Sunday, October 21, 2018

Vivisectors Love Animals - Part Deux

Vivisectors love animals and other lies the shitheads tell.

I am writing here about information in a booklet I picked up at a public presentation put on by Americans for Medical Progress (AMP; see the SourceWatch profile.) See "Vivisectors Love Animals - Part One" for more info on the booklet and why this national organization put on their show in a rural village in Wisconsin.

In Part One I pointed out that the booklet is funded in-part, according to the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR; see the SourceWatch profile), by tax-payer supported institutions, including the NIH National Primate Research Centers.

Early on in this little booklet, FBR claims that the issue of hurting and killing animals in the name of medical science is "a really complicated issue," but that seems misleading to me. While there are many ways animals of many species are hurt and killed by vivisectors and others, the notion that we shouldn't hurt and kill them doesn't seem complicated at all. This uncomplicated notion is one that vivisectors, like those who participated in the presentation, prefer not to confront.

The booklet starts out with the debunked but still employed claim that every medical advance is the result of experiments on animals.

This claim was debunked in the 2008, February 1 issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Those who repeat the claim and who purport to be experts are abusing their authority; they are violating the public's trust. [Matthews, Robert AJ. "Medical progress depends on animal models-doesn't it?" Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 101.2 (2008): 95-98.]

I looked carefully at twenty-one such claims made by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in my book, We all Operate in the Same Way. According to the university, those twenty-one claims were "tangible evidence" of the benefits of animal research. Only one of their claims was mostly true, the development of a live-organ preservation fluid, and even that was probably delayed by the use of dogs' organs instead of humans'. The other twenty were a mix of speculation about potential future benefits of on-going research, the retelling of the institution's myths, and frankly erroneous assertions.

There isn't an easy way to explain the industry's continuing insistence that virtually every medical advance has been the result of experiments on animals other than believing that they must know they are making shit up and spinning the facts to mislead the public. And given their paranoia and extreme secrecy it seems likely that they are deeply worried, terrified, of the public's reaction were the horrors in the labs more widely known. The truth is their enemy.

One thing we were told during the presentations -- one of the speakers was a researcher, the other a lab animal veterinarian -- is that animal research helps pets. I don't think there is any debate over the question of whether experimenting on dogs or cats could lead to improvements in clinical care for other dogs and cats. But at the heart of this appeal from those within the industry is the very dark notion that it is justifiable to hurt you or yours to help me and mine. It doesn't get much more selfish than that.

For real-world examples of veterinarians doing just that, see my essay, "UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine." The old bait-and-switcheroo. 4-16-2018.

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