A post on the Speaking of Research site recently gave direct evidence in support of what most of us already know: that many animal rights activists that are fighting to end biomedical research are flaming hypocrites that will set aside their values when their health is on the line.
Case in point: Sarah Jane Hardt, a professional photographer who takes glamor shots of toddlers by day and who torments and harasses UCLA researchers in her spare time.
Ms. Hardt recently became ill (gallstones), and when the discomfort became too much for her, she put all her beliefs about the failures and unethical nature of animal research to the side and went to a doctor. There, she received a surgery first conceived of and perfected on animals. Afterwards, she received pain killers that work on a mechanism first identified in rodents and that were safety and efficacy tested on animals before being sold on the market. By all accounts, her health has improved – she showed up to harass me during a demonstration at my own home earlier this week. Accepting the benefits of biomedical research on animals hasn’t slowed her down. It’s amazing what a little cognitive dissonance can do!
When her hypocrisy was exposed on the SR blog, she showed up and posted a long, rambling, semi-coherent and vulgar response. Though it was appropriately deleted from the website for its threatening and obscene nature, I copied it in full below.
Let’s take a look at some of her statements in more detail. I believe it’s instructive in as much as it shows just how out of touch with reality these Progress for Science activists really are.
I would like to respond to the online commentary regarding my private life and postings on Facebook, which I might add, are verging on virtual stalking and a violation of my privacy. Your bravado is nothing but a facade of cowardly behavior and bullying, thinly veiling a man of subpar character and self-loathing.
Now, let’s take an objective eye here. Which pattern of behavior is more likely to be “stalking” in the common sense of the word:
- Repeated visits to a personal home, culminating in shrieking, insults and threats. Persistent harassment. Photo surveillance of private homes. Lying openly about an individual to damage their character.
- Reading someone’s Facebook when it has no privacy settings and is open to the entire world.
If you answered “1”, them it’s actually Ms. Hardt who is the stalker. The pattern of behavior of the group to which she swears allegiance is more than clear.
As for who is the bully: just who is it that is trying to use force, coercion and (in some cases) illegal tactics to compel researchers to stop their humane and responsible work? It’s Ms. Hardt and her cronies. They are the bullies.
From a psychoanalytic perspective, Ms. Hardt is experiencing a combination of splitting and projection: namely, she is defending her own fragile ego by seeing her worst qualities in others. But, her own psychological defenses don’t change reality. The reality is that she is every bit the hate monger that she sees in others.
Ms. Hardt goes on to explain her own medical choices:
I’m sure you are aware that all FDA pharmaceutical-grade drugs dispensed at hospitals are mandatorily tested on animals. We, the public have absolutely no choice in the matter, except to say ‘no’ to all drugs which would lead to unrestricted pain. If I were given options on non-tested pharmaceutical-grade drugs verses animal tested, I would of course choose the cruelty free option.
She openly acknowledges that she had a choice: she could have said “No” to all the drugs. But she didn’t. She said “yes”. When she said “yes”, she tipped her cards: she actually has great confidence in the benefits of animal research: so much confidence that she accepted its products willingly. In doing so, she placed her own life and her own intrinsic value above the animals she claims should have personhood and equal rights.
In closing, she notes that:
However as a sometimes spiritual, yet deeply grounded individual, I have to wonder, does Karma exist and if so, does it bite one is one’s ass?
The irony of such a statement is so thick that it’s hard to see how she could miss it. Karma did bite back. It bit her squarely in her gallbladder. After months of endless threats and harassment, she got to face the honest truth of what she was espousing when she harasses us. And she didn’t like it one bit. Instead, she immediately signed her name to the long line of people whose lives were improved by animal research.
So, Ms. Hardt, I suggest to you that a good helping of introspection is long past due for you. It’s time for you and your motley crue to step up and live the life of pain and misery you wish on others by refusing any medical treatments. It’s time for you to stop being hypocrites and to put aside your cognitive dissonance. It’s the only way to ensure that karma doesn’t come back to bite you again.
The full text of Ms. Hardt’s comment is posted below:
To Dario Ringach, David Jentsch and their ilk,
I would like to respond to the online commentary regarding my private life and postings on Facebook, which I might add, are verging on virtual stalking and a violation of my privacy. Your bravado is nothing but a facade of cowardly behavior and bullying, thinly veiling a man of subpar character and self-loathing. However, I have to admit I am slightly flattered you singled me out, along with two other P4S supporters. As a self-professed “scientists” who “save lives”, I wonder, don’t you have better things to do? Checking out what I’m eating, who I’m dating and what memes catch my eye seem rather trivial for a person of your standing. However these online attacks reveal more about you Mr. Ringach than anyone you may write about.
You are correct; I did have my gallbladder removed. I’m so glad you were able to keep track of my daily progress, visits and pill intake. I’m sure you are aware that all FDA pharmaceutical-grade drugs dispensed at hospitals are mandatorily tested on animals. We, the public have absolutely no choice in the matter, except to say ‘no’ to all drugs which would lead to unrestricted pain. If I were given options on non-tested pharmaceutical-grade drugs verses animal tested, I would of course choose the cruelty free option. I choose not to wear animal skins, use cruelty free make-up and clean my house with “green”, cruelty free detergents. I will always exercise my right to choose cruelty free products WHEN GIVEN THE OPTION. However thanks to big government, big pharmaceutical and a myriad of other corrupt factors, there are no pharmaceutical-grade, non-animal tested choices – and you are perfectly aware of that. You should note that I rejected the pre-surgery drug Heparin, as it is derived from pigs and as a healthy, active vegan I did not see it as necessary. Where I can evoke my right of choice, I do.
You wrote, “Another commonly held view among animal rights activists is that one’s diet is the source of all maladies and that a vegan diet is an effective remedy to many of them … But disease, it turns out, can strike at any point in time, in ways you cannot anticipate or prevent.”
*** If you firmly believe that disease is random, unpreventable and unpredictable why test or research, let alone on animals? If it’s merely one big crap shoot, why don’t you quit and do something else less sadistic with your life then defend this hypocrisy? YOU ARE A WALKING CONTRADICTION OF BULLSHIT Mr. Ringach. ***
And to denounce the insurmountable evidence that a vegan diet is healthier than a Western diet containing flesh and animal products, is simply perverse and delusional. I have attached a link from today’s Huffington post which you may find interesting as a researcher. It is packed full of peer reviewed, scientific data which all unequivocally point to a vegan diet being better for one’s health than a Western diet: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html
Your methods are outdated, lack imagination and are deeply rooted in grant money allocation. Basically the NIH and private supporters like Phillip Morris line your pockets. Advanced, forward thinking doctors like Ray Greek, President of Americans For Medical Advancement, not only dispel your ideology, he kicks your antiquated belief system out the park.
“… Animals, because they have different evolutionary histories complete with differences in gene regulation and expression cannot predict responses for a different species, in this case humans. The same is true of using animals to study human diseases. There is an assumption that if scientists ascertain how HIV enters the white blood cell of a monkey then they have also learned how it enters the white blood cell of a human. Again, this is demonstrably false. So, what we are left with is the fact that society is using animals for drug testing and disease research thinking the animal models are predictive for humans when in fact they are not … Basically the animal-testing Emperor has no clothes.” ~ Dr. Ray Greek.
For those reading this response, you may also find more of Doctor Ray Greek’s research in the following scientific, medically founded journals:
- “Medical Research with Animals.” Animal Rights And Animal Welfare. Volume 2. 2nd edition. Bekoff, M (Ed.). Greenwood Press. 2010.
- Shanks, N and Greek R. “Animal Models in Light of Evolution”. BrownWalker 2009.
- Greek, R and Shanks, N. “FAQs About the Use of Animals in Science. A handbook for the scientifically perplexed.” University Press of America. 2009.
- Shanks N, Greek R, Greek J. “Are animal models predictive for humans?” Philos Ethics Humanit Med. 2009 Jan 15;4(1):2. (http://www.peh-med.com/content/pdf/1747-5341-4-2.pdf
Dario Ringach, while you continue to espouse your lies and idiotic rhetoric that “we” are extremists, uneducated, unknowledgeable perhaps you can at least pay respect to doctors in your field such as Dr Greek and Dr. Richard Klausner, Director of the National Cancer Institute who said “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply doesn’t work in humans.”
And your hyperbole of our disregard for the well-being of your children and grandchildren is nothing more than propaganda playing at the heart strings of easily duped listeners, who are victims of your lies as the animals you exploit. Ph. D Robert Sharpe said “The real choice is not between dogs and children, it is between good science and bad science; between methods that directly relate to humans and those that do not.”
And lastly once and for all, we did not fire bomb your car. Don’t be so petty and ridiculous. Progress for Science is a peaceful, compassionate group who would not comprehend nor facilitate such vandalism. However as a sometimes spiritual, yet deeply grounded individual, I have to wonder, does Karma exist and if so, does it bite one is one’s ass?
For the monkeys and other voiceless innocent animals you torture for the sake of the almighty dollar which waters your green lawns and allows for bathroom extensions, cruises and nice cars, I honestly hope so.