POET works to protect us
Former OSU quarterback Bill Long and animal-rights activist Rob Russell planted themselves at OSU’s Vet School in the middle of September and swore off food until the university pulls the plug on a “scientifically unjustified and cruel experiment that will cause the suffering and death of defenseless animals,” says Russell.

This is the fifth in a series of protests scheduled by the animal-rights organization POET against Michael Podell’s FIV/methamphetamine research that, if allowed to continue, will infect, drug, and destroy 120 cats at OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Sure I’d rather be sitting down to a pre-game meal on this home game weekend” says 1969 OSU graduate Bill Long who played on both the football and baseball teams. “But knowing that my alma mater is behind this unnecessary killing is killing not only my appetite, but my long-standing school spirit and devotion.”

As of Sept. 15, the fast had passed the over-24-hour mark with the intent to go 120 hours for the 120 cats the university will use and abuse if they proceed with this senseless experiment. OSU student Amanda Jones joined Bill Long and Rob Russell in their vigil less than an hour after it started. Below are excerpts from yesterday’s diaries.

  • Bill Long -- “The vet school is having a big tented party today to celebrate new funding for Sisson Hall. Lots of politicians here. President Kirwan and Dean Hoffsis talk about how they love animals and how they love money coming in. The air is thick with irony. Several statehouse legislators come over to “talk football” with me. They wave off any discussion about why I’m camped out here. Congressman John Kasich is the only one to ask me about the vigil. His parting words: ‘If this is a bad experiment, then you are right to challenge it.’“

  • Rob Russell -- “We get a visit from Doug Stone. He’s the campus apologist for the animal research industry. He’s also slated to head up the same lab animal association that suspended OSU’s membership a few months ago. Reminded me of Animal House’s ‘double secret probation.’ Stone wants to know if our hunger strike allows us to eat chicken. I guess this remark passes for a sense of humor with the overseers-of-atrocities crowd.”

  • Amanda Jones -- “A group of vet students comes over to tell me that everyone knows what Podell does to the animals. They promise that once they graduate they’ll speak out. But will they? Two employees tell me that there are rooms in the vet school that workers don’t go into. Their supervisor says that that’s where the animal experiments are carried out. Another employee says he’s been in one of the rooms and that the researchers don’t see the animals’ pain anymore. ‘It’s just a paycheck for these people. There’s no remorse about what they’re doing,’ he tells me.”

The local grass-roots animal rights group, POET – Protect Our Earth’s Treasures – is one of the only Columbus-based activist organizations looking out for animal rights! It was started in 1984 and is still going strong – educating the public on the subject of animal exploitation. Not only does it inform, but it works toward stopping all forms of use and abuse of animals!

Some of POET’s other activities include trying to improve and pass the Ohio Anti-Cruelty Bill in the state legislature, protesting the abuse of chickens at the Agri-General Buckeye Egg Farm, promoting a national Meat-Out and demonstrating against killing animals to wear their fur.

To get involved in POET, write call or email. POET, P.O. Box 10156, Columbus, Ohio 43201, 614-224-4598 phone, 486-3768 fax, poetwill@worldnet.att.net or see their website at home.att.net/