Despite recent advances in technology and increasing societal concern for animals, animals continue to be exploited and killed in large numbers so that students can learn about their structure and function. Dissection may not be without its merits from an educational standpoint, if well implemented, but it appears from student surveys that it usually is not. When one considers the associated costs—animal suffering and death in the supply trade, disruption of wild animal populations, messages that tend to undermine rather than reinforce respect for life and concern for others, rising costs of animal carcasses (as compared with alternatives with longer shelf lives), exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, and greater time expenditures in preparing and presenting various animal-based exercises—the balance clearly falls on the side of abandoning dissection, at least in its current form.
Andrew N. Rowan
The publication consists of the proceedings of a workshop, sponsored by the Gilman Foundation, and held in April of 1994 at the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida. About thirty participants were invited from zoos, animal protection groups and academic institutions to discuss concepts such as wild, captive and tame; animal well-being in the wild and in zoos; and protecting individuals versus conserving populations. In order to maximize the time engaged in discussion, several individuals were identified to prepare target articles which were distributed to all participants before the meeting. These articles form the main chapters in this book. Other participants were asked to lead off the discussion of each target article during the workshop. These comments make up the first part of the discussion following each article. The remainder of the discussion is an edited version of the audiotaped workshop.
Andrew N. Rowan, Franklin M. Loew, and Joan C. Weer
The controversy today regarding the use of animals in research appears on the surface to be a strongly polarized struggle between the scientific community and the animal protection movement. However, there is a wide range of opinions and philosophies on both sides. Mistrust between the factions has blossomed while communication has withered. Through the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, the animal movement grew in numbers and financial resources, and developed much greater public recognition and political clout. The research community paid relatively little attention to the animal movement for much of this period but, alarmed by several public relations coups in the 1980s, it has become more vociferous and has shifted from a reactive defense to a proactive, aggressive offense.
M. W. Fox
It is not yet widely recognized that the livestock industry has become a major threat to the world's economy, the environment, consumer health, and the food security of nations and generations to come. Farm animals do have a place in ecologically sound agriculture, but, as will be shown, they have not been properly integrated either in the United States or in other developed and less-developed nations of the world.
Michael W. Fox and Nancy E. Wiswall