Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Animals and Research

There are lots of people who object to the use of animals in medical research. They're usually referring to warm fuzzy animals and not to fruit flies and nematodes, or even fish.

Some of these people write for prominent newspapers like The Guardian in the UK [Ivory tower mentality blamed for 50% rise in animal tests].

Nick Anthis at The Scientific Activist has exposed the myth expressed in the Guardian article [Animal Rights Activists Hijack the Brains of Three Respectable Scientists!]. So has PZ Myers over on Pharyngula [You can't replace animals with petri dishes and computers]. Now Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata has jumped into the fray with a plug for the Foundation for Biomedical Research [Great Animal Research Poster]. I'm copying the poster from their website.

Normally I don't like the kind of rhetoric that's on the poster. I doubt very much that the statement is correct. However, it's an attention grabber and somebody needs to counter the animal activists with a different (gasp!) frame. My life and the lives of everyone in my building are much less comfortable because we have to worry about security on a daily basis. It's not Islamic terrorists that we fear, it's animal rights terrorists. There have been several incidents where property has been destroyed and one bomb has been exploded.


  1. That's sad, though there are inhumane tests as I have heard, that doesn't put every experiment under that cloud, nor should an animal being set to run in the wild (note there are carnivores there, and their proceedings), this should not weigh more somehow than medical research for disease cure and prevention.

  2. Prof Moran, thanks for the link. Of course, the claim itself is from a US HHS report that is 25 yrs old. But the sentiment is straight on: the health of all of society benefits from the advances made involving animal research.

  3. I need to vent too:

    Terrorists will always be around, but this goes out over innocents more than most. It also has a stupid reason in a society that could be better informed.

    It is especially aggravating since society has taken its responsibility and has checks and balances in place to prevent unnecessary use and cruelty. (Regulations and ethical committees.)

    I wish they refocused their energy on a worthwhile cause, there are so many of those and many without champions.