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Peter Singer: Volkswagen’s monkeys

PETER SINGER: ‘The New York Times reported that researchers used monkeys to test the effects of inhaling diesel fumes from a Volkswagen… These monkeys were confined in individual chambers and forced to breathe polluted air, including exhaust fumes from an older Ford truck, which was supposed to enable a comparison with the cleaner Volkswagen… Making matters worse, we now know that the only results the experiments could have yielded would have been misleading…

The reaction to this revelation has been unequivocal repudiation — by the public, the German government and Volkswagen itself — of the use of the monkeys. Why? Could the vehemence of the response indicate a tectonic shift in ethical attitudes toward animals?… It is not news that animals suffer in painful and unnecessary experiments… Nearly 3 million animals are used in experiments in Germany each year…

I have been arguing against the way we treat animals for the past 45 years, yet I have never seen such categorical repudiation of experiments on animals by senior corporate executives and government spokespeople as we are witnessing in Germany now… What has changed, gradually and over several decades, is concern for animals. A 2015 Gallup poll showed that almost 1 in 3 Americans agreed with the statement that animals should be given the same rights as people…

If, as Merkel’s spokesperson said, the use of monkeys to test the safety of emissions from diesel engines “can in no way be ethically justified,” it becomes possible to hope that the end of painful experiments on animals is not far away’. SOURCE…

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