It's always strange
finding something I agree with John McCain about.
A couple of weeks
ago John McCain and another Republican senator authored a report about projects
funded with federal stimulus money that are what the senators called "questionable",
"poorly planned", or "mismanaged".
Among the more
egregious projects in the report was one that it dubbed "Monkeys Getting
High for Science" in which a research facility in North Carolina received
over $71,000 dollars to feed cocaine to primates.
John McCain might
not have moral objections to animal testing in general, but he definitely
touches on an important point: that not only is animal testing ethically
and scientifically unsound, it's financially unsound. It doesn't take an
economist to see that we're wasting money on experiments that teach us nothing.
According to the
Lexington Herald-Leader, the $71,000 that went to the cocaine study is only
the tip of the iceberg. Among several different institutes studying several
different addictive substances, the scientific community has wasted $20
million taxpayer dollars exposing animals to drugs for a variety of arbitrary
and pointless tests.
It would be hard
to explain to the growing number of unemployed people struggling to survive
-- and the families losing their homes -- that the federal government is
still giving money to vivisectors to find out over and over again that drugs
and cigarettes are still bad for you.
monkeys cocaine, or nicotine, irradiating them to watch them die, or cutting
their fetuses out of their stomachs to check for birth defects, we've not
only entered into a morally reprehensible standard for scientific research,
but we've also wasted millions of dollars that could be going to social
programs or paying down the national debt.
No matter where
you look, there's another reason to end the scientific farce that is vivisection.
Those not moved by the moral argument that it is simply wrong to experiment
on animals, should be moved by the fact that vivisection is pseudo-science
and the results can never be trusted definitively. And those not moved by
morality or scientific integrity should be moved by the fact we simply cannot
afford to waste money on these programs.
The more you read
about the details of animal tests, especially those that center around addictive
substances, the more you realize they would be comedic in their pointless
absurdity if animals' lives weren't at stake in the process.
What do we gain
by addicting animals to drugs? Nothing. What do we learn? Nothing we didn't
already know. What do we lose? Our humanity, our scientific integrity, and
millions of dollars that could be spent on worthwhile programs.