprisingly, the vivisection community has been unnerved by this. Paul Browne, of ProTest, commented on The Scientist:
… When university administrators go over the heads of university review boards and stop a project without consulting the investigators involved or members of the relevant ethics and safety committees something is clearly wrong, and when it looks as if the administration is acting under pressure from a wealthy donor it is time for us to stand up for academic freedom.
Today the issue is anthrax research in baboons, but what might it be tomorrow? Can any funder trust the OSU administration any more?
Over at ScienceBlogs, DrugMonkey (aka, Michael A. Taffe) said:
This, my friends, is the start of the slippery slope. OSU has put the bit in Ms. Pickens’ teeth and given her (and whatever ARA extremist groups have their claws into her) free rein to bring down any and all of OSU’s ongoing programs she objects to. Unchecked, this is going to end up with the complete dissolution of the baboon research ERV mentioned.
The blogger mentioned above by Taffe, also at ScienceBlogs, the anonymous ERV, [maybe that’s why she feels comfortable throwing around the profanity?] who claims to be a graduate student at OSU, launched into an ad hominem attack on Pickens:
That horribly disfigured woman, Madeleine Pickens? That poor dumb thing married to some rich guy? Rich guy gives money to OSU, so people listen to the stupid blonde who mutilated herself a-la Michael Jackson with ‘animal free’ (**WINK!!**) plastic surgery/botox/hair dye/make-up? Oh, Im sure she had nothing to do with this. **WINK!!**
But none of these deep thinkers have addressed the issue of using baboons or other monkeys in studies like these. All they can do is fan the flames of fear that have erupted in a few vivisectors’ guts because of a potential future loss of income. All they can do is claim that Ms. Pickens has had plastic surgery. Is it any wonder that genuinely hard questions about human biology and health are so rarely answered by scientists of this ilk?
DrugMonkey (aka, Michael A. Taffe) made the doped-up claim that because Ms. Picken’s husband kills quail, that she is a hypocrite if she voices any concern for other animals. The drugs he is probably stealing and secretly consuming must have really kicked in as he was writing, because he then claims that the Pickenses are terrorists. Wow. That sounds like good shit Mike.
It is well past time for the NIH to provide an equally weighty counter to the intimidation of the ARA terrorists. Because that’s what this is. A University president fearing “controversial” research has been terrorized by the extremist fringe into deciding that the best path is simply to give in.
Rick Bogle taught in a public elementary school for eight years after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. After learning details of experiments occurring in U.S. laboratories, he gave up his teaching career in 1997 and began working full time to call attention to the government-sponsored abuse of animals.
Rick is knowledgeable on all issues surrounding the use of animals in science, but is particularly well-informed about the use of monkeys. Rick says:
“Science has shown repeatedly and convincingly that other animals have minds and emotions so like our own that their joy and suffering is essentially indistinguishable from our own joy and suffering. People are waking up to the implications of this fact; a revolution has begun."