Animal Testing. Is it really a polarised debate?

I was recently contacted by a student who had an assignment to report both sides of a contentious issue, and she'd chosen animal research. To her, there were two sides to the debate – a simple yes or no to research. Yet, as I explained to her, it is not a genuinely two-sided argument. To … Continue reading Animal Testing. Is it really a polarised debate?

The Uniqueness of Human Suffering

Comparing animal and human suffering is a complex issue. Do all animals suffer? What about invertebrates? Is all animal suffering equal? Chronic pain researcher and associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dr Juan Carlos Marvizon, tries to unravel these questions.

Crash course in medical history

Opponents of animal research often portray two of the pioneers of experimental physiology, François Magendie (1783-1855) and his student Claude Bernard (1813-1878), as deranged, vicious, and sadistic individuals who derived pleasure in harming animals. Moral philosophers Peter Singer and Lori Gruen convey this sort of message in their book “Animal Liberation: A graphic guide”. A … Continue reading Crash course in medical history

Harlow Dead, Bioethicists Outraged

The philosophy and bioethics community was rocked and in turmoil Friday when they learned that groundbreaking experimental psychologist Professor Harry Harlow had died over 30 years ago. Harlow's iconic studies of mother and infant monkeys have endured for decades as the centerpiece of philosophical debate and animal rights campaigns.  With news of his death, philosophers … Continue reading Harlow Dead, Bioethicists Outraged

Unpleasant Truths vs Comforting Lies

Scientists use animals  in research to elucidate basic questions about biological function in health and disease.  Such basic research in the life sciences, like parallel studies in other fields of science, yields knowledge about nature.  Such knowledge, in turn, can be applied to a myriad of problems to alleviate suffering, improve our well-being, and make this a better … Continue reading Unpleasant Truths vs Comforting Lies

Gary Francione: “I don’t believe in vaccinations”

We previously discussed the anti-vaccination stance of a member of the animal rights group “Progress for Science”.  The fact that this individual prefers oregano oil, ginger, garlic, and other herbs over vaccines did not come as a surprise.  We have already noted the strong similarities between the arguments espoused by the anti-vaccination and animal rights groups.  … Continue reading Gary Francione: “I don’t believe in vaccinations”