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Animal research benefits

Stephen B. Ronan sbr at world.std.com
Wed Jun 1 19:02:20 EST 1994

Newsgroups: bionet.neuroscience
Subject: Re: Animal research benefits
References: <2rp74mINNdfs at essex.hsc.colorado.edu> <CqAHKx.1Ao at news.Hawaii.Edu> <Cqq5GA.8M3 at world.std.com> <pauly.70.2DECCC5C at neuro.fsu.edu>

pauly at neuro.fsu.edu (Sherry Pauly) writes:

sr>>animal protection considerations, well-informed scientists argue
>>persuasively that, while cruel animal-based research has had some
>                                                              ^^^^
SP>                              I would replace this with *countless*

>>achievements, a portion of which could be achieved in no other way, such
>                 ^^^^^^^
SP>        I would replace this with *overwhelming majority*

sr>>animal research nevertheless receives a greater portion of public funds
>>than it merits relative to other potential expenditures to improve public
>>Stephen Ronan       sbr at world.std.com

SP>Where are your figures?  

Goodness, I'm overwhelmed by your own precision. How could I hope to
successfully dispute your apparent position that the figures relative to
cruel animal-based research are "countless" and many, if not an
"overwhelming majority" of the supposed advances "incredible"? Perhaps we
can agree on this. 

On the other hand, I would suggest that you read "Progress Against
Cancer", John C. Bailar III and Elaine M. Smith, NEJM, May 8, 1986 pp.
1226-1232 if you want to start looking at some relevant figures. 

sp>What about the incredible advances in cardiac 
>procedures, immunization, pasteurization, diabetes, alzheimer's, 

[By the way, as an aside, do you happen to have handy the most precise
available figures relating to the incidence, in each region of the world,
of Alzheimer's?]

sp>almost any 
>visual ailment -- not to mention that almost all veterinary procedures were 
>created and/or improved through the use of animals in research.  

Let me offer an analogy. Let's say that you were given 20 billion dollars
to go to the market and bring back some provisions for the community.
Let's say that you spent most of it on overhead and came back with a few
thousand cases of corn chips, frankfurters, potato chips, twinkies, 3
cases of broccoli and two of carrots, and a bushel basket of vitamin
pills. You might quite properly state that your expedition had saved quite
a few lives, and you might list case of broccoli after corn chip after
corn chip after individual frankfurter as a compilation of your
accomplishments. On the other hand, we might quite properly turn around
and give someone else our next 20 billion dollars, feeling that the value
received, though not nonexistent, had not measured up to your own
estimates when you initially requested funding for your shopping
expedition. We might quite especially wish to find other recipients if we
learned that you had careened around smashing into the vital organs of
countless animals on your trip to the market and back. 

>there wouldn't be such a waste of animal research dollars if the animal 
>rights extremists weren't causing millions of dollars to be diverted to 
>security and rebuilding after labs (and years of research) are destroyed.

Of course one jumps rather quickly, doesn't one, into consideration of far
larger sums when one examines the money misappropriated as supposed
"overhead"  expenditures by Donald Kennedy and crew at Stanford and
similarly at many other institutions. 

>I work in a lab where we use cats as our model (as well as humans) and our 
>cats are *never* treated cruelly and *never* subjected to pain.  Take a 

I am glad to hear this (the *never* part). I hope that when cats, rats and
other animals are treated cruelly elsewhere, you are an outspoken opponent
of such practices. 

>reality check.  If you are taking any medications, you're benefitting from 
>animal research.

Laugh yourself silly reading Mark Twain and you will have benefitted from 
an antivisectionist. That is not to say that you could not also laugh 
yourself silly reading the press releases of many a pro-vivisectionist.

>Sherry Pauly

Stephen Ronan   sbr at world.std.com

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