Sitting on the fence

In reading my previous posts you may well wonder why I insist so much on the issue of non human primates and their use in animal research when it is a fact that rodents such as rats and mice represent the majority of animals used. Is it because I feel it is being used as a wedge issue? Is it because once the use of monkeys has been prevented other species may follow? Or is it because sitting on the fence is not comfortable and thus one draws conclusions and decide which side of the fence to be on?

Source:understanding animal research 

Perhaps indeed there is some of that but in my opinion there just is no fence. There is research because there are questions. There are questions because there is illness, disease, disorder, pain and death. There are so many of us that are working day in day out to find the answers we are looking for. These very answers benefit both humans and animals. We can not afford to let these people down, nor can we afford as a society to let those that are affected down. No one owns compassion, ethics or morals but they are being used to create the fence. All have to sit on the fence, it helps for making contributions.

It is a blessing that most of us look upon rats and mice with disgust, perhaps because of their past plague spreading reputation. They sure contribute to medical advancement now and there are plenty of articles that show how lives have been saved or medical advancement achieved. Take the case of some form of leukemia that had a 70% likelihood of causing mortality in affected children 25 years ago. Now 80 percent of the children have a chance of surviving. These aren't my numbers, nor is it my work.
As usual you can read the information here on the University of British Columbia web site.
Thank you for your commitment, your work and your achievements UBC, we Owe you!
Source: understanding animal research

Now look at demographics. Our societies are getting older, life span expectancy has increased dramatically over the last few centuries. Diseases and quality of life will be different in a few decades from now. Lots of people to nourish, cure or keep healthy! Unexplored territories and certainly different realities from what they are now. I don't know if we can prematurely age rodents to have relevant models as it is done with obese mice but surely we need to look ahead.

Should you live to a hundred years, you'd want this to be in as healthy a condition as possible. Perhaps even without strokes, rheumatism or arthritis. A degenerative disease may call for the need of replacement. Replacement first has to be tested in living species, as has the donor acceptance/rejection mechanism. PS; for paralysis see previous posts.

Could it be that our close relative the monkey holds some of the answers we will be looking for? We may not like it but it helps keeping the options available. Hate to think that we have thrown out the water with the baby or are thinking of it. So do the fallen ones I guess. Just ask those that survived and remember to be pragmatic: there is no fence.

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