In particular, mammals are essential to researchers because they are the closest to us in evolutionary terms.
More than 5 billion animals are killed in the United States each year as a source of food.
Animals are used for transportation, for sport, for recreation, and for companionship.
As with inbred mice, members of some animal species are genetically identical, enabling researchers to compare different procedures on identical animals.
Some animals have biological similarities to humans that make them particularly good models for specific diseases, such as rabbits for atherosclerosis or monkeys for polio.
About 85 percent of these animals are rats and mice that have been bred for research.
In fiscal year 1988, about 142,000 dogs and 52,000 cats were used in experimentation, with 40,000 to 50,000 of those dogs being bred specifically for research and the others being acquired from pounds.Far fewer animals are used in research than are used for other purposes.An estimated 17 to 22 million vertebrate animals are used each year in research, education, and testing—less than 1 percent of the number killed for food.Its members aim to localize, downsize, and decentralize the North American food system in order to usher consumers “beyond the barcode” and into a world of wholesome whole food.The movement’s reformist concerns are more structural than dietary.Go for it—but just make sure they come from a nonindustrial, local, and humane farm. Dietary restriction is a phrase generally absent from its lexicon. Off-grid food freedom should be exercised at the Saturday farmers market or by a slow-food chef rather than in the sterile aisles of a fluorescent-lit Walmart Supercenter.This message is reiterated at every farmers market in the country: eat all the animals you want—and every part!His animals live in an impossibly bucolic setting and “as close to natural as possible.” They are, he writes, so piggy that they are Plato’s pig, “the ideal form of the pig.” Comis’s pastures, in Schoharie, New York, are playgrounds of porcine fun: “they root, they lounge, they narf, they eat, they forage, they sleep, they wallow, they bask, they run, they play.” And when the fateful day of deliverance arrives, “they die unconsciously, without pain or suffering.” Comis’s patrons—educated eaters with an interest in humanely harvested meat—are understandably eager to fill their forks with Comis’s pork.To them, Comis represents a new breed of agrarian maverick intent on bucking an agricultural-industrial system so bloated that a single company—Smithfield Foods—produces six billion pounds of pork a year.Human beings use animals for a wide variety of purposes, including research.The approximately 260 million people in the United States keep about 110 million dogs and cats as pets.