An article making the case for using animals in medical tests to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus (aka Covid-19 virus). Naturally, groups such as People for the Extortion, Torture and Abuse of human beings (PETA) oppose vivsection in this and other instances. Despite their laying low now, PETA and other animal rights groups have a long history of harassing and intimidating people involved in medical research that uses animals and will do so at the earliest opportunity since their end goal is to eradicate as many humans as possible.
Why animal research is essential to tackling Covid-19
Groups opposed to animal research have fallen silent all of a sudden.
The normally loud and brash online platforms of activist groups opposed to the use of animals in research are strangely quiet at the moment. It’s easy to see why, of course. The coronavirus pandemic has made their arguments far harder to make than usual.
Just try an internet search with the terms ‘Cruelty Free International’ (CFI) – an influential advocate for the abolition of animal research – and ‘coronavirus’. You will find no links to website articles, videos or petitions demanding the end of the global search for the most appropriate animals to be used to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. Nor are there any campaigns against using animal models to halt the spread of the virus.
The news is full of lists of private and public research institutions at various stages of research into Covid-19. There have been discussions about the need for mice and monkeys to test new innovative drugs. In any other situation, groups such as CFI would be calling out these institutions, and decrying the increase in animal-use. Yet CFI has made no public statements in response to all this, despite the organisation’s mission to ‘end all animal experiments worldwide’.
Now, the website of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) did put out a statement on coronavirus in January. Authored by PETA senior vice-president Kathy Guillermo, it demanded an end to ‘failed testing methods’ and outlined PETA’s answer to the pandemic: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and given that the pathogens that cause pandemics typically jump from farmed animals to humans, it’s time to stop breeding and eating billions of animals each year.’ But since then, PETA has shied away from the issue altogether.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that these groups have suddenly discovered the central role of biomedical research in scientific understanding and drug discovery. These activist groups have put their names to and led campaigns seeking to halt animal-use in research for years, and they have vilified and harassed researchers and research institutions.