Scientist Protests Animal Testing

Protestors gathered at the Society for Neuroscience Convention in San Diego Saturday the 13th to voice their discontent with the state of animal testing in the neuroscience community.

About 32,000 people attended the convention in San Diego. Protestors numbered around 30.

Among the protestors was a neuroscientist named Dr. Lawrence Hansen of UCSD. He stood outside of the convention center in his lab coat holding a sign showing a monkey with a probe attached to its brain.

Dr. Hansen is among a growing number of professionals in the medical and scientific fields with serious misgivings about the legitimacy of vivisection. A recent survey showed that 82% of European physicians worry that information from animal tests may not be applicable to humans.

Many, however, don’t see the whole picture. Many scientists may have misgivings, but they see the situation as a kind of balance between risk and reward, between the harm they do and the potential benefits for humanity they might achieve. Dr. Hansen wrote an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about vivisection wherein he condemns some animal tests, but says others aren’t so bad.

The truth is that vivisection isn’t a discussion about what is best for humans, and taking an ends-justifies-the-means approach to medical research leads us down a slippery slope. I can make myself richer by robbing another person, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. 

No more acceptable is the process of torturing animals in the hopes that eventually, if we kill enough of them, under the right circumstances, with the right tools, we will eventually learn something that might be relevant to animal medicine, which more often than not, doesn’t even correspond to human physiology.

It isn’t a matter of how much we have to gain, it’s a matter of right and wrong. We can no longer guide our scientific and medical policy solely on self-interest. The safeguards to secure animal welfare in laboratories are irrelevant. As long as we think that an animal’s life is expendable if it might possibly benefit us in the long term, we will be capable of greater and greater cruelty.

Scientists like Lawrence Hansen have already seen the scientific shortcomings of vivisection. What is needed however, is for the medical community to become moral vanguards by rejecting all animal testing unconditionally. 

By refusing to torture animals we can not only augment the development of alternative methods of testing, which will prove to be more accurate in relation to human physiology because they don’t rely on biological information from non-humans, but we can begin to break away from the paradigm of self-interest and cruelty in our culture.


Photo: -Bert23


W. C
W. C2 years ago


William C
William C2 years ago

Thank you.

Veronica Rundell
Veronica Rundell6 years ago

For those who so vehemently opposed animal testing, please, rescind all benefit you have derived from its use.
1. Empty your medicine chests, and take no medicines--grow yourself a healing garden instead.
2. Never seek medical treatment--for anything. The knowledge of all your care staff was gained from animal research, so ethically you cannot avail yourself of this benefit.
3. No vaccines, ever, for yourself or children. Vaccines are animal-derived and tested.
4. Become a vegan, now and forever.
5. Enjoy your new, animal-cruelty-free lifespan. It will be shorter than mine.

Tom H.
Tom H.6 years ago

1. This story considers its important that one scientist is protesting when 32,000 inside the building are not. Hansen does not have the support of the medical community.

2. With regards to the "recent" 2004 poll of doctors - nothing strange there. I should expect 100% of scientists so say results *may*not be applicable to humans. Same is true of all testing procedures. The results of one human may not translate to the next one.

3. There is no evidence of a "growing number of professionals" questioning animal research - there has always been a handful of quacks.

4. The medical benefits are there to see e.g. Herceptin - a recent cancer breakthrough for humans which is originally a mouse protein. It could not have been discovered without animal research.

Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Brian G.
Brian Gunn7 years ago


Sheri D.
Sheri D7 years ago

We need more scientists and physicians to support the anti-vivisection cause.

antonia maestre
antonia maestre7 years ago

These are not scientists, they are criminals!!!!

Alan Ratcliffe
Alan Ratcliffe7 years ago

I am staunchly opposed to vivisection. Fortunately sites like this exist, so that with the combined might of our voices, we can begin to correct some of the injustices in this society and implement change.

Judy C.
Judy Cook7 years ago

horrific torture ------ there is no other word for it. Why don't they experiment on themselves ????