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September 1990

Animal Rights and Human Rights: It's Time to Pull the Frog Out of the Pot

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(9):1017-1018. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870090033001

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In this case, the frog is biomedical research and its basic product is important new scientific information, which is our hope for a future with more and better treatment options. The pot is our metaphor to characterize the well-organized and well-funded campaign of the animal-rights movement that has gradually turned up the heat on medical research that uses animals. The allegory relates to the observation that if you place a frog in boiling water, it will jump out. If you raise the water temperature slowly, the frog will stay in the pot until it has been boiled. At the moment, our frog is getting pretty hot.

Let me make it clear at the outset that I do not favor the careless or senseless torture, maiming, or killing of frogs or any other living creatures. In fact, I do not know of any biomedical scientist who would have any emotion other

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