Retiring Monkeys Gets Under Vivisectors’ Skin

“Monkeys, research, retirement, and public interests: Fact and relevant considerations” an article from the extremest pro-vivisection group Speaking of Research, is a collection of facts, half-truths, and falsehoods.

They start out with the tacit assertion that what is learned by experimenting on monkeys is applicable to other species and leads to advances in human healthcare. This assertion has been the subject of millions of pages of very critical analysis. Here is one recent example. But the efficacy of animal models of human biology, disease, and drug response is not a factor in determining whether using other animals is morally right if the calculus used is itself morally right and just.

The method of determining whether a medical research project is moral and just that comes closest to being moral and just is the one in use today to screen projects using humans. The method used to evaluate projects using animals is only superficially similar to it. See The Ethics Underpinning Oversight. But that’s not the method used to determine whether it is moral and just to experiment on another species. That system is a de facto pretty much anything goes system.

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