Thought-provoking arguments and behaviors on both sides of the controversy surrounding biomedical research on animals
Hearts and Minds
The Controversy Over Laboratory Animals
Search the full text of this book
Julian McAllister Groves
Media coverage of angry protestors and acts of sabotage claim so much public attention that few of us question the stereotypes that have developed around the animal research controversy. Those who support animal testing are routinely dismissed as mad scientists, emotionless logicians, or sadists with little regard for nonhuman creatures, while animal protection activists are dismissed as hysterics, antisocial radicals, or simple folk who prize rabbits and rats over human beings.
Julian McAllister Groves takes a fresh look at the arguments and talks to people on both sides to discover what really motivates them. He probes into their ideas and emotions to understand how people get involved and why the arguments become so polarized.
Living in a university town that is an important center of biomedical research, Groves could not ignore the intense opposition to research using animals. As he began to analyze the formation and activities of local protest groups, he started to attend meetings and talk to activists about their beliefs. To his surprise, many activists emphasized rational and scientific justifications for their commitment to the movement. Conversely, scientists who spoke with him frequently discussed their use of lab animals in the context of their feelings about pets or a particular animal that they had become attached to.
Hearts and Minds looks past the placards and sound bites to get to the intellectual and psychological reasons that people use to explain their positions. It discards worn generalizations and offers a nuanced portrait of people who are seriously engaged in reconciling their ethics and their behavior.
"Groves shows how unproductive shame can be, emotionally and politically, and he usefully highlights this problematic feature of some post-1960s social movements."
"...the book provides some interesting insights into movement mobilization and counter mobilization, the perspectives held by members of the respective groups, and the ways in which they explain their activist roles."
"What makes Groves's study interesting is that he not only interviewed movement participants but also their opponents, researchers who are using animals. The author tries carefully to give actors on both sides of the controversy the opportunity to explain their motives, convictions, and emotions."
In the series
Animals, Culture, and Society, edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders.
Animals, Culture, and Society, edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders, is concerned with probing the complex and contradictory human-animal relationship through the publication of accessible books that consider the place of animals in our culture, our literature, our society, and our homes.