High profile hysteria

This rant against “animal right activists” by the Chancellor of Oxford University, Chris Patten, caught my eye — mostly for its hysteria. You’d expect a more measured approach from such a prominent man:

“If we surrender over animal research, what comes next? Will there be attempts to intimidate us not to employ those who belong to a particular country or faith or ethnic group?”

Oh for God’s sake. Grow up.

As I get older, I’m finding it harder and harder to understand objections to the humane treatment of fellow travellers, furry and useful though they may be. If murderers and psychopaths commonly begin their careers in childhood by causing pain to small animals, I say that any distance our society can put between itself and this particular ethos is a good thing.