Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Lab Rat Chronicles

I’ve lived with a number of animals other than humans during my adult life: fish, a monkey, goats, dogs, a gerbil, horses, cats, chickens, a pig, chimpanzees, and six rats.

Rats continue to get a bad rap. For some reason, their relatively naked tail bothers some people, and of course, they have been associated with disease and squalor. But rats I’ve known have been friendly, inquisitive, and have seemed to like my companionship.

I am mentioning rats because of a book I read a couple weeks ago written by experimental psychologist Kelly Lambert. It’s titled The Lab Rat Chronicles: A Neuroscientist Reveals Life Lesson’s from the Planet’s Most Successful Mammals.

It’s a disturbing read if you care much about what we do to animals. Though she doesn’t stop to do the calculations, her's and the other studies she writes about must have consumed many many thousands of animals. It’s hard to find anything in all the studies she cites that has been very beneficial to humans – other then the ones cashing those taxpayer signed paychecks.

She never stops to wonder whether another stress-inducing manipulation of her subjects' lives is moral or whether using more public funds to publish another obscure bit of trivia is ethical. To her, the results, no matter what they are, are just so very interesting that more research is needed, and she's ready to assign another round of sad manipulations of these small animals' lives to another grad student.

In my opinion, it’s nothing more than a disturbed person’s self-congratulatory indulgence that demonstrates exactly why so-called scientists hurting animals ought to be barred for life from feeding at the public trough.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

i would say that this post was just silly, but that would do a disservice to silly. can you really believe that claptrap about how lambert "never stops to wonder whether another stress-inducing manipulation of her subjects' lives is moral or whether using more public funds to publish another obscure bit of trivia is ethical. To her, the results, no matter what they are, are just so very interesting that more research is needed, and she's ready to assign another round of sad manipulations of these small animals' lives to another grad student." since when do you have the moral standing -- or clairvoyance! -- to understand much less question her motives? yours is but a typical animal rightist's screed, poorly thought-out, morally relative, and logically crippled. self-satisfaction is not the same as moral standing. i am sure you feel you are doing good, and certainly more sensitivity toward animals is a good thing; but what you propose is fundamental ignorance about the goals and objectives of lambert's work. you and others have benefited in incalculable ways from those "sad manipulations" you so cavalierly dismiss. when lambert gets around to studying hypocrisy, maybe she will give you a call. that's something you seem to know best about.

Anonymous said...

hey, mr. bogle. or should i say, mr. coward. censorship is quite the attractive quality, no? i see that you do not feel compelled to air views that challenge your silly and narrow ones. i posted a response to your largely hysterical attack on kelly lambert's lab chronicles book, and so far, it has not made it past your victorian sensibilities. free and open exchange of information apparently refers only to ideas that fit within your narrow and pinched ideals. hard being an adult, is it not? you would use the web to advance your ideas, but any challenge is met by "comment moderation?" hypocrite.

Rick said...

Anon writes: "since when do you have the moral standing -- or clairvoyance! -- to understand much less question her motives?"

Moral standing: This is an odd question. It suggests that anon believes that only certain people who have somehow been anointed or somehow achieved something called "moral standing" can voice an opinion about the morality of someone's acts. Odd, not very thoughtful, and decidedly anti-democratic.

Questioning motives: Clairvoyance isn't needed to understand someone's motives when they spell them out in a book and in published papers. Lambert's motives are clear: curiosity leavened with a fondness for money.

Anon: "you and others have benefited in incalculable ways from those 'sad manipulations'"

Incalculable like the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

If Anon means 'very many', then I hope they will take the time to enlighten me... maybe provide just one of Lambert's "discoveries" that have provided me with some easy to understand benefit.