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Book Chapter

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Biomedical and agricultural animal research uses millions of experimental animals and dozens of animal species each year by choice, precedent, or regulatory mandate in basic and applied life science research and toxicity testing of drugs, chemicals, and consumer products. Animal research is a large component of the international us$270 billion government-subsidized, biomedical industrial ecosystem (Chakma et al., 2014). In the United States (us) and presumably elsewhere, about half of these funds support animal research and testing (Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, 2012). Each year at least 115 million experimental animals (mostly mice and likely a significant underestimate) are used worldwide (Akhtar, 2015). The status quo animal research environment provides “ecosystem services” to a large number of inter- dependent “species”, including governments, academia, biotechnology, agri-food and pharmaceutical industries, and publishers. Losers in this system are the conscripted animals (for “labor”) and taxpayers (for “capital”).


open access book chapter