The ice bucket challenge which features celebrities and ordinary people having buckets of ice water poured over them to raise awareness for ALS, a degenerative nerve disease, has gone viral on the Internet. Forbes reported Saturday that the campaign has raised $100 million for research to find a cure for the disease, making it one of the most successful campaigns of its kind in history. But the Washington Examiner revealed on Friday that there is at least one group of people who take a dim view of the whole thing. PETA does not want to support ALS research.
PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has released a statement that advised people contemplating giving money to the ALS Association to instead use that money to “liberate’ animals that are used for the testing of new drugs. PETA claims that the ALS Association used 400 animals of various types per month for the testing of new drugs to fight the disease. It is the organization’s position that animal testing of any kind is immoral and should be stopped by any means necessary.
Researchers, on the other hand, counter that animal testing is crucial for finding cures for diseases that will save countless human lives and would increase the quality of life for people now suffering from debilitating diseases. The FDA notes that drug testing on animals is vital to ascertain the affect that new drugs have on living tissue. PETA has not actually offered any sensible alternative to animal testing.
The controversy over animal testing has entered into the realm of terrorism. The Animal Liberation Front, established in Great Britain but with a branch in the United States, has engaged in terroristic activities, including destruction of property and threats to scientists and other people involved in animal testing. PETA officially eschews overt terrorist acts, but has admitted to providing funding for the ALF and the Earth Liberation Front, an ecoterrorist group, but insisted that none of the funding went to illegal activities.