People often point to the need for animal experimentation to alleviate human suffering. Putting aside the basic objection to torturing one sentient creature for the benefit of another, the premise lacks foundation. Animal models have always been the path of least resistance. To justifiably claim such experiments are necessary requires evidence that those seeking to carry out the experiments have unsuccessfully attempted to learn what they seek through other means. Assuming the absence of other means, necessity would also require, at minimum, a good faith attempt to create one. To date, precious little resources have been expended to create alternatives to animal experiments and, when such options exist, they are often ignored.
In addition, necessity requires that the experiment be, well, necessary. Let´s consider some of the stuff people (and universities) get grants to explore through animal torture:
- Female rats might enjoy vaginal stimulation (Dartmouth);
- Baby chimpanzees need nurturing (Emory University/Yerkes National Primate Center);
- Trapped rats freak out (San Diego State U., Colorado State U., U. of Arizona);
- Lizards forced to fight get stressed and then decapitated (Harvard and Univ. of South Dakota);
- Castrated monkeys are less dominant (NIH’s internal intramural labs in Bethesda, Maryland).
In all the cases noted above, the information likely could have been acquired through other means, was already known, or did not need knowing. These are not isolated examples.
So before we even get to the tough (for some people) question of whether animal experimentation is ever necessary, it would seem shockingly easy to erect some barriers to experiments that most everyone can agree are not necessary.
Have a good World Week for Animals.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal experimentation, animal law, animal welfare, vivisection | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal experimentation, animal law, animal suffering, animal welfare, vivisection, World Week for Animals |