Thank you for shedding light on animal research — an area of great concern for people from all perspectives — in the recent editorial, “Animal research saves lives of both humans and animals” (May 5, 2011).
Even the 96 percent of us who are comfortable consuming meat, milk and eggs for nourishment struggle with the topic of animal research. Our organization is dedicated to healthy discussion and awareness building of the mutual benefits between humans and animals.
We celebrate those mutual benefits: 1) that we care for animals, provide them shelter, companionship and protection while they are under our ownership, and 2) they in turn provide companionship, recreation, nourishment and sometimes even discovery about our species and theirs.
The responsibility we have to care for animals of all types is one that should not be taken lightly.
Just like pet owners, veterinarians, farmers, fishermen, zookeepers and others in animal care professions have chosen their career path because they have a passion for animals — regardless of their ultimate purpose.
We strive to represent a mainstream viewpoint that includes these uses and encourages the highest quality care for all animals.
You and your readers have done an outstanding job discussing where the mutual benefits lie and where — when handled with care — animal research could be in the best interest of both humans and animals. It is a delicate balance, and we thank you for sharing these perspectives on a very important topic.
(The author is executive director of the Animals for Life Foundation, www.aflfoundation.org.)