An Interview With Tom Regan
I first met Tom Regan when he was a visiting scholar at the National Humanities Center in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Regan’s recently published The Case for Animal Rights had secured his place as the philosophical spokesperson for the animal welfare movement. Our next encounter was in Philadelphia where Regan was the keynote speaker at a rally called to denounce the primate experiments at the University of Pennsylvania’s Head Injury Lab. I had expected to hear a dispassionate critique of the experiments; instead, the good professor, transfigured into a throwback Irish radical, brought the crowd chanting to its feet. Several months later Regan would join eighty activists in a four-day sit-in at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda to demand that the Penn lab be closed. To the surprise of all, Secretary of Health Margaret Heckler responded to this illegal protest by suspending the lab’s funding.