Violence in the lab

There was a popular professor at CSU East Bay who in any normal department would be a dream teacher. She was enthusiastic, bright, and likable. Her assignments were always exactly, even on those occasions when I thought they seemed too trivial, what she said they were—no more, no less. And I was impressed by her personal integrity. I took my first research methods class from her, and later, a graduate seminar in political communication.

It was largely following her guidance that I entered the graduate program in Speech Communication there and it was about that time that she won tenure. Soon after, however, Isaac Catt became Department Chair.

This professor, whose name I withhold because I am not sure she would now want her story made public, was a quantitative researcher. And she was skilled enough at it that, as I understand it, she taught a couple of classes for the Statistics Department. Not only was Catt a qualitative researcher but he was (though he would deny this) absolutely contemptuous of quantitative research.

I know they locked horns over the curriculum changes Catt introduced, which were later rescinded as he was, in my view, rightly driven out of the department,[1] and he, by her account, considered a book she had published “shit.” And she apparently filed a harassment claim against him. I was inclined to believe her anyway due to my trust in her personal integrity, but the Dean’s office investigated and apparently found no corroboration from her fellow (mostly male) professors in the department. In retrospect, I am now completely convinced of her veracity because I remember a look on her face that matches my own feelings of harassment from a professor at California Institute of Integral Studies. It is the latter experience that prompted an essay I have published here entitled, “‘You Don’t Understand’.”[2] And while I was not in a position of influence, I am concerned that I may have treated her with insufficient justice at the time.

And just as she, having just won tenure, was essentially driven from the CSU East Bay Communication Department, I, a Ph.D. student, have more recently found myself seeking another program. It was this that led me to seek a program change to the Social and Cultural Anthropology program at CIIS, which turned out disastrously. Fortunately, I had also applied to Saybrook, where I will begin this Fall.[3]

I tell this story here not only to honor yet another professor with whom I’ve regrettably lost contact but to acknowledge academia as a place of violence. This acknowledgment is important because it undermines an image of intellectual authority as the exclusive motivation for events at academic institutions: like anyplace else, some things happen simply because some humans have the power over others to make them happen. And where such power exists it is in some way violent—people are coerced rather than persuaded to action.

But this professor and I had our own difference of opinion, stemming from my undergraduate experience; indeed, it turns out there was a very good reason I thought some of her assignments were too trivial. At the time, I was taking an Communication Ethics class with the most right-wing professor in the department and somehow, the whole issue of deception of subjects in research coalesced for me. I’d sat through yet another telling of the story of the Stanley Milgram research on obedience to authority—this and Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment are the two most commonly cited case studies in research ethics—and I was now deeply troubled.

I was still under the sway of positivism. I assumed that quantitative methods were a means to truth. I considered Milgram’s research important—essential even. After all, we should want to know why a supposedly civilized people could turn as vicious as Germans did against Jews (and other stigmatized groups) in World War II. And it is a given in quantitative research that subjects must be deceived—they rarely know accurately the object of the research, and if it is experimental or quasi-experimental, they cannot know whether they are in the treatment or control groups—in order to prevent them from skewing the results whether through a natural desire to please or for any other motivation. So I was looking for a defense of deception.

I went to this professor for assistance because I thought surely she would know of relevant scholarly work. She, wisely, much more wisely than I, declined. I’m paraphrasing poorly from memory, but in essence she was telling me that I was underestimating the problem. And she was right. But this was also the beginning of my intellectual shift away from quantitative methodology, which meant first that this professor and I were now on separate paths, and second that without realizing it, I was turning away from positivism.

I’ve lost the paper I wrote that quarter. Even now, I simply don’t have the disk space to keep everything, and somehow that class got lost in my backup procedures. I remember I didn’t find a single defense of deception. (For this essay, I found one written much more recently.) Instead my literature search turned up at least one article which warned that research subjects were wising up to the deceptions, resenting them, and refusing to be truthful with researchers. (I have not since found this article again.) It is, after all, ethically incoherent for a researcher to expect honesty from someone s/he is deceiving. And there is no way to know the extent of damage this has done to the body of scientific knowledge.

The scientific costs of deception in research are considerable. These costs include: (1) exhausting the pool of naive subjects, and (2) jeopardizing community support for the research enterprise. If these costs are real, it will become increasingly difficult to do valid research; we may be damaging chances for others to work in the same location or on the same problems. This harm may be irreversible.

There is increasing reason to doubt that subjects are indeed naive. As a result of widespread use of deception, psychologists are suspected of being tricksters. Suspicious subjects may respond by role-playing the part they think the investigator expects, doing what they think the investigator wants them to do or pretending to be naive.

The power of the scientific community is conferred by the larger community. Social support for behavioral science research is jeopardized when investigators promote parochial values that conflict with more universal principles of moral judgment and moral

In fact, this problem is a substantial part of the rationale for Institutional Review Boards. Any research under the auspices of a publicly-funded university which involves human subjects and which is to be published (most class work is subject to review only by the professor) must be cleared in advance by the university’s IRB, which is intended to impose an ethical standard derived from a Nuremberg report documenting outrages committed by Nazi doctors in the name of “research.”[5] Both CIIS and Saybrook have similar committees, though they are named differently, to perform this function, and I am guessing that this is common with private institutions.

The problem of ethical research is so serious that to me, Harriet Washington’s Medical Apartheid is an argument against western medicine. She documents a horrific pattern of torture conducted in the name of research dating back to the times of slavery, but continuing to the present, of African Americans and, more recently, Africans. Many of these experiments, like the concentration camp abuses, had little scientific value. (As an example of residual racism, it might indeed be pointed out that IRB requirements derive from a few years of concentration camp abuses, but not from the hundreds of years of abuses endured by people of African descent.) For her, serious consequences are that many blacks refuse to seek medical treatment and that many refuse to participate in medical research.[6] For me, the consequences include that the entire foundation of western medicine is suspect and therefore potentially dangerous: bad science is bad science, not just because some “scientists” were evil, but because of the damage done to the “pool of naive subjects” who may now retaliate by misleading researchers and thus to the body of knowledge itself.

Washington described involuntary, nonconsensual research. She describes the exact opposite of what researchers should strive for. Notably, human subjects are supposed to participate voluntarily. They must be fully free to leave the study without retaliation. Furthermore, they are, as much as possible, to be protected from harm during the course of the research. Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment clearly failed at this: subjects were publicly “arrested” at their homes and subject to psychological trauma in a prison-like setting that proved so severe that the experiment had to be terminated early and in fact was not terminated soon enough.[7]

Participants must give informed consent, meaning they must understand (within the limitations of experimental method) the purpose of the study, what will be done to them, what the risks are, and that they agree to the procedures and to the risks. Furthermore, any inducements to participate must not be so large as to override a subject’s better judgment (the Stanford experiment likely failed on this point as well).

Milgram’s experiments failed ethically because subjects were misled into believing they were confederates rather than subjects. If they expressed resistance to applying what they thought were successively higher voltages (in fact, confederates received no shocks at all) for failing (actually refusing—this was the point) to correctly answer inane memorization tests, the researcher sought to induce them—after all, these were experiments in obedience—to continue the tests. In addition, subjects who cooperated left Milgram’s experimental settings (these experiments were conducted over a period of years in a variety of settings) with an awareness that they had been willing to unjustifiably electrocute other human beings, usually with dangerous and even lethal voltages that were clearly labeled as such on the research apparatus.

Milgram showed an apparent disregard for his subjects. After recruiting participants without serious screening by innocuous advertisements in the local newspaper, he then manipulated them, through deceptive instructions, to participate in apparent torture. With the exception of some exit interviews for the camera, he then dismissed his subjects without significant counseling, bearing the unsettling knowledge that they were, like the Gestapo, moral monsters who could inflict calibrated cruelty upon fellow humans.[8]

Promises of confidentiality—meaning subject identities will be kept secret—and anonymity—meaning that subject identities are not even kept—must be upheld; this is an additional form of protection from harm. Finally, subjects should be debriefed at the end of research to minimize any harms they may have suffered, including those of deception. Such debriefing, where appropriate, should include an offer of counseling or any needed treatment for the consequences of the research.

Wiggle room exists where the IRB determines that the ends justify the means, that an ethical violation is outweighed by the value of the research and that ethical alternatives will be inadequate. In practice, because IRBs are political bodies within the politics of academia, exemptions may be granted for less noble reasons, as for the not entirely voluntary participation often demanded of first year psychology students. As another of my research methods professors replied facetiously when I raised this issue in class, “they can always go to the University of Phoenix,” a private college with notoriously low standards where, presumably, such participation might not be required.

The costs of deception have been greatly underestimated. These costs are ethical, psychological, scientific, and societal. The effects, both harmful and beneficial, are more subtle in behavioral science research than in medical research. The costs and benefits to the subject and to society are in the realms of feelings, cognitions, and values rather than in physical and material realms. To deceive subjects intentionally or to obtain their consent fraudulently is to place them “at risk” even if they do not, as a result, experience additional stress or permanent harm.[9]

Definitions of deception stress the intentional misrepresentation of the study to the participants. Obviously researchers rarely fully explain the purpose and hypotheses of the study; incomplete explanations are not deceptions. But deception can take different forms in different methods. In fieldwork, the actual identity and purpose of the researcher may be “hidden” and result in deception (for discussions, see Allen 1997; Ellis 1995; Mitchell 1990). In experiments, false information may be presented as true. Consequently, one way to think about deception is related to violation of informed consent. If the study is not fully represented to the participant, he or she is prevented from providing a consent that is truly informed.[10]

It is fairly obvious that these research ethics overlap. And indeed, Dave Wendler subsumes many of them in his discussion of the ethics of deception in research. He recognizes deception as a difficult to quantify harm in itself and his emphasis is to preserve subject autonomy.[11]

Any moral system that places preeminent value on autonomy will allow few exceptions to the rule of informed consent. In this view, the right of a subject to choose freely to participate in research is inviolable and cannot be abridged by the investigator, although it may be waived by the subject. Doing research on people without their knowledge and informed consent is unethical under all circumstances.[12]

Importantly, Wendler’s analysis of one study highlights that many subjects were upset by deception, Wendler suspects the number who say they were sufficiently upset that they would refuse future participation is too low, but observes that even so, it was significant, suggesting that many subjects perceive that betrayal—which Diana Baumrind considers a violation of a fiduciary relationship between privileged academics and the rest of society—outweighs the benefit of the research. It is not hard to see how participant retaliation might follow even in the course of the study, but Wendler does not indulge in such speculation, simply viewing the upset as a harm from which the researcher failed to protect the participants and concluding that “the harms of subject deception in research are more widespread than is often acknowledged and may threaten the very foundations of research.”[13] Wendler recommends that participants be advised of the use of deception as part of informed consent.[14]

These qualifications are not wrong because subjects may be exposed to suffering. Rather, they are unjust because subjects deprived of their right of informed consent are thereby deprived of their right to decide freely and rationally how they wish to invest their time and persons. Fundamental moral principles of reciprocity and justice are violated when the behavioral scientist acts to deceive or diminish those whose extension of trust is based on the expectation of trustworthiness in return.[15]

If participants expect to be deceived and consequently do not believe the manipulations, then the very strength of the experiment, control, is destroyed. Thus, it can be argued that deception in one experiment can contaminate the participant pool for future experiments. If this is the case, then there should be a prohibition of most deception.[16]

In fact the consensus appears to be that deception is a necessary evil, that its effects are insidious, and that its use should be minimized to the extent possible without compromising the research, in large part to avoid harming future research.[17] Baumrind points out that,

Most of us in our everyday relationships do not deliberately mislead others about what we intend to do, make promises we intend to break, or in other ways violate the respect to which all fellow humans are entitled. Yet in the researcher-subject relationship we do all those things and feel justified in so doing. Instead of following a more stringent code of ethics in professional situations, we justify our treatment of subjects solely as objects on the basis of our professional role.[18]

I wish to call attention to that word objects. As Baumrind puts it, “Perhaps the seminal problem in social and behavioral research is that not all investigators do in fact respect their subject-participants as persons or appreciate their contribution to the research endeavor.”[19] This view of subjects as objects is a diminished view that misrepresents them: among many other sins, it amounts to a withholding of data from the body of knowledge. Further, the contribution to the body of knowledge is distorted by misrepresentation. These are inherent harms and we will see that they are intrinsic to positivism.

But further, among this multitude of sins, researchers have reduced humans to means rather than ends, contrary to Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative.[20] Such an objectification must be seen as a violation of the relationship of trust between researcher and participant; the latter ideally places him- or herself in the hands of the former for largely altruistic reasons and is fully justified in expecting that s/he will be cared for. If empathy is an essential human capacity, and researchers do not exercise that capacity, then researchers not only dehumanize their participants but in so doing, they dehumanize themselves. Research becomes an extension of industrial assembly-line society, with all its attendant ills, for privileged and disempowered alike. That this is so is illustrated in Cook and Yamagishi’s cavalier attitude toward subjects—in a rush to extol the benefits of such research, they barely mention harm to subjects—in a defense of deception that neglects nearly all of the arguments here.[21]

There’s more to this than quaint, touchy-feely sentimentality. While the view of it as quaint, touchy-feely sentimentality is itself a problem indicating a preference for dehumanization, the fact is that quantitative methods suffer severe shortcomings which undermine positivism, which seeks to reduce all scientific methodology to a single methodology and demands that that methodology should be mathematical (hence quantitative).[22]

First, a quantitative methodology relies on statistical methods. One problem here for scholarship is that statistical methodology has progressed far beyond the one or two semesters of introductory statistics classes that many take on the way to an undergraduate degree (I’ve had two quarters). Now, when scholars do a literature review, they are supposed to evaluate previous work already in the literature for a variety of criteria including appropriateness of the methodology. But one has to be a statistician to evaluate modern statistical methods—that precludes every other kind of scientist there is from properly considering the dark magic of statistics. I’ve likened the problem to—I’m using very dated stereotypes—teenage boys and their cars. Typically, they might put in a high-performance carburetor (I told you this was dated; fuel injectors are more common today) or fancy spark plugs to enhance the performance. As an engineering problem, to achieve a desired end, this is entirely sensible. But where the desired end becomes a particular conclusion supported by a particular choice of a statistical method, it becomes intellectually dishonest. And the rest of us have no way of evaluating whether the wizard’s choice of statistical method is appropriate for the research problem or conducive to a particular solution.

Another problem with statistical methods is that they substitute a failure to disconfirm a hypothesis for proof of the hypothesis. Statisticians themselves are highly aware of this. The rest of us tend to forget it. But a failure to disprove, as any logician will tell you, does not constitute proof. In addition, the failure to disconfirm might itself be wrong. I’m quoting a statistics textbook here:

The 95% confidence level describes how often the procedure provides an interval that includes the population value. For about 95% of all random samples of a specific size from a population, the confidence interval captures the population parameter.[23]

What that gobbledygook means is that even if the study itself is performed precisely correctly, the very fact that it relies on a random sample means that one out of twenty times, the random sample will fail to accurately represent the population. And the results will be wrong.

That’s a major reason replication of results is an essential value in positivism. Quantitative methodologists need to weed out that one in twenty case where the researchers, through no fault of their own, just got an unrepresentative sample. (And how they know that the probability of this is occurring is one in twenty relies on yet more statistical dark magic.) But more fundamentally, replication is a substitution for “witnessing” where the public can see for itself how certain results are arrived at and evaluate the methodology for itself,[24] hence as we shall see, the Cartesian public displays of cruelty to animals.

But even setting aside statistical anomalies, there are even more fundamental reasons why quaint, touchy-feely sentimentality is an important value in seeking truth. Catt got a lot of things wrong during his tenure at CSU East Bay, which is why I was glad to see the back of him. But his attack on positivism was cogent. He critiqued it as superficial and for substituting an aggregate for truth.

The superficial part is easy to explain. We all have certain quanta that describe something about us, for instance, height, weight, age. Statistics can capture other categories such as an outdated binary of gender, the zip codes where we live, etc. But would we say that this constitutes a full description of us? A quick look at online dating profiles rapidly reveals that people describe themselves in ways that have little to do with numbers. Yet positivism seeks to reduce all of reality to the mathematical, discounting the rest. At the very least, this reduction of human beings to quantifiable data exposes quantitative methodology and positivism as inherently objectifying—diminishing—persons. In addition, some might call it a lazy methodology: Catt alluded to data mining, in which researchers simply take a pile of quantitative data such as is accumulated in a few massive social science surveys that are taken on a regular basis and try to find an interesting correlation. That correlation may have nothing to do with—another positivist value—cause and effect, but it becomes a journal article and a publication credit—which counts in academia, importantly towards tenure.

I don’t recall Catt ever actually explaining his critique of quantitative methodology as substituting the aggregate for truth. At the time, I understood it as a sort of expression of the ecological fallacy, which makes the mistake of confounding units of research: individuals for groups, etc. But in April, I began from a recognition that the information presented by our senses is incomplete and explained what might be called a fallacy of universalism, in which a particular view is taken as applicable to all persons in all circumstances:

Extending an original doubt about the information derived from our senses, it is possible to critique the notion of a single truth, applicable to everyone. With systems theory, we could choose any living thing. Fritjof Capra points to the cells of the body which from identical DNA differentiate themselves to form the various parts of a human body: muscles, bone, organs, etc., that all combine to make an entire body. How, he asks rhetorically, do they know which ways to differentiate, so for instance, we only get one brain and two eyes, all in the right places? Clearly, there is something in the pattern; an undifferentiated cell finds itself in a particular location in that pattern and differentiates accordingly. There’s an interaction there, between the cell and its environment; they guide, constrain, and mutually condition each other to produce a greater whole and that whole has properties would could not be imagined from a single differentiated cell. And that process is cognitive—even when it isn’t conscious. The resulting combinations produce effects, called emergent properties, which are difficult to forecast or even understand from the perspective of their components. Capra explains that this works both ways—one can neither analyze the components from the whole nor analyze the whole from the components.[25]

Looking at this from the perspective of individual human beings, this opens an understanding of truth that goes beyond the partial perspectives of feminist theory. Feminist theory asserts that our views of reality are the products of our social locations, a consequence of culture, race, gender, class, ethnicity, and every other construction we use to categorize ourselves. With systems theory, we would begin with an individual human being coming into the world, finding itself in a particular environment, surrounded by certain people, with specific artifacts. All of this comprises a facet of reality that is all ours. As Edgar Morin put it,

Why do we continue to see human beings solely in terms of their social or professional status, their standard of living, their age, gender or however else they figure in opinion polls? Every human being, even the most anonymous, is a veritable cosmos. Not only because the swarm of interactions in her brain is larger than all the interactions among stellar bodies in the cosmos, but also because she harbors within herself a fabulous and unknown world.[26]

And that world is a world from which we cannot generalize to other worlds. What is true for you, my reader, is not necessarily true for me. What works for you, my reader, does not necessarily work for me. And vice versa. We might have common elements that we share, but at some level, our realities are profoundly different.[27]

Treating an aggregate result as truth not only overlooks the possibility of anomalous statistical results but represents a fundamentally inaccurate, objectifying view of reality. If you happen to be a part of the statistical sample, there is a probability that the results of that study are in fact valid for you. Even if you were not a participant in that study, there is a probability that the results are valid for the population which the study generalizes to. But if that happens to be the case, systems theory reveals that it is more a matter of coincidence than anything else. We’ve gotten a lot out of those coincidences, as any positivist will hasten to inform you. But what a quantitative reduction misses is far greater. And that reduction is intrinsic to positivism, not only for its numeric facade but for the assumption of a single truth, applicable to all persons everywhere at all times.

Now I’ll return to what, ideally, the critical moral values with regard to the treatment of human beings in research:

  • Their autonomy must be protected, meaning that they are provided the information and the liberty to decide at any point whether to participate or to continue to participate in a study. This liberty must be free from retaliation or the fear of retaliation. Further, a subject’s decision to participate must not be unduly influenced by rewards for participation; this is particularly critical for vulnerable members of society who may be induced to participate even for small compensation.

  • Their intrinsic value as human beings must be upheld. They must be cared for and respected. They are subjects, not objects. In a Kantian imperative, they are not merely means to an end, but ends in themselves. But positivism inherently objectifies subjects.

  • They must be robustly protected from harm from participation in the research. This includes protection from physical, psychological, social, legal, and economic harm. Objectification is a harm.

  • They must be accurately represented, something which positivism, through reduction to the mathematical, cannot do.

We need to understand our own human status in the world as biological, animal organisms. Animal ethics, environmental ethics, if not human bioethics in general, await an adequate understanding of animals as individuals and humans as organisms. This is a crucial step in ethically “taking together” humans, animals, and nature, which increasingly is becoming a central task of practical ethics.[28]

Perhaps most fundamentally, research must reunite with ethics, not just so scientists are nicer people, but because the path to truth has its own importance. A wrong path, that fails ethically, logically, or in any other way does not lead to truth. It is instead a dead end.

In this light, the protections offered to human subjects—inadequate though they may be—stand in stark contrast to the outrages routinely committed against animals. These tortures have been likened to the abuses committed by Nazi “doctors” at concentration camps (again overlooking African American and African experience), and like the experiments at concentration camps, often has negligible, or as Strachan Donnelley phrased it, “undeniably trivial”[29] scientific value. As Barbara Orlans explains,

Some animal tests, especially safety tests on cosmetics and household products such as oven cleaners, have been a primary target of public protests. Activists and critics have argued that some procedures are unnecessarily painful to the animals and should be eliminated, that alternative tests exist, and that, in any case, some of the products being tested are nonessential or of trivial social worth.[30]

Criticism of animal research is far from new:

During the last one hundred years [in the span of years since 1885], there has been continuing criticism of animal research, but no sustained examination of the ethical issues. Each side considered the correctness of its position to be self-evident. Antivivisectionists drew attention to obvious animal suffering and the alleged callous disregard exhibited by scientists. Researchers pointed to the many advances in health care, such as the discoveries of insulin and antibiotics, which were based, at least in part, on animal research. In general, the public supported biomedical scientists and accepted their assurances that animals were properly cared for and used only when absolutely necessary. About twenty years ago [in the mid-1960s], however, cracks in this support began to appear. In the last ten years [from approximately 1975 on], criticism of various animal research practices has become widespread, and a number of philosophers, led by Peter Singer, Tom Regan and Bernard Rollin, have begun to question the way in which laboratory animals are used. Unlike earlier criticisms of animal research, the philosophical questioning is carefully formulated, and cannot be dismissed by an intuitive appeal to the idea that animals have no rights and thus may be used as a means to further legitimate human ends.[31]

That was written in 1985, and from what I can see, progress has been, at best, incremental. While substantive critiques of animal rights advocacy remain rare,[32] the issue continues mainly to be framed in terms of, on the one hand, the benefits of animal research for humans and a special quality attributed to humans against, on the other hand, the literally untold—because animals cannot speak for themselves—suffering researchers impose upon them, with, as a general rule, neither side meaningfully addressing the other’s arguments. As Donnelley put it, “The protagonists in the controversy are characteristically ungenerous, accusing each other either of being blind to animal suffering and concerned only with self-regarding human interests, or of promoting radical and illegitimate political agendas based on inappropriate notions of equality, with a gross insensitivity to genuine human needs and the particular goodness of human life.”[33] Because animal researchers and their advocates typically refuse to even acknowledge that there is a problem with their work,[34] they see activists, whom they refer to as “extremists,” as the problem, while activists must contend with a problem as Bernard Rollin frames it:

However logically consistent, coherent and elegant one’s theoretical ethic may be, buttressing the claim that we ought not do invasive research on animals, it does not help guide us in how to make animal research more ethically acceptable, short of abandoning the enterprise, which society is not in fact willing to do.[35]

This verges on a defeatist position that resigns itself to the status quo in academia and in society in general, where violence is often inadequately restrained and requires a draconian IRB in human research, and in which animals are offered even less protection. Rollin’s argument seems to suggest that barely and only sometimes repressed violence is the best we can do.

Rollin in fact seeks to encourage people to recall their own ethics, and through this, to arrive at ethical conclusions, which through their own faculties lead them to acknowledge that practices can be improved. He claims that progress was in fact made in protocol evaluations that followed federal legislation in 1985 and argues that there has been significant progress in wider societal views toward animals, especially companion animals.[36] But the relevance of Rollin’s article rests in a problem which remains. And even assuming that the protocols which were achieved in 1985 were sufficient (for his part, Rollin views what he calls a “new ethic” as “still not a fully moral posture”[37]), practice seems to vary from protocol and research treating animal suffering as inconsequential continues.

Descartes divided worldly reality into two self-sufficient types of substances (defined as “that which needs nothing other in order to exist”): res cogitans and res extensa, mind and body (physical nature). Minds are essentially and solely characterized by thought, and bodies are essentially characterized by extension. In this division of reality Descartes stripped nature of all agency, subjectivity, and purposiveness, which he lodged (only) in the minds of human beings. Nature was rendered a mere dynamic, causal, mechanistic, and material affair, “mere matter in motion,” precisely as the new mathematical science required.

This immediately introduced a fundamental incoherence into our overall view of ourselves and the world. There was left a philosophically unintelligible relation between the material organic bodies and thinking minds of human beings. Worse still, human individuals, as self-sufficient mental substances, were left unintelligibly related to the natural and human world abroad. Finally, the purposes and values (aesthetic, ethical, religious, or other) that humans commonly feel to be implicated in animal life and animate nature were philosophically rendered absurd and robbed of any legitimacy. In brief, Cartesian dualism directly undermined and frontally assaulted the deliverances and fundamental convictions of everyday human experience.[38]

Cartesian scientists were adamant that animals do not suffer and they put on public displays of cruelty to animals as proof of their conviction, dismissing yelps of pain as mechanical reactions.[39] But they denied the obvious: animals do suffer. As Louis Pojman explains,

There is every reason to believe that Descartes was wrong. Higher animals, having a similar nervous system to our own, do feel pain and pleasure. They have consciousness and engage in purposeful behavior. Dogs and cats manifest intelligence, gorillas, and chimpanzees exhibit complex abstracting and reasoning abilities and appear to communicate through language. The differences between humans and other animals are more a matter of degree than of kind.[40]

Animal rights activists are quick to point out that if animals are sufficiently like humans that they are useful in research for human benefit, then it follows that they suffer; while if animals are sufficiently unlike humans that they do not suffer, then their utility in research for human benefit is dubious. This will win many debates and makes for good public relations; it is a short punch line that dichotomizes and oversimplifies a more difficult issue in which animal advocates also cite sentience without reference to the dictionary definition. As Jerrold Tannenbaum and Andrew Rowan see it, “sentience has not been carefully defined by those who use the term, but it is usually interpreted to cover the awareness of pain, distress, suffering, well-being, pleasure, or any combination of these.”[41] More prudently, Mark Bernstein argues for a continuum between animal and human experience that undermines the assumption that animals may exist simply for our exploitation; further he argues that the world is a better place for the reduction of pain and suffering by all species.[42]

If we want to employ a utilitarian or consequentialist criterion to determine the right course of action, we cannot, without being arbitrary and self-serving, limit the interests to be calculated to a group of persons of which we, mirabile dictu, happen to be members. The welfare of all must be considered, be it that of black slaves on colonial plantations or animals in contemporary institutions.[43]

The rejection of membership in the human species as signifying morally superiority is shared by a number of authors. Jeff McMahan writes:

I have, however, rejected the [moral] significance of co-membership in the human species on the grounds that “species” is a purely biological category and that because the biological properties essential for membership in the human species – for example, a distinctive genome or the capacity for interbreeding with other human beings – are not themselves morally significant, the fact that all human beings are related by virtue of sharing these properties is also not morally significant.[44]

Louis Pojman, who argues that an animal rights position amounts to moral nihilism (more on this later), seems to offer something beyond a concession:

Humans may protest that humans are on average far superior to animals, for we are rational. We can use deductive, abductive and inductive reasoning in ways that animals can’t. True enough. We do have that virtue, but the question is, why should that virtue count more than the virtues of various animals? The eagle values his visual acuity, and ability to soar through the air more than he does human rationality. The leopard values his fiery speed and ability to leap over bushes and branches in the hunt and scorns our need for weapons with which to kill game. We cannot match the monkey’s dexterity, swinging gymnastically from branch to branch, nor the squirrel’s tight-rope walking ability, nor the graceful play of the shark cutting a smooth knife-like path through the sea. We can’t digest grass or produce a quantity of milk that a cow gives; we can’t use ultrasonic waves like a bat to get around in the dark. The spider seems to enjoy spinning fine, complex webs which are beyond our power, and if genetic reproduction is the benchmark of evolutionary success, the cockroach has us beat hands down.

Stumbling, bumbling, clumsy, land-lubbers are we, whose main talent seems to be destroying the ecosystem, threatening animals, and self-servingly prizing ourselves as superior to all others — “homo sapiens” — “the wise ones” we label ourselves — no other creature approaches our arrogance.[45]

Earlier, in the same article, Pojman adds,

Our growing understanding of evolutionary biology leads us to believe that the similarities (common physical properties) between some primates and humans turn out to be greater than the differences. The Absolute Gap Thesis which posits a clear axiological distinction between humans and other animals is false. As Darwin said, “There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals.” We are essentially animals. Whereas our forebearers judged humans as occupying axiological space between angels and animals, some contemporary views put us between the animal and the computer, as reasonably accurate conscious-calculators.[46]

Elisa Aaltola writes,

First, the value of animals should be analyzed without species-centered assumptions, which state that moral value is inherently linked to human species. Rather, we should look for a neutral ground for moral value, and apply the criterion individually to different beings (see Rachels 1990, and the idea of moral individualism). Second, most of the theories [concerning the moral value of animals] argue that the neutral criterion for moral value is consciousness in the phenomenal sense. Autonomy, propositional language, rationality, and moral agency have been discredited as suitable criteria, and “experiencing the world as something” has been made the basis of moral value. Since many animals fall into this category (Dawkins 1998; DeGrazia 1996; Bekoff 2002), they too have individual value.[47]

Much of this is speculation as to the capacities of animals. But Jeff McMahan navigates this terrain skillfully, refuting the notion that humans should privilege other humans on the basis of a common experience of being human, illustrating that the differences between species in some cases are indeed less than the differences among humans. He successfully erodes the foundation for any notion of inherent human moral superiority.[48]

Some animals not only share in personal relations but also perform significant functions in human society. A guide dog, for example, who is affectionate, protective, loyal, and able to guide its owner safely through an artificial human landscape is surely a significant participant in our common life. Assuming that fellow creatureliness can be a matter of degree, the animals who participate in such robust ways in our common life may assert a stronger claim on us  . . . than human beings whose participation is necessarily more modest.[49]

In general, however, many animal rights activists insist on animals’ sentience, while many animal researchers speculate as to their diminished and even nonexistent sentience—Descartes was, after all, one of the founding fathers of positivism and the “scientific method.”[50] Given that the Cartesian notion of animals as mere machines is incoherent, and that any basis for distinguishing between animals and humans as creatures with rights is untenable, our duty to animals must be similar to our duty to ourselves.

In a Hastings Center Report supplement, determined to find a middle position between those who would abolish animal research and those who would eliminate any impediments, Lilly-Marlene Russow sums up the applicable ethical theories:

The strongest and most defensible ethical theories all entail that animals—at least those which are sentient (capable of feeling pleasure and pain) or “autonomous” in the wide sense of having preferences and the ability to pursue them—have a significant moral status. They cannot be treated as mere objects, and the effect of an experiment on them must be considered when we decide whether the experiment is ethically justifiable.[51]

Pojman attempts to refute the view that we must have duties to animals which are similar to those to ourselves by saying it implies we should intervene to save a rabbit from being attacked by a wolf, and that our failure to do so undermines the entire moral system in support of animal rights. Pojman admits that the wolf has no choice but to be a carnivore and therefore to prey upon other animals. But he compares the danger of a wolf attacking a sheep or rabbit to that of a madman attacking a child. The false comparison is obvious: while the madman and the wolf may indeed both be acting according to their nature, the wolf does so for sustenance, and to deny the wolf a meal is to impede his or her ability to survive. We cannot say the same of the madman. The consequence here is not moral nihilism, as Pojman claims,[52] but a recognition that justice is an aspiration—while it can never be achieved, the quest for it must never be abandoned. Our moral duty to animals, as well as to humans, takes the form of a striving rather than a fulfillment. That striving is what keeps us thoughtful about our actions and attitudes toward others rather than self-satisfied with categorizations and objectifications that are inherently injust.[53]

But this is not just about the animals:

The reaction of most people to the videotapes of research on unanesthetized primates at the University of Pennsylvania trauma lab exemplifies this perspective; the callous and casual attitude of the workers may have been at least as objectionable as the actual abuse. There is simply something morally wrong about laughing and joking about the condition of a helpless subject, whether or not any additional pain results.[54]

The videotapes captured cruelty, and to do the things to animals which animal experimentation often requires is inherently to be cruel. And attempts to alleviate that cruelty are fraught with difficulty: “How are we to predict the effects on animals of particular scientific protocols? How are we to recognize and evaluate animal suffering when it does occur? How are we to alleviate that suffering?”[55] We have enough difficulty empathizing within our species:

Generalization from personal experience has obvious limits: Can a healthy doctor or relative have this kind of knowledge [of another person’s feelings] about a person suffering from terminal cancer or a serious injury? More akin to the problems in crossing species barriers may be gender-specific suffering in people. Many women argue that men can have no inkling of the experiences of childbirth and menstruation. Thus empathy based on generalized personal experience has serious limits in our own species and must be tempered by other kinds of information.[56]

To address this, Morton, Burghardt, and Smith advocate “critical anthropomorphism,” which strives to take into account as much as possible of what is known about a particular species’ behavior in assessing the expressions of a member of that species.[57] But at sum, we cannot reliably know the suffering we cause animals—we are only guessing. And given the delight that lab workers have experienced in the suffering of animal subjects—paralleling the “sadistic gratification” that “select interrogators may derive” from so-called psychological torture in settings such as Guantanamo[58]—there must be doubt as to the potential effectiveness of any regime to protect animal subjects, who are unable to protest, particularly when so many scientists continue to deny, as did Descartes, that animals suffer. Indeed, given the endemic cruelty to humans in Iraq, Guantanamo, and other places around the world, in which humans are “berat[ed] . . . to the subhuman level of wild animals,”[59] we can only imagine the human capacity for cruelty to actual animals. Animals do not enjoy the protection of an IRB; the closest analog is an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC):

Certain scientists have argued that the IACUC should not be conducting peer review of any proposals. Even when projects are funded by intramural sources, they argue that the scientific review should be undertaken by separate committees and not by the IACUC. In general, they claim that the IACUC does not contain the necessary scientific expertise to perform true merit review of proposed animal research projects. As a result some IACUCs avoid any questions that impinge upon research design, such as asking if the numbers of animals used are appropriate, or inquiring what alternatives have been considered by the investigator.[60]

It’s hard to read that and not reach the conclusion that “certain scientists” are determined to ensure that IACUCs do absolutely nothing at all. Moreover, they are apparently in institutional positions to impose their views. I fear for any animal in an institutional setting, but even more so at institutions where this is the case. In my view, we place too much trust in those who have already abused it, who have already demonstrated that they are so anxious to brutalize animals, even with trivial scientific justification, that one must question whether their motivations have any relationship to science whatsoever.

Numerous authors connect the objectification of animals with the oppression of women and other subjugated groups;[61] as Pattrice Jones puts it, “Speciesism and sexism are so closely related that one might say that they are the same thing under different guises.”[62] In her discussion linking rape to animal issues, one of several parallels she draws between gender issues and animal issues, she writes,

Rape puts into action the idea that women and children are objects that can be used for pleasure regard for their own wises or subjective experiences. the same attitude underlies a host of abusive practices toward animals, ranging from circuses to factory farming. Animals are raped too, sometimes for the pleasure of a the male human rapist (as in so-called “bestiality”) but more often to control their reproduction so that corporations can have the pleasure of profits (as when bulls are electro-ejaculated and cows forcibly impregnated on what dairy farmers sometimes call “rape racks”).[63]

But never mind all that, according to the Financial Times:

Once a month, a dozen demonstrators gather outside [Professor David Jentsch’s] house, shouting obscenities, disturbing his neighbours and bearing photographs of tests which, he says, bear no relation to his work or his laboratory. But Jentsch has organised a counter group, with 40 scientists recently showing up in solidarity to block his gate and hold a party. He has also been stepping up meetings around the US to establish links with funders, science organisations and animal care providers, as well as to convince fellow researchers to rebut claims by animal rights groups. “The vast majority of rights activists don’t want an argument and will not cede. They will succeed when they prevent the argument being had.”[64]

The article refers to activism as extremism and makes no space for animal rights activists to state their case—denying in fact that, despite the volumes of scholarly literature on the topic, that they have a case. It associates animal rights activists with climate change deniers and those who question the benefits of vaccines vis a vis the risk of side effects. Moreover, Jentsch’s strident defense obfuscates the documented horrors that have led to fines and shutdowns of animal research labs,[65] even as recent experience teaches us that where these sorts of abuses exist, due to the power of the situation, they are much more often the rule than the exception.[66] And while Jentsch appears to deny it, the U.S. Government has adopted a view of animal liberators as “terrorists.”[67] Finally, in contrast to Jentsch’s apparent perspective that ends justify means, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II write (and I assume they have inadvertently reversed the words means and end, that they ascribe to the ALF a deontological view that actions may be wrong even for desirable ends),

But given the enormity and magnitude of animal suffering, and the righteous anger that animal liberationists feel, one should notice that the [Animal Liberation Front] has demonstrated remarkable restraint in their war of liberation. When it comes to violence against living beings, even animal abusers, the ALF believes that the means do not justify the end, and therefore they renounce physical violence against their human adversaries.[68]

Of course not all animal liberationists are so restrained,[69] but this is only more reason for the Financial Times to not treat activists monolithically. There is considerable evidence that when liberationists employ violence against humans, they forfeit media support that may well set the movement back, enabling the further abuse of more animals.[70] But Karen Dawn quotes a letter to the editor in the San Francisco Chronicle following outrage over threats and vandalism directed against foie gras:

The animal-rights groups are wrong to vandalize or threaten chefs but, unfortunately, it seems to have worked—front page of The Chronicle. It is too bad that the simple truth about factory farms isn’t enough to get a front-page story.[71]

And Bruce Friedrich captures the frustration of animal rights activists writing,

[Mahatma] Gandhi and [Martin Luther King, Jr.] stressed that strategic nonviolence requires that the oppressors see the suffering of the satyagrahis (nonviolent activists) and say, “That person is like me, despite being [Indian, black, etc.].” Gandhi and King talked about looking into the eyes of the oppressor as he (it was always a he then) hit you with a club or doused you with a fire hose, to connect to him on a deep and human level. It is hard to fathom the animals doing any more suffering than they already have, but public empathy has yet to develop.[72]

That’s partly because so few people look into the eyes of the animals abused putatively on their behalf. Maxwell Schnurer explains how we ignore the “lived nature of animals”[73] in part through the remoteness of these practices from our daily lives.[74] Rollin notes of this that such animals are outside our philia, referring to circles of people of varying degrees of importance, and struggles with how we might bring them in.[75] But even for the scientists who worked with the animals, Rollin inserts parenthetically, “The denial of the knowability of pain in animals was a robust part of scientific ideology in theory and practice in the U.S. until we legislated that animals feel pain and forced science to ‘reappropriate common sense'”[76] apparently in defiance of Descartes. Hence, in Friedrich’s view,

ALF activities speak to people, regardless of their belief in animal rights. They provide an opportunity to discuss the gravity of the situation, the fact that animals suffer and die like we do, the fact that they are not less important than we are, the fact that when animals are liberated, there is cause for celebration, not shame. People grasp these concepts, even if they don’t agree.[77]

That people do indeed disagree stems largely from ignorance:

Although implausible in the extreme, the Cartesian view still has advocates. I’ve heard it defended by hunters and owners of animal factories. Witness the words of Roy Johnson in the trapper’s journal, Trapline Ramblings. “If a man beats his wife every day, she suffers because she has an immortal soul. But if a man beats his hound-dog, it may yelp some but it won’t suffer because it has no soul.” And again in a book sponsored by the fur industry, Animals and Men—Past, Present and Future, we read the testimony of a hunter, “I have the impression, based on field observation, that many shot animals do not especially show feelings of pain. There are no ‘rights’ in the natural world – to the victor belongs the spoils. It is hard to know what people mean by ‘cruel’ or ‘inhumane’.”[78]

Friedrich speaks to an urgency—animals are suffering while we indulge in idle debate—that in the face of animal abuser intransigence diminishes a concern for the negative effects of direct action. And Paul Watson points out that the revolution in India against the British credited to Gandhi also incorporated violent elements[79] and that “Gandhian tactics would never have worked against a Hitler or a Stalin.”[80] Steven Best adds that

More and more activists grow tired of adhering to a nonviolent code of ethics while violence from the enemy increases. Realizing that nonviolence against animal exploiters in fact is a pro-violence stance that tolerates their blood-spilling without taking adequate measures to stop it, a new breed of freedom fighters has ditched Gandhi for Machiavelli and switched principled nonviolence with the amoral (not to be confused with immoral) pragmatism that embraces animal liberation “by any means necessary.”[81]

For me, the difficulty with an increasingly violent animal rights movement is two-fold: first, I think that when animals are pitted against humans, animals will invariably lose, that any defense of animals must take into account the possibility of a backlash that prolongs our tyranny over animals and thus multiplies the number of animals horrifically abused;[82] and second, violence, whether on battlefields, in academia, in structural violence, in research, in the treatment of subjugated humans and animals generally from the meat industry to the ghettos to the prisons to labs to workplaces to the military, or even in violence directed at those who are responsible for this vast range of violence, invariably dehumanizes its object and hence dehumanizes the actor. This is the same objectification that keeps arising as an issue in this essay—even with rape—and it is a pattern which needs to be broken. The challenge is in finding a way to break it.

But inaction—acquiscence to the horrific violence endemic to our society—is plainly insufficient. Rollin concedes that “even in the new ethic, then, animals remain property, and as Kant says ‘means to an end, that end being man’.”[83] Tannenbaum and Rowan observe that

recent work also suggests that there may well be a causal connection between cruelty to animals, at least among children, and cruelty toward human beings. Animal advocates also commonly claim that scientists and veterinarians who mistreat laboratory animals and come to view them as mere “research tools” become insensitive to the needs and legitimate moral claims of other animals.[84]

If that is the case, then the violence, objectification, and cruelty to which I object are circular; they form a recursive pattern in which cruelty to animals feeds cruelty to humans which feeds cruelty to animals and so on, reaching back indefinitely in time. We still need to break the pattern, we should not underestimate the difficulty of doing so, but we are fooling ourselves with bad science for as long as we fail to do so.

  1. [1]David Benfell, “Coalescing thoughts while waiting for a phone call,”, February 21, 2009,
  2. [2]David Benfell, “‘You Don’t Understand’,”, September 16, 2010,
  3. [3]David Benfell, “A week of personal hell,”, March 18, 2011,; David Benfell, “I still have lots of reading to catch up on,”, March 22, 2011,
  4. [4]Diana Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception,” IRB: Ethics and Human Research 1, no. 6 (1979): 2
  5. [5]Stuart Plattner, “Human Subjects Protection and Cultural Anthropology,” Anthropological Quarterly 76, no. 2 (2003): 287-297.
  6. [6]Harriet A. Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Doubleday, 2006).
  7. [7]Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (New York: Random House, 2008).
  8. [8]Alfred W. McCoy, “Legacy of a Dark Decade: CIA Mind Control, Classified Behavioral Research, and the Origins of Modern Medical Ethics,” in The Trauma of Psychological Torture, Almerindo E. Ojeda, ed. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008), 55.
  9. [9]Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception,” 2.
  10. [10]Jane Sell, “Introduction to Deception Debate,” Social Psychology Quarterly 71, no. 3 (2008): 213.
  11. [11]Dave Wendler, “Deception in Medical and Behavioral Research: Is It Ever Acceptable?” Milbank Quarterly 74, no. 1 (1996): 87-114.
  12. [12]Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception,” 2.
  13. [13]Wendler, “Deception in Medical and Behavioral Research,” 100.
  14. [14]]Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception;” Wendler, “Deception in Medical and Behavioral Research.”
  15. [15]Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception,” 2.
  16. [16]Sell, “Introduction to Deception Debate,” 213
  17. [17]Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception;” Karen S. Cook and Toshio Yamagishi, “A Defense of Deception on Scientific Grounds,” Social Psychology Quarterly 71, no. 3 (2008): 215-221; Sell, “Introduction to Deception Debate;” Wendler, “Deception in Medical and Behavioral Research.”
  18. [18]Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception,” 2.
  19. [19]Baumrind, “The Costs of Deception,” 4.
  20. [20]Richard L. Johannesen, Ethics in Human Communication, 5th ed. (Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 2002).
  21. [21]Cook and Yamagishi, “A Defense of Deception on Scientific Grounds.”
  22. [22]Bruce Mazlish, The Uncertain Sciences (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2007).
  23. [23]Jessica M. Utts and Robert F. Heckard, Mind on Statistics, 2nd ed. (Belmont, CA: Thomson, 2004).
  24. [24]Mazlish, The Uncertain Sciences.
  25. [25]Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems (New York: Anchor, 1996); Joanna Macy, Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Natural Systems (Delhi, India: Sri Satguru, 1995); Edgar Morin, On Complexity, trans. Robin Postel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton, 2008).
  26. [26]Morin, On Complexity, 93.
  27. [27]David Benfell, “Positivism and ‘facts’,”, April 22, 2011,
  28. [28]Strachan Donnelley, “Bioethical Troubles: Animal Individuals and Human Organisms,” Hastings Center Report 25, no. 7 (1995): 21.
  29. [29]Strachan Donnelley, “Section II. Animals in Science: The Justification Issue,” Hastings Center Report 20, no. 3 (1990): S11.
  30. [30]F. Barbara Orlans, “Section V. Policy Issues in the Use of Animals in Research, Testing,
    and Education,” Hastings Center Report 20, no. 3 (1990): S27.
  31. [31]Jerrold Tannenbaum and Andrew N. Rowan, “Rethinking the Morality of Animal Research,” Hastings Center Report 15, no. 5 (1985): 33.
  32. [32]but see Michael Fox, “‘Animal Liberation’: A Critique,” Ethics 88, no. 2 (1978): 106-118; Louis Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” Public Affairs Quarterly 7, no. 2. (1993): 165-185.
  33. [33]Strachan Donnelley, “Introduction. The Troubled Middle In Medias Res,” Hastings Center Report 20, no. 3 (1990): S2.
  34. [34]see, for example, Robert J. White, “Animal Ethics?” [letter to the editor], Hastings Center Report 20, no. 6 (1990):43.
  35. [35]Bernard E. Rollin, “Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics,” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 8, no. 1/2 (2003):106.
  36. [36]Rollin, “Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics;” see also Richard M. Engeman and Stephen A. Shumake, “Animal Welfare and the Statistical Consultant,” American Statistician 47, no. 3 (1993): 229-233.
  37. [37]Rollin, “Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics,” 117-118.
  38. [38]Donnelley, “Bioethical Troubles,” 22.
  39. [39]Josephine Donovan, “Animal Rights and Feminist Theory,” Signs 15, no. 2 (1990): 350-375; Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?”
  40. [40]Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” 167.
  41. [41]Tannenbaum and Rowan, “Rethinking the Morality of Animal Research,” 38.
  42. [42]Mark Bernstein, “Legitimizing Liberation,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 93-105.
  43. [43]Bernstein, “Legitimizing Liberation,” 98.
  44. [44]Jeff McMahan, “Our Fellow Creatures,” Journal of Ethics 9, no. 3/4 (2005): 362.
  45. [45]Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” 179-180.
  46. [46]Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” 165.
  47. [47]Elisa Aaltola, “Animal Ethics and Interest Conflicts,” Ethics and the Environment 10, no. 1 (2005): 20.
  48. [48]McMahan, “Our Fellow Creatures.”
  49. [49]McMahan, “Our Fellow Creatures,” 365.
  50. [50]Mazlish, The Uncertain Sciences.
  51. [51]Lilly-Marlene Russow, “Section 1. Ethical Theory and the Moral Status of Animals,” Hastings Center Report 20, no. 3 (1990): S8.
  52. [52]Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?”
  53. [53]Richard Shapiro, “Secular/Post-Secular? Emancipatory Jewish Thought,” California Institute of Integral Studies, Spring 2011.
  54. [54]Russow, “Section 1,” S6.
  55. [55]David B. Morton, Gordon M. Burghardt, and Jane A. Smith, “Section III. Critical Anthropomorphism, Animal Suffering, and the Ecological Context,” Hastings Center Report 20, no. 3 (1990): S13.
  56. [56]Morton, Burghardt, and Smith, “Section III,” S15.
  57. [57]Morton, Burghardt, and Smith, “Section III.
  58. [58]Uwe Jacobs, “Documenting the Neurobiology of Psychological Torture: Conceptual and Neuropsychological Observations,” in The Trauma of Psychological Torture, Almerindo E. Ojeda, ed. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008), 167.
  59. [59]Almerindo E. Ojeda, “What is Psychological Torture?” in The Trauma of Psychological Torture, Almerindo E. Ojeda, ed. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008), 3.
  60. [60]Andrew N. Rowan, “Section IV, Ethical Review and the Animal Care and Use Committee,” Hastings Center Report 20, no. 3 (1990): S23.
  61. [61]Bernstein, “Legitimizing Liberation;” Pattrice Jones, “Mothers with Monkeywrenches: Feminist Imperatives and the ALF,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 137-156; Maxwell Schnurer, “At the Gates of Hell: The ALF and the Legacy of Holocaust Resistance,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 106-127; Gary Yourofsky, “Abolition, Liberation, Freedom: Coming to a Fur Farm Near You,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 128-136.
  62. [62]Jones, “Mothers with Monkeywrenches,” 139; see also Donovan, “Animal Rights and Feminist Theory.”
  63. [63]Jones, “Mothers with Monkeywrenches,” 140-141.
  64. [64]Andrew Jack, “Battle lines,” Financial Times, June 24, 2011,
  65. [65]Friedrich, “Defending Agitation and the ALF;” Wicklund, “Direct Action;” James M. Jasper and Jane Poulsen, “Vulnerabilities, Blunders, and Countermobilization by the Targets in Three Animal Rights Campaigns,” Sociological Forum 8, no. 4 (1993): 639-657.
  66. [66]Zimbardo, “The Lucifer Effect.”
  67. [67]Jason Black and Jennifer Black, “The Rhetorical ‘Terrorists’: Implications of the USA Patriot Act on Animal Liberation,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 288-299.
  68. [68]Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, introduction to Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 36.
  69. [69]Kevin Jonas, “Bricks and Bullhorns,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 263-271.
  70. [70]Kim Stallwood, “A Personal Overview of Direct Action in the United Kingdom and the United States,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 81-90; Robin Webb, “Animal Liberation—By “Whatever Means Necessary” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 75-80.
  71. [71]unknown, quoted by Karen Dawn, “From the Front Line to the Front Page—An Analysis of ALF Media Coverage,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 213-228.
  72. [72]Bruce G. Friedrich, “Defending Agitation and the ALF,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 255.
  73. [73]Schnurer, “At the Gates of Hell,” 108.
  74. [74]Karen Davis, “Open Rescues: Putting a Face on Rescuers and on the Rescued,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 202-212; Schnurer, “At the Gates of Hell.
  75. [75]Rollin, “Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics.”
  76. [76]Rollin, “Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics,” 115.
  77. [77]Friedrich, “Defending Agitation and the ALF,” 257.
  78. [78]Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” 167.
  79. [79]Paul Watson, “ALF and ELF—Terrorism Is as Terrorism Does,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 279-287.
  80. [80]Watson, “ALF and ELF,” 283.
  81. [81]Steven Best, “It’s War! The Escalating Battle Between Activists and the Corporate-State Complex,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 301.
  82. [82]Freeman Wicklund, “Direct Action: Progress, Peril, or Both?” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Steven Best and Anthony Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 237-251
  83. [83]Rollin, “Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics,” 116.
  84. [84]Tannenbaum and Rowan, “Rethinking the Morality of Animal Research,” 34.

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