I received an email from a reader in response to my last post on PETA’s exposing of problems with the treatment of research animals at UNC. The reader pointed me to the website of an organization concerned with the treatment of lab animals in the Research Triangle, www.serat-nc.org. And, she wrote the following:
Some people may think that PETA is extreme. However, the true “extreme” is what happens to animals in labs. If the public knew, most would be outraged. But, of course our government hides such things very well. Those researchers who abuse animals in labs (which is ALL researchers, by my definition), cannot do an about turn and go home and not abuse animals or humans at their homes. Animal researchers are abusers, and there is enough research on people who abuse to know that abuse does not occur in isolation. The entire industry must change.
There are a bunch of claims here, some of which I’m going to pretty much leave alone because I don’t have the expertise to evaluate them. Frankly, I don’t know whether even the folks we would all agree are abusing animals in the lab are full-fledged abusers who cannot help but go forth and abuse spouses, children, family pets, neighbors, and such. (I’m not a psychologist or a sociologist, after all.) And, while I’d like to believe that the public would be outraged at unambigous cases of animal abuse, the public seems not to be outraged by quite a lot of things that I find outrageous.
I would, however, like to consider the claim that ALL researchers who do research with animals are abusing those animals.