Why is the public so sensitive about the use of a few tens of millions of animals in research when they do not object to killing hundreds of millions of pigs and cows and billions of chickens for our meat diet? Why is animal research considered so bad despite the public's high opinion of science (and scientists)? Perhaps it is the image of the scientist as an objective and cold individual who deliberately inflicts harm (pain, distress, or death) on his (the public image is usually male) innocent animal victims that arouses so much horror and concern. This paper does not address the accuracy of this image but rather intends to examine its psychic roots in modern society as well as some of the central themes that appear time and again in the debate. Such themes include cruelty, innocence, suffering, and human benefit.
Rowan, A.N. (1995). Scientists and animal research: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? Social Research, 62(3), 787-800.