April 24, 2009

To Prove Their Mousey Worth

Filed under: Science — Katrina @ 10:08 am

Although I touched on this subject once before in my short little piece Mouse Talk, I figured this was worth an entry spelling out my position a bit more on this. The subject is, of course, animal testing in labs.

Got to thinking about it again when I heard about a protest supporting it at UCLA to counter the protests of the violent animal rights extremists.

In general, I’m not going to think too harshly of the people against it. Their hearts are in the right place anyway. The ones who need to chill the hell out, though, are the ones that see fit to attack the researchers violently and destroy their property. I mean, what the hell does that even accomplish? It’s terrorism! They think by threatening the researchers they’ll cave and understand their position?

What both the calm dissenters and the violent dissenters alike tend to not realize, however, is that animal testing is necessary. I swear, they seem to think it’s all done for fun! But you know who else is very interested in ensuring the animals suffer as little as possible? That’s right. The researchers themselves! You really think there aren’t a gigantic assload of regulations involving using live animals for research? And one of those rules is that animals should not be used unless there is absolutely no valid substitute for it whatsoever. A rule which requires a lot of paperwork to prove it. Trust me, the well-being of the lab animals is very much taken into consideration and respected, and no, not just because not doing so would screw up the project, but because harming and killing animals unless where absolutely necessary is wrong, something which even those supposedly evil researchers believe.

Do the animals still get maimed and killed? Well, yeah. That’s part of it. It’s not pretty, that’s for sure. But all proper anesthetics and whatnot are used, so it is done as painlessly as possible. (And if your rebuttal to this involving citing PETA, yeah, I’m smart enough to ignore anything PETA says, so save it, LOL)

Now I’m not going to guarantee that everyone follows the regulations that protect lab animals from unnecessary harm. If you simply want to go after those who do violate those rules, go for it. Just don’t paint them all with the same brush. You know how nasty things like cancer, diabetes, malaria, and a zillion other horrible afflictions get researched in order to find workable treatments and cures? Well, a few Sprague Dawley rats will have to be sacrificed for it.

And, let’s face it, they’re treated way better in the lab setting than if they were out in the wild and being killed very slowly and painfully by a hungry cat. Just because it’d be more “natural” doesn’t make it more pleasant. Not to mention that a rodent killed in the wild by a hungry cat feeds that cat for a little while, but a rodent killed in a research lab is one of many whose demises will lead to cures that will save the lives of millions of humans eventually. They die for a greater good.

If the idea of rats and rabbits and monkeys and dogs and other sacrificial lab animals dying at the hands of humans at all bothers you, well, find a better way! Get yourself a degree in biomedical research and work on alternative methods to ensure that a product that has thus far only been tested in vitro can be safely placed in humans without that in-between step of testing it on a smaller animal to see what it’d do in vivo before potentially risking a person’s life. Should warn you, though. Biology curriculum does involve a lot of dissections.

And don’t go whining that there are better ways or that it doesn’t matter because hurting animals is wrong in general. I’ve been over that, and chances are your source of there being a “better way” is from a magazine article you read and it was about a completely different sort of research (they’re not all the same, who knew!). So you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

Just to get this out there, though. Animal testing for cosmetics is in fact unnecessary and THAT is the one that’s worth protests (though still not worth firebombing a tester’s house or something, I know you don’t give a shit about the tester’s children perhaps dying in that fire but they could very well have a dog or cat or aquarium fish who’d be trapped in there!). Animals shouldn’t be tortured just so you can wear mascara! Screw that. Big difference there.

Saw a poster in a doctor’s office once, with pictures of some dangerous bacteria. It said “if we don’t experiment on animals, what will save us from the real killers?” Agreed.


  1. That is such a good article, Kat. I just finished it between sessions of randomly torturing my lab animals. OW! Damn little mouse just bit me, hang on….. Ok, the microwave should take care of him. Anyway, good article, Kat! :cute:

    Comment by Lord Galen — April 26, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  2. Why not experiment on humans, then? With painkillers, of course (murder is perfectly okay if it’s painless)! After all, it’s for the greater good!

    Comment by Nulono — May 1, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

  3. They tried that in Germany back in the forties, minus the painkillers. Didn’t go so well.

    Comment by Katrina — May 1, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  4. Actually, that’s an interesting point. If animals, why not human babies? What functional difference is there between the two? We see the [i]arbitrary[/i] difference of species, but there are various nonhuman animals with a greater awareness of their existence and surroundings than human babies, as well as a greater capacity to feel pain, that are experimented on. Not that Juna would actually understand the nature of that argument, of course.

    Comment by Agnapostate — May 27, 2009 @ 4:33 am

  5. Fail lack of BB code is fail.

    Comment by Agnapostate — May 27, 2009 @ 4:33 am

  6. Really, though. Why is it justifiable to conduct experiments on primates, for example, when we would never do the same to a two or three year old human child that has roughly the same awareness of his/her existence and surroundings that a primate does and a similar capacity to feel pain?

    Comment by Agnapostate — July 3, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

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