Animal rights protestors misrepresented

Editor:

As one of the 16 people cited for “residential picketing,” I strongly object to Alicia Williams’ unsubstantiated claims (“Animal research is clearly worth it,” Dec. 1) about animal research and her deliberate mischaracterization of animal rights activists. Alicia is using fear tactics, trying to frighten readers by portraying peaceful protesters as aggressors. Look at the language she uses to speak about pacifists such as myself: militant, bully, hatred, threat, terrorist tactics.

Terrorist tactics? When did chanting and waving signs become terrorism?

Also, the article uses the term “non-violent animal rights activists” as though there is any other sort. Even the underground Animal Liberation Front, which engages in direct, illegal action to free animals, has never hurt or killed one person, let alone a single animal.

One last point. Your columnist says that difference of opinion does not justify, among other things, anger. I wonder whether she thinks difference of opinion over segregation or over women’s rights ever sparked justified anger. How about different opinions over child labor or ethnic cleansing? I don’t cite these examples to reduce the suffering and injustices experienced by women, children and minorities throughout history to that of lab mice. Rather, I hope to elevate the status of research animals in our public consciousness above that of objects.

Kristina McIntyre
Senior, Anthropology