The Price of Killing Off Animal Testing
Each year, more than 25 million animals are used for scientific research in the U.S. More than 90 percent of those are mice - sort of. These lab-raised animals don’t burrow or gather like their wild peers. They are more like abstractions of human ills, mouse models of disease, genetically engineered to die in a very particular way.
"This is the central contradiction of animal experimentation: Mice are like us in all the ways that matter, so they’re used as stand-ins for humans - but the moral significance of those similarities is ignored," says Justin Goodman, who has been an animal rights activist since he saw scientists drill holes in the heads of monkeys as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut.
Since the 1980s, the rise of transgenesis - the science of genetic engineering - has brought with it a seemingly endless series of biomedical breakthroughs. It has also opened up a field of inquiry about the unnerving price of all this. “The use of primates in research has increased, and the use of mice has exploded,” Goodman tells Newsweek.