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It is correctly asserted that the intensity of the current debate over the use of animals in biomedical research is unprecedented. The extent of expressed animosity and distrust has stunned many researchers. In response, researchers have tended to take a strategic defensive posture, which involves the assertation of several abstract positions that serve to obstruct resolution of the debate. Those abstractions include the notions that the animal protection movement is trivial and purely anti-intellectual in scope, that all science is good (and some especially so), and the belief that an ethical consensus can never really be reached between the parties.


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