A bitter controversy rages in Western society today: Is it unreasonably cruel to conduct biomedical research on animals? On one side lies a devoted (and, at times, aggressive and even violent) group of activists who believe animals are not human property, subject to our influence and interference. On the other are the researchers whose work developing life-saving medical treatments has hinged on the use of laboratory animals--and the patients who benefit from those treatments. As a veterinarian and sleep researcher, Adrian Morrison understands both sides of the issue, as well as the passions it arouses.
Animal use in biomedical research, he argues, is a necessary part of medical advancements that improve human health and quality of life. This is not a position Morrison takes lightly, for he has been the victim of repeated acts of intimidation by animal-rights extremists, who vandalized his office and threatened his family. Refusing to be silenced, Morrison has written extensively on the humane but necessary use of laboratory animals, and was for three years director of the NIMH Program for Animal Research Issues. In this book, he offers the culmination of decades of reflection, scholarly research into the animal rights issue, and first-hand work with animals. The result is a thought-provoking, intelligent, and fair-minded discussion of an emotionally charged subject.