Hypocrite Against Animal Research

Over the weekend, the Times of London ran an interesting profile of an animal rights activist who has actively campaigned against Huntingdon Life Sciences and other animal research firms in the UK, but who now is using treatments tested on animals to treat her breast cancer.

According to the Times, Janet Tomlinson, 61, has been an active campaigner in a number of animal rights protests in the UK, from the successful campaign against Hilgrove, to the current campaigns against the Newchurch guinea pig farm and Huntingdon Life Sciences. But when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Tomlinson had no problem running to doctors to receive the sort of treatments that would never have been developed had she had her way.

Tomlinson uses a number of justifications for her behavior. The classic, of course, is the Mary Beth Sweetland defense — Tomlinson’s taking the drugs for the animals,

I can do more good for animals staying alive than dying.

Well, of course — she and her fellow animal rights activists are special. Why shouldn’t they partake of the fruits of the animal research industry? Hell, who could blame Tomlinson if she wanted to enjoy a nice steak or wear leather, either. After all, she’s doing it for the animals.

Her second line of reasoning is that it’s really all the drug companies fault. In fact — pay close attention here — the drug companies are guilty of criminal behavior for providing her with a treatment that might extend her life,

If this testing on animals is as beneficial as the doctors say, then it would stop cancer. But it hasn’t — and that has to be criminal. It helps some, and chemo might help me and kill the infected cells, but it might not. I should not have to live with that fear when scientists have had so much money and tested enough animals and yet they can’t tell me the treatment will work.

Thanks to medical advances in detection and treatment, the 20-year breast cancer survival rate is as high as 65 percent in some countries. In the United States, deaths from breast cancer fell from almost 34 per 100,000 in the late 1980s to less than 27 per 100,000 in 1999. Ah, those wiley criminal scientists.

And, of course, Tomlinson hedges her bets. In case she does live another 20 years or more, it won’t be due to the animal-tested drugs she’s taking,

If I’m saved, it will be in spite of the drugs being tested on animals. All my friends are telling me I’m the guinea pig because whether you recover or not, it is a fluke of nature, a lottery.

Just because the drugs are tested on animals it does not mean that we are going to survive. I am only taking the course of action I am because there is no alternative. I really don’t see how putting an electrode in a monkey’s head or stripping fur on a guinea pig and sticking toxic liquid on it has helped me or is going to help me. It’s disgusting that I don’t have a choice.

But, of course, she has an obvious choice — don’t accept the treatment. If animal research is complete hooey and Tomlinson can’t see how experimenting on animals might help her or other breast cancer patients, then don’t reward drug companies by buying their wares. Just say not to animal-tested drugs.

Instead Tomlinson would prefer the hypocrisy of accepting the only treatments proven to increase the odds of survival in women afflicted with breast cancer, while simultaneously raging against the individuals, companies and governments for encouraging the sort of research that led to these treatments in the first place.


The animal lab critic, cancer and hypocrisy. Valerie Elliott, The Times (London), August 28, 2004.

That Didn't Take Long: Kerry Whitburn Back in Jail

Back in January, British animal rights activist Kerry Whitburn served one month of a two-month sentence for breaking into a pet store. Apparently the first time around left Whitburn itching for more, and the activist was sentenced in May to four months in jail for actions taken against the Newchurch Guinea Pig Farm.


Earth Liberation Prisoners Bulletin, May 7, 2004.

More on the Absurdities of British Animal Rights Terrorism

Here’s the full text of a notice that Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs posted on its website in February in its continued harassment of David Hall and company.

SNGP New Target – Calor Gas

Calor Gas supply the Halls with gas for use in their central heating systems. With winter well underway it is time to freeze the killers out and ensure Calor Gas sever all ties with this animal killing family.

We need to remind the Halls (as if they could have forgotten!) that anyone who has anything to do with them will have to face the anger of the animal rights movement and we need to show Calor Gas that those who deal with the business or personal life of animal killers such as the Halls will not be allowed to do so any longer.

Contact Calor Gas TODAY and let them know what you think of them dealing with a family that sends animals to torture and death in laboratories and breaks the necks of guinea pigs with their own bare hands!

Email them, phone them, fax them, write to them, and organize demonstrations against them — whatever you do do it loud and proud safe in the knowledge that you are hammering another nail into the coffin of the vile vivisection business of the Hall family.


SNGP New Target- Calor Gas. Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs, February 2004.

MP Denounces Harassment of Owners of Guinea Pig Farm

MP Michael Fabricant spoke in the House of Commons in early February to denounce extremists animal rights activists who have been harassing the owners of David Hall & Partners, which breeds guinea pigs for medical research.

Although not as well known as the harassment against Huntingdon Life Sciences, groups such as Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs and individual activists have emulated the strategy of groups and individuals trying to bring down HLS.

Fabricant described such tactics in his speech,

One of my constituents runs a guinea pig farm for medical research which is controlled by the Home Office to protect the animals and to ensure the guinea pigs are bred and kept humanely.

He has written to me saying: ‘Before New Year’s Eve, the activists smashed all the downstairs windows of my 86-year-old father’s home whilst he was in the house, and then threw red paint bombs through the smashed windows. He was petrified. Between Christmas and New Year they were also at my niece’s house . . . and they turned off all her water and then concreted the stop cock so she could not get it back on.’

The fascinating thing — and what is exactly the problem in the UK — was the response from Cabinet Minster Hain who is the Leader of the Commons,

Many of us have a lot of sympathy with animal rights movements and support them. We want proper protection for animals and an end to cruelty, but to take things to such an extent and to terrorize scientists, doctors and others involved is wholly unacceptable.

So the irrational nonsense spouted by the animal rights movement is a good thing, it’s just some of the tactics they use that are a problem for Hain. Gee, I can’t imagine why the animal rights movement is so emboldened in the UK.


MP’s fury at animal rights attack. Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post, February 3, 2004.