Tumbleweed (Helena, Mont.) 1975-1977, April 26, 1977, Image 8

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8—The Tumbleweed Tuesday, April, 26, 1977 animal experimentation necessary? by Leslie Angell In a biology class last year I was required to “ pith” a frog, which means to insert a probe into and thereby destroy the brain of a living frog. The purpose of the ex­ periment was to demonstrate which reflexes require the presence of the brain, and which require only the presence of the spinal cord. At the time, I thought whereas it was defensible for medical researchers to experiment on animals while seeking new cures, the little I might learn while tormenting a frog would scarcely justify the suffering I imposed upon it. I refused to pith the frog and since I was fortunate to have a sympathetic teacher, the matter rested there. Rested until I read two books. Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, and Victims of Science by Richard Ryder, and learned, first, that only about a third of the research involving animals is medical research; second, the vast majority of reasons, of dubious value; and third, that there are many feasible alternatives to animal ex­ perimentation as a research technique. The “vivisection industry’’-those who profit from the breeding of lab animals and the sale of related equipment - exert a powerful influence for the perpetuation of animal research, and against the development of alter­ native research methods, I have taken the following in­ formation from the two books mentioned above. It is estimated that well over 60 million live animals are used for experimentation in the United States each year. World estimates reach 200 million animals per year. Monkeys and apes, cats and dogs, rodents, rabbits, pigs, sheep, frogs and birds are the most frequently used “research tools”. Only a small fraction of the experi­ ments are performed with benefit of anesthetics. About one third of these experiments can be classified as medical research. The vast majority of animals are used for experiments in the field of toxicity-testing. In the United States, a standard test which most new commercial products must pass before they can be marketed is the LD-50 test. “LD” stands for “Lethal Dose\ and “50\ for 50 percent of the animals tested. This means that the animals are force fed the substance-which may be anything from brake fluid to bubble bath-to dis­ cover at what dosage level half of the animals die within 14 days. Since almost any substance is toxic if ad­ ministered in a large enough dose, about all the informa­ tion this test gives is “an indication of the size of the doze required to commit suicide ”, as one critic has said. Experimenters in the field of academia include zoologists, psychologists, social sc ie n tists, agriculturalists, etc. Much of their research on animals involves much suffering for scanty gains in knowledge. Somewhere in your college career you have probably read a psychological abstract that described a carefully designed, controlled experiment with an outcome something like, “ the researchers found that 98 percent of the cats, when shocked with x volts for x seconds, cried out and subsequently avoided the shock area ”. Like me, you probably wondered if you were missing something, or if the results of published research could really be so in­ consequential. Have you ever stopped to consider that those lab animals, with nervous systems much like our own. expressing pain in ways very similar to the ways we express ours, were trapped in an inescapeabie nightmare of suffering? Many times even the most apparently valuable medical research on animals is of little value since there is a poor correlation between the effects of various therapies-a variety of many drugs and radiation are examples-on dif­ ferent species. In the notorious case of the thalidomide babies, born with tragic deformities after their mothers had taken the tranquilizer thalidomide, the drug had been tested on chickens, hamsters, dogs, cats, rats and monkeys before it was pronounced safe for human use. The reverse can also be true; penicillin is extremely poisonous to guinea pigs, and had it been routinely tested on lab animals as all new drugs are today, it probably would never have reached the stage of a clinical trial There are many feasible alternatives to animal ex­ perimentation in research These include the use of dum­ mies, such as those used in the auto industry, and those used for teaching biological systems; the use of radioac­ tive isotopes to trace the action of minute doses of drugs in living humans; and tissue cultures, in which living cells from human donors are cultivated for experimenta­ tion outside the body. If the energy and resources now invested in animal ex­ perimentation were redirected into developing these alternative methods, the cruet and unusual abuse of animals in research would gradually come to an end. By now, I hope you are wondering how you can help the cause of animal liberation. First, you can refuse to par­ ticipate in experiments on animals at school, and tell peo­ ple why. You can boycott consumer products which reach the market only after many animals have suffered (do you really need that hairspray or deodorant that was pronounced safe after x number of rabbits were ex­ perimentally blinded with it?) You can write to your senators and congressmen and ask them to support legislation that prohibits cruel nonmedical animal ex­ perimentation and that promotes government backing for alternative methods of research. For more information, write: United Action for Animals, 205 East 42nd St., New York, N.Y. 10017. I have not even broached the topic of the ethical argu­ ments for and against animal experimentation-both of the books mentioned discuss this in detail. But I would ask you to imagine this situation: a “superior race” has landed on Earth and has begun to experiment on humans, claiming that such experiments are necessary to improve the welfare of their own race. Are they justified? Maybe this quotation from one of the earliest advocates of animal rights, Jeremy Bentham, will help you in your thinking: “The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withheld from them but by the hand of tyranny. . the question is not can they reason? nor can they talk? but can they suffer?” writer blown away Well, there he went. The wind rushed through the pines and away he went, ashes on a cloud. Yesterday Mrs. Jan Dee Cronin bore the ashen remains of her cremated husband, the deceased Gary Mike Cronin, a writer of ill repute who died Thursday, January 26 at the age of 86. His wife was carrying the urn containing the ashes of the late dramatist when it slipped from her hands as she gesticulated another tirade about her husband. No one was listening. The urn smashed on the steps of the funeral parlor and cut the foot of a small child. A casual bystander remarked as a gust of chilly wind rose, “He has risen!” Reportedly, the bystander, who did not at­ tend the funeral, was of more than a thrashing acquain­ tance to the failing dramatist. Cronin was best know for his plays which reveal a cer­ tain dignity in being human and fallible. Nearly forty poems, three novels and fourteen plays grace the memories of readers around the world. In 1978, Cronin received the Walter Auston Memorial Symphonic Coralle award for his play Bobby Carusoe, which dealt with a man lying spread-eagled on his face. Other less prestigous awards were also bestowed upon the writer who was born on December 18, 1951. Cronin received his formal education at Monroe Township Community Schools in Cowan, Indiana, and spent two years at Ball State University in the Natural Sciences at Muncie, Indiana. In March, 1975, Mr. and Mrs. Cronin moved to Helena, Mt. where he graduated from Carroll College in 1978 with a BA in English and a BS in heartburn. The couple were wed on a rainy Hoosier day in January of 1974. Mr. Cronin remarked at the time about an omen (subsequently edited beyond recognition by Mrs. Cronin) when his truck would not start. Actually, Mr. Cronin has died three times. The first death occured at the first performance of his first play, The Dog which it turned out to be. The second occurred shortly after his wife's 45th birthday when she refused to unwrap his present. She commanded him to decease and desist, whereupon the aspiring artist of life suffered an intellectual collapse. It barely showed. If the late writer’s life is pictured to be stormy, it is because of the hurricane manifested in his heart. In 1994, surgeons tried without success to replace the storm with a plastic bi-valvular syncopated artificial triviarate biodegradable plug. The organ rejected it. Upon regain­ ing consciousness (a friend loaned it to him over p u tt - p u tt The University of Montana golf squads completly dominated last Friday ’s golf match hosted by Carroll Col­ lege at the Green Meadow Country Club. UM posted four of the five lowest scores and finished one-two in the team event with the “ B” team posting a 313 score and the “A” team hitting 315. MSU finished third with a 329 while Carroll finished fourth with a team score of 344. Montana Tech finished fifth with a 382. Leading the Carroll squad was Sean McCourt with an 80 while John Nass hit an 86. Keith Ori shot an 88 while Bill Bowman hit a 90 for the 344 team total. Low score in the tournament went to Murphy of the University of Montana with a 73, three-over-par Thursday the Carroll crew went to Montana Tech for a meet in preparation for the conference championship to be held at the end of the month in Billngs. Christmas dinner in 1983) he remarked, “When I grow up, I want to be a crotchety old bastard who drinks wine, sm­ okes cigars, chases women and is deaf in both ears.” This is his most famous quote, and one Mrs. Cronin is said to have had much to say about. Mr. Cronin, may he scatter in peace, is survived by Mrs. Cronin (whom he refused to take with him), his 57 year old dog, Elliott, seven children of various sizes and colors, one old goat and a very old mother-in-law. (Or is that a very old goat and an old mother-in-law?) At any rate, the world mourns his loss. Personally, being present at the cremation, this writer swears there was an ear-to-ear smile on Cronin's face as he hobbled up onto the pyre. Smiling as he turned his back, he winked at Elliott, the famed sage while remark­ ing \Pluuust”. Use these coupons and prove two can eat cheaper than one! Big Boy Combo Salad and Fries Present this coupon at any of the participating Big Boys in your area. Offer good thru May 15 , 1977. One coupon per customer per visit. 2 for $-|89 Spaghetti Dinner Italian Meat Sauce, Texas Stead, Salad Present this coupon at any of the participating Big Boys in your area Offer good thru May 15, 1977. One coupon per customer per visit. 2 for $229 #2 Breakfast 2 Eggs, French Toast, Hash Browns Present this coupon at any. of the participating Big Boys in your area. Offer good thru May 15, 1977. One coupon per customer per visit. 2 for $-j 49

Tumbleweed (Helena, Mont.), 26 April 1977, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/Tumbleweed/1977-04-26/ed-1/seq-8/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.