In my multiple daily e-mails from The Chronicle of Higher Education, my eye was caught yesterday by the intentionally-inflammatory subject line, “Animal Abuse in Academe.” While I have not conducted research with laboratory animals in a very long time, I am a strong supporter of the responsible use of animals for understanding and treatment of diseases in both humans and other animals.
For that reason, I’m pretty upset with whoever the editor was that chose to label the e-mail as such when advertising three essays posted November 7th at The Chronicle:
Animal Research: Groupthink in Both Camps – Lawrence A. Hansen
Apes and monkeys, dogs and cats are being unnecessarily confined, vivisected, and killed while animal advocates are ignored as a lunatic fringe.
Animal Research: Why We Need Alternatives – Hope Ferdowsian
The cruelty of much animal experimentation cannot be justified on scientific grounds, because it has proved largely unproductive.
Letter-writing campaigns may ease consciences, but they won’t cure diseases.
I’ll send you off to visit each of these articles because I’m surprised that the comments there have been unusually quiet (10, 2, and 10 comments, respectively.).
I’ll simply leave the reader with a challenge that sums up my views on animal research: if you are opposed to responsible animal research that minimizes or is devoid of animal subject pain and suffering, you should also choose not use any diagnostic, preventive, or treatment modality that was developed using these models.