Friday 26 August 2022 | 2

Language elements and rhetorical fallacies in animal testing

Language elements and rhetorical fallacies in animal testing

Mis à jour le 23 November 2022

Between the new elements of language and the constant recycling of the same rhetorical fallacies, transparency is far from the only thing lacking in the discourse of people who defend animal testing. We are reviewing these lobbies’ new communication strategies and their hypocrisy.

Hr blog

Tuesday 14 June in Marseille. Entering into a massive hall, dedicated to the businesses who sell laboratory ‘materials’, from litter to transgenic animals, cages, experimental equipment, and cleaning appliances. These same businesses, the revenues for which rely exclusively on animal testing for some, are funding the FELASA Congress 2022 on the theme of ‘communication’.

Hardly surprising, in such a setting, that the ‘key messages’ put forward are the importance of this exploitation for human health, the ‘irreplaceable’ character of ‘experimental’ animals, and the constant priority that is ‘animal welfare’.

“Care culture”

The journal by STAL (Sciences et Techniques de l’Animal de Laboratoire) was published by the AFSTAL (French Association for Laboratory Animal Science & Techniques), who co-organised the congress. In Volume 50 of the journal, we found a translation of the document on “care culture[1], a ‘comprehensive and demonstrable institution-wide commitment”, going “beyond simple compliance with regulations in force”...

It is difficult to reconcile this new language element from the animal testing lobbies with the practice of animal testing, which confines animals for their whole lives and subjects them to suffering that has no benefit for them or that could largely be avoided if we gave ourselves the means.

Communication strategies: necessary, additional, and normal

To accompany this attempt to present themselves as benefactors, animal testing circles look to pass their practices off as trivial and clear activities that we do not need to question.

Thierry Decelle (Sanofi) therefore encourages his colleagues to hijack the debate on substitute methods by integrating them into everything, which also includes animal testing:

« We must change the ‘exit strategy’ paradigm as proposed by animal rights activists with a strategy of inclusion of non-animal methods. »
Thierry Decelle / Sanofi, STAL n° 49

After all, why talk about research into substitution methods and the end of animal testing when we can ignore the problem?

Kirk Leech (Executive Director of the European animal testing lobby) maintains that in his opinion, it is better to talk about successes in animal testing rather than care or substitute methods. His goal: to influence public opinion by deluging the media with hopes of new treatments, voluntarily ignoring the horrors of animal testing and its incompatibility with moral consideration.

Apparently, the fact that these types of declarations have been made for decades to simply disappear in the archives of history without having helped anyone does not matter.

The pot calling the kettle black

In this game of bad faith, France has won the gold medal at the FELASA Congress. A special mention to a representative from CHU in Lille, who, in a dismissive manner, compared the idea of granting rights to non-human primates with animal trials in the Middle Ages.

He goes on to argue that since more than 80% of Nobel prizes have awarded research using animals, research cannot happen without animals. We wonder what he thinks of the fact that more than 90% of Nobel prizes have rewarded men

After these enormities which did not make the experimenters react on the spot, it is difficult not to laugh grudgingly when a lobbyist for the umpteenth time reproaches their bad faith in the animal activists who film practices of abuse in laboratories to reveal only a few minutes of video to the general public.

Bad faith is wrong – but only when it comes from their opponents.

[1]The word care has several meanings. To care about means to be interested in or concerned about someone or something. To care for and to take care of, mean to be concerned about something or to take care of someone. As a noun, care can bring attention to a task to be done correctly, or the care necessary for health or for protecting someone.

This article is the second in a series which will present different aspects of the FELASA 2022 congress

  1. Transparency and communication strategies in animal testing
  2. Language elements and rhetorical fallacies in animal testing
  3. The animal testing industry makes propaganda
  4. The ethical short-sightedness of animal testing
  5. Will there soon be more primates in laboratories?

        Translated from the French by Joely Justice

        Nicolas Marty
        Hr blog

        In the subject

        Animal testing: investigation from One Voice in Mauritius into long-tailed macaque breeding farms 'Monkeys Labs': from condoned mistreatment, proven trafficking, and health risks

        Comments 2

        I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

        Plume | Friday 07 October 2022

        Il est inconcevable actuellement, d utiliser et de sortir des petits primates de leur milieu naturel et de les utiliser comme cobayes dans les laboratoires.
        Nous ne sommes plus au moyen âge et il faut faire cesser cette torture sur des êtres sans défenses.

        trochu | Friday 26 August 2022

        Tout cela démontre à nouveau et toujours plus, la mentalité de ces chercheurs et individus qui gravitent dans et autour de l'expérimentation animale, en la mettant en avant et en décrétant qu'elle est nécessaire, mais les personnes intelligentes et qui ont encore le sens des valeurs de la morale et de l'éthique ne sont pas dupes ouvrent les yeux quant à l'horreur et la barbarie que représente l'expérimentation animale. Je me répète mais il ne faut pas être sain d'esprit, équilibré et bien dans sa tête, pour encourager et pratiquer de telles atrocités ignobles et immondes envers d'autres êtres vivants que sont LES ANIMAUX. Ces chercheurs, si l'on creuse bien, ont un réel grand problème car sinon ils seraient incapables d'accepter de torturer et mutiler des animaux, en toute bonne conscience et sans aucun scrupule ni remord, et tout cela est inquiétant et nous laisse imaginer ce qu'endurent nos frères LES ANIMAUX au quotidien, les pauvres victimes de tortionnaires et sadiques. Ils n'ont aucune ouverture d'esprit, et font croire au public, que "sans les animaux" ce n'est pas possible...
        Les méthodes alternatives et de substitution doivent être encouragées et mises en avant par des scientifiques fermement opposés à l'expérimentation animale qui doit cesser et être interdite définitivement. Pourquoi ne pas informer la population du but réel de la recherche médicale, en les informant de ce qu'est le téléthon honteux et ignoble, de ce qu'est la recherche sur le cancer, et j'en passe car trop nombreux sont encore les gens qui ignorent tout et font aveuglement confiance aux médias et à la recherche. Lorsque l'on lit cet article, c'est alarmant ça fait même peur, car ces scientifiques sont prêts à tout et n'ont peur de rien, tellement ils sont habités par un sentiment de toute puissance et de supériorité sur les animaux, et nous devrions faire le nécessaire afin de renverser ces idées là, car aucun être vivant ne mérite d'être exploité, maltraité ou torturé peu importe pour quelle fin et but, ça suffit et suffit. MERCI ONE VOICE, d'agir encore et encore en faveur de ces pauvres animaux pour les libérer et les protéger de tous ces bourreaux. Impossible de fermer les yeux et de laisser faire les animaux ont besoin de nous.