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Re: Pro-Animal and Pro-Science?

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  • nikonic@elltel.net
    ... ... close ... think, ... we ... to ... to ... be ... be ... such ... the ... pro-science. We need to understand that testing on animals is
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 16 10:11 AM
      --- In EthologicalEthics@egroups.com, "Russell Benford"
      <benford@a...>
      wrote:
      > I have several comments regarding the recent conversation on
      > "drawing
      > the line" between species that might or might not deserve
      > protection
      > from invasive techniques. In interactions with my university's
      > IACUC, I have participated in discussions on this issue on numerous
      > occasions. Valid arguments are made both in support of animal
      > protection and free scientific inquiry, and I must say I
      > fundamentally support both positions (they don't have to be in
      > opposition). While my words probably won't bring our
      > conversation
      > any closer to resolution, let me share some thoughts and opinions.
      >
      > From a practical perspective, I've found it more productive to
      > concentrate on improving research techniques for species that
      > inarguably do deserve protection, rather than debate whether or not
      > it's ethically permissible to kill a virus or whether or not
      > trees
      > have feelings. These are certainly notions worth philosophical
      > consideration and scientific investigation, but it seems to me that
      > real humane protection will not be afforded to any nonhuman species
      > without empirical evidence of that specie's capacity to think,
      > feel,
      > and/or suffer. Physiological and behavioral evidence of this
      > capacity already exists for some groups of animals genetically
      close
      > to humans (for nonhuman primates, perhaps for mammals, perhaps for
      > vertebrates). Why not develop group-specific standards for those
      > groups that have shown defensible evidence of the capacity to
      think,
      > feel, and/or suffer, and leave the jury out for those groups for
      > which we don't yet have such evidence?
      >
      > Now, I am not recommending that we treat distant species for which
      we
      > have insufficient information with disregard. It seems that two
      > simple tests for all species might be appropriate. First, a
      > researcher might ask her/himself if the research is in the best
      > interest of the organism or species being researched. Second, the
      > researcher might ask "Would this procedure be acceptable if it
      > were
      > done on/with a human?" If the answer is yes, then cautious
      > progress
      > might be acceptable (certainly consideration should also be given
      to
      > the prospect of nonhuman research subjects responding differently
      to
      > a procedure than humans would). If the answer is no (as it would
      be
      > in the case of toe-clipping), other alternatives that might be more
      > humane should be considered. While these tests might not be as
      > applicable in the realm of biomedical research, perhaps they would
      be
      > useful in ethological investigations.
      >
      > It seems that more work must be done in the area of animal thought,
      > feeling, and capacity to suffer before we draw any conclusions or
      > make any blanket recommendations on animal care and use. Doing
      such
      > research might require that we first define terms such
      > as "cognition," "emotion," and "sentience"
      > more precisely so
      > unambiguous, refutable hypotheses can be formulated and tested. To
      > proceed with caution and to err on the side of humanity might be
      the
      > only appropriate recommendations we can make at this time with the
      > limited knowledge we have.
      >
      > ------------------------------------------------
      ----------------------
      > Russell Benford
      > Department of Biology
      > Arizona State University
      > Tempe, AZ 85287-1501
      > ------------------------------------------------
      ----------------------I feel that one can be pro-animal and
      pro-science. We need to understand that testing on animals is not a
      valid form of research. We can look at new drugs that come on the
      market and the effects they have on people. I may take this great
      new drug and love it. It has no adverse affects on me. My friend
      may take it and become violently ill from it. Another friend may take
      the drug and it has no effect on the condition it is being taken for.
      The point is when there is so much difference between individuals
      and across the human population--how can testing on other species
      come close to representing any valid conclusions when we have such a
      variance in our species. The best model is the human model if you
      want valid,reliable results. Something I find funny is how we are
      coming up with new drugs for cancer and AIDS, and we say that the
      publicmay have them after we do our animal testing on species that
      normallydon't contract these diseases. I don't know why we couldn't
      possiblyallow human volunteers who are deathly ill with these
      diseases
      andwill probably die before these new drugs are put on the market to
      test the drugs themselves. I'm sure they would gladly voulunteer
      because if anything promises the slight bit of relief they would
      probably like to have it. However,that's just my opinion on that
      little
      subject.

      Honestly, I can't see how taking an animal's life away, keeping it in
      less than adequate conditions, and sometimes inflicting great pain on
      it is called science. The use of animals in science seems very
      rudimentary and primitive to me when we call ourselves such a
      technologically advanced society. If we are so technologically
      advanced society then let's start using more effective and efficient
      research methods. We could have better results, and we can alleviate
      the costs of maintaining animals in the lab.

      If you can think outside the box with me you might be able to turn
      this around and see that there's is something not right with using
      animals for our own purposes just because they're animals. Let's
      just
      say in the future a more intelligent, alien species comes to visit
      us.
      They take a look around, and come to the conclusion that we would make
      great research models for their species. It's okay if they take us
      and
      do whatever they wish without our consent because they are more
      intelligent, their technology is far superior than ours could ever
      be. Now you know none of us would be jumping at the chance to be
      used
      in their research. We would all be screaming, "Not fair! You can't
      do
      this to us! Look at how superior we are on this planet. What you
      propose to do will cause us great suffering." However, by our own
      logic it would be okay for humans to be used because we would be the
      lower species which is our rationale for using animals.
      Unfortunately,
      I think our logic will never be tested as such, and we will never
      really think well maybe our reasoning for using animals is flawed.

      One more item. We really can't draw a line as to which animals we
      can and cannot test on. Most animals are capable of feeling pain
      just
      as we are which is a great reason not to inflict painful procedures
      ontothem if we wouldn't do it to ourselves. The question of which
      animals have consciousness and how much can't truely be looked at. I
      say this because I can't prove that I'm conscious, I can't prove that
      you're conscious, and can't even prove that my cat is conscious. I
      just inherently know that you and I and animals I encounter are
      conscious. Since none of us can definitively prove that anyone or
      anything is conscius, we should err on the side of caution to causing
      any living thing harm.
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