What Animals Want: Expertise and Advocacy in Laboratory Animal Welfare Policy
Larry Carbone, a veterinarian who is in charge of the lab animal welfare assurance program at a major research university, presents this scholarly history of animal rights. Biomedical researchers, and the less fanatical among the animal rights activists will find this book reasonable, humane, and novel in its perspective. It brings a novel, sociological perspective to an area that has been addressed largely from a philosophical perspective, or from the entrenched positions of highly committed advocates of a particular position in the debate.
physician. However, the principles informing the two types of review are radically different, limiting the value of human subjects review as a model for animals. One reason to hope that animal subjects review could be piggybacked onto the human subjects approach was the long, serious attention that human subjects have historically received. Three major documents are central to the American approach to human subjects: the Nuremberg Code of 1949, the World Medical Association's Declaration of
Just what did the USDA and Congress have in mind with these new provisions? Would scientific institutions have all their research funds siphoned off for a staff of monkey psychiatrists and dog walkers? The USDA counted some 36,000 public comments from research advocates, animal protectionists, veterinarians, patient advocacy groups, and others over the five years it spent crafting Animal Welfare Act regulations in the 1980s; whatever other issues they addressed, most of these commenters had
to the present during which a great deal of writing, talking, protest, study, and legislation was devoted to animals in general and to laboratory animals in particular. My concerns are not restricted just to animals in laboratories, but to animals in zoos, on the farm, in shelters, and in homes as well. Convinced that what we do about animals-the policies we adopt, the ways we treat them-has everything to do with what we think we know about them, my goal in this book is to examine closely some of
committees consider at their meetings, not the big question of whether people have any right to use animals in research and teaching. That big question is vitally important, but by the time we are determining cases, it has already been decided in favor of human priority. Yes, we will continue using animals for the foreseeable future; the question is not whether, but how. Can we find guidance from philosophers to help us decide when painless death is preferable to life with some potential pain, to
concern to those creatures who are sentient: "If a being is not capable of suffering, or of enjoyment, there is nothing to take into account" (1990, p. 171). So ethical people do not eat sentient animals and they give oysters the benefit of the doubt; what about plants? As Singer notes, implicit in the call to vegetarianism is the acceptance of killing and eating plants. Noting that some have proposed some pain sensation even in plants, he dismisses the possibility, not by addressing the data