On the heels of a successful legislative session, the Salt Lake Animal Advocacy Movement (SLAAM) took to the streets, picketing University of Utah researchers who use animals in their research, or vivisectors, to use the activists' term. New legislation passed in 2010 ended the requirement on animal shelters to sell pound puppies (and kitties, too) to research labs. With newfound freedom, the Davis County Animal Shelter has already announced they'll no longer sell animals to research labs.
That legislative success followed an eight-month undercover investigation of labs at the University of Utah by a volunteer for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and resulting protests. The activists are definitely pleased with the results.
But, as you may know, SLAAM and PETA aren't going to give up until animal testing is completely ended. Hence today's demonstration. About 20 demonstrators carrying signs and bellowing from a bullhorn organized at the top of President's Circle then marched a short distance to the Biology Building.
Consider this the latest chapter in a debate that is, at least, 144 years old (The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1866). Really, the American animal rights debate, though, is older than America itself. The Puritans in 1641 drew up a list of rights; #92 was "No man shall exercise any Tirranny or Crueltie towards any brute Creature which are usalie kept for man's use." I imagine there was at least a little debate before they decided to include that one.
note: Both facts in the above paragraph are taken from Deborah Blum's "Monkey Wars" (Oxford University Press, 1994), which was derived from Pultizer Prize-winning articles Blum wrote in years prior. Full disclosure: Blum was also my journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.