Rick Bogle: do the ends justify the means?

1cattom 1cattom at altavista.com
Tue Aug 8 18:14:33 EST 2000

Rick Bogle <rbogle at sonic.net> wrote:

> 1cattom wrote:
> > Rick Bogle <rbogle at sonic.net> wrote:
> >
> > > Tatiana wrote:
> > >
> > > > Very few animals used in scientific research are "random source," which
> > > > is the correct terminology for animals derived from unknown backgrounds.
> > > >
> > > > Almost ALL animals used in research are bred in commercial facilities
> > > > solely for this purpose.  This serves two purposes: to control the
> > > > genetic background of the population, and to ascertain any diseases
> > > > animals may have.
> > >
> > > This is misleading. Carefully controlled and documented genetic
> > > backgrounds are the rule for the burgeoning genetically manipulated and
> > > engineered mouse market being promoted by facilities such as Jackson Labs,
> > > and in a few dog and rat strains as well, but, with other experimental
> > > animals genetic backgrounds are unknown to the actual researcher. This is
> > > certainly the case with primates.
> >
> > Your rebuttal, like all of your other posts, is misleading, Mr. Bogle.
> > Tatiana wrote that ALMOST ALL animals used in research are from known
> > genetic backgrounds. This is true, as you know, for mice and rats, and
> > as you may not know, for cattle, horses, rabbits, and sheep. Since mice
> > and rats constitute ALMOST ALL animals used in research (>90%), she is
> > right and you are wrong. You are deliberately misleading your audience,
> > because primates are in no way representative of the animals used in
> > research, and you know it.
> My reading of Tatiana's post was that animals are purpose bred because
> such breeding is needed to "control the genetic background of the
> population," as if there were arcane scientific needs at work. In the case
> of mutant mice this is dead on, and to a lesser extent some strains of
> rats and at least one inbred strain of dogs, but generally, purpose bred
> animals are farmed to cut costs and maximize economy.

The desireablility of controlling for genetics is anything but
arcane--it is the reason why twin studies in humans are done. I wouldn't
trust your opinion on anything, Mr. Bogle, given that you clearly making
deliberately misleading statements.

> I admit to knowing very little about the sources of cows, pigs, or sheep
> used in biomedical research. Claims regarding the number of rats and mice
> consumed in research ">90%" will remain claims until some manner of
> reporting is required. The claim that "ALMOST ALL animals used in
> research" are mice and rats should probably be reworded to say that among
> mammals, rats and mice are in the majority.

No, it should not. Tatiana stated that "Almost ALL animals used in
research are bred in commercial facilities solely for this purpose." She
is correct. Despite knowing that, you deliberately tried to mislead your
audience by holding up primates as an example. 
> > Why the dishonesty?

Hello? It's a simple question.

> > > >  For instance, a
> > > > random source animal may have a virus that could nullify the scientific
> > > > results.
> > >
> > > A common and growing criticism of animal studies is that animals used in
> > > experiments are frequently infected with known and unknown viruses or are
> > > otherwise weakened due to various stressors. These problems confound many
> > > results. Acknowledging this design weakness, NIH has begun funding
> > > Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) colonies of monkeys for research use. These
> > > are currently the minority of monkeys available to vivisectors.
> >
> > Your failure to provide a citation, while not making the claim yourself,
> > is very slick and slimy. It also is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate
> > and deceive your audience.
> "A couple of our projects have been botched as a results of these
> infections," says Dr. Ronald C. Desrosiers, Chairman of the Division of
> Microbiology at the New England RPRC and Professor of Microbiology and
> Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School.

N=1 says nothing about the commonality or the rate of growth in the
number of such comments.

> 'For example, one investigator administered an SIV vaccine to a monkey
> that had an active, but undiagnosed, type D retrovirus infection. The
> animal got sick and died, and the infection ruined the entire study.'"

That's why most animal experiments use SPF rodents. The number of
experiments using rodents is growing, while the use of primates is not.
> "In 1988, NCRR recognized the critical need for SPF animals for AIDS
> research and launched a nationwide effort to develop a self-propagating
> population of SPF monkeys. NCRR has funded SPF macaque breeding colonies
> in Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina.
> Four additional NCRR-supported resources provide diagnostic, genetic, and
> behavioral management services for SPF colonies."
> Resource Report: Germ-Free Monkeys Advance the War Against Aids. Laboratory
> Primate Newsletter, VOLUME 36 NUMBER 3 JULY 1997.
You explicitly claimed that this was a common criticism of ANIMAL
studies. Since primates are in no way representative of animal studies,
you were intentionally trying to fool your audience.

> > This clearly cannot be a major scientific
> > concern of those who criticize experiments on animals, since they ALMOST
> > ALL advocate experiments on humans as superior, and we both know that
> > humans are frequently infected with known and unknown viruses or are
> > otherwise weakened due to various stressors, and these problems confound
> > many results.

> The various stressors and variability in human subjects can be
> representative of the stressors in the human population, a situation that
> will be faced at some point when attempting to apply results to ever
> enlarging experimental populations. The various stressors and variability
> in animal models of human disease confound the model even further.

They CAN be representative, but ARE they? The variability from stressors
is REDUCED in animal models. That's why, despite the differences, animal
models COMPLIMENT epidemiological studies on human populations.

Don't look now, but by changing the subject, you just admitted that you
were attempting to deceive your audience. Put simply, if being infected
with viruses invalidates experiments on animals, it invalidates
experiments on humans as well.
> > You really don't have any ethical or scientific principles, do you, Mr.
> > Bogle?
> >
> > Then, in an effort to deceive your audience, you hold up monkeys as an
> > example, when you know full well they are anything but. Once again, Mr.
> > Bogle, you know that rodents--that is, ALMOST ALL ANIMALS--used in
> > experiments are required to be purchased from SPF facilities, and they
> > are used in ALMOST ALL animal experiments.
> Had Tatiana been clear and said she was speaking only in reference to rodents
> her post would not have been as easily misunderstood.

She was quite clear. She was referring to ALMOST ALL ANIMALS. You
falsely claimed that she was misleading, while offering examples that
represent <<1% of experimental animals. 

You have no ethics, Mr. Bogle.

> The other 700,000 animals (1998, APHIS) used in research are not so
> easilty characterized as being generally from an SPF facility. However,
> SPF is not a defining term in any case. Individual facilities characterize
> SPF classification in various ways. But the trend remains, researchers are
> becoming increasingly interested in animals known to be free of specific
> pathogens for reasons other than the animals' well-being.

Animals free of specific pathogens are SPF animals, Mr. Bogle. The term
is very clear. SPF stands for "specific pathogen-free."

> This point grew out of Tatiana's comment that, "Very few animals used in
> scientific research are "random source." Yet research facilities have
> protocols in place just for such animals.

Of course they would. Her statement was that VERY FEW animals used are
random source, clearly acknowledging that some were. She was correct and
perfectly clear. You, on the other hand, are deliberately incorrect and

> The University of Minnesota notes, "If animals
> do not meet the health requirements required by RAR, investigators are given
> various options so they can receive their animals[...]
> Random source dogs and cats will be quarantined. They may be used acutely."
Your point being? Tatiana did not deny the existence of random source
animals, Mr. Bogle. Are you doing all of this hand-waving because it is
hot in front of your computer, or because you are allergic to using the
truth to discuss ethical questions?

> > Do your noble ends justify your incredibly dishonest means, Mr. Bogle?
> >
> > Is holding up an exception as an example an ethical practice?
> If the discussion concerning animals in research were to deal only with the
> species most commonly used, it is unlikely that rodent species would be the
> topic.

Pardon me? Tatiana never said that she was dealing ONLY with the species
most commonly used. She was dealing with ALMOST ALL ANIMALS, and her
statement was correct. Your attempt to rebut was deliberately
misleading. How do you justify doing this in an ethical sense?

Answer my question: is holding up an exception as an example an ethical
practice? We are talking about YOUR behavior, not anyone else's.

> But, allowing that rodents are the most commonly used mammalian species,
> it is still unclear that discussion should consider their use to be the only
> topic for consideration.

Mr. Bogle, your dishonesty is despicable. First, rodents are not a
species. Second, she honestly and correctly qualified her statements
about ALMOST ALL ANIMALS, unlike you. Are the goalposts getting heavy?

> But if it were, we could say almost all animals who are
> used in tobacco studies, fear studies, pain studies, constraint studies,
> stress studies, disease studies, mutation studies, or serve as practice
> animals for undergraduates are not protected by the Animal Welfare Act.

They are protected by many other mechanisms, but you are not honest
enough to admit that.

> > > >  All conditions must be carefully controlled for interpretation to be
> > > > valid,
> > >
> > > Whole live animal models confound the notion of careful controll for all
> > > conditions. Factors contributing to individuality are poorly understood
> > > and the frequently small number of experimental animals used in any
> > > particular study make the control problem very difficult. Trends are hard
> > > to spot.
> >
> > Using humans confounds the notion of careful control for all conditions.
> > Factors contributing to individuality are poorly understood and the
> > frequently small number of humans used in any particular study make the
> > control problem very difficult. Trends are hard to spot.
> >
> > True or false, Mr. Bogle? Obviously, ALL conditions cannot be carefully
> > controlled, but anyone with a shred of common sense can see that
> > conditions can be more easily and successfully controlled in animal
> > experiments than they can in human experiments.
> See: Brute Science : Dilemmas of Animal Experimentation (Philosophical
> Issues in Science) by Hugh Lafollette, Niall Shanks for a more complete
> discussion of animal model / experimental control problems.

No, I refuse to refer to a book written by a couple of fifth-rate
philosophy faculty as a reliable source of information about science.

Let's discuss the scientific papers themselves, which you claim to have
read. Lafollette and Shanks's argumentative techniques are as dishonest
as yours. They are not authorities on scientific matters.

> > To deceive your audience, you took a matter of degree and dishonestly
> > framed it as an absolute.
> >
We both know that you did that. How do you justify this approach

> > > > and most research protocols call for animals that are free from any
> > > > number of pathogens and virusses.
> > >
> > > This is generally incorrect. The many protocols I have reviewed have never
> > > commented on pathogen burdens in the the animals to be experimented upon
> > > unless the protocol is specific to a particular organism, in which case
> > > the protocol might mention that the animals would be tested prior to the
> > > procedures to demonstrate that they were not infected. But even this is
> > > rare. Generally the animal is assumed to be disease free.
> >
> > But have you reviewed a sufficient number of protocols to make any
> > general conclusions? I doubt it.
> I have reviewed about a hundred full protocols with revision histories
> (all dealing with primates, dogs, or cats, and including rats, mice and
> ferrets when those species were being used along with the primates, dogs,
> or cats.)  and thousands of abstracts and many published papers.

Then you have reviewed a tiny, unrepresentative sample and your
conclusions are not generally valid, as you claimed them to be. You
deliberately sought out an unrepresentative sample and explicitly claim
that you can make general conclusions.

That is fraud.

> > Again, ALMOST ALL animals used as
> > experimental subjects are obtained from SPF sources.
> If Tatiana meant to say rats and mice, or even rodents, then she should have
> said this rather than use some code. "Allmost all animals" seems a long-winded
> way to say "rodents."

Almost all animals means almost all animals. It is not misleading in any
way. Citing anything about primate research as "generally"
representative of animal research is deliberate fraud on your part.

> > Primates are not in
> > any way representative.
> Not of commercial sources for rodents
They are not representative of animals used in research, Mr. Bogle. We
both know that.
> > Why don't you test your disingenuous claim by
> > posing as a professor at your local medical school, calling the head
> > vet, and asking what health-related paperwork you'd need to bring in
> > some mice from another institution?
> >
> > You won't. You don't want to know the truth.


> > > > Some companies conducting animal testing may use random source animals,
> > > > etc., but even then, most of these do not come from the pound.  Most
> > > > shelters do NOT dispose of animals by selling them to companies.  It is
> > > > truly rare to come across those that do.
> >
> > > This is incorrect. Most states regulate animal shelters on a county level.
> > > I have never heard of a direct sale to a supply company, but sale to a
> > > university for research purposes is not unusual.
> >
> > You dodged Tatiana's point, as you did in every other case. You didn't
> > even make a claim to rebut Tatiana's point, just an argument from
> > ignorance.
> I believe Sacramento made a few tens of thousands (70?) of dollars selling
> dogs from the county shelter to UC Davis last year. This is not an
> anomaly.
N=1 does not demonstrate that it is not unusual. In fact, offering a
single case suggests the opposite -- that you believe it is unusual, but
lack the honesty to admit it.
> > Let's discuss all of your other posts to this group--deliberate
> > misrepresentations of the scientific goals underlying primate
> > experiments.
> Pick one. Let's discuss it.
Let's discuss them all.

> My experience with various primate vivisectors has shown them to be 
>  ... the most unprincipled group in toto I have ever come across.

So what? Even if that is true, how how could that possibly justify YOUR
deliberately deceptive and dishonest approach to the topic?

> > Does your end (abolishing primate experimentation) justify
> > your means (deliberately lying about the reasons for which individual
> > studies were done)?
> You confuse email headers with publication titles.

No, I do not. A lie is a lie whether it is in the header or the body of
your message, Mr. Bogle.
> > If the resolution of this ethical dilemma is so obvious to you,
> What is the dilemma?

To what extent we should use primates in research, of course. You
wouldn't see the need to misrepresent and exaggerate if you didn't find
it to be a dilemma, too.
> > why not
> > argue with the truth, Mr. Bogle? After all, if your argument is that
> > society's end (better human and animal health) doesn't justify the means
> > (experimentation on animals), why lie about the ends?
> Lying about the ends is the domain of those justifying their cruelty.
We are discussing your lying about their ends.

> > Can't people judge
> > for themselves?
> I believe they could. Unfortunately, people are unable to see into the
> labs. The facilities do not allow public viewing, let alone oversight. The
> ways public money is being spent, the cruelty inside the labs, is kept
> intentionally hidden.

You clearly don't believe that people are capable of judging, or you
wouldn't feel the intense need to fudge the evidence before presenting
it. People are unable to gain admission to the labs because people
believe your misrepresentations and do violence to labs and the animals
themselves. That's convenient for you.

> > Are you afraid they won't see your POV if you present
> > the truth?
> Just what is the truth?

That primate experiments are almost always performed to further human
health, a noble goal. Note the qualification. You won't.

> > When do the ends justify the means?
> Only rarely when the means is torture.
You have presented no evidence of torture. Why are you so allergic to
the truth?

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