Brutalising experiments

October 13, 1995

In his article, "The age of reasoning" (THES, September 29), Kenneth Boyd envisages a scenario whereby an individual is temporarily removed from this world and must decide whether the use of animals in medical research should be allowed to continue. He does not know whether he will return to the world as a human being or as an animal.

Boyd believes that the individual is faced with an impossible choice. However, I find the choice to be very easy. Leaving aside the ethical consideration of whether it is morally right to experiment on animals, I would prohibit such a practice totally as I would not take the risk of returning to the world as a laboratory animal. I would not be prepared to undergo extreme suffering, perhaps lasting for years, even if it were expected that such suffering may benefit humanity. Some things should never be endured by any living creature.

Vivisection is allowed to continue because human beings have decided that it is justifiable to inflict suffering on animals where this may be outweighed by some greater good.

Mr Boyd's scenario has the effect of obliging human beings to put themselves in the position of the animals sacrificed to this end. I am certain that were medical research using animals really put to such a test, it would cease immediately.

CHRISTINE ORR Carleton Road, London N7

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