- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; Ex-library edition (July 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0826412262
- ISBN-13: 978-0826412263
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,803,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals Ex-library Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
In this compelling report, anesthesiologist Ray Greek and veterinarian Jean Swingle Greek argue against the use of animals in medical experiments. Although the Greeks believe that animal experiments are immoral and wasteful, they avoid the philosophical arguments used by most animal rights activists to generate sympathy for animals. Instead, they marshal a devastating amount of scientific evidence about the human consequences of animal-based medical research. Because of important differences in animal and human physiology, they contend, animals often have a wildly different response to diseases and medications than do humans--according to the authors, every year roughly 100,000 Americans die of adverse reactions to drugs that proved, in animals, to be perfectly safe. Why then do we continue to support widespread animal testing? They pack their well-written, shocking expos? with horror stories--about the unnecessary expense of animal experiments; about medications that, though animal tests suggested they were safe, caused liver and heart failure, hemorrhages and death in humans; and about the potentially life-saving drugs that have been kept off the market for humans because they cause harmful side effects in animals. Throughout, the authors make a strong case for the adoption of nonanimal research alternatives such as clinical observation, in vitro and epidemiological studies, diagnostic imaging of patients, mandatory postmarketing drug surveillance, autopsies, computer modeling and larger, longer clinical trials. Their powerful, courageous appeal is essential reading for concerned citizens and open-minded physicians, veterinarians and scientists. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Every day we use products, take medications, and benefit from medical procedures that have all been tested on animals. If we think about it at all, we assume that the testing has made the products and procedures safe for human use. The authors, both of whom are medical professionals who have performed experiments on animals, assert that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, they contend that the animal model has harmed and even killed people. Yet animal testing is an institution required by the FDA and relied upon by pharmaceutical companies as they attempt to avoid malpractice litigation. Indeed, the medical research establishment, including higher education, depends upon research dollars to keep this industry operable. Sacred Cows and Golden Geese covers the history of animal experimentation, legislation that promulgates it, the real cost to humans, and alternatives. It is a well-written, if disturbing, book that should serve to awaken us from complacency.
-Peggie Partello, Keene State Coll. Lib., N.H.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It is very fascinating and it will inspire (to action)!!
Greek and Greek-a medical doctor/ veterinary team-argue that animal research hurts people. They point out the countless ways in which animals differ from humans. Veterinarians know that, although the same drugs are used in multiple species, these drugs behave differently and achieve different results in different kinds of animals. Mammals are alike only on the level of gross anatomy. Biochemically, even rats and mice differ enormously, to say nothing of humans and mice.
Tracing the history of western medicine, Greek and Greek show how animal models for disease became part of the expected protocol. They show how these models have hindered doctors and scientists far more than they have helped. They point out that nearly all major breakthroughs in medicine have been initiated not by study in animal models, but by autopsy and clinical studies. Careful observation of human beings by doctors and caretakers has, time and again, led to medical breakthroughs which are later "confirmed" or "substantiated" by animals research. The vivisectionists then claim the laurels for these discoveries when the animals were, in fact, superfluous. Greek and Greek also point out the tremendous harm that animal models have caused. Such models lead to a sense of false confidence that drugs will not be harmful or that the risk is low. In fact, the recall rate for drugs is 50%. Fifty percent have adverse, unexpected side affects after they are loosed on a population that has trusted in animal models. 50% is the toss of a coin! Millions upon millions of dollars are poured into animal tests yearly.
In addition, animal models have slowed the recall of harmful drugs. Thalidomide is one of many examples. This drug causes hideous birth defects in humans, but no birth defects in rats, mice, most rabbits, guinea pigs, and other animals. Doctors realized that the drug was causing birth defects and warned the company, but thalidomide could not be recalled until an animal model was found in which the drug caused birth defects! So thalidomide remained on the market, causing children to be born with flippers, until an obscure species of rabbit was found who also produced deformed kits when given the drug. Only then could thalidomide be recalled!
Greek and Greek show how the idea of the animal model is based on greed and bureaucracy, not good science. They explain that, while scientists of the past were primarily wealthy people doing a hobby they enjoyed, today's scientists are required to continually produce statistically significant results in order to keep their jobs. Just to graduate with a PhD requires a candidate to perform meaningful research. Under these conditions, the temptation to reach for something quick, easy, and difficult-to-disprove are enormous. Rats and mice fit the bill. They breed rapidly, are easy to house, and it takes a long time to show that the result of research in rats does not actually have any useful application for human beings. Clinical students in human beings, on the other hand, can take decades. In addition, human beings are far less corporative than rats, and there are limits to what you can legally do to them and what they will allow you to do. The catch, of course, is that clinical studies in human beings actually produce useful results, whereas animal models very often lead nowhere. Yet university professors anxious to keep their jobs and young students desperate to get their degrees continue to reach again and again for cheap and easy research models. In addition, huge companies manufacture expensive equipment for miniature surgeries on rats, dogs, cats, birds, mice, monkeys, goats, guinea pigs, rats, and all manner of other beasts. These creatures require all manner of housing, some of it vary expensive, and human-type surgeries on them require very specialized and expensive instruments. Animal models are a multimillion dollar industry.
With today's technology, even many clinical studies could be circumvented by using invetro methods. Human cells can be cultivated on a Petri dish or in a test tube and then exposed to various drugs. There is no reason to keep using the clumsy and inaccurate barometer of four-legged creatures.
Greek and Greek fill much of their book with one example after another. Their research is superb. I began the book as a skeptic and ended it as a believer. I have a degree in biology, and I could find nothing wrong with their research. I passed the book on to one of my college biology professors. He was impressed and decided to start including the material in his ethics course.
Whether you are a member of the medical community or merely a consumer, I strongly recommend this book. Whether you agree with all of the Greeks' conclusions or not, they certainly make some valid points and have taken pains with their research. Read the book.
Their premise is that all medical research and testing that utilizes animals is totally useless as applied to humans, is immoral as it mistreats the animals, and wastes incredible sums of taxpayer funds that could be used for "real" research.
Since I have neither a medical nor scientific background I am not qualified to evaluate claims made by the Greeks as to the inappropriateness of specific tests or procedures. I will leave the scientific exposure of their statements and conclusions to those qualified in these fields. It is my understanding that just such a scholarly rebuttal is currently in the works.
I am, however, reasonably qualified, as are many millions of readers, in recognizing a "con" wherein we are supposed to believe that there is a huge conspiracy consisting of many thousands of professionals, doctors, scientists, graduate students and suppliers to the research industry, our neighbors, friends and relatives, that is lying to us about the effectiveness of animal research just to make a quick buck.
If we follow the principle of "Occam's Razor", paraphrased as "All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one", it is far more likely that the spinning of the facts here for a quick buck is by the authors.
It does not appeal to our emotions (no horrifying pictures, nor stories of the suffering inflicted on animals) but rationally clarifies and exposes the uselessness of experiments on animals (unless we are trying to find a cure for cancer for rats).
I would summarize their concept thus: "Experimenting on animals to understand humans is like having race car technicians study bicycles to understand race cars."