Animal Rights - Is the Treatment of Animals Improving?


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Animal Rights - Is the Treatment of Animals Improving?

  1. 1. CQAnimal Rights Researcher Published by CQ Press, a Division of SAGE www.cqresearcher.comIs the treatment of animals improving? he passage of dozens of tough state animal-protectionT laws last year reflects growing public interest in animal welfare. Today, many Americans view pets as family members, and some even leave bequests topets in their wills. Vegetarianism has gone mainstream as peoplehave become concerned about the conditions on factory farms,and many scientists say farm animals have feelings. Fifteen yearsago, only 10 of the country’s law schools offered animal-lawcourses; today about 130 do. At the same time, however, billionsof animals are slaughtered for food each year in our meat-eating Rhesus monkeys hug at a research facility in Great Britain, where labs must protect the physical and mental well-being of social animals like monkeyssociety, and live-animal research is a major tool of biomedicine. by housing them in groups and giving them toys. Similar laws apply to primates and some other research animals in the U.S.The food industry, researchers and others who depend on usingand killing animals are fighting back against what they call Ioverblown concerns about animal rights. Last November, for example, N S THIS REPORTOhio voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution THE ISSUES ........................3barring the legislature from approving any animal-protection laws I CHRONOLOGY....................11that would apply to farms. D BACKGROUND ....................12 E CURRENT SITUATION ............16 CQ Researcher • Jan. 8, 2010 • AT ISSUE ..........................17 Volume 20, Number 1 • Pages 1-24 OUTLOOK ........................19 RECIPIENT OF SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE N AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION SILVER GAVEL AWARD BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................22 THE NEXT STEP ..................23
  2. 2. ANIMAL RIGHTS CQ Researcher Jan. 8, 2010 THE ISSUES SIDEBARS AND GRAPHICS Volume 20, Number 1 • Do animals have rights?3 • Are we doing enough 4 Toughest State Laws Make Cruelty a Felony MANAGING EDITOR: Thomas J. Colin to protect the welfare of Five states have the “best” ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR: Kathy Koch farm animals? animal-protection laws. • Is animal research nec- ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Kenneth Jost Many New Protection essary to achieve medical progress? 5 Laws Enacted in 2009 STAFF WRITERS: Thomas J. Billitteri, Several states passed more Marcia Clemmitt, Peter Katel BACKGROUND than 100 laws. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Rachel Cox, Sarah Glazer, Alan Greenblatt, Reed Karaim More Philosophers Argue12 Early Farm Laws 7 for Animal Protection Barbara Mantel, Patrick Marshall, Tom Price, Jennifer Weeks In 1822, Britain outlawed Recent efforts are changing cruelty to some domesti- the face of the movement. DESIGN/PRODUCTION EDITOR: Olu B. Davis cated animals. ASSISTANT EDITOR: Darrell Dela Rosa Nobel Laureates Rely on15 National Advocates 8 Animal Testing FACT-CHECKING: Eugene J. Gabler, Michelle Harris In the 1950s, national Many scientists see animal animal-welfare groups research as vital. were established. Chronology Animals in the Courts 1116 New laws and legal action Key events since 1954. are bolstering animals’ Violent Animal Activists in legal status. 12 the Minority A Division of SAGE Animal Enterprise Terrorism PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER: Act set tough penalties. John A. Jenkins CURRENT SITUATION At Issue Farm State Fights 17 Is enough being done to Copyright © 2010 CQ Press, a Division of SAGE.16 States have increasingly protect animals slaughtered SAGE reserves all copyright and other rights herein, unless previously specified in writing. No part of this for food? become key battlegrounds publication may be reproduced electronically or in the fight over animal otherwise, without prior written permission. Un- welfare. FOR FURTHER RESEARCH authorized reproduction or transmission of SAGE copy- righted material is a violation of federal law carrying Congress and Beyond civil fines of up to $100,000.18 Animal protection is not a 21 For More Information Organizations to contact. CQ Press is a registered trademark of Congressional high priority for U.S. law- Quarterly Inc. makers, but support is Bibliography growing worldwide. 22 Selected sources used. CQ Researcher (ISSN 1056-2036) is printed on acid- free paper. Published weekly, except; (Jan. wk. 1) (May wk. 4) (July wks. 1, 2) (Aug. wks. 2, 3) (Nov. The Next Step OUTLOOK 23 Additional articles. wk. 4) and (Dec. wks. 4, 5), by CQ Press, a division of SAGE Publications. Annual full-service subscriptions Citing CQ Researcher start at $803. For pricing, call 1-800-834-9020, ext. 1906.19 Test Tube Meat? 23 Sample bibliography formats. To purchase a CQ Researcher report in print or elec- Creating meat in a labora- tronic format (PDF), visit www. or call tory may be possible 866-427-7737. Single reports start at $15. Bulk pur- someday. chase discounts and electronic-rights licensing are also available. Periodicals postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CQ Researcher, 2300 N St., N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20037.Cover: Understanding Animal Research/Wellcome Images2 CQ Researcher
  3. 3. Animal Rights BY MARCIA CLEMMITTTHE ISSUES he intensifying clash be- Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Fed- eration. “Because we experi- enced a little bit of farm life,T tween animal-welfare advocates and animal-using industries heated up we weren’t inclined to ques- tion farming practices or question farmers’ character.last year when President Today, it’s a different story. 4 Understanding Animal Research/Wellcome ImagesObama tapped Harvard law “A highly organized andprofessor Cass R. Sunstein to well-financed operation” con-oversee federal regulations ducted by animal-welfarefor American citizens and groups like the Humane So-businesses. ciety of the United States Republican Sen. John (HSUS) “is under way toCornyn of Texas, who placed convince you that farmers area “hold” on the nomination to cruel to their animals. It’sprevent a vote, particularly trickery, but effective,” Fisherobjected to Sunstein wanting said. If HSUS’s “Washington“to establish legal ‘rights’ for lobbyists and Hollywoodlivestock, wildstock and pets,” celebrities can convince youas a Cornyn spokesperson told that farmers mistreat their live-Fox News. 1 stock, then maybe you’ll de- In 2004, Sunstein had mand changes on the farm,coauthored a book suggest- Hens are crammed into cages to facilitate egg laying changes that you’ve beening that animals have legal and gathering. The treatment of chickens and other farm led to believe are about an-rights, and many businesses animals reflects the conflict over animal rights. In imal welfare but in realitythat sell animal products, fac- California, for example, beginning in 2015 farms will be are calculated steps to limit required to house veal calves, egg-laying hens andtory farms, universities that pregnant pigs in conditions that allow them to lie down, your access to locally grown,pursue animal research, as stand up and turn around freely. In Ohio, however, safe, affordable food.” 5well as hunters, feared the voters in 2009 overwhelmingly barred the passage of But others say the pictureadministration was about to any laws against cruelty to farm animals. Fisher paints of local familyembrace an animal-protection agenda. animal ownership is the same as own- farms run on the principle that what’s Sunstein ultimately won confirma- ing slaves and that their struggle to good for animals is good for peopletion after assuring senators that he achieve rights for animals is the moral is outdated, since huge “factory” farms“would not take any steps to promote equivalent of the civil rights or women’s now dominate the industry, with thelitigation on behalf of animals,” de- suffrage movements. In reality, it is result that concern for profits trumpsspite having stated in the past that human life they wish to devalue, low- animal welfare. 6people should be allowed to bring ering us to a status equal with — or At one time, “I viewed factory farm-lawsuits on behalf of animals that they less than — animals.” 3 ing as one of the lesser problems fac-believe have been treated cruelly. 2 Last year in Ohio, voters over- ing humanity — a small wrong on the Loretta Baughan, editor of Spaniel whelmingly approved a farm industry- grand scale of good and evil,” but “thisJournal, is among those who fear con- backed amendment to the state con- view changed as I . . . saw a few typ-cern about animal protection might stitution barring Ohio lawmakers and ical farms up close,” said Matthewtrigger new laws and regulations. “Some the voting public from enacting any Scully, a former special assistant tofanatic animal-rights believers advo- laws against animal cruelty applying President George W. Bush, whosecate for ‘non-human’ animals to be to the agriculture industry. 2002 book Dominion: The Power ofgranted ‘personhood’ and legal rights The measure, Issue 2, “wouldn’t have Man, the Suffering of Animals, and theenabling individuals and groups to take been necessary a few decades ago. Call to Mercy, argues for strong regu-owners to court on behalf of their an- Everyone had grandpas or cousins who lation of the meat industry. 7imal,” she said. “The whole premise let us climb on their tractors and look “When corporate farmers needbehind animal rights is a belief that around in their barns,” said John C. barbed wire around their Family Jan. 8, 2010 3
  4. 4. ANIMAL RIGHTS ing purposes “lie covered in their own Toughest State Laws Make Cruelty a Felony urine and excrement, with broken legs Two states in the West, two in the Midwest and one on the East Coast from trying to escape or just to turn, have the “best” animal-protection laws, according to the Animal covered with festering sores, tumors, ulcers, lesions, or what my guide Legal Defense Fund. The laws include felony penalties for cruelty shrugged off as the routine ‘pus pock- and neglect and strong animal-fighting provisions. The five states ets,’ ” said Scully. with the “worst” ranking do not make extreme neglect a felony, “The usual comforting rejoinder we among other shortcomings. hear — that it’s in the interest of farm- ers to take good care of their animals States With the “Best” Animal Protection Laws — is false,” he said. “Each day, in every Maine* confinement farm in America, you will Wash. Mont. N.D.** Minn. N.H. find cull pens littered with dead or Vt. Wis. dying creatures discarded like trash.” S.D. Ore.* Idaho** Wyo. Mich.* As animal-based food production be- N.Y. Mass. Neb. Iowa R.I. comes a larger and larger industry, ani- Pa. mal welfare is increasingly at odds with Nev. Ill.* Ind. Ohio Conn. Utah Colo. Kan. Mo. W.Va. N.J. farming’s business interests, said Gene Ky.** Va. Del. Baur, president of the farm-animal- Calif.* Tenn. N.C. Md. Ariz. Okla. Ark. protection organization Farm Sanctuary, N.M. S.C. D.C. Miss. Ga. based in Watkins Glen, N.Y. For ex- Ala. La. ** ample, “to produce egg-laying breeds Texas Top tier of hens, hatcheries discard millions of Alaska Middle tier unwanted male chicks every year. . . . Fla. Bottom tier Hawaii** I was at a hatchery once and watched living chicks . . . sent into a manure spreader to be spread on a field as Selected Characteristics of Selected Characteristics of manure.” 9 “Best” Five “Worst” Five Modern animal science continually provides more reasons to pay greater • Felony penalties for cruelty and • No felony penalties for cruelty heed to animal welfare, even to the neglect and neglect point of eliminating human use of an- • Increased penalties for repeat • Inadequate animal-fighting imals altogether, some animal-rights ad- abusers provisions vocates say. Chickens, for example, which • Full range of statutory protections • Inadequate definitions and don’t even qualify for protection under • Strong animal-fighting provisions standards for basic care the U.S. Humane Slaughter Act forbid- • Humane agents have some • No restrictions on animal owner- ship following a conviction ding the cruel killing of conscious an- law-enforcement authority imals, are now known to have com- • No mental health evaluations for * denotes “top” five states offenders plex brains, perceptions and emotions, according to People for the Ethical ** denotes “worst” five states Treatment of Animals (PETA), a large Source: Stephan K. Otto, “2009 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings,” Animal animal-rights group in Norfolk, Va. Legal Defense Fund, December 2009 “While most people are less fa- miliar with pigs, chickens, fish andand Happy Valleys and laws [in at agricultural “duty” of attending to an- cows than they are with dogs andleast two states] to prohibit outsiders imals’ welfare, he said. “With no laws cats, animals used for food are everyfrom taking photographs,” as well as to stop it, moral concern surrendered bit as intelligent and able to suffer“laws to exempt farm animals [from] entirely to economic calculation, leav- as the animals who share our homes,”federal and state cruelty statutes, ing no limit to the punishments that says the group on its GoVeg.comsomething is amiss,” said Scully. As factory farmers could inflict to keep blog. “Pigs can learn to play videofactory farms grew larger over the past costs down and profits up.” 8 games,” while chickens have “cul-century, farmers forgot the traditional On hog farms, sows kept for breed- tural knowledge that they pass down4 CQ Researcher
  5. 5. from generation to generation,” care-fully protect their young from dan- Many New Protection Laws Enacted in 2009ger and communicate with each other Several states enacted a total of 121 new animal-protection laws inusing more than 30 separate calls —all evidence that the animals have a 2009, about one-third more than enacted in 2008. Nevada becameright to live free of suffering and the 50th state in the country to explicitly ban the possession of dogsbrutality imposed by humans who for fighting. Oregon and Pennsylvania enacted laws limiting theraise and slaughter them for food, use of puppy mills. California became the first state to ban thePETA argues. 10 tail docking of cows. While the hottest battleground inanimal rights today is farm animals, Select Animal-Rights Legislation by State, 2009there have also been high-profile clash-es in recent months between animal- California — First state to ban the tail docking of dairyrights activists and another of their tra- cows.ditional foes, biomedical scientists whoconduct research on animals. Kansas — Became the 39th state to make cockfighting a Last summer, animal-rights protesters Europe vandalized the grave of themother of Daniel Vasella, CEO of Basel, Maine — Became the sixth state to prohibit confinement ofSwitzerland-based Novartis pharma- farm animals in gestation and veal crates.ceuticals, and may have burned Vasel- Nevada — Became the final state in the nation to ban thela’s Austrian vacation home to protest possession and training of dogs for fighting.Novartis’ contracts with HuntingdonLife Sciences (HLS), a company that New Jersey — Required all garments containing real fur toconducts drug-safety tests using ani- be labeled with the species of animal and its country of origin.mals. United Kingdom-based HLS hasa U.S. facility in Princeton, N.J., and Oregon — Joined Louisiana, Washington and Virginia inthe company’s workers have been limiting the size of puppy mills.prosecuted in the past for animalcruelty; in an incident caught on tape Pennsylvania — Passed legislation to prohibit some ofby an animal activist who’d infiltrated the more painful and unsafe surgical procedures commonlyan HLS facility, a worker laughed as performed on dogs in puppy mills.he repeatedly punched a puppy inthe snout. 11 Source: “2009: A Record-Breaking Year of State Victories,” Humane Society of the In November, University of Min- United States, December 2009nesota police increased securityaround the Minneapolis home of Dick death in the pursuit of knowledge that tests now in anticipation of such anBianco, an associate professor of may or may not be very useful. enterprise is in no way justified,” thesurgery, who is helping to launch a For example, the Physicians Com- group says. 13national campaign to increase pub- mittee for Responsible Medicine, which But advocates of animal researchlic support for medical research promotes ethical research and gener- argue that many benefits have flowedusing animals. The police acted after ally opposes animal testing, is circu- and continue to flow from biomedicalanimal advocate Camille Marino, lating a petition to stop new radiation research using animals.founder of the Negotiation Is Over studies planned by the National Aero- “If you’re healthy, then you say, ‘Let’sWeb site, posted Bianco’s photo and nautics and Space Administration. not use any animals,’ ” says Frankiecontact information, along with the state- In the studies, squirrel monkeys Trull, founder and president of thement that “abusers need to understand would be dosed with radiation to Washington-based Foundation for Bio-that their unethical behaviors entail study potential effects of long-distance medical Research, which disseminatestangible consequences.” 12 space travel. But “interplanetary human information in support of animal re- Many animal-welfare advocates argue travel is, at best, a highly speculative search. But out of the last 40 Nobelthat much of today’s animal research aim for the foreseeable future,” and prizes in medicine, 32 were awardedsubjects animals to pain, distress and “to put animals through radiation for work that included animal Jan. 8, 2010 5
  6. 6. ANIMAL RIGHTS“The Nobel Committee certainly be- we require animals to suffer intensely related to citizenship, for example,lieves that animal research is produc- for human benefit all the time, wrote says Kenneth Shapiro, executive di-ing useful knowledge,” she says. Hugh LaFollette, an ethics professor rector of the Animals and Society In- As lawmakers, scientists, farmers and at the University of South Florida, in stitute, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based thinkanimal-welfare advocates battle over St. Petersburg, and Niall Shanks, a pro- tank on animal issues. What “animalwhat limits to place on human use of fessor of history and the philosophy of rights” means to most animal-protectionanimals, here are some of the ques- science at Wichita State University, in advocates is that “animals have interests,tions being asked: Kansas. “Each year in the United States and we don’t want to screw them. nearly 70 million mammals . . . are ex- Most of the people in the establishedDo animals have rights? pected to make the ultimate sacrifice” movement don’t consider themselves Humans have used animals through- in laboratories “to benefit . . . humans. ‘rightists’ in that sense. They’re tryingout history for food, sport, tasks like haul- . . . “This clashes with the moral pre- to make things better.”ing and plowing and scientific experi- sumption against inflicting suffering on But some analysts from the bio-mentation, and most people have been one creature . . . to benefit some other medical-research community and thecomfortable with using animals, even creature.” 15 agriculture industry say that not justwhen they suffer and die in the process. “If it would be absurd to give ani- some but most animal-protection ad-Nevertheless, a persistent minority has mals the right to vote, it would be no vocates actually do favor granting an-long questioned whether animals may less absurd to give that right to infants imals rights so broad that, if granted,have a right to be treated with concern or to severely retarded human beings. those rights would effectively end allfor their comfort and welfare. Yet we still give equal consideration to human use of animals. “To my mind, we shouldn’t be think- their interests,” said Princeton Univer- The Humane Society of the Uniteding of monkeys as commodities, dis- sity philosophy professor Peter Singer, States has an “extremist” agenda withposable resources” that can be the ob- author of the 1975 book, Animal Lib- regard to animal rights, although theject of distressing experimentation, for eration, which inspired much of the public who support the group withexample, says Mark Bernstein, a pro- modern animal-advocacy movement. donations generally don’t realize this,fessor of philosophy and ethics at Pur- “We don’t raise them for food in over- says Trull at the Foundation for Bio-due University in West Lafayette, Ind. crowded sheds or test household clean- medical Research. “On their Web site“Just by virtue of their sentience, their ers on them. . . . But we do these they say they ultimately want to elim-capacity to suffer, they should have the things to non-human animals who show inate all use of animals in research,”minimal right to not suffer,” he says. greater abilities in reasoning than these an extreme animal-rights position,“We don’t treat compromised human humans . . . because we have a prej- Trull says.beings” — such as people with severe udice in favor of the view that all hu- “The possession of rights presup-cognitive disabilities —“that way.” mans are somehow infinitely more valu- poses a moral status not attained by Chickens, for example, “clearly have able than any animal.” 16 the vast majority of living things,” saidinterests, preferences and desires and Critics of animal-protection activists University of Michigan professor of phi-are able to act to satisfy their interests overinterpret the word “rights,” as it’s losophy Carl Cohen. “We must notand preferences,” a fact that should used by most animal-welfare advo- infer . . . that a live being has, sim-give them at least some “right” to moral cates, some analysts argue. ply in being alive, a ‘right’ to its life.consideration by humans, with whom The idea of a rights-based philoso- The assertion that all animals, only be-they share those traits, said Gary L. phy of animal protection is that “in virtue cause they are alive and have inter-Francione, a professor of law at the of some of the properties animals have” ests, also possess the ‘right to life’ isRutgers University School of Law in — notably “sentience,” the ability to be an abuse of that phrase, and whollyNewark, N.J. “When we kill these non- aware of feelings, such as pain — without warrant.” 17humans, we frustrate their ability to “animals deserve some minimal rights,” Most people intuitively understandenjoy the satisfaction of their interests, says Bernstein. To some critics the phrase that animals cannot have “rights” inpreferences and desires — just as we “animal rights” calls up visions of “giv- anything like the way humans do,do when we kill humans.” 14 ing pigs driver’s licenses,” but “that’s not said Jan Narveson, a professor of “Although it is noble” for a human the idea. It’s that animals, by virtue of philosophy at Canada’s University of“to undergo a painful bone marrow their ability to feel, are not things to be Waterloo. For example, “most peo-transplant to save the life of a stranger, tortured.” ple think that if we could find awe think it would be wrong to require “You’re not talking about rights in cure for cancer by performing onthem to undergo that procedure,” but the philosophical sense” of a civil right Continued on p. 86 CQ Researcher
  7. 7. More Philosophers Argue for Animal Protection Recent efforts are changing the face of the movement. cademic philosophers have played a “major role” in the animals deserve kind and ethical treatment because they have A development and growth of the animal-welfare move- inherent value in their own right and qualities — such as at ment, says Bernard Unti, a historian who is senior poli- least rudimentary consciousness — that entitle them to kind cy adviser to the chief executive officer of the Humane Society treatment because of the effect of cruelty on them, not because of the United States. practicing cruelty has a negative effect on the human soul. Philosophers and theologians dating back at least to the an- The philosophical shift reflects an ever-larger body of sci- cient Greeks have sought a logical basis for the widespread entific knowledge demonstrating that humans are not as dif- feeling that humans owe special consideration to the welfare ferent from animals as once was thought, says Kenneth Shapiro, of animals, says Mark Bernstein, a professor of philosophy and executive director of the Animals and Society Institute, a think ethics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. tank on animal issues in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Virtue ethics,” a philosophical idea from the days of Aris- In the past, before the study of evolution and genetics re- totle, basically argues that humans should refrain from animal vealed the links and similarities among species, “there was a cruelty not really for the animals’ sake categorical distinction made between hu- but to preserve one’s own good char- mans and animals” by most people, in- Time Life Pictures/Getty Images/Michael Goldman acter, Bernstein says. cluding philosophers, Shapiro says. “That Similarly, the 18th-century German mistaken categorical divide has been an philosopher Immanuel Kant argued underlying core problem that allows an- that the treatment of animals matters imals to become mere property” rather mainly because it influences the way than independent beings with feelings we treat people. According to Kant, and interests of their own, he says. Given “the reason we should show kind- new scientific knowledge today, howev- ness to an old and faithful dog is that er, philosophers and the rest of us “have doing otherwise could cause us to to reexamine animals in the same way harden our hearts toward people,” we examined the assumptions” from a Bernstein says. century ago that women, children and Especially since the 1970s, how- slaves, for example, could rightly be con- ever, a growing number of philoso- sidered men’s property to do with as phers and theologians have advanced they would, he says. arguments for why animal welfare The philosophical literature on con- deserves human attention, and the temporary animal ethics “makes much University of Arizona scientist Irene growth in the number of academic Pepperberg spent 15 years studying the more use of scientific literature today theorists on the matter has also intelligence of Alex, an African gray parrot. than even 10 years ago,” Bernstein says. helped to change the face of the While a significant number of ethicists movement, says Unti. still argue that animals themselves don’t The influx of philosophers arguing that concerns over ani- have the inherent moral worth that requires humans to take mal welfare have a rational basis “appealed to people who special care of their welfare, “philosophical thinking generally weren’t comfortable with the ‘sentimental’ nature of many ear- has been moving in a much more animal-friendly direction” in lier appeals for animal protection,” Unti says. the past 10 to 15 years, partly driven by a changing scientific “So these philosophers were a necessary precursor to the understanding, he says. modern movement, helping to bring a professional cadre” of For example, as evolution becomes more established as a lawyers, veterinarians and other educated professionals — as mainstream belief, “more people are recognizing that animals well as a growing number of men — into the ranks of ani- are continuous with human beings” in a chain of biological con- mal activists, he says. “When somebody presents a rational nection from simpler to more complex beings, and that animals channel” for a belief, “it helps some people to make sense of are similar to people “in the most basic way — that they enjoy their emotions” and to embrace animal-rights activism, for ex- and suffer through experiences,” Bernstein says. “This means we ample, because they become convinced that “these beliefs are should treat them as ends rather than as means,” as most ethical not irrational.” philosophies enjoin us to treat humans, he says. Unlike many earlier philosophers who speculated about an- imal welfare, more thinkers in recent decades have argued that — Marcia Jan. 8, 2010 7
  8. 8. ANIMAL RIGHTS a category only applicable to beings Many Nobel Laureates Use Animal Testing like ourselves.” 18 Many recent Nobel Prize winners in the sciences have relied on Are we doing enough to protect animal testing in some capacity. Many have turned to mice, while farm animals? others have studied live sheep, pigs, frogs and dogs. Scientists widely Animal-protection activists in the contend that animal research remains essential to scientific and United States have sought, and helped medical progress. enact, legislation to improve the wel- fare of farm animals since the 19th Select Nobel Laureates century. Many activists argue, howev- Whose Work Involved Animals er, that more regulation is needed be- cause, as a largely meat-eating soci- Year Laureates Animal Nature of discovery ety, we find it all too easy to ignore involved used the harsh conditions that exist on farms, especially as large factory farms be- 2007 Capecchi, Mouse Discovery of principles for introducing come the norm. Evans, specific gene modifications in mice by At a hog farm that former Bush Smithies the use of embryonic stem cells aide Scully visited, “to maximize the 2005 Marshall, Gerbil Discovery of bacterium that leads to use of space and minimize the need Warren gastritis and peptic ulcer disease for care, the . . . 400-to-500-pound 2000 Carlsson, Mouse, Signal transduction in the nervous mammals are trapped without relief Greengard, Guinea pig, system inside iron crates seven feet long and Kandel sea slug 22 inches wide,” where they “chew maniacally on bars and chains, as for- 1998 Furchgott, Rabbit Nitric oxide as signaling molecule in aging animals will do when denied Ignarro, cardiovascular system straw . . . or else just lie there like Murad broken beings,” wrote Scully. “The 1991 Neher, Frog Chemical communication between spirit of the place would be familiar” Sakmann cells to police who raid outlawed “puppy 1990 Murray, Dog Organ transplantation techniques mills,” but, in the case of farm ani- Thomas mals, in most states “the law prohibits 1989 Varmus, Chicken Viral origin of some cancer-causing none of it.” 19 Bishop genes The meat-eating public “is isolated from the negative consequences” of 1981 Sperry, Cat, Processing of visual information by the our treatment of farm animals “through Hubel, monkey brain our language and the packaging of Wiesel animal products, both of which de- 1979 Cormack, Pig Development of computer-assisted emphasize the fact that we are involved Hounsfield tomography in the abuse of living, sentient crea- 1977 Guilemin, Sheep, pig Hypothalamic hormones, chemicals tures,” wrote Emory University profes- Schally, that help regulate some vital body sor of sociology Robert Agnew. “We Yalow processes do not eat ‘cows’ or ‘pigs,’ but rather ‘hamburgers’ and ‘pork chops.” Adver- Source: Foundation for Biomedical Research tising and other media often give the impression that “most farm animals liveContinued from p. 6 to something important for us,” and contented lives in idyllic settings.” 20thousands of monkeys in ways that “when philosophers . . . deny this “Most people know very little aboutare extremely painful and later fatal . . . they go against normal intu- how animals are treated in agriculture,to the monkeys, we should still go itions. . . . We rightly outlaw slav- and they end up supporting practices,right ahead,” Narveson said. “Most ery.” However, “since we don’t think like the worst kind of factory farming,people think animal experimentation animals are people, we don’t think that they would (if fully informed) viewpermissible, so long as it could lead of our use of them as ‘enslavement,’ as morally unacceptable,” according to8 CQ Researcher
  9. 9. the Project on Ani- “The livestock indus-mal Treatment at the try has a long historyUniversity of Chica- of supporting animalgo Law School. 21 welfare,” but that’s not Congress has the same as the “animal-done little to devel- rights” agenda thatop regulations for animal-advocacy groupsprotecting farm ani- push, so animal activists U.S. Department of Agriculturemals, and the De- continue to complain,partment of Agricul- says former Rep. Char-ture (USDA) also has lie Stenholm, D-Texas,“grown very close to now a senior policy ad-the industry,” creat- viser for agricultural is-ing “an unregulated sues at a Washington-situation where there based law and lobbyingare basically no pro- firm. “These activisttections for farm an- groups use the platformimals at the federal Gestation crates severely restrict the movement of female pigs during of animal rights to ad-level in production pregnancy. State laws are beginning to regulate treatment of farm vocate for regulations soagriculture,” accord- animals, but federal laws apply only to the transport and slaughter of strict they will put ani- farm animals. The nation’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Farms,ing to Wayne Pacelle, announced it will begin phasing out gestation crates on its farms. mal agriculture out ofCEO of the Humane business, which is theirSociety. real goal.” Animal-welfare groups are not call- said Steve Kopperud, senior vice “The greatest risk right now is theing for unreasonable or illogical rules, president of the Washington lobby- possibility that Congress will takesays Pacelle. ing and communications firm Policy seriously the advice of people who For example, one issue concerns the Directions, which specializes in farm have sworn never to eat meat in“gestation crates” in which breeding and food issues. 22 crafting policy that will damagesows are housed for much of their lives. Farm-industry groups “are com- farming,” David Martosoko, director“They may endure seven, eight, nine, mitted to working with USDA to help of research for the food-industry-10 successive pregnancies in a two-foot their members comply” with animal- backed advocacy group Center forby seven-foot cage in which they can- welfare rules, said Jeremy Russell, di- Consumer Freedom, told a Housenot turn around,” he says. “These are rector of communications and gov- panel in 2007. 25curious animals that like to root around ernment relations for the Nationalin the mud,” and several states have Meat Association. “No discussion of Is animal research necessary tobanned the crates, and at least one large animal welfare can be complete achieve medical progress?hog company, Smithfield, has voluntarily without a mention of the tremendous Research using live animals hasagreed to phase them out, says Pacelle. improvements that have been made long been a staple both of basic-The phase-out should and could be over the years. . . . The industry’s science laboratories — where bio-industrywide, however, he says. sledgehammer days are long gone,” medical scientists seek knowledge But other analysts argue that calls and “federal inspectors, who are in about how living beings function —for stricter controls on factory-farm packing plants continuously, enforce” and toxicology labs, where scientistspractices are really veiled calls for an the requirements of the Humane use live animals to test whether cos-end to meat eating altogether. Slaughter Act of 1957. 23 metics, radiation, industrial chemicals “When you peel away the rhetoric Furthermore, the association “en- and other environmental exposuresand posturing of all animal-rights courages plants to do everything are safe for humans.groups, the bottom line is the same: possible to create calm, low-stress at- Today, toxicology laboratories are‘You have no right to be in business. mospheres that work with — rather beginning a large-scale phase-out ofAnimals should not be used for food. than against — animals’ natural in- animal testing over the next fewWe’ll continue to fight to make it un- stincts,” said Russell. The U.S. meat decades. In the biomedical sciencepopular or uneconomical to be in industry “has embraced voluntary arena, however, debate rages overthe livestock and poultry business,’ ” humane handling” programs. 24 whether live-animal research Jan. 8, 2010 9
  10. 10. ANIMAL RIGHTSenough to human welfare to justify out in humans, wrote Wichita State’s developing a neural prosthesis thatanimals’ suffering and death. Shanks and Ray and Jean Greek, au- could allow a blind person to see Biomedical scientists’ zeal to contin- thors of Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: again by means of a head-mountedue live-animal research “is all about get- The Human Cost of Experiments on An- camera whose images would stimu-ting grant money, not about helping peo- imals. In the case of the drug thalido- late the brain directly, bypassing dam-ple,” says Jerry Vlasak, a Los Angeles mide — a sedative prescribed to preg- aged eyes, says Ringach.surgeon and leader of the North Amer- nant women in the 1950s and ’60s that “It takes years and years to devel-ican Animal Liberation Press Office. led to the birth of children without limbs op those studies” on monkeys, “and For example, a vision researcher at — animal tests conducted after the human my work is at least partly gone,” RingachUCLA has pursued research involving birth defects were discovered showed says. “Now I work with humans, whosensors placed on the eyeballs of rhesus that the drug’s health effects varied are also animals but who can sign amonkeys “for 19 years,” repeatedly being widely among animal species. 26 piece of paper and say they agree.awarded grant renewals to continue the Some species showed none of the The research I’m doing with humansproject, “just because he says he’s on negative effects that thalidomide caused is completely different from what Ithe verge of a great discovery,” which in humans, while others were affect- was doing before” and won’t provideso far hasn’t come, despite nearly two ed but to a far lesser degree than hu- answers to some key questions thatdecades of suffering on the part of the mans. “All the animals whose offspring must be answered before an actual vi-monkeys, says Vlasak. exhibited” the limbless condition that sual prosthesis could be developed. From time to time, animal experi- afflicted human babies “did so only “We need to figure out how to plantmenters “have stumbled on something after being given doses 25-150 times a device in the brain that could be inuseful,” but current experiments “aren’t the human dose,” wrote Shanks and there for years and years,” and how elec-coming up with anything of actual value” the Greeks. Thus, biomedical scientists’ tricity in such a device would interactfor health, since basic science, by defin- hypothesis that animal research is “pre- with the brain’s own electrical signalsition, aims at generating data and infor- dictive for humans is wrong.” 27 and with brain tissue, he says. “There’smation, without reference to whether that But animal-rights advocates are mere- no way you can actually develop theseinformation will be useful or not, says ly pitting “the simple lie” that animals are things” using only human subjects.Vlasak. Nevertheless, the government being harmed in labs without purpose “We’re trying to test how nature works,”funds basic-science experimentation on against “the complex truth” that experi- and in some cases there is literally nolive animals to the tune of hundreds of mentation on live animals has yielded a way to gain that knowledge without ob-millions of dollars annually, he says. The great deal of valuable scientific knowl- serving whole animals, Ringach would be better used expanding edge, says Jacquie Calnan, president Particularly in an aging society, “oneinsurance coverage to more Americans of the biomedical-research advocacy of the most explosive areas of science— 46,000 of whom die prematurely group Americans for Medical Progress. is neuroscience,” with the public greatlyevery year because of lack of care — Animal studies have been crucial in interested in finding answers to neuro-and retooling medical practice to use al- developing treatments for many con- logical diseases of aging such as Parkin-ready proven treatments that aren’t being ditions, says Trull of the Foundation son’s and Alzheimer’s, says Trull. Study-used, he says. for Biomedical Research. They are ing live non-human primates is “the only “Half the drugs that test as safe on “critical to hepatitis work,” for exam- way” to learn about this, she says.animals turn out to not work or be ple, while both cataract surgeries and When it comes to the toxicology lab,safe in people, so you might as well joint replacement were both pioneered which has traditionally used millions offlip a coin” as test drugs initially on in animals, Trull says. mostly small animals to determine theanimals, Vlasak says. Dario Ringach, a professor of neuro- toxicity of chemical substances like drugs Many opponents of live-animal re- biology and psychology at the Uni- and cosmetics, scientists now generallysearch argue that studies demonstrating versity of California, Los Angeles agree with animal-welfare advocates thatthat treatments are safe or effective in (UCLA), stopped his primate research animal testing should be phased out.animals often don’t pan out when the after animal activists threatened his “The main crystallizing event” for thatsame treatments are tried in human be- home, terrorizing his young children, trend was a report issued by the Na-ings, making the research far less ef- several years ago. Ringach describes tional Academy of Sciences in 2007 thatfective in advancing actual medical his monkey studies as an examination “articulated a vision that 20 years downknowledge than scientists claim. of “the basic way that the brain process- the line we will get to the point where Animal studies do not reliably pre- es information from the eyes” that might we use no or virtually no animals” todict how medical treatments will pan have served as preliminary work for Continued on p. 1210 CQ Researcher
  11. 11. Chronology the Naval Weapons Center in 20081950s-1970sFederal laws are enacted to China Lake, Calif., and pays to Federal agents shut down a Cali- relocate the animals. . . . PETA fornia slaughterhouse after under-protect some farm animals, co-founder Alex Pacheco secretly cover video shows workers abusingpets and laboratory animals. photographs filthy conditions for sick cattle, but a government audit monkeys at Institute of Behavioral finds no evidence that slaughter-1954 Research in Silver Spring, Md. house inspection in the nation isHumane Society of the United States inadequate. . . . California ballotis founded to apply advocacy tech- 1985 initiative bans confinement of vealniques developed by local animal- Congress amends AWA to require calves, hens and brood sows inwelfare groups to national issues. animal-research labs to provide cages that don’t allow them to turn exercise for dogs and companion- freely, lie down, stand up and ex-1958 ship for nonhuman primates, as tend their limbs.Federal Humane Slaughter Act re- well as mental stimulation likequires mammals killed for food to toys and opportunities to forage 2009be completely stunned before for food. China contemplates its first ani-being dismembered. mal-welfare law, requiring regis- • tration and vaccination of pets1966 and banning pet maltreatment. . . .Allegations that pet dogs are being Ohio voters back an agriculturekidnapped for research spark en-actment of federal Animal Welfare 2000s State laws and ballot initiatives target animal industry-sponsored constitutional amendment barring legislatorsAct (AWA), requiring humane treat- cruelty on farms. and voters from enacting animal-ment by dealers who sell dogs welfare rules that apply to farms.and cats to laboratories. 2000 . . . National retailer J.C. Penney After a PETA hidden-camera inves- stops selling fur products, after1976 tigation, workers at a North Caroli- years of protests by activists. . . .AWA is expanded to cover animal na hog farm receive the first-ever U.S. biomedical scientists joinfighting. felony convictions handed out for with Pro-Test, a United Kingdom- farm abuses, including skinning based group, to seek public sup-1979 animals alive and sawing off the port for animal research. . . .San Francisco attorney Joyce Tis- legs of a conscious animal. Ban on animal testing for cos-chler founds Animal Legal Defense metics takes effect in EuropeanFund (ALDF). 2005 Union. . . . NFL quarterback World Organization for Animal Michael Vick is signed by • Health adopts guidelines for the Philadelphia Eagles after serving humane transport and slaughter of 18 months in prison on a 2007 food animals. conviction for operating a dog-1980s-1990sAnimal-protection advocates fighting ring; he vows to work with the Humane Society to edu- 2006spar with biomedical researchers Federal Animal Enterprise Terror- cate the public about the crueltyover study of live animals. ism Act sets tough penalties for of animal fighting. . . Several activists who commit or threaten states pass tough new animal-1980 violence against animal-using orga- protection laws: amputation ofPETA — People for the Ethical nizations, such as factory and fur dairy cows’ tails banned (Califor-Treatment of Animals — is founded farms and university research labs. nia); felonies enacted for animalin Norfolk, Va. cruelty (Arkansas) and cockfighting 2007 (Kansas); larger cages required for1981 Congress makes violation of AWA breed sows and veal calvesSettling a case brought by ALDF, animal-fighting provisions a felony (Maine); 24-hour-a-day tetheringthe Navy halts the planned slaugh- punishable by up to three years of dogs and short chains andter of thousands of wild burros at in prison. choke collars banned (Nevada) Jan. 8, 2010 11
  12. 12. ANIMAL RIGHTS Violent Animal Activists in the Minority Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act set tough penalties. he 2000s saw an uptick in activist violence directed at as possible — fruit flies, for example, rather than mice — T biomedical researchers who use live animals in experi- ments, with the highest-profile incidents occurring at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). “while still making the research relevant” to humans, and also “to minimize the number of animals used,” he says. Today, research on large animals, especially, is only under- Some of the activists adopted a tactic regularly used by anti- taken in order to study the most important biological systems, abortion activists — posting the names, photos and contact in- Ringach says. “Competition for grant funds is extremely diffi- formation of scientists on the Internet, enabling sympathizers cult,” with only about 10 percent of grants funded, so scien- to anonymously plan protests and harass specific scientists. tists who get funding are almost by definition working on high- In the early 2000s, a group of UCLA students published con- priority science, whose ultimate value for human health makes tact information for several university personnel, including Dario it vital. “If you’re proposing to look at Botox, those studies Ringach, a UCLA professor of neurobiology and psychology who aren’t going to get funded,” he says. formerly conducted vision research on live monkeys. Although When Ringach’s monkey lab was in operation, his experi- university administrators fairly quickly dissuaded the student group mental animals were treated humanely, he says. “What people from continuing the postings, by that time activists outside the would have seen in the lab is what you would see in a human university had the information, Ringach says. surgery suite, an animal anesthetized, with his skin opened, “People showed up at our home at night, wearing ski masks, and electrodes in the brain. I can show you the same kind of 20 to 40 of them, banging on the windows” and vandalizing thing in an epileptic [human] patient,” he says. The monkey property. “My kids” — ages 3 and 6 when the protests began would receive “very similar drugs and monitoring on the table” — “were crying every night,” says Ringach, who abandoned to what a human would receive. “But if you don’t understand his research in 2006. “Their goal was to terrorize my family, what’s happening” in those surgeries — animal or human — and they succeeded.” “the sights will shock you,” he says. Between 2006 and 2008 violence and threats escalated Outside the surgical suite, monkeys were housed in pairs against other UCLA employees who worked with animals. Three and in groups, in accordance with their being “very social an- incendiary devices were left near faculty homes, and a re- imals,” Ringach says. They had toys to play with and TV to searcher received a package rigged with razor blades. 1 watch because, like all primates, they need mental stimulation, In 2009, the university won a court injunction prohibiting a need that the 1985 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) amendments three animal-rights groups and five individuals from coming codified into a legal requirement for labs, Ringach says. within 50 feet of the residences of UCLA scientists who do an- But some animal activists say that the AWA rules are a smoke- imal research or posting personal information about UCLA per- screen behind which the inherent intolerable cruelty of animal sonnel on the Web. 2 research lurks. “Anyone knowledgeable considers the Animal Despite activists’ complaint that all animal research is cruel and Welfare Act completely useless,” says Jerry Vlasak, a Los Angeles- unjustified, the vast majority of American biomedical researchers based surgeon and a leader of the activist group North Ameri- who experiment on live animals today take animals’ welfare into can Animal Liberation Press Office. “It doesn’t cover farm ani- account, even as they pursue experiments vital for developing mals or rodents, and even for those animals that it does cover knowledge of how living bodies function, Ringach argues. there are exceptions” for occasions when it’s considered ac- “The notion that people walk into a lab and say, ‘Hey, today ceptable to impose pain and suffering in the lab, he says. I’m going to blowtorch a monkey’ is just nonsense.” For one In 2004, Vlasak made international headlines when he declared, thing, federal rules require scientists to use as simple a species “I don’t think you’d have to kill too many [researchers]” to endContinued from p. 10 methods for drugs and chemicals thattest the toxicity of chemicals and otherproducts, says Paul Locke, an associateprofessor of environmental health sci- use human cells grown in the lab rather than live animals. “Animal testing is time-consuming, BACKGROUNDences at the Johns Hopkins University expensive and doesn’t always relate toBloomberg School of Public Health. what is toxic in humans,” and “this Early Farm Laws Under a new government program really has the potential to revolutionize the way toxic chemicals are identified,” hilosophers as far back as Aris-launched in the report’s wake, severalfederal agencies will cooperate to re-search and develop toxicity-testing said Francis Collins, director of the Na- tional Institutes of Health (NIH). 28 P totle have mused on whether humans have an ethical responsibility12 CQ Researcher
  13. 13. AFP/Getty Images/India Today Group/Subir Halder animal research. “I think for penalties for threats and vio- five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lent acts against academic or lives, we could save a million, commercial organizations that 2 million, 10 million non- use or sell animals or animal human lives.” 3 products. The law “has increased He continues to stand by communication among law that principle. enforcement agencies” about In recent years, “many animal-rights protesters and have come to view the strug- helped head off more actions gle for animal liberation as like the ones against UCLA, being on a par with other says Frankie Trull, founder and liberation struggles,” such as Activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president of the Washington- the fights to end apartheid (PETA), their bodies painted as monkeys, protest against based Foundation for Bio- in South Africa and slavery animal research in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 25, 2009. medical Research. in the United States, says But Vlasak says AETA was Vlasak. In history “no oppressors have ever given in without a a sign that animal-using groups are beginning to understand struggle,” with the result that a wide variety of tactics, including that there is growing public pressure for them to change their “civil disobedience and acts of violence,” have been part of all ways, not just from activists who threaten violence but from liberation battles when the occasion demands it, he says. the public at large, who increasingly express interest in ani- While peaceful protests, legal strategies and legislative ad- mal welfare in polls. “Any time you see an oppressor pass vocacy have a place, no liberation struggle totally committed laws, your action is having an effect,” he says. to nonviolence could succeed, Vlasak says. “Martin Luther King Most animal-protection supporters, however, take pains to and the peaceful changes that he made would have gotten distance themselves from any activism that involves harassment nowhere unless the oppressors knew that the alternative to or violence. “It’s a distortion” to point to the actions of a few ex- dealing with him was to deal with” activists who were willing tremists, such as the UCLA protesters, as a sign that the animal- to commit violence, such as the Black Panther Party. advocacy movement as a whole is extreme, says Kenneth Shapiro, Scientists who are targeted by extremists don’t get much executive director of the Animals and Society Institute, an Ann support, says Ringach. When he contacted the National Insti- Arbor, Mich.-based think tank. “The movement is very peace- tutes of Health — the federal agency that funds most basic ful compared to most liberation movements” and fully accepts biomedical research — he was told, “ ‘We’re not really an advo- the need for change to be gradual, he says. cacy group.’ When you actually try to talk to the top leadership of NIH, the bottom line is that somebody on the appropriations — Marcia Clemmitt committee” in Congress may take exception to the agency’s championing animal research, which has many foes among the 1 Phil Hampton, “Judge Expands Order to Block Harassment of Researchers,” public, and the agency is very reluctant to be vocal in support press release, University of California, Los Angeles, April 22, 2008, of its grantees, he says. 2 Ibid. In 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the An- 3 Quoted in Jamie Doward, “Kill Scientists, Says Animal Rights Chief,” The imal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), setting substantial new Guardian, July 25, 2004, treat animals well. It wasn’t until mon in physiology labs at least es cholera did not sicken and diethe 19th century, however, that the since the 17th century — were help- but thrived instead. 30modern animal-welfare movement ing to expand knowledge of biol- “The physiologist is not an ordinarycoalesced into a large-scale public ogy. In 1879, for example, French man: he is a scientist possessed andmovement. 29 chemist Louis Pasteur discovered absorbed by the scientific idea he pur- Some of the earliest clashes be- that vaccinating animals with weak- sues,” wrote French physiologist Claudetween animal-welfare advocates and ened disease-causing microbes gave Bernard. “He does not hear the criesusers of animals involved scien- them immunity to future infection, of animals, he does not see their flow-tists. In 19th-century Europe, ex- after a flock of chickens he’d in- ing blood, he sees nothing but hisperiments on live animals — com- jected with the bacteria that caus- idea, and is aware of nothing but Jan. 8, 2010 13
  14. 14. ANIMAL RIGHTS organism that conceals from him the problem he is seeking to resolve.” 30 But while some animal experi- mentation undeniably advanced human knowledge in important ways, many in the public worried about the suffering and death that some researchers, like Bernard, were will- ing to impose on animals to satisfy scientific curiosity. In Bernard’s laboratory “we sacri- ficed daily from one to three dogs, besides rabbits and other animals, and after four months’ experience I am of the opinion that not one AFP/Getty Images/Steve Helber-Pool of those experiments . . . was jus- tified or necessary,” a retired British Navy officer wrote to a London newspaper of his experience work- ing with Bernard. 32 Growing public discomfort with an- imal suffering, in laboratories and else- where, led to the first attempts to squelch abuse by law. In 1810 and 1811, England’s lord high chancellor attempted but failed to pass bills gen- erally banning “wanton and malicious cruelty to animals.” 33 In 1822, the British Parliament passed Martin’s Act, outlawing the infliction of unnecessary cruelty or suffering on a few domesti- cated animals — cattle, oxen, horses and sheep. 34 In the United States, the earliest animal-protection law was the so- AFP/Getty Images/Al Bello called 28-hour law, limiting confine- ment of farm animals in a train car while being transported across coun- try, says historian Bernard Unti, se- nior policy adviser and special as- sistant to the Humane Society’s Pacelle. As farming shifted from a local to Cruelty Perpetrators in the Spotlight a national industry, “people saw with their own eyes the animals goingThen-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to a federal through their towns on the train,” anddogfighting charge in 2007 and served 18 months in prison (top). He the beasts’ plight inspired sympathy,now speaks out against cruelty to animals and has returned to says Unti. Enacted in 1873, the lawprofessional football . Spectators cheer on the opening night of the cockfightingseason at the Coliseo Central De Barranquitas in Barranquitas, Puerto required that for every 28 hours ofRico (bottom). Heavy betting occurs before and during the fights. Cockfighting transport, animals must be offloadedis legal in Puerto Rico but a felony in some states. to eat, drink and have at least five hours of rest.14 CQ Researcher