Animal Experimentation - Frequently Asked Questions
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Animal Experimentation - Frequently Asked Questions

Since all this is true, why does animal experimentation continue?
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Many factors perpetuate animal experimentation, the most obvious of which is momentum. The practice is now very engrained and the systems are resistant to change. Egos are on the line. Scientists who have devoted their entire lives to animal experimentation are reluctant to admit that those methods were useless, much less dangerous.

Some research scientists do not even realize their travesty. They are far removed from patient care. If their investigations are compelling enough, they may never think beyond to question applicability. They often revel in the glory of discovery, never pausing to consider the human patients who are deprived of useful remedies while they squander money on knowledge for knowledge's sake. Animal experiments fuel the scientific papers they are obliged to write, and these result in promotion. Animal experimentation works for them, if not for humankind. Imagine the guilt these PhDs would feel if they were to face the true consequences of their work, if only in terms of its costly wastefulness and its effect on patient victims.

Simply put, animal experimentation continues because it is highly profitable. All the following constituencies make money: scientists, physicians, hospitals, regulation agency bureaucrats, pharmaceutical companies, medical conglomerates, politicians, animal farmers and vendors, lawyers, reporters, and news media, to name a few. Other companies, whose products may or may not pose human health problems, use animal testing to secure themselves against litigation too. Think asbestos. Think tobacco. None of these constituencies can afford for the public to lose confidence in the idea that animal testing protects them.

Their interdependency is finely tuned: The more animal experiments the researcher does, the more articles he or she publishes. The more articles published, the more grant money received. The more grant money, the more money the university or research facility receives. The more money the university or research facility receives, the less liable big business is and the more products big business can sell. The more big business sells, the more money for advertising and hence the more compliant is the media. Anytime animal testing is questioned, there are outcries from many vested quarters. All hasten to shore up their positions and keep clear of litigation.

And on the other side of this cabal is the unwitting American consumer, paying through the nose for, at best, nothing and worse, ill health. Trillions of taxpayer and charity dollars continue to be funneled into wasteful experiments that are of no use to the consumer who supports them. Animal experimentation is a kind of "white coat welfare." But the animal testing machine, now large and in perpetual motion, will be difficult to stop.

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