Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Assuming that all animals are sentient would mean ending their use in most scientific research. This does not necessarily imply an unscientific or anti-scientific stance. Examining the social role of science reveals its considerable investment in preserving the status quo, including the continued use of animal subjects. From this perspective, the use of animal subjects is a custom that science could move beyond, rather than a methodological requirement that it must defend.

Author Biography

Leslie Irvine is Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research focuses on the roles of animals in society. She has studied animal sheltering, gender in veterinary medicine, images of animals in popular culture, animal abuse, and animal welfare in disasters. Her most recent book, My Dog Always Eats First, examines homeless people’s relationships with their pets. Her previous books include If You Tame Me: Understanding our Connection with Animals and Filling the Ark: Animal Welfare in Disasters. www.colorado.edu/sociology/leslie-irvine