Animal Studies Bibliography

Culliton, Barbara J. 1991. Can reason defeat unreason? Nature 351 (13 June): 517.

The research community tends to assume that animal rights activists are on the fringe, but their membership numbers, funding, and political clout say otherwise. Much of the activists' power lies in their ability to call upon the support of citizens around the country to write letters in support of the cause, a base that scientists do not have. One reason scientists have so much less support, public and political, is that they aim their appeal at the head, while animal rights activist groups like PETA go for the heart. Presenting emotionally-based materials, including many photographs both of cute animals and of animals undergoing surgery or research, PETA and other groups engag[e] in disinformation campaigns and misleading emotionalism. The campaigns are particularly misleading because while the groups actually aim to eliminate all animal research, their materials suggest that they support the continuation of absolutely necessary animal research, a fib which helps them gain such a large base of support. A few government officials have recently begun to speak out against these terrorists, trying to spread the word about how crucial animal research is to continued medical advances and to protect scientists and labs from threat and attack. If scientists want to save animal research (which has already been significantly impacted by legislation requiring peer review boards for any animal use), they must move away from intellectual appeals, which will not overcome the activists' emotionalism.



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