TO THE EDITOR:
Matt Leming’s column “Silence on vivisection” offended me as a biology major, as a linguistics major and as a vegetarian.
First, the column is couched as a call for discussion on animal ethics, but the stilted language it uses is at odds with anything like openness; the word “vivisection,” for example, is a label used exclusively among those who oppose animal experimentation.
It goes on — the label “pseudoscience” gets tossed into the mix — but I suspect most readers don’t need my help to notice the author’s stance on animal testing.
Second, the characterization of animal experimentation that Matt puts forward is dangerous; the images he evokes are offensive to our human sensibilities, but they represent cases in which the animals are killed while under anesthesia — their experience is no different from pet dogs that are put to sleep — or provided care to veterinary standards, again, no different from the way in which we treat our pets. Indulging in this kind of gut-reaction horror porn causes us to miss the real issues we need to discuss.