Dr Bernard-Pellet explains why we should teach medical personnel and patients the art of healthy living through sensible lifestyle and nutrition.
Feb 11, ’12
Dec 3, ’11
The following interview is with a scientist who wishes to remain anonymous. Her determination to pursue a scientific career without conducting animal experiments is an example for others to follow.
Sep 19, ’11
Dr Stallwood, who teaches medical undergraduates using increasingly realistic manikins and models, argues that to influence the public against animal experiments, “we must communicate specifics, not slogans.”
May 23, ’11
Anne Keogh — currently Professor in Medicine and Senior Heart Transplant Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital and President in 2000/01 of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation — vehemently opposes the use of animal models in heart research on both ethical and scientific grounds.
Sep 29, ’10
Dr Elisabeth Devilard, formerly a cancer researcher, is now senior scientist at cosmetics manufacturer L’Occitane. “The progress made in the last ten years in the field of molecular biology, coupled with our knowledge of the biology of human skin, provides us with an unprecedented arsenal of reliable techniques that clearly surpass animal tests,” she says.
Jul 15, ’10
In 2003 Neal Barnard was awarded a $350,000 research grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effect of a low-fat vegan diet on diabetes. In this interview with Dr Andre Menache, Dr Barnard explains how people were able to reduce their medications and sometimes come off them entirely.
Jun 15, ’10
Dr Ray Greek is author and co-author of five books that challenge the value of animal experiments from a strictly scientific perspective. His latest book, entitled Animal Models in Light of Evolution (co-authored with Professor Niall Shanks), deals in considerable detail with the question of predictivity.
Mar 16, ’10
As a veterinary student in Australia, Andrew Knight campaigned for humane education — and succeeded!
Sep 15, ’09
As a member of the Safer Medicines Campaign, Margaret Clotworthy points out a number of new developments in medicine, including a recent innovation by VaxDesign of Florida in mimicking the complex human immune system.
Jun 16, ’09
Yeast, a type of fungus, is an excellent model for studying many basic cellular processes. Its cellular machinery, with the DNA in a structure called the nucleus, is shared with virtually all other organisms — including humans.
Steve Kaufman on animal-free research
Tue 8 Feb 2011
An assistant professor of ophthalmology, Dr Kaufman explains that learning ophthalmic surgery does not require practicing on animals.
Dr Stephen Kaufman graduated from Yale University in 1981, where he received several awards of distinction before completing his medical studies at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1985. He then went on to specialise in ophthalmology at New York University Department of Ophthalmology. Dr Kaufman is currently an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in the US, and he has published many articles in the scientific literature.
Dr. Kaufman has been co-chair of the Medical Research Modernization Committee (MRMC) since 1986 until the present time, and he has provided several expert witness statements in legal challenges involving the use of animals in scientific research. The MRMC is a national health advocacy group in the USA composed of physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who evaluate the benefits, risks and costs of different health care and medical research methods and technologies. The organisation has produced some excellent publications, one of which, ‘A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation’ and may be known to some of our readers.
Antidote Europe (AE): At what point in your medical or pre-medical studies did you become aware of the limitations of the animal model?
Dr Stephen Kaufman (SK): It was a gradual process. I had always been uncomfortable with the ethics of animal experimentation, and I was aware that there were scientific problems with much research. During my internship in New York City, Dr. Murry Cohen contacted me, and his thoughts about animal models, as well as the literature to which he directed me, helped me understand the scientific shortcomings of animal modeling.
AE: Were you able to complete your specialist training as an ophthalmologist without conducting animal research? Describe any obstacles that you encountered.
SK: Ophthalmic surgery, as with other kinds of surgery, is largely learned by working with patients under the watchful eyes of experienced surgeons. The resident-in-training gradually takes on more responsibilities as the skill level develops. There is no need to practice on animals, and indeed there was never such an opportunity during my training.
AE: Briefly describe the origins of the MRMC, which you helped to create.
SK: The MRMC was a brainchild of Alice Herrington, then president of Friends of Animals, now deceased. Ms. Herrington was convinced of a need for a medical group, independent of the animal protection movement, which could raise scientific objections to vivisection. She and Dr. Richmond Hubbard started the MRMC, and Dr. Murry Cohen became very involved early in its history. Shortly thereafter, Murry recruited me, and together we were the main forces behind the MRMC for many years.
AE: What do you consider to be your biggest success in terms of exposing the limitations of animal research?
SK: I think our greatest exposure was an article in the February 1999 issue of Scientific American that I coauthored with Dr. Neal Barnard, president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I think we made many important contributions, particularly through our booklet “A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation” and the Perspectives on Medical Research monograph series.
AE: Are there any issues not covered in the interview that you would like to address?
SK: I don’t think a very strong case can be made that animal models have never assisted in medical progress or that they will invariably be useless in the future. I do think there is compelling historical and contemporary evidence that animal models are unnecessary for medical progress. In addition, they have been and remain frequently misleading, and their overall scientific value is dubious. Animals are used for purposes in medicine and medical science other than animal models of human conditions, including toxicity testing, reservoirs for infectious organisms, and tissue transplantation. For many of these uses, nonanimal methods have been replacing or should replace animal uses. For those uses for which comparable or superior nonanimal methods are not currently available, it is likely they would be developed if animal use were not an option, since necessity is the mother of invention.