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Old 06-23-2006, 12:10 PM   #1
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Man vs. Animal

In our balance of "rights" who wins in this situation.

Opposition to Monkey Research

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Primate expert Jane Goodall and 18 other researchers sent a letter to federal officials urging them to oppose an Atlanta research center's proposal to do AIDS-related research on sooty mangabey monkeys.

The letter urges the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reject a request by the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, according to a copy filed with the government.

Scientists at the research center have nurtured a group of the primates, which are natural carriers of a form of the AIDS virus but don't get sick from it, since the late 1960s. But federal officials listed them as endangered in 1988, leaving the center with the world's largest collection of captive sooties but little hope of scientific benefit.

The research center argues that its mangabeys, a subspecies of the endangered white-collared mangabey, aren't truly endangered. It is asking Fish & Wildlife to consider the subspecies separately.

Yerkes officials are proposing helping conserve sooties in the African wild in exchange for permission to do AIDS-related research on captive sooties.

Federal officials have said such a trade-off has never before been permitted. In a letter dated June 19, Goodall and others say they hope it never is.

The letter, provided to the Associated Press by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said approving such a deal "could open the floodgates to future permit applications premised on allowing entities to kill or otherwise harm endangered species in exchange for making financial contributions to conservation programs."
It appears this species of monkey has unique characteristics that would help us defeat AIDS. Should the rules of the Endangered Species laws prevent research that could save millions of human lives?
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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"Yerkes officials are proposing helping conserve sooties in the African wild in exchange for permission to do AIDS-related research on captive sooties."

If that's true, I'd be all for it. Rescued animals and research animals, though not always tame, aren't really suitable for releasing into the wild. If they bred in captivity some of these animals they need and also followed through with helping preserve the wild ones, it seems like a win-win to me.
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:59 PM   #3
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In theory, I am thoroughly against drug research conducted on any animal - human or other. I do not believe the ends justify the means. Science should use technology to run simulations
as much as possible.

We are all born to die - what's the point in wiping out so many other animals and causing extreme pain so we can live a few more years?

Of course - in practice I do take Ibuprofen when I have a headache and I do love a good cheeseburger. So I am abmitting - I am a hypocrite. But I really hope we can pursue less cruel forms of research.
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Old 06-23-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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I'm all for it. We need an AIDS vaccine, and we're not going to get it without stuff like this.
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
In theory, I am thoroughly against drug research conducted on any animal - human or other. I do not believe the ends justify the means. Science should use technology to run simulations
as much as possible.
Within many fields of biomedical research it is not possible to obtain even remotely reliable data without proper animal models and anyone willing to tell you otherwise is, in my opinion, highly uninformed and dead wrong. Where do you suggest that we obtain the data to build the models needed for simulations if not by studying live organisms? To rely on in silico simulations is simply not possible and will not be for many years to come. A simulation must always be bench-marked and for that a live animal or cell model is required. To suggest carrying out biomedical science without is pure Star Trek utopia.

Quote:
We are all born to die - what's the point in wiping out so many other animals and causing extreme pain so we can live a few more years?

Of course - in practice I do take Ibuprofen when I have a headache and I do love a good cheeseburger. So I am abmitting - I am a hypocrite. But I really hope we can pursue less cruel forms of research.
We are not cruel people. Biomedical research (which is the topic here and not e.g. cosmetics research) cannot function if it is traumatic to the animals - it invalidates the results if the organism is under high stress. Most animals used for research (predominantly small animals such as rats and mice) are treated gently and killed swiftly with a minimum of pain. Don't get me wrong though, there are extreme examples of cruelty towards animals within the world of research and I have a big problem with them but these examples cannot be generalised. To make a such a bold claim that research is about whiping out animals and causing extreme pain is too simplistic.

As to the original post: I really don't know what to think but I'm leaning towards supporting the research side for the simple reason that the monkeys in question probably couldn't be returned to the wild.
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by silja


To suggest carrying out biomedical science without is pure Star Trek utopia.
.
We thought the same thing about Captain Kirk's communicator. Would you agree that it is at least a worthy goal? If it was possible - would you prefer computer simulations over live animal testing?
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:39 PM   #7
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Of course I’d prefer to rely on in silico models but it’s just not possible things being the way they are now. I sure as hell would subject myself to any medical treatment based on that.

The communicator is always brought up but it’s a flawed analogy. Computer technology was already well on the way in the sixties but biotechnology was still a gleam in Sanger’s and Anfinsen’s eyes. The Star Trek writers hadn’t the foggiest idea of what they were talking about when they said: Let’s just let them run a simulation and solve all the worlds problems in the ‘bling’ of the talking computer… but that is far, far off topic.
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:36 PM   #8
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No, primates are not humans and they don't deserve rights, no animals bar humans deserve rights.
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
No, primates are not humans and they don't deserve rights, no animals bar humans deserve rights.
Bullshit.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:18 AM   #10
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It is the reality of the situation, animals of no or low sentience cannot comprehend the responsibilities that rights and liberties cine with - they should be treated humanely but not as equal beings or as deserving the same legal protections as humans.

Animal rights is fundamentally flawed, im all for humane treatment of animals but not rights.

We use animals for meat, sport and entertainment - if we yielded to the animal rights crowd then all of these would be wrong.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:48 AM   #11
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Just do more eduction and free condoms,..but i guess a human live is not worth it for the pope and cristian relief organsations.
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It is the reality of the situation, animals of no or low sentience cannot comprehend the responsibilities that rights and liberties cine with - they should be treated humanely but not as equal beings or as deserving the same legal protections as humans.

Animal rights is fundamentally flawed, im all for humane treatment of animals but not rights.

We use animals for meat, sport and entertainment - if we yielded to the animal rights crowd then all of these would be wrong.
This arrogance will be mankind's undoing one day.
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
Just do more eduction and free condoms,..but i guess a human live is not worth it for the pope and cristian relief organsations.
I would bet that Christian relief organizations are doing far more than the cynical secularism that is offered as an alternative.
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


I would bet that Christian relief organizations are doing far more than the cynical secularism that is offered as an alternative.
Wow, here's a whole other thread on it's own!
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:52 AM   #15
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Couple of things about that first quote:

1. 19, obviously qualified researchers have written opposing this proposal. One would have to wonder why, if it is such a positive idea?

2. Scientists at the research center have nurtured a group of the primates, which are natural carriers of a form of the AIDS virus but don't get sick from it, since the late 1960s. But federal officials listed them as endangered in 1988, leaving the center with the world's largest collection of captive sooties but little hope of scientific benefit. Why is there no scientific benefit? Sorry, but the only way to get any scientific data is to kill them?

3. A question or two for the Yerkes officials. Exactly how are you proposing to help "conserve" a bunch of wild animals, and why hasn't this been done before? Why are you suddenly using this as a negotiating chip to get what you want? If you have the ability to save an endangered species why not use it without any strings attached. Maybe when the monkeys are no longer considered endangered, your proposal would not seem so outrageous. It is interesting that in the last paragraph it indicates that the method of conserving an endangered species to throw money.

Finally, to state that animals have no rights speaks volumes about the moral fibre of humans than the argument of whether or not these animals should be used to find a treatment/cure for aids.
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