So who says the tragedy of thalidomide proves that animal research doesn’t work?

Numerous individuals and groups opposed to animal research (the usual suspects, PETA and company) exploit the tragedy of Thalidomide to argue that biomedical research is ineffective, dangerous or even that using animal models has been a huge impediment to finding cures. The purveyors of this “proof” ignore the countless advancements in medicine that have been achieved over the last century where research using animals was a vital part. But when your end goal is not to cure diseases, but to put an end to all animal research, twisting the facts is a necessary tactic.

Below are a few choice quotes from anti-animal research activists who have cited Thalidomide as a reason to end animal research. Do you think these statements represent an objective view of the issue?

In Their Own Words

  • “Even if animal tests produced a cure [for AIDS], ‘we’d be against it.’”— Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA co-founder
  •  “Nothing is more violent and radical than what’s being done to non-human animals in our society. If a researcher won’t stop abusing animals and is stopped physically, whether with the use of force, or is killed, I certainly wouldn’t lose sleep over that idea.” – Jerry Vlasak, former director of the Animal Defense League
  • “[Animal research is] cruel, archaic, wasteful and unnecessary” — The National Anti-Vivisection Society
  • “Even granting that we [humans] face greater harm than laboratory animals presently endure if … research on these animals is stopped, the animal rights view will not be satisfied with anything less than total abolition.” – Tom Regan, philosopher and a “father” of the modern animal rights movement.
  • “To those people who say, ‘My father is alive because of animal experimentation,’ I say ‘Yeah, well, good for you. This dog died so your father could live.’ Sorry, but I am just not behind that kind of trade off.” — Bill Maher, television host & part-time animal rights advocate

Video: anti-research activist squirms after being called out on out-of-context presentations and lies!