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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Animal rights not ‘a one-sided debate’

    Recently, the Daily Wildcat published two letters condemning the use of laboratory animals in scientific research (Monday: Nyles Bauer, “”Animal rights week campus warning”” and Tuesday: Curt Fleugel, “”All living creatures are sacred””).

    Fleugel claims to cherish all lives and laments the use of “”innocent”” pigs in brain injury studies, but he ignores the 5.8 million stroke victims in America who likely benefit from those studies. Animal rights activists are unsympathetic to the 1 million Americans who die of cardiovascular disease annually or to the 10 million Americans who suffer from cancer. They forget the many Americans with Type I diabetes whose lives depend on animal-based research that produced portable blood-glucose monitors and insulin analogs. These countless victims of poorly-understood human diseases motivate scientists: Why don’t animal rights activists consider the lives of these victims sacred as well?

    Bauer complains about a lack of transparency in science research and proposes that scientists who “”hide the(ir) experiments within sterile labs … either feel shame in performing these experiments … or feel that they have some sort of insight that the common folk lack as to what is moral.”” Bauer forgets that scientists are under the strict oversight of the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. IACUC members include veterinarians and average citizens who must approve every aspect of a scientist’s proposal to ensure animals are humanely used and only when other models are inadequate.

    Bauer is wrong: Scientists do not “”hide”” in laboratories. Most labs are sterile to avoid research contamination. Bauer’s suggestion that concerned taxpayers jostle their way into sterile labs to witness animal experimentation puts laboratory animals at far greater risk than any individual procedure alone: An untrained person in a surgery suite will distract an investigator performing a delicate survival surgery and will expose surgical animals to life-threatening infections.

    Animal use in biological research is ethically complex, and should not be a one-sided debate that vilifies scientists as profiteering sadists. Scientists are happy to discuss their work in detail when they are respected as contributing members of society whom you can disagree with without being disagreeable.

    Jennifer Fang
    physiological sciences doctoral student

    Gun-free zones don’t increase safety

    I agree with James Knitter (“”Students advocate for more lenient gun laws,”” yesterday) – “”gun free”” zones do nothing to increase safety. Only law-abiding people obey such prohibitions, while criminals ignore them. Permit holders are trained and trusted by the state to carry arms for self-protection everywhere else. Why should campus be any different?

    Pete Stephenson
    physics junior

    Kanye: ‘What is the purpose?’

    I really don’t have time for this between full time school and work. However, I have to say; wow! Word on the street is Kanye West, a Will Smith-type rapper, is costing us students $150,000. I have to look past my anger about why we would have this person come to our campus. What is the purpose? I go to this school for academic reasons not to have my money wasted on some P.O.S. rapper. Thanks a lot, UA, for meeting my expectations. You are always great at letting us students down. Your precedent holds strong.

    It’s interesting that you are so organized and efficient at giving out parking tickets. I am not being sarcastic here – your efficiency at should win some kind of award. But, hey it’s interesting how one gets used to disappointment.

    Andrew Peltier
    sociology senior

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