27.1.04

"Four legs good. Two legs bad." Scientific research, Orwell and the the dangers of "animalism".

Plans to build a centre of excellence for neuroscience research have been shelved by Cambridge University due to financial and public order reasons.

The increased costs of new animal welfare regulations and the security costs due to the possibility of violent protests by animal rights activists are behind the decision. "We can't afford to build and run Fort Knox" commented a source connected with the project, reports the BBC. Animal rights fundamentalists have become a major obstacle to medical progress in Britain by adopting the public face of harmless-looking high street tin rattlers, while at the same time resorting to violence or the threat of violence to impose their extreme views. Many such groups have been quick to celebrate the sad news as a victory, to the dismay of patients' groups who hoped the research could have found cures for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Funnily enough, "animalism" (as is tempting to call the warped ideology of animal rights fundamentalists) was the philosophy of the revolutionaries depicted in Orwell's "Animal Farm". From a fascinating little website dedicated to everything Orwell: "Animalism has amazing similarities to present-day Environmentalism, which gains money and power by extolling the virtures of animals and nature over human-beings, and blames human activity for the world's evils." Today's animalists have no doubt about which is worth more: the life of an animal or the life of a human being. Four legs good. Two legs bad...

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