This is an excellent article that appeared in the Boston Globe last week.
The feud between animal rights activists and researchers is among the bitterest in science. But many researchers - although adamant that animal research remains critical to finding cures and expanding medical knowledge - have come to concede that using creatures as human stand-ins is unnecessary for many procedures. Indeed, it often isn't even the best science: New drugs that show great promise in mice, for example, often confer zero benefit to humans, or even prove harmful. Plus, animals are messy, require feeding and constant care, draw protests, and, yes, can be a bit smelly.
This is an important issue. Many animal supporters get caught up in fighting the food industry, but animal testing is as ugly and fundamental an issue. Even if you become 100 percent vegan, how much of the drugs you take, the makeup you wear and the cleaning products you use have been tested on an animal? We as a movement cannot compartamentalize. We need to be versatile and advocate on multiple fronts.