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Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals Paperback – July 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Human Cost of Experiments on Animals
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; Revised ed. edition (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826414028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826414021
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,127,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book stands virtually alone as a well-reasoned defense against vivisection (a.k.a. animal research). The authors make no appeals to emotion. They do not deny that animal research is sometimes cruel. However, compassion and cruelty have nothing to do with their argument.
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!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a FIRST. Backed by facts, not perpetuated by myth, Dr. Greek, et al have finally addressed a subject that has been concealed for too long. His "Just show me the data" approach has illuminated (not favorably) many research misdirections. Medical science has been hindered because of ignorance and greed. Money that could have gone to meaningful research has lined the pockets of pseudo-scientists. I am a medical doctor who was formerly involved in research, and I know that what Dr. Greek says is true. Progress can only be made through awareness, and now it is here. If you want to keep your head in the sand and believe the lies and subterfuge surrounding medical research, do NOT read this book. The first book I have read non-stop since Hunt for Red October. A MUST!
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Format: Hardcover
Finally, voices against animal experimentation that the medical establishment will not successfully derogate! In this book, scientists and science-minded readers will find exhaustive proof that research and testing that uses animals is not only cruel, but also senseless and dangerous. It's high time someone uncovered how often funds allocated to useless animal-modeled research keep people sick, and how often animal-modeled data make people suffer and even die. Written by a doctor and a veterinarian, Sacred Cows and Golden Geese addresses the topic comprehensively, intelligently, and in a style most readers will appreciate. The Greeks' book should upend misinformation perpetrated by the many, many organizations and businesses that profit from this wholly unscientific convention. As the book explains, delirium over dollars perpetuates animal experimentation. The Greeks write that they regularly debate animal experimenters and animal experimentation lobbyists. Maybe this book will put one of those debates on national television so the public can appreciate the scope of danger and deception animal experimentation exposes us to. I look forward to the Greeks' next book, which they say will cover even more medical disciplines. Everyone should read Sacred Cows and Golden Geese.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not the easiest read, but it does methodically reveal both the faulty logic in play as well as the very powerful economic motives that really drive medical research. I recommend this to anyone considering donating money to any charity or organization for the purposes of "finding a cure" for any disease. Our tax dollars are mostly funding useless ego-enhancing science projects for which many animals are being tortured and killed. Whether you care about animal suffering or care more about where your tax dollars go, you will find reason to question the status quo in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I am conservative in my politics but like to approach life with an open mind. I never questioned the need to use animals in research until I stumbled across this enlightening book! The Greeks explain, in easily digestable terms, how you need not care about animals to be disgusted with animal testing. I'm not convinced easily and I checked into many of their references- every one checked out! My head is still spinning from the implications of this book- but reading is believing!
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Format: Hardcover
The authors uncover a troubling reality: that truly effective methods of medical research - such as autopsies, epidemiological studies, and clinical observation - don't pay. Whereas experimenting on animals generates not only lots of useless data, but lots and lots of money. The book is extremely readable and will take its place among other classic exposés which have blown the lid off of institutionalized deceit. Armed with this information, the American public can - and must - rightfully demand reform.
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