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Beware `False Moderates'

The article by Ron Kaufman on animal research in the May 25, 1992, issue of The Scientist (page 8) posited two extremes, and then led readers to a "middle" path. In the controversy over the use of animals in medical research, however, one of the opponents does not represent an extreme. On one side are the abolitionists, who believe that no matter how necessary to human health or painless to animals, the use of animals is unjustifiable. The true opposite would be people advocating the right to

Sandra Bressler

The article by Ron Kaufman on animal research in the May 25, 1992, issue of The Scientist (page 8) posited two extremes, and then led readers to a "middle" path. In the controversy over the use of animals in medical research, however, one of the opponents does not represent an extreme.

On one side are the abolitionists, who believe that no matter how necessary to human health or painless to animals, the use of animals is unjustifiable. The true opposite would be people advocating the right to do anything they want with animals. In this case, instead, we have research scientists, the vast majority of whom believe that strong regulation of animal use is appropriate, and that unnecessary pain is abhorrent, but that responsible, judicious use of animals is indispensable to medical progress. This is hardly a contest of extremes. Yet it allows false "moderates" (Martin Stephens of the Humane...

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