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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

Statement From Professor Marc Bekoff on Animal Experimentation

While people might disagree about whether or not to use nonhuman animals in invasive research that is designed solely to help human animals (or, for that matter, to use animals in any sorts of research) and whether or not sentience is the key criterion that should be used in making such decisions, there is no doubt that some of the treatment to which innumerable (uncountable) animals are subjected cause deep and enduring pain and suffering and often death (as in terminal experiments). It's "bad biology" to rob animals of their cognitive and emotional capacities. Evolutionary continuity, a well-accepted principle of evolutionary biology put forth by Charles Darwin, recognizes that differences among animals are difference in degree rather than differences in kind. So, if we have emotions and experience pain and suffering, so too do other animals. This is certainly true of our closest biological relatives, non-human primates.

Billions of animals annually are treated inhumanely in a wide variety of venues. In research laboratories procedures such as depriving animals of water and food, restraining them physically and bolting devices to their heads, isolating them socially, forcing them to endure painful and inescapable shock, and exposing them to diseases with symptoms such as: fever, weight loss, and diarrhea obviously can and would cause pain and/or distress in any species, including non-human primates.

Wherever animals are used it is necessary to have constant inspection of what is happening behind closed doors by those who have no vested interest in the research project. Detailed reports must be compiled and made available so that people can see what is happening so that scientists realize that they cannot operate under the guise that what they're doing is "in the name of science" and that nonscientists simply won't or can't understand "how science is done." This sort of arrogance is unacceptable.

What some scientists call "good welfare" isn't "good enough." "Good welfare" and allowable research according to existing regulations permit mice to be shocked and otherwise harmed, rats to be starved or forced-fed, pigs to be castrated without anesthetics, cats to be blinded, dogs to be shot with bullets, and primates to have their brains invaded with electrodes. Only about 1 percent of animals used in research in the United States are protected by legislation, and the legislation is sometimes amended in nonsensical ways to accommodate the "needs" of researchers. The desperation of science to rob animals of their sentience, despite what science has discovered, is astounding as well as disheartening and self-serving.

There is growing disillusionment in the enterprise/business of science and people around the world are increasingly concerned about how animals are treated in research laboratories and in other venues. The public must be informed about what types of harm are inflicted on animals and to weigh in on whether such projects are permissible. "Good welfare" isn't "good enough" and we must change our ways now, not later when it is convenient to do so.

Marc Bekoff is a former Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( www.ethologicalethics.org ). He has won many awards for his scientific research including the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Marc is a prolific writer with more than 200 articles as well three encyclopedias to his credit. The author or editor of numerous books, including the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, The The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for the Animals We Love (with Jane Goodall), the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, and the Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships, other books include The Smile of a Dolphin, Minding Animals, The Cognitive Animal, Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues: Reflections on Redecorating Nature, The Emotional Lives of Animals, Listening to Cougar, and Animals Matter. In 2005 Marc was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners. His homepage http://literati.net/Bekoff.

See also: Governnment Grants Promoting Cruelty to Animals
              University of California System

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