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The Ethical Case against Animal Experiments

A bold challenge to human cruelty and indifference

At present, human beings worldwide are using an estimated 115.3 million animals in experiments—a normalization of the unthinkable on an immense scale. In terms of harm, pain, suffering, and death, animal experiments constitute one of the major moral issues of our time. Given today’s deeper understanding of animal sentience, the contributors to this volume argue that we must afford animals a special moral consideration that precludes their use in experiments.

The Ethical Case against Animal Experiments begins with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics's groundbreaking and comprehensive ethical critique of the practice of animal experiments. A second section offers original writings that engage with, and elaborate on, aspects of the Oxford Centre report. The essayists explore historical, philosophical, and personal perspectives that range from animal experiments in classical times to the place of necessity in animal research to one researcher's painful journey from researcher to opponent.

A devastating look at a contemporary moral crisis, The Ethical Case against Animal Experiments melds logic and compassion to mount a powerful challenge to human cruelty.

"At a time when the necessity for animal experimentation has been called more and more into doubt, the Linzeys show how deep-seated research paradigms, institutional inertia, and money from the biomedical industry can persuade an esteemed university like Oxford to press on with practices that to any dispassionate observer must seem barbaric. Their analysis is backed up by an impressive set of essays by philosophers, lawyers, and scientists."--J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Laureate for Literature

"Essential reading. A comprehensive ethical analysis of animal experiments. Bound to become a classic."--Sir David Madden, Senior Member, St Antony's College, Oxford


Andrew Linzey is the director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. He has written or edited twenty books, including Animal Theology and The Global Guide to Animal Protection. Clair Linzey is the deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and associate editor of the Journal of Animal Ethics.

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