Innocuous as individual mice and rats appear to be, and as easily befriended as they often are, they remain collectively an authentic menace to human health and agriculture. There is much we must understand if humans are to evolve a less violent coexistence with these creatures, who share virtually every human dwelling, place of business, and site of food production or preparation.
Browsing: Animals in Research
In H.G. Wells and Animals, A Troubling Legacy, I struggled to reconcile the seemingly pro-animal themes of Wells’ famous stories with his own defense of vivisection later in life. In Wells’ 1928 essay Popular Feeling and the Advancement of Science. Anti-Vivisection, transcribed here, he details his own personal views on vivisection.
H.G. Wells’ 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau is remembered as a powerful attack on vivisection, yet he himself would come to defend the practice later in life. How can we resolve the paradox between the strong pro-animal themes of Wells’ famous stories, and his own callousness toward animals harmed in the name of science?
As I made clear in the TV interview, “This [cutting up of cats by high school students] engenders a lack of respect for companion animals, and that’s the complete opposite of what we should be telling our students.” My daughter Brynnan further drives home the point in the interview: “We can’t dissect these cats, they are our companions…they are what we love, what we come home to, what we care about.”
Consider what happened in one Oklahoma City classroom as a result of cat dissection in the classroom: “The disturbing footage posted to Facebook shows nine young students from the flagship charter school – which is rated among the best schools in the USA – making the cat corpses ‘dance’ to music in a school laboratory while being ‘conducted’ by another student.”
Whether she silently took part in skinning and dissecting a companion animal—something that would cause her immense psychological pain—or stood against the practice and further alienated herself from the other students, she was facing trauma either way.
U.S. Move to Retire all Government-Owned Research Chimpanzees: A Big Step in the Right Direction, but Still a Long Journey Ahead
A few weeks ago, news broke that the U.S. government would retire all 50 chimpanzees it was holding in reserve “in case” of need for them in the future as research subjects. This victory comes as the result of a campaign spanning many years and which would not have been possible without the collaboration, cooperation, and joint advocacy of numerous animal protection groups, both small and large, nationwide.
Instead of contributing to the development of sustainable, healthy farming systems, veterinarians have become servants of the industrial farming machine. Vets no longer see animals as their clients, they see the person who signs their salary check. We need vets to rediscover their original mission – animal welfare. Vets have the power to change the system for good. It’s hard to understand why medical professionals who specialize in treating animals actively contribute to their pain and terror.
The biomedical research community has already agreed in principle that scientific use of animals should be subject to rigorous scientific review… If the practices and regulations… were changed or amended so that scientific use of animals were to be conducted in an improved and strict manner regarding the welfare of animals, we believe that animal advocates would agree not to interfere with such research or specifically object to it through targeted campaigns.
Must you drink milk? If you must, at least try and find out what cows are being used for your dairy. Scientists have implicated A1 beta-casein, found in the milk of European cattle breeds, in a range of serious health problems.
The ethical traveler now needs to take decisions that change the world. To decide where to go for their holidays. And if they decide not to go to a particular state and country, to actually let the travel agency and country know why they are not going.