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Experiments on Animals for medical research


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But we are the ones making the call that human life is that important.
I am saying, on what basis?

 

 

You make the same call every time you wash your hands, killing millions of bacteria. It's a very blurry line you're looking for.

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Thanks Ten oz, for your extremely interesting post. It's restored my faith in human nature, that US citizens feel no shame, in viewing on TV, the glorious sight of humanity's triumph over the anim

This argument lacks vision. If we take this reasoning and apply it to other situations we can say that animals rape each other in nature so why shouldn't we do it? Animals don't have a legal system so

Being in an ecology and evolutionary biology department, a huge percentage of our basic science research is done on animals, with no "clear" benefit to humans (.i.e, it's basic research - and has no d

Yes of course, I completely agree with that. But let's address the question. The matter of where we might draw a line for 'sentience' is another matter, and one I am happy to debate.

 

But ethics are a matter of value judgement - there is no higher authority to whom we can appeal. Equally, if we consider the universe to be an uncaring mechanical process in which no good or bad exists, then we are free to do as we please. But generally we imagine that we cannot do that, we do seem to think that some kind of framework for human behaviour, based on some kind of values, needs to be in place. And that framework is of necessity informed only by human values. We cannot make any sensible statement about what animals interests in this respect might be.

 

So it is human value judgements that underlie any question of ethics. My question then remains, on what basis do we assume that our value judgements constitute a sound basis for ethical practices that impact other species? Or put another way, how could we derive a set of ethical values that consider objectively and fairly the rights and interests of other species? If all we can use are our own ideas about human primacy, then it's ultimately a selfish system and intrinsically not ethical.

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I agree with davidivad "the idea in animal research is to use animals that are chemically similar in some cases and physically similar of course.

while animals may not be as sophisticated as humans, they often show emotional traits such as mourning for a lost member.

i think that this has already been established in the scientific community and so you use rats as opposed to monkeys when you can per se."

I consider it justifiable on rats more then chimps or humans because it does more good then harm and the only other way you can create new drugs,rash creams or other medical prosedures.if we didnt use animals then we would be useing people to test drugs and so on. because some experiments worked on animals and failed on humans, that means you just used a person to test a drug,I am not for animal experimentation,I am against human experimentation and we dont have a better alternitive animals also feel sadness and pain when they are under testing, but we feel more sympathetic to humans then animals. "Amrinone, a medication used for heart failure, was tested on numerous animals and was released without trepidation. Humans developed thrombocytopenia, a lack of the type of blood cells that are needed for clotting." I found this on www.navs.org

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When using animals for research, you generally have to justify explicitly and precisely why you are using animals and why you can't use an alternative to your ethics committee.

 

I just read this entire thread.

 

Thank you for this quote. It earned +1. It's the only rating offered, though other terrific points were made.

 

Everyone might guess by my username and avatar, I'm a pearl farmer. On the face of it, I perform non-essential surgery on living animals for vanity and profit, but that's not entirely what I do. Please indulge me for a few moments, that I may convey some thoughts on animal testing.

 

I do collections for government and private labs locally and around the world. A stratigraphy and paleontology lab in Spain, biomedical research and public health labs. My first revenue collections were barnacles, years ago. Everyday millions of barnacles, mussels and other marine invertebrates are scraped from ships and marinas. Allowing ships to become heavily fouled, significantly increases fuel consumption (not green) and hinders transportation (not economical).

 

Rather than witness this waste on a daily basis, I investigated alternative utilization. I encountered a team doing spinal cord research, who were delighted to learn I could provide unlimited samples on demand. As a result of this work, partial recovery of some motor functions is possible, in some individuals. The flinch of a finger or a nod of the head might not seem like much to healthy folks, but to a person trapped in their own body, they've regained something significant which may be developed into a skill or improved quality of life. How can this be a bad thing?

 

I picked through and recycled garbage, so others may benefit. I didn't kill anything. I only extended the life of a few critters a little longer, otherwise by the end of the day, they'd be dead too. Putting marine offal back into the water returns some nutrients to other organisms, but has been known to cause other issues. Tunicate and anemone populations mass proliferate when you do that. (among other species) The waste is required to landfills.

 

I provide samples from several local marine stations for the CMP (Constant Monitoring Program). Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) is an anomaly in nature where "any environmental stress" can give rise or fall the predator/food relationship of a nasty little dinoflagellate called Gonyaulax sp. If allowed to mass proliferate, they accumulate high concentrations in the digestive tracts and tissues of bivalves. While not toxic to the animal itself, it's paralytic, if not lethal to mammals who ingest them. Wild stock harvesting for food by indigenous people and recreationalists is huge in North America. Likewise, commercial oyster, clam and scallops industries are significant to local economies. Fresh shellfish, is a certifiably organic, wholesome food source. Our area has 12 stations. The entire Canadian coast has more than 200. Each station requires the collection of 50 grams of shucked tissue to perform the tests. We also test for domoic acid and fecal coliform. These are conducted monthly. This work is critical to public safety. It's also important to demonstrate to the world market, that shellfish is a safe product to eat.

 

Some recent work involved a breakthrough in biomedical research. Mussels (and other mollusks) have hold fast attachment threads called byssus. These threads are closely related to silk, but what is most extraordinary is their ability for underwater adhesion. This "glue" has since been synthesized and is used as an alternative to the trauma of sutures in delicate surgery, especially near the heart. They've also created a type of pad/sponge material that gathers blood clots, preventing strokes in some high risk patients.

 

I do personally funded field work on climate change and ocean acidification. At a time when the public is demanding research on the topic, government or ideologies might be obstructive, dismissive or ill funded. Over the years, I've accumulated quite a lot of data. It will be years before it's complete and published and I prefer not to speculate as to cause before it's published, but suffice it to say, patterns and trends are emerging. Any questions to that, ought to be raised in the Climate Change threads only, please.

 

Over the years, I've done hundreds of collections for dozens of studies.

 

Now that we got that out of the way, let me share some things about pearl farms. Pearl farming was always thought to be only possible in warm tropical waters with specific creatures. Nothing could be further from the truth. Natural pearls have been found on every continent, including Antarctica and under the Arctic ice.

 

90% of my technology, I devised myself through trial and error. Occasionally under great trepidation and abundant caution. I knowingly avoid certain procedures that may be viable, yet ethically questionable. I induce spawning, so as to purge all gametes by relaying to cold water (below the thermocline). I don't "starve" or "weaken" pre-graft candidates like the do in China, Japan or Indonesia. (Aussies don't for the most part either) Even then, they seem rather unaffected and mortality remains low, otherwise they wouldn't do it.

 

Unlike the myth perpetuated by Kōkichi Mikimoto in the early 1900's (who incidentally, stole the technology from a ex-pat Brit, William Saville-Kent in Australia) cultured pearls do not use a grain of sand as an initiator. In natural pearls, sand is only implicated in less less than 1% of known cases, although it's higher in scallops, presumably because they are arduous swimmers.

 

All pearls are cultured by a homogeneic trans graft of mantle epithelial tissue from a donor, into the connective myostracum of the host, usually annexed to the gonads with a shell bead nucleus. The grafted cells pick up the vascular supply of the host and continue to multiply and divide, until a sac forms and a pearl is born. The term "irritation" is also largely a myth. In any grafted tissue, whether a human, a flower or a tree, irritation causes inflammation, which cause disease or death. It's in the absence of irritation, where mortality is mitigated.

 

I harvest my inventory from wild stocks. I collect donor/recipient candiates from biomasses of 300 animals or or more per square meter. Once grafted, are suspended at >6/sqm. Over their life span, they grow more than 200% faster than their wild siblings and many of them actually live longer. Predation is significantly less for sure, if not entirely eliminated with diligent husbandry.

 

The surgical procedure is minor and swift. Mollusks get smashed around in nature all the time, so convalescence is virtually non-existent and recovery is nearly instant. Donors are sacrificed for color and surface quality of their shells and dictate the final appearance of the pearl. The hosts are suspended in seawater with a few menthol crystals added, not for pain, but to relax them. They open voluntarily. At harvest time, a mussel or oyster producing a quality gem is not sacrificed. Instead, the technician will select a similar sized bead, replace the pearl then put it back for another 18-36 months.

 

Mollusks have no brains, hence they do not feel pain like we do. In fact they don't feel pain at all, they experience stimuli, which has already been discussed. (thank you for that too, btw) Mollusks do not have the ability to hide or retreat when attacked. They only retract or close, hence are not sentient.

 

Pearl farms remove pollutants and contaminates from the water column. They poop a lot, but benthic organisms do well to clean that up, especially if inventory densities are restricted to the ability to manage it naturally. Fallowing is used as a precaution, nonetheless. All shells are beached for a short period to weather, then returned to the sea, offsetting the carbon footprint.

 

Pearl farmers have everything to lose and nothing to gain from bad practices, neglect or indifference to their inventories. At the only other pearl farm in North America, in the Sea of Cortez, wild spat fall from their operations have reintroduced the once endangered Rainbow Lipped Oyster (Pteria sterna) back to historical numbers. As such, a new fishery and natural pearl industry rose from the ashes and brought new money into old communities.

 

I love animals, birds, plants and nature, immensely. A photographer, a film maker and identifier, mentored by the late renowned biologist, Ed Ricketts at his single most favorite collection spot. With that, my work is every bit a philosophical undertaking as it is an occupation. I'm a strong opponent of pollution and an advocate for numerous environmental issues. I'm operating within a United Nation's Biosphere designation and as such required to uphold ethical, sustainable, non-alienable manners, on top of local, provincial and federal regulations. I do regular interpretive shoreline walks for kids and adults for free. I volunteer at the local salmon hatchery, producing tens of thousands of fish to be released back into the wild annually.

 

I'm given to be kind, not cruel. I take only what I can use with humility and gratitude. I make very effort to return more to mankind than I've taken.

 

Pearls are the world's only biotic gem. Revered by kings and queens for centuries, pearls have become affordable and may be enjoyed by anyone.

 

If a girl is wearing a pearl, I notice.

 

I'm always moved when a customer selects a pearl, because they are in love.

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my rather long post.

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