The Humane Community Does Do the Funding

As a scientist and an ex-psychologist, I am continually intrigued with the lengths to which psychologists will go to justify their shoddy little experiments at the expense of other animals, human and nonhuman alike. Susan Suarez certainly has my vote for "Rationalizer of the Year" with her letter "Humane Society Should Stop Criticizing, Start Funding," commenting on a letter by Lockwood and Stephens (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 10 and February 9, 1987, p. 10). The humane community is, i

By | April 20, 1987

As a scientist and an ex-psychologist, I am continually intrigued with the lengths to which psychologists will go to justify their shoddy little experiments at the expense of other animals, human and nonhuman alike. Susan Suarez certainly has my vote for "Rationalizer of the Year" with her letter "Humane Society Should Stop Criticizing, Start Funding," commenting on a letter by Lockwood and Stephens (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 10 and February 9, 1987, p. 10).

The humane community is, in fact, the principal force behind the all-too-few ongoing efforts to establish and validate non-animal methodologies for research and testing. Pressure from animal advocates on the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrancy Association and its member organizations resulted in founding and maintaining the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animals Testing (see The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 6). The American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research (AFAAR) has established summer programs for students of the biological sciences in innovative techniques to improve the quality of research efforts while minimizing pain and stress to other animals. AFAAR has also funded many other programs, the most recent leading to new tests for the efficacy of polio vaccines that do not require animal testing.

My own organization, the National Anti-Vivisection Society, together with the American Anti-Vivisection Society and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, has founded the International Foundation for Ethical Research, enlisted many leading scientists (none of them anti-vivisectionists) for its scientific advisory board, and is presently screening applications for funding research efforts that do not violate the ethical and moral standards of scientists who Understand the true meaning of compassion. It was only because of pressure by the animal advocacy community that the federal government has, for the first time, set aside funds ($16 million) for the Environmental Protection Agency to use in determining non-animal methods.

By contrast, the American Psychological Association (APA), of which I'm sure Suarez is a proud member, has resisted all but the most minimal efforts to improve the lot of non-human animals in the laboratory. In fact, the only money APA has allocated was $16,000 for the legal defense of psychologist Edward Taub, the first scientist in the United States found guilty of cruelty to his laboratory animals. Is it possible that Suarez is unaware of these facts? Or is she repressing reality in order to cling to the "cloth-mother" of her profession?

—Donald J. Barnes
National Anti-Vivisection Society
112 North Carolina Ave.
Washington, DC 20003

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