Opinion was propaganda

In “Animal activists on wrong side of fight against AIDS” (October 3, 2019), the president of the animal-experimentation propaganda organization Foundation for Biomedical Research repeats misrepresentations that big pharma, its allied industries and indoctrinated scientists, practitioners and officials have imposed on the public since animal-advocacy organizations started to expose the horrendous suffering of nonhuman animals in laboratories.

A practice needn’t be cruel to be immoral and unjust or to cause intense pain and suffering. Everything humans do to or with other animals and their natural homes and ecosystems is animal abuse. Human beings have no biological entitlement to any other animal for any purpose, any more than they are entitled to enslave or oppress one another. Experimenting on nonhuman animals is the tip of a vast iceberg of animal-abuse policy, culture and practice that has generated human misery for thousands of years.

Take the disease at hand: AIDS. Like bubonic plague smallpox, anthrax, influenza and other big killers and destroyers of human families, AIDS first afflicted human beings due to animal abuse – unnatural and unjustified contact between humans and other animals. Around the turn of the 20th century, a human being in Africa butchered a chimpanzee for food, enabling the chimpanzee’s blood to mix with his own, most likely through an open wound. AIDS initial spread among human beings began slowly when the misguided butcher unknowingly began passing along the virus through sexual activity and his partners did the same.

Experimenting on nonhuman animals has delayed medical progress or proven misleading in countless cases, adding to human suffering as well as depriving other animals of any chance at a fulfilling life. Dr. Robert Sharpe documents 101 cases in his book “Science on Trial: The Human Cost of Animal Experiments.” See also, “Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals.” I personally researched many experiments on nonhuman animals in the 1990s, locating scientists and physicians glad to attest to the procedures’ uselessness for human health. Responsible Policies for Animals is glad to provide additional information and sources.

Readers must understand that the article at hand is propaganda for profit, careerism and the animal-abuse infrastructure, not for human well-being or concern for justice or morality.

David Cantor
Founder & Director, Responsible Policies for Animals


I’m wondering why the Oct. 3 Local ran a reprint of a piece by the president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research (“Animal activists on wrong side of fight against AIDS”). The fight against AIDS is something we all care about, and animal activists have never seriously threatened the use of animals in AIDS research. If anything, the activists have only slightly improved the conditions under which the animals are kept.

Yes, activists (myself included) hold out hope for a future that does not involve giving horrible diseases to sentient beings. The struggle now is to get the bio-research industry to expend even a smitten of its resources to that end. I find it interesting that this article ran in the issue sponsored by Chestnut Hill Hospital. In the present atmosphere of quid pro quo, it seems a bit inappropriate.

Jim Harris