Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Of mice and men

The Informed Reader (B9) strikes again, scooping from the December Harper's Magazine. This post, like all the other ones, will be un-PC, so there's really no point in making a label just for that. But I digress. The topic today is about the mice used in laboratories the world over and how scientists are not treating them ethically, whatever that means. Have dominion over the earth, anyone? Oh yes; there's also a scientific concern or two.

  • Experiments often cause "suffering to rodents." Yes. And? Disease causes suffering to humans. Which do you want? Your mouse to live, or you to die?
  • "The cramped housing and isolation of lab mice affect their behavior and minds in ways that make them less reliable as test subjects." So do overcrowded hospitals affect humans. Sure, I'll admit, that is a legit concern. Just don't concentrate wholly on mouse rights.
  • "The lower value placed on mice also leads to waste -- 70% of male newborns are killed, because researchers mostly prefer calmer female rodents." What's this I hear about female infanticide in certain cultures? What about male infanticide? Start a blogburst or something if you really care about this.
  • "Meanwhile, there is evidence mice feel empathy in ways similar to other mammals. While this makes the rodents potentially more valuable for research, it also is an argument for extending the protection of the federal Animal Welfare Act to rodents, [the author] suggests." Yay! Another sentient being to add to the list of human relatives!


MathewK said...

Sounds like one of those animal rights activists. Wait till someone finds tenuous evidence of gay mice, that'll really rattle the leftists into action.

Hannah said...

Ha! Further proof that we're all descended from the same primal gay organism? Goats, mice, perhaps bacteria?

Anonymous said...

how completely dumb. there are clear reasons to care about the fate of animals.

Hannah said...

Anonymous, I'll agree with you if you'll provide two things: (1) a name, perhaps. (2) cogent reasons that outweigh the other side of the argument.