Friday, December 29, 2006

No surrender

I have the gravest doubts about some forms of vivisection, and doubt it is ever acceptable even to keep great apes in captivity - except to ensure their survival - let alone experiment on them. But we must never give in to terrorism, so I applaud this:

The decision by the New York Stock Exchange to list a medical research company targeted by animal rights protestors on a new electronic market where shares can be traded anonymously is being hailed as a victory by animal researchers.

Life Sciences Research, Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based medical research firm that specializes in animal experiments announced just before Christmas that it had settled a dispute with the NYSE, and would be listed on the exchange's new all-electronic trading platform called Arca.

"We're thrilled," the company's Chief Financial Officer Richard Michaelson told United Press International. "It is a totally anonymous trading environment," he said of the new electronic exchange. "In our situation that is a big advantage."

Life Sciences Research, Inc., is the parent of U.K.-based Huntingdon Life Sciences, and has been targeted on both sides of the Atlantic by animal rights activists organized under the name Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, or SHAC.

As an aside, it seems to me that while we applaud ourselves as a species for being the only one to develop sophisticated language and a mechanical culture, we might be misinterpreting the evidence. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say we are the first species, on this particular planet, to do so.

It might also be a measure of our worth, as a species, whether or not we allow any other species to exist in competition with us for long enough to follow our example.

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