Thursday, May 3, 2012

War is peace, slavery is freedom, … vivisection is care

I was reading through the materials from a physiological psychology textbook and came across these four bullet points about the ethical treatment of animals by psychological researchers:

          There is no excuse for mistreating animals in our care.
          In fact, the vast majority of laboratory animals are treated humanely.
          Pet ownership causes much more suffering among animals than scientific research does.
          Fifty times more dogs and cats are killed by humane societies each year because they have been abandoned by former pet owners than are used in scientific research.

Point one:  The use of the word “care” is over-the-top euphemism for “hold captive, starve, torture, drown, maim, drug, poison, and/or slice into histological sections for analysis,” which makes the “mistreating animals in our care” part pure tautology. So the sentence means something like “there is no excuse for what we do.”

And I agree.

Point two: “Treated humanely” can be translated as “the animals haven’t been held captive, starved, tortured, drowned, maimed, drugged, poisoned, and/or sliced into histological sections for analysis unless we thought it necessary to do so.”  Or that’s true for more than 51% of laboratory animals.

Point three: More newborn infants test positive for mercury than test positive for cadmium.  So we really don’t need to worry about a pregnant woman’s exposure to cadmium.

Point four: Almost ten times as many infants test positive for mercury (83.9%) than test positive for cadmium (8.5%).  

Also note in point four that humane societies “kill” and pet owners “abandon” but that scientists (neutrally) “use”.

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