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April 18, 1990

The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain and Science

JAMA. 1990;263(15):2117. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440150135044

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Bernard Rollin has long been a voice in bioethical issues. His earlier works were often direct attacks on scientific research involving animals. Examples of abuses of animals that would be unacceptable to the majority of scientists were selected as typical, criticized on both methodological and ethical grounds, and used to develop a philosophically based ethic against animal research. It was not that a lot of what Rollin had to say was unimportant. Rather, one had to work exceptionally hard to separate the forest from the trees.

The Unheeded Cry departs from his previous style. The book is clear, the author develops his points so that they are understandable, the complexity of issues involved in the use of animals in research is given reasonable treatment, and there is a serious attempt at building a case against much animal research through arguing that animals, like humans, are also capable of consciousness. In