IoI Publications

Friday 30 August 2002 Animal Experimentation: Good or bad?

Some argue that animal experiments are vital to advance scientific knowledge and improve medical practice. Others believe that they are unnecessary, cruel and repetitive. Is a compromise between animal rights campaigners and those that emphasise the needs of humans possible or even desirable?

AUTHOR: Editor: Tony Gilland

Dr Stuart Derbyshire: scientist at the University of Pittsburgh, US, researching central mechanisms of pain
Dr Mark Matfield: medical research scientist
Dr Tom Regan: Professor of Philosophy and president of the Culture and Animals Foundation
Dr Richard D. Ryder: author of Painism: A Modern Morality
Tony Gilland: Academy of Ideas

‘It is noticeable that very few antivivisection organizations now run effective campaigns trying to persuade their audience that animal experimentation is worthless or unnecessary. Instead, they focus on secondary issues, such as lack of openness, or the justification for using emotive species such as primates or dogs.’
Dr Mark Matfield
medical research scientist

‘The psychological complexity of mammals plays an important role in arguing for their rights. Just as it is true in our case, so is true in theirs: they are the subjects of a life, their life, a life that is experientially better or worse for the one whose life it is. Each is a unique somebody, not a replaceable something.’
Dr Tom Regan
Professor of Philosophy and President of the Culture and Animals Foundation

‘Suggestions that rights should be extended to animals are based on two misunderstandings, the first being a false equivalence between human and animal experience, and the second being a confused interpretation of rights. Behaviour is not a faithful reflection of experience and protection is a privilege not a right. The consequences of these misunderstandings are unfortunate to say the least.’
Dr Stuart Derbyshire
scientist at the University of Pittsburgh researching central mechanisms of pain

‘The suffering of pain or distress is what matters morally. Furthermore, it makes no difference who suffers it. ... The suffering of pain and distress has become the central issue in ethics today. It has taken time ... for philosophers to realize that conditions such as justice, equality and liberty are all morally subordinate to the reduction of pain.’
Dr Richard D. Ryder
author of Painism: a Modern Morality

PUBLISHER: Hodder & Soughton
SERIES: Debating Matters
ISBN: 0340857331


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