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Evan Williams

This is in line with what I have been saying for awhile, and has come back up since the whole soda can warning label thing: how in the hell can anyone take these groups the least bit seriously, much less quote them as some kinda of "experts" and have them on television? CSPI's Jacobson is a fucking crackpot, yet, he was on a morning show a few days back. It's like consulting Al Qaeda as an "expert" on Middle Eastern politics. They are extremists with a clear agenda.

Brian Hawkins

Wow...saw Vlassak on Bullshit! and was--to put it mildly--not impressed. I had no idea he was a trauma surgeon.

He has a very odd take on the Hippocratic oath, don't you think?

Also, I wonder if he has any sense of how many of the technologies, procedures, and (especially) drugs he uses in his practice were first tested extensively on animals. Seems a touch hypocritical to make a living (and a pretty good one at that) dependent on something you find so morally reprehensible as to advocate murdering its practicioners.

Unless, of course, the good Dr. Vlassak advocates testing everything in humans...

...which, I might point out, comes a hell of a lot closer to some things the Nazis did than anything animal researchers do...


I kill billions of bacteria on a daily basis.

More, when I got to work :)

Poor things, no one's thinking about the bacteria.

I'm a researcher in a group that studies cystic fibrosis. One of the labs studies a CF model in mice. Now, in this case, I actually don't like that they are using mice, because the mouse model - in this case - simply doesn't work very well. They keep trying, but I maintain my skepticism.

That isn't to say I'm opposed to the use of such models in other areas of inquiry. If it's a good, representative model, and it helps in finding cures or treatments - go for it. On top of that, rabbits are used all the time in making antibodies for protein studies by average joe shmoe biochemists every day. It's the only way to obtain these antibodies, and if we didn't have access to antibodies for the studies, nearly all research would grind to a halt.

It's a necessary evil. As long as it is done with efficiency and at a minimum cost in pain and lives sacrified. . . it's really the best we can hope for if we want to continue our work.

If even that is unacceptable, then these people can just die of whatever strikes them first.

This sort of thing angers me because it is just as ludicrous as the anti-SUV people who blame US driving habits for all our oil-related ills. Uh huh. How many of those people wear shoes or use a plastic comb/hairbrush/packaging/toothbrush. . . EVERYTHING we use on a daily basis is somehow derived from petroleum products. Until they rid themselves of all that stuff, they should just stfu.

Klaus Meyer

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Evan Williams

Bronwyn: you touch on the biggest philosophical gap in the animal rights crowd's platform: where on the biological chain of life does your declaration of "rights" end? I mean, if a mouse has "rights", does a big tarantula, bigger than a mouse, also have rights? And if he does, then how can you not extend those same rights to a garden variety wolf spider? How about a Black Widow? Then, of course, why not a housefly? Mosquito? Lice? Dust mites? Bacteria?

Ad infinitum...

At least buddhism has a somewhat consistent position on this, but the animal rights philosophy seems to go like this:

--If it's cute and/or cuddly, or if it LOOKS somewhat anthropic, then it has rights. But if it looks like an alien and has 8 eyes, then, it doesn't. Or, y'know, whatever we say--

Darth Sideous

To be fair, it does say that Vlassak is a _former_ member. And there is no evidence that Spurlock actually believes in extreme animal rights. Along the lines of the Wal-Mart critisism of a few days ago, I think we're pushing too much guilt by association.

Chris S.

Spurlock is a f-ing IDIOT! Can't people take responsiblity for THEIR OWN ACTIONS!?!?!?! Nope, blame the mega-corporations; who's gonna oppose you?



The criticism was not that Spurlock was a lab-bombing terrorist, simply that he cites them very often as if they were some sort of purely scientific research group without a clear animal rights agenda. You are guilty by association if you disingenously use politically loaded evidence to prove your point, all the while acting as if your sources are disinterested and objective. It's exceedingly sloppy, and makes for bad scholarship. Mind you, as polemicists on both sides of the US political spectrum demonstrate, such tactics are very effective in demogoguery.


You have some deceptive information in your little blog on the PCRM (of whom I am not a fan, by the way). You remark that Neil Barnard is a psychiatrist, and thus, does not have training in nutrition and diet. Well, guess what? This is true of most physicians (psychiatrists are, in fact, trained as physicians first and then specialize in psychiatry). Most physicians have very little training in nutrition and diet (but act as though they do...and everyone trusts that they do). So, Dr. Barnard's formal training in this area is pretty equivalent to your average doctor, unfortunately. But you can bet he knows a lot more than your average doctor (even if some of his claims are a bit dubious) since he devotes his life to this stuff.


Is this man is a sign of health? He is Neal Barnard, the head of PCRM. He is vegan.. and very thin!!! Looks anorexic, i think. Is this healthy?

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cheronda smith

I'm doing an experiment like you did on the mcdonalds food. i wanted to know how you did the experiment when you put them in the glass gars for several week please and thank you.

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