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March 3, 1993

Is Justification of Animal Research Necessary?

JAMA. 1993;269(9):1114. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500090049025

To the Editor.  —While I applaud Dr Vance's1 exposure of the myths that the ALRM is emotional or denies that there are differences between animals and humans, I am puzzled that he should see it as a weakness of the movement that it includes philosophers who argue from different ethical outlooks toward similar conclusions.I would have thought, rather, that it is a sign of the strength of a movement that people starting from different premises should agree on the need for a radical change in our attitudes to animals. Does Vance think that the case against cutting down rain forests—to take just one example—is weaker because some argue exclusively from the effects that this will have on human beings, while others believe that there is intrinsic value in the preservation of complex ecosystems? On the contrary, the convergence of different arguments makes the conclusion more robust.Similarly, the