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'Misguided' Raid on Laboratory

May 03, 1985

I was appalled to read about the raid on the University of California at Riverside's Animal Research Facility. I'm sure that the people who organized this event thought that they were justified in what they did, that God and morality were on their side. The witch-burners of Salem thought the same thing.

What these people don't seem to realize is that animal researchers are human beings, not monsters. Most are in the field out of a desire to end suffering, not to cause it. Most of our modern medical techniques and medicines are the direct result of research on animals.

Unless the people who raid the labs and do such damage never go to a doctor, never take medicine, or never need surgery, they are not only criminals, but they are hypocrites as well. I would be very surprised if they refused to receive life-saving medical attention because it had been developed using animal research. If they are so concerned about the welfare of the animals, let them volunteer to be "guinea pigs" for new and desperately needed techniques to combat disease, birth defects, and crippling injuries.

I am not in a field related to animal research, so I am not writing to defend my own actions. Instead, I am writing because I have watched family members die of cancer and Parkinson's disease. A close friend of mine who has diabetes is alive now because of her medication, developed through work on animals. A brother of mine almost died in Vietnam, saved only by the sophistication of modern surgical techniques. I am grateful for the work that the animal researchers do.

All terrorists think that the end justifies the means in their case, but terrorism and vandalism are not sweetened by a supposedly just cause. In this case, the justness of the cause is highly debatable.

KATHI BERATAN

Pasadena

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