Companion animals share our homes and are an important part of our lives and families. In fact, over 72 million dogs and 82 million cats reside in U.S. households, and we spent over $41 billion on the needs of our companion animals in 2007, including food and veterinary care.
Nevertheless, a significant number of dogs and cats continue to be harmed or killed for use in research, testing, and education, even when there are effective and more humane methods available.
Other than their fate, there is little difference between the beagle or tabby who shares our home and is part of our family and the beagle or tabby who is vivisected in a teaching laboratory.
As such, the harm to companion animals in education raises ethical questions about the use of animals as “tools” for teaching, particularly when high quality, educationally effective, and ethically sourced alternatives are available.