Consider this case, care of the folks over at Inside Higher Ed:
A post-doc biologist (a researcher with a PhD in biology), Christine Lattin, has been using advanced imaging technology to study how wild birds neuroendocrine systems respond to changing environments. Her research question is "How much stress is good and how much is bad, under which circumstances, and among which birds?"
Lattin believes that understanding stress in bird populations is critical due to habitat destruction, climate change, and species invasions in their natural environments. Furthermore, the hormone and neurotransmitter pathways in birds are similar to those in all vertebrates. Thus, Lattin's research may yield results that can assist the planet's animals broadly and perhaps humans specifically!
Got the idea? Lattin is a biologist, yes, but she's studying the effects of man-made climate change--those "changing environments"--upon all of those innocent animals in the wild...like birds.
One would think Lattin would be recognized by those who who worship at the altar of environmentalism as someone who is well on the pathway to sainthood.
But, whoa! NOT!
Why? Lattin--a self-described "bird lover"--is conducting her research for the most part on wild house sparrows.
Enter Stage Left: The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PETA ideologues are demanding that Yale University terminate funding for Lattin’s research. They've resorted to protesting in front of Lattin's home and also rae sending Lattin emails telling her to "kill herself."
Not only that, PETA’s website is attacking Lattin, asserting that her research is unnecessarily cruel and essentially pointless. In a post titled "PETA to Bird Torturer: Here Are the Facts," PETA's Senior Vice President, Kathy Guillermo observed:
I was appalled to learn about the abuse of birds at the hands of Yale experimenter Christine Lattin, who's capturing these sensitive animals from their natural homes and intentionally tormenting and killing them. These cruel experiments are also wasteful, since they're not applicable to humans or any other species.
Of course, none of that matters to the PETA ideologues. They maintain that Lattin's research is unethical. Guillermo, added:
Snatching sparrows from the backyard, injecting them, wounding them, shaking and yelling at them, using them in several different experiments and then killing them--this is what is at issue. She says she wants to help wild birds, yet her opening move is to cause them as much physical pain and mental anguish as possible. She has captured from the wild, tormented and killed more than 250 songbirds.
No doubt about it: This direct attack upon Lattin is intentional. The objective of the folks at PETA is to intimidate a young biologist who has high hopes to be hired for a tenure-track position in higher education in order to dissuade her from extending her research agenda. How so? Poison her reputation as a "rising star" so she won't be hired at any university of any credibility and distinction
The President of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, Matthew R. Bailey, offered support for Lattin in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Bailey argues that scientists like Lattin help animals live "longer, healthier lives." He added that discouraging studies only "condemns animals to unnecessary suffering and death from preventable illnesses. Real animal lovers should be proud to support animal research.”
PETA--a rigorist denomination of the religion of environmentalism--knows only "yes" or "no." Either one knuckles under to and support their dogma or their Inquisition will have its way.
Let the discussion begin...
To access the websites identified in this post, click on the following links: