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March 3, 1993

Is Justification of Animal Research Necessary?

JAMA. 1993;269(9):1113-1114. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500090049024

To the Editor.  —It was a pleasure to see a sophisticated analysis of the two different approaches to animal moral status in a recent issue of JAMA.1 In the recent scientific literature, most authors who have taken on the philosophers underpinning the modern animal movement have exhibited a distressing lack of scholarship, a tendency to exhibit their own emotional colors, and an obvious ignorance of even relatively basic philosophical argument. Dr Vance does not fall into any of these traps, but neither does he address a major reason that Singer and Regan and the other philosophers have had such an impact on public attitudes.While Singer and Regan expose the weaknesses and inconsistencies in each other's arguments, they do an even better job of exposing the weaknesses of the essentially unexamined status quo position regarding animals. For the most part, animal use by humans is permitted because we find