Almost 3 Million People A Year Killed By Malaria

The World Health Organization recently held a conference in Kenya
to find a way to control Malaria in Africa. According to WHO, malaria kills
an estimated 1.5 to 2.7 million people every year. A staggering 270 million
to 480 million people contract malaria each year. By comparison, WHO estimates
that somewhat over 40 million people have been infected with HIV worldwide since
the late 1970s, though the mortality rate for HIV is much higher — more than
11 million have died from AIDS since the late 1970s.

Africa is especially hit hard by malaria, with 90 percent of the world’s cases
occurring there. It’s no coincidence that Africa is both the poster child for
bad government and malaria, as the former contributes to the latter. As WHO
official Edwin Afari said, “They [malaria victims] die because they lack access
to health care, life-saving drugs and treated bed nets.” Of course its hard
to provide health care and lifesaving drugs in places like Ethiopia and Eritrea,
for example, which seem far more interested in fighting over their border, or
Angola where a 25-year-old civil war simply refuses to die (though the people
there are not so lucky).

But, of course, what has WHO targeted as the major health risk for the 22nd
century? Why smoking of course.

Brazil Politician Accused of Genocide for Sterilization Practices

The Pataxo Ha-Ha-Hae is a small Indian tribe in Brazil — the tribe only has
about 1,800 people left. In 1991, the Brazilian government granted the tribe
rights to over 133,000 acres of land in Brazil but after court challenges by
new settlers, only 5,000 acres were left to the tribe. By all accounts the Pataxo
Ha-Ha-Hae and the settlers are constantly involved in violent conflicts — since
1982 fifty-one Indians have died in land-related conflicts.

So imagine the surprise of the Pataxo Ha-Ha-Hae leaders when they learned
that popular politician and doctor Roland Lavigne had performed sterilization
operations on 58 Pataxo Ha-Ha-Hae members in the months before Brazil’s 1994
election. The tribal leaders call the action nothing less than genocide.

As tribe member Alcides Francisco Filho told the Associated Press, “The real
issue here is land. Lavigne is allied with the big ranchers who are occupying
our land.”

Such claims seem a bit odd since most of the women sterilized not only agreed
to it voluntarily but in turn voted for Lavigne in the election — in fact what
Lavigne does seem guilty of is vote buying. The free sterilization was used
as an incentive to entice the women.

There are certainly problems in some nations with unethical sterilization and
abortion practices (Peru and China come to mind), but this Brazil case doesn’t
seem like one of them.

Insect Rights?

Still don’t think that animal rights philosophy puts one on the slippery slope
to granting rights to just about everything that moves? Then check out
Joanne E. Lauck and Brian L. Crissey’s The Voice of the Infinite in
the Small : Revisioning the Insect-Human Connection
. This little ditty
attempts to smash the myths in Western culture about insects and seeks
to find a new more compassionate and positive relationship between humans
and insects. As one reviewer summed up Lauck’s vision:

The Voice of the Infinite in the Small is an invitation
to experience Oneness, not only with those creatures we find beautiful,
but with those that invoke our deepest fears. Once we experience that
unity, Lauck explains, our sense of self will expand and we will be able
to rediscover ourselves as part of every ecosystem and every creature
on Earth. Then we may dare to ask what part of ourselves is that we hate
and seek to eradicate? [when we, for example, try to kill pests that attack
crops]

Soon I imagine we will see groups raiding the folks who make bug zappers.

On the Lighter Side

The Onion, an online humor
magazine akin to National Lampoon only funnier, recently published a hilarious
parody of the Animal Liberation Front entitled Animal-Rights Activists
Release 71,000 Cows Into Wild
.
This isn’t the first time the Onion has parodied animal liberationists.
If you like the cow story check out Heroic PETA Commandos Kill 49,
Save Rabbit
.

Sources:

Animal-rights activists release 71,000 cows into wild. The Onion.

Heroic PETA commandos kill 49, save rabbit. The Onion.

Attack on University of Minnesota Worst Lab Attack in Recent Years

On April 5, the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for a raid on a University of Minnesota lab
that released over 100 animals and vandalized the lab doing more than
$2 million in damage.

The lab was conducting experiments
with rats, pigeons, salamanders and mice on a variety of research projects
including efforts to better understand cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Walter Low, a researcher at the University of Minnesota, said the
raid set back studies being conducted on Alzheimer’s by at least two years
(the University of Minnesota is well known for developing a strain of
mice that mimic the traits often found in Alzheimer’s patients.)

Along with freeing the lab
animals, the ALF operatives smashed computers, wrecked microscopes and
photocopiers and even destroyed human tissue that were part of a research
program to find a vaccine to attack brain tumors. As Low pointed out,
this is rather ironic since the animal rights activists insist tissue
cultures should be used to replace animals in medical research.

Several people in the Minnesota
area, including a cancer patient, are offering a reward of $10,000 for
information leading to the capture and conviction of the perpetrators.

The reaction from animal rights
groups was predictable. Lisa Lange of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
was quoted in New Scientist as saying, “We do things in a very different
way, but I understand their frustration. The real crime is that millions
of animals are being tortured and killed.”

On the other hand Freeman Wicklund, executive director of the nonprofit Animal Liberation League,
told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that such actions hurt the animal rights
cause. “We hope everybody realizes that the visible minority within
the animal-rights community doesn’t represent the broader movement,” Wicklund said. “A
lot of people who care about animals are upset about the actions.”

Although it is nice to see
Wicklund oppose such raids, he is ignoring reality when he implies
his view is in the majority. In fact he has been widely denounced by animal
rights activists for his stance against terrorist activities.

Sources:

Animal activists suspected in lab damage. Jim Adams, Minnesota Star Tribune, April 6, 1999.

Activists up the ante. Kurt Kleiner, New Scientist, April 17, 1999.

Research labs vandalized, 75 animals taken. Associated Press, April 6, 1999.

NC A.L.F. Liberates 116 from Vivisection Lab. No Compromise, Press Release, Arpil 9, 1999.

Doctor refutes claim animal experiments have brought us closer to cure for Alzheimer’s disease, call such claims “exploitative” of stricken families. New England Anti-Vivisection Society, Press Release, April 9, 1999.

Veternarian charges U of M experimenters exaggerated claims of research progress. In Defense of Animals, Press Release, April 9, 1999.

ALF tactics condemned. Letter to the editor, Minnesota Daily, April 9, 1999.

More lost U lab animals found in Woodbury field. Jim Adams, Minnesota Star Tribune, April 9, 1999.

Minn. research labs vandalized. Associated Press, April 6, 1999.

Animal Liberation Front claims responsibility for liberation of 116 animals from University of Minnesota, while destroying violent research. North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office, Press Release, April 5, 1999.

A.L.F. Raids University of Minnesota Animal Lab. North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office, Press Release, April 5, 1999.

Vigil for lab animals. Animal Liberation Front, Press Release, April 7, 1999.

HSUS Pals Burlington Coat Factory Targeted by Activists

Several months ago the Humane Society of the United States discovered that some Fur-trimmed coats being
sold by Burlington Coat Factory contained fur from dogs. The story was
widely reported in the national media and BCF agreed to not only stop
importing coats containing fur from dogs but also donated $100,000 to
HSUS to help that organization track and campaign against the import of
fur from dogs into the United States.

As I pointed out, the BCF actions
were the result of embracing what Adrian Morrison calls the “muddled middle.”
If using dog fur is wrong, certainly using mink or other animal fur, not
to mention leather, is wrong. By acting in such an unprincipled way, BCF
was only inviting further harassment from animal rights activists who
won’t be satisfied until no animal products are used in the production
of garments.

In fact, animal rights activists
now appear to be aggressively targeting BCF.

The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade and Last Chance for Animals sent a letter to BCF demanding that
they stop selling coats with fur of any sort by March 26. The two groups have designated Sunday, May 30th as a National
Day of Action Against Burlington Coat Factory. As the two groups put their
complaint in a recent press release, “Burlington Coat Factory has
so far refused to stop selling fur and fur trim, despite the big expose
where they were busted with dog fur. Somehow this company fails to see
the similarities between canines (foxes and coyotes) and canines (dogs).
Therefore they still sell fur from foxes, coyotes, raccoons and who knows
what else.”

In a separate press release, the two
groups reiterated that, “The only way BCF can avoid the protests is to voluntarily
give up selling fur by May 30, or agree to a phase-out plan.”

Sources:

BCF demo next Sunday. Coaliation to Abolish the Fur Trade, Press Release, February 21, 1999.

National day of action against Burlington. Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, Press Release, April 9, 1999.

Burlington Coat Factory rejects peace overtures of anti-fur coalition; protests set. Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, Press Release, March 29, 1999.