Closing your eyes may open your heart

A statement of fact can be falsified by presenting a single counterexample.  For example, the claim that “Pigs don’t fly” can be proven false by just finding one that does. Similarly, the claim that “we owe the same moral consideration to all sentient living beings” can be falsified by considering scenarios where acting on such … Continue reading Closing your eyes may open your heart

(Some) animal rights philosophers say the darndest things!

Cheryl Abbate is a self-described feminist, philosopher and military officer.  She is currently a Philosophy PhD student at Marquette University and obtained her MA in Philosophy with Bernard Rollin at Colorado State University. She was one of the animal rights activists who asked  me questions during the discussion of my talk at UW Madison. Ms. Abbate … Continue reading (Some) animal rights philosophers say the darndest things!

Fair partners in dialogue: Starting assumptions matter and they should be spelled out

Editors' note: Because the issue of starting assumptions remains in any dialogue about animal-based research, this post has been updated (December 2018) to include more recent anti-animal research organizations, and to provide up-to-date links.  The importance and need for civil, open dialogue about the complex set of issues involved in use of animals is among … Continue reading Fair partners in dialogue: Starting assumptions matter and they should be spelled out

What if animals could tweet?

Georgianne Nienaber, a political and investigative reporter for the Huffington Post, posted an article entitled “What if Lab Animals Could Tweet?” The  article was prompted by a recent Gallup poll showing an increase disparity in the moral acceptability of “medical testing on animals”.  Younger people, in the 18-34 years bracket, showed a decline of about 19% … Continue reading What if animals could tweet?

Not All In It Together

In February of this year I got into an argument on the SR blog comments section about whether we should be taking an all or nothing approach to animal use. If we wanted to best support the use of animals in biomedical research, should we also be defending eating animals, hunting animals, cosmetic testing, fur … Continue reading Not All In It Together

An Ongoing Conversation with Robert Streiffer on Science and Ethics

I would like to thank Prof. Robert Streiffer for taking the time to comment on an earlier post of mine regarding the ongoing dialogue on the ethics of animal research at UW-Madison. I had originally drafted an email to him with a reply, which is now reproduced below.  I am sure the readers will forgive … Continue reading An Ongoing Conversation with Robert Streiffer on Science and Ethics

Extending a Public Conversation on the Ethics of Animal Research

The following is commentary by Prof. Robert Streiffer on a previous post by Dario Ringach. It was originally published on a UW-Madison website but  was subsequently removed.  It is being republished here with his permission, with Dario's reply to it being published on SR tomorrow. On March 11, 2013, Rick Marolt and I engaged in … Continue reading Extending a Public Conversation on the Ethics of Animal Research

The moral relevance of human intelligence

Animal rights proponents often assert that “sentience” is the only morally relevant characteristic. In their view, we owe the same moral consideration to all sentient living beings, which must include the same basic rights to life and freedom. The animal rights philosopher asks -- Why does it matter if humans can compose a violin concerto … Continue reading The moral relevance of human intelligence