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  1. #1
    Senior Member Idealatious's Avatar
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    Default Animal Experimentation? Suddenly, relevant to my life.

    Rats are adorable. They are actually one of my favorite animals, believe it or not. Ridiculously, and rather thematically, I am fond of cats, rats, and snakes. And all animals. And yet, I happen to by a psychology major who is edging towards neurology.

    ...I just enrolled in a class in which I will perform experiments on rats.

    I know I can do it. I am absolutely certain. In biology, I dissected a fetal pig, and I did it with relative ease. I'm not very squeamish when I'm doing things (only when I think about things). It was already dead, of course. But I am still absolutely certain that I can implant an electrode into a rat's brain. Give it psychomotor stimulants. Study the effects of nicotine. All as the class description says.

    But will I be okay with it afterwards? Will I have to drown the guilt out? ...Will the rats die?

    The professor just made a long-distance call to enroll me, and asked if I was okay with this. While reading the description, I was thinking "Awesome! Implanting electrodes into brains? Hands-on research experience like I've never had before that may help me settle on a career path? Amazing!" But now I am realizing what this means. I remember a few years ago telling myself I wouldn't do this. But sometimes I commit myself to doing things, and I do them, consequences be damned. It feels like one of these times.

    Oh god. Thoughts?

    (Also, I hope this is posted in the right place? I can't find any "controversial issues" or "slight freak-outs due to questioning ones values" forums)

  2. #2
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Idealatious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    *snip
    You're a horrible person. ...Well, your argument is duly noted.

    ...why does that link say "mouse?" That is definitely a rat. Looks like a dumbo rat.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Idealatious's Avatar
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    ...In theory, I'm not opposed to animal experimentation as long as it's not unnecessarily cruel. It's contributes to progress, and science, and all that. But actually participating in it?? I don't know.

    But does that make me hypocritical and/or self-righteous? Like all those people who say "It's fine if other people get abortions, but I would never do that..."
    Last edited by Idealatious; 10-19-2011 at 04:47 PM. Reason: I like editing

  5. #5
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Hm. Being an animal lover myself.. it's important to remember priorities. I love mice.. but they can't live in the place I'm sleeping at, destroying electrical wiring that can catch a house on fire and such. it's just the way it is. Is a wire worth more than a life? apparently it is, at least to me.. In comparison, you seem like a saint.

    I just don't see that big of a deal with it. I'd probably feel worse for them if they weren't drastically overpopulated. It's hard for me to feel bad for pidgeons for the same reason.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Idealatious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Hm. Being an animal lover myself.. it's important to remember priorities. I love mice.. but they can't live in the place I'm sleeping at, destroying electrical wiring that can catch a house on fire and such. it's just the way it is. Is a wire worth more than a life? apparently it is, at least to me.. In comparison, you seem like a saint.

    I just don't see that big of a deal with it. I'd probably feel worse for them if they weren't drastically overpopulated. It's hard for me to feel bad for pidgeons for the same reason.
    Ha ha; I'm not a saint! I just am not sure if my reasons for killing/hurting/torturing (oh god agh) animals are good enough. I can't justify it in my mind. I mean, if I accidentally hit a pigeon/rat on the side of the road, I wouldn't feel too bad. But on purpose...?

    And also if there is an overpopulation of rats; it isn't the kind of rats bred for experimentation purposes. I would probably be okay setting up mouse traps; I think. This is different to me.

    Also, rats are more adorable than pigeons. Just look at its little face... <3

  7. #7
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I think there are a couple of issues here.

    One issue is "are you okay with the ethics of the situation." It sounds like you are. Note that ethically allowing for animal experiment does not mean that you see animals as worthless, or that you think that the unnecessary suffering of animals is fine.

    Another factor is whether your sympathetic/empathetic response to working with research animals will be more than you want to bear. You will likely see some suffering due to the nature of the operation being performed. Some people are better at putting their feelings aside than others. Doctors, for example, often have to learn to mute their emotional responses to their patients in order to detach enough to get the job done. Sometimes they have trouble re-connecting with their feelings once emotional detachment becomes habitual. Others doctors go into specialities that let them avoid or minimize interactions with (conscious) patients and avoid the whole issue that way.

    So, how to handle one's emotional reaction does seem like a reasonable concern. I'm not sure how you can know in advance whether it will be more than you wish to handle. I presume you can tough it out for this one class, even if it turns out you hate it. At least then you'll know, and can think about fine tuning your career path so that it doesn't make you emotionally miserable. You might also want to talk to the other people who have taken the class or the professor (assuming the professor seems like someone you can trust). Chances are that at least some others have had to deal with similar feelings themselves.

  8. #8
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Hi! First off! Did you draw that picture?

    Secondly, If you like rats and snakes and stuff like that, you are likely an inxp.

    Thirdly, it's against my personal morals, but I guess my morals are rather loose, because in this situation, I weigh my morals with a cost/benefit analysis. (does that mean my morals are not absolute? ) And I'd derive that the benefit of graduating with a degree outweighs the cost of breaking my moral code. So, yeah.

    But I am someone who doesn't even believe in killing spiders. I've done it. The other day I was burning slash piles and there were two dry logs that were obviously the winter homes on a TON of ants. I wish I hadn't done it, but we doused em with diesel and set them on fire, and I kept feeling intensely bad about it.....and wished I hadn't done it. What did it matter that there were two extra logs lying in the field? And why did I do it? I knew it wasn't right according my conscience, but I did it anyway. I think because I was in a hurry or something. Thinking about it makes me
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Idealatious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I think there are a couple of issues here.

    One issue is "are you okay with the ethics of the situation." It sounds like you are. Note that ethically allowing for animal experiment does not mean that you see animals as worthless, or that you think that the unnecessary suffering of animals is fine.

    Another factor is whether your sympathetic/empathetic response to working with research animals will be more than you want to bear. You will likely see some suffering due to the nature of the operation being performed. Some people are better at putting their feelings aside than others. Doctors, for example, often have to learn to mute their emotional responses to their patients in order to detach enough to get the job done. Sometimes they have trouble re-connecting with their feelings once emotional detachment becomes habitual. Others doctors go into specialities that let them avoid or minimize interactions with (conscious) patients and avoid the whole issue that way.

    So, how to handle one's emotional reaction does seem like a reasonable concern. I'm not sure how you can know in advance whether it will be more than you wish to handle. I presume you can tough it out for this one class, even if it turns out you hate it. At least then you'll know, and can think about fine tuning your career path so that it doesn't make you emotionally miserable. You might also want to talk to the other people who have taken the class or the professor (assuming the professor seems like someone you can trust). Chances are that at least some others have had to deal with similar feelings themselves.
    Hmm. That sounds like good advice... I'll think about it; Maybe I could talk to someone who's taken the class. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Hi! First off! Did you draw that picture?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Secondly, If you like rats and snakes and stuff like that, you are likely an inxp.
    You think?? It's possible. I've been recently reexamining this website: http://www.infjorinfp.com/ In most ways, I seem INFJ except for with Fe vs Fi... I don't relate that much to Fe. I need to do more research...

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Thirdly, it's against my personal morals, but I guess my morals are rather loose, because in this situation, I weigh my morals with a cost/benefit analysis. (does that mean my morals are not absolute? ) And I'd derive that the benefit of graduating with a degree outweighs the cost of breaking my moral code. So, yeah.

    But I am someone who doesn't even believe in killing spiders. I've done it. The other day I was burning slash piles and there were two dry logs that were obviously the winter homes on a TON of ants. I wish I hadn't done it, but we doused em with diesel and set them on fire, and I kept feeling intensely bad about it.....and wished I hadn't done it. What did it matter that there were two extra logs lying in the field? And why did I do it? I knew it wasn't right according my conscience, but I did it anyway. I think because I was in a hurry or something. Thinking about it makes me
    Ha ha; I wouldn't think that your morals are loose! I'm not sure if morals that aren't absolute are bad. And err. ...I don't remember what point I was going to make.

    But anyway, I technically don't have to take the class; I could probably find one to replace it. Ugh.

  10. #10
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idealatious View Post
    Hmm. That sounds like good advice... I'll think about it; Maybe I could talk to someone who's taken the class. Thanks.



    Yes.



    You think?? It's possible. I've been recently reexamining this website: http://www.infjorinfp.com/ In most ways, I seem INFJ except for with Fe vs Fi... I don't relate that much to Fe. I need to do more research...



    Ha ha; I wouldn't think that your morals are loose! I'm not sure if morals that aren't absolute are bad. And err. ...I don't remember what point I was going to make.

    But anyway, I technically don't have to take the class; I could probably find one to replace it. Ugh.
    Nice drawing.

    Yeah, that website is dec for infx noobs...
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