The animal rights activists also try to convey the idea that most animals used in research suffer pain. The fact is that about 94% of animal in research involves no use of pain. Most of us have seen the gruesome pictures of research animals being operated on. What the pictures do not convey is that the animals have been anesthetized and so feel no pain. The small number of animals that do experience pain in research are contrubuting to knowledge of human diseases such as arthritis that cause pain to millions of humans every day. The opposition to the use of animals in research cannot be justified by the amount of suffering that is being experienced by animals. The regulations on housing of research animals are more stringent than those for human habitation, and there is far more pain, abuse, and cruelty caused to animals by pet owners and farmers that by researchers (Miller, 1984).
There are compellig reasons to use animals in research. First, it should be noted that much animal research has led to an improvement in the welfare of animals themselves, from vaccines against feline leukemia, rabies, and distemper to nonlethal methods to pest control.
Second, although younger people find it difficult to appreciate the fact, there has been tremendous improvement in health care in the past century, much of it in the past few years. About a hundred years ago, around 25% of the US population died by age 25, and half were dead by 50. Today, only 3% fail to live to 25, and only 10% die by 50 (Commitee on the Use of Animals Research, 1991). […]
To eliminate r restrict use of animals in research would mean little or no progress against AIDS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, birth defects, traumatic injury, mental illness, and many other diseases and condition that cause pain and suffering to millions of people each year. Whenever you see a picture of a lab animal that appear to be suffering, think of the millions of people who would continue to suffer dreadfully if there were no more medical progress. […]
Those who object that we should not use animals for research should consider that animals have been, and still are, used for work, for food, and as pets. None of these animals volunteers for these services. It may be useful to consider the research animals as draftees in a cause that help society as a whole […]” —
Donald H. McBurney & Theresa L. White, ‘Research Methods’, pagg. 65-66.(via scipsy) For relevance to this blog; it’s absolutely no coincidence that deinstitutionalization occurred at the same time as the rise in medications for mental illness such as antipsychotics. Without these breakthroughs, the mentally ill would still be locked away in asylums. If you refuse painkillers, antibiotics, psychiatric medication, chemotherapy etc, then more power to you, but is it not hypocritical to buy into pharmaceuticals & at the same time complain about / campaign against them? Surely all animal rights activists should be entirely homeopathic & not consume so much as a Lemsip? Is anyone reading this a current / former user of psychiatric meds? What is your opinion? Would you rather have had them or not? Have you refused psychiatric meds because they were tested on animals?
Amazing! I am actually running an experiment right now. I will be over to your page later!
Thank you! That’s very kind.
I’ll level with you: EDs are not my specialty. I am more acquainted with mood / psychotic disorders. I have read and can recommend ‘Working with Emotional Intelligence’ by Daniel Goleman, and I do know that there is some relation between alexithymia and EDs. There are also a few studies that AN populations may actually have higher IQs than controls. It would be interesting to see a model of how alexithymia as an independent construct from intellectual intelligence may contribute to EDs in vulnerable individuals: are the genetic polymorphisms responsible for alexithymia related to those for EDs or is this a cognitive contributor i.e. the internalisation of emotion upon oneself in the face of difficulty expressing it verbally to others.
What do you think? As I said, I’m pretty naive on the matter! What do you mean by “unconscious patterns”? Do you think that neurotic behaviour is a consequence / coping strategy in the highly intelligent? Studies that I have seen indicate slightly higher intelligence on average in EDs; not that these people are far more likely to be on the ‘genius’ end of the spectrum…
A friendly reminder to submit an account of your mental health / illness experiences! Go go go!
There’s a great paper here which looks at cognitive function across clinical state (manic, hypomanic, depressed, euthymic), and there does seem to be well replicated evidence of impaired cognitive function in acute bipolar disorder. I wouldn’t personally be able to comment on whether this is due to the disorder itself or pharmacological intervention, as I have no clinical experience of this. What I will say, however, is that the study I have cited found no significant difference in cognitive performance between those participants taking Lithium and those not. They concluded the same about anticonvulsants but Thompson et al (1982) have found impairments associated with the administration of valproate and carbamazepine. The obvious caveat is that this is a small number of studies, so extrapolation is something that should be taken with a massive pinch of salt. Goswami (2009) concluded that “medication, predominantly mood stabilizers, was found to have small to medium, but statistically insigniﬁcant, effect sizes on the neurocognitive test performance of euthymic bipolar disorder subjects when residual mood symptoms were controlled”, but they only used 44 patients. Go figure.
I’m really interested in phenomenological accounts here; I spend my ‘day job’ at university reading and carrying out well controlled analyses of mood scores etc etc, but I want to know what it feels like for people who are actually on these medications; do they feel different? Do they feel better or worse?
There’s a good article on the links between BP and PD here. The literature connection BP with PD is more recent and sparse than that connecting it with SZ; I think a lot more research needs to be done before this manifests itself as any diagnostic changes.