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The High Cost of Animal Testing

From Care2
By Mac McDaniel

It’s always strange finding something I agree with John McCain about.

A couple of weeks ago John McCain and another Republican senator authored a report about projects funded with federal stimulus money that are what the senators called “questionable”, “poorly planned”, or “mismanaged”.

Among the more egregious projects in the report was one that it dubbed “Monkeys Getting High for Science” in which a research facility in North Carolina received over $71,000 dollars to feed cocaine to primates.

John McCain might not have moral objections to animal testing in general, but he definitely touches on an important point: that not only is animal testing ethically and scientifically unsound, it’s financially unsound. It doesn’t take an economist to see that we’re wasting money on experiments that teach us nothing.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader the $71,000 that went to the cocaine study is only the tip of the iceberg. Among several different institutes studying several different addictive substances, the scientific community has wasted $20 million taxpayer dollars exposing animals to drugs for a variety of arbitrary and pointless tests.

It would be hard to explain to the growing number of unemployed people struggling to survive — and the families losing their homes — that the federal government is still giving money to vivisectors to find out over and over again that drugs and cigarettes are still bad for you.

Between feeding monkeys cocaine, or nicotine, irradiating them to watch them die, or cutting their fetuses out of their stomachs to check for birth defects, we’ve not only entered into a morally reprehensible standard for scientific research, but we’ve also wasted millions of dollars that could be going to social programs or paying down the national debt.

No matter where you look, there’s another reason to end the scientific farce that is vivisection. Those not moved by the moral argument that it is simply wrong to experiment on animals, should be moved by the fact that vivisection is pseudo-science and the results can never be trusted definitively. And those not moved by morality or scientific integrity should be moved by the fact we simply cannot afford to waste money on these programs.

The more you read about the details of animal tests, especially those that center around addictive substances, the more you realize they would be comedic in their pointless absurdity if animals’ lives weren’t at stake in the process.

What do we gain by addicting animals to drugs? Nothing. What do we learn? Nothing we didn’t already know. What do we lose? Our humanity, our scientific integrity, and millions of dollars that could be spent on worthwhile programs.



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