Typically, for two reasons: money and establishment. Vivisectors receive millions of dollars for such experiments as observing fat and fiber’s effect on hamsters’ cholesterol; studying mice to determine the role of selenium in breast cancer; and feeding animals copper because humans don’t get enough.


Vivisection is a multi-billion dollar industry, with many interconnected parties. Vivisectors receive hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, for experimenting on animals. Research grants are frequently awarded based on political and economic motives rather than scientific potential, which explains why clearly nonsensical experiments continue to receive funding

Recently the National Institute of Mental Health was cited for squandering valuable research money on wasteful experiments such as fish communication. Medical professionals are resolutely opposing the institute’s decision to spend millions of dollars on studies regarding the mental processes of animals and only 5.8% of the budget on clinically relevant, human-based research. Here are some examples of ludicrous experiments and their cost to taxpayers:

    Squirrel monkeys dosed with lithium, a potent drug used in the treatment of psychotics, lose their appetites; National Institute of Mental Health, $407,200.

    Old rhesus monkeys do not have the learning or memory abilities of young monkeys; Boston University & Yerkes Regional Primate Center, $1,225,000.

    Old cats do not sleep well in very hot or very cold rooms; Stanford School of Medicine, $150,000.

    Baby macaque monkeys separated from their mothers at birth may suffer emotional and behavioral problems later in life; University of Colorado, $262,400.

    Dogs with narcolepsy (a disease causing uncontrollable sleeping) spend more time drowsy and asleep than normal dogs; Stanford University School of Medicine, $847,000.

    Female rhesus monkeys sprayed with copulins (sex scents) have more sexual encounters than unsprayed monkeys; Emory University, $164,000.

Millions and millions of dollars are being channeled into animal experimentation with the publicized message that it helps people. Yet a closer look reveals not only the inaccuracy of the animal model, but also the duplicative and wasteful nature of these experiments. We already know human children suffer without a mother’s love, and that narcolepsy will make a dog drowsy. Why pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for scientists to conclude what is already known?

Manufacturers of equipment, food and services relevant to animal experimentation reap the financial benefits too. These are the companies that produce and sell:

    cages, racks, tanks, food dishes and water bottles;

    carts, dollies, and trays to store and move animals;

    restraining chairs and restraining devices to hold animals immobile;

    pain gauges and other measuring equipment;

    syringes, feeding tubes, and other delivery systems;

    transport, isolation and test chambers;

    self-piercing tags and tattoo machines;

    collar monitors;

    laboratory monitoring and alarm systems;

    lab planning services;

    cage and rack cleansers and service;

    the animals themselves: animal suppliers, animal breeders, and animal dealers.

They advertise and offer animals who have been surgically or otherwise modified, even “created.” Read Animals in Laboratories to learn more about them.

Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and animal care personnel who work with animals in laboratories make their living by riding on the coattails of vivisection. Of course, they can seek similar employment elsewhere.

These associates lobby for the continuation of animal experimentation; without it, they would financially suffer. Compounding this pressure, there is a lack of monetary support for the development and implementation of non-animal research. Within the industry, there is a stronger acceptance of animal-based tests, regardless of the superiority of available replacements. This bias makes it too easy for a researcher to receive grant money for an animal experiment, and unfairly difficult to impossible at times to receive money for an animal-free experiment.


A study has found 75% of Americans are opposed to testing our personal care and household products on animals. Then why does product testing on animals continue? Because the companies that manufacture personal care and household products have convinced consumers that it is necessary for our safety. Yet their only aim is to avoid responsibility for any damage done by their products. With industry-accepted animal data deeming a product safe, the company is customarily not held responsible if the product then harms people.

Animal laboratories are set up to cage, restrain, and experiment on animals. This requires a lot of equipment, which means a lot of money has already been spent. It may seem a significant undertaking to re-establish the laboratory as a non-animal testing facility; who these days wants to spend money? Yet the truth is that by utilizing non-animal testing methods, money will in fact be saved. Gone are the expenses for the animals themselves, their cages, food and water bottles, the restraining equipment and testing tools. By embracing change and adopting non-animal tests, less money is spent, and the tests will finally be legitimate.

Vivisection has not proven to be valid or useful, but its long history is enough to convince some that it is legitimate. Insurance companies and lawyers fall into this category. They typically rely on animal data to assess and ensure human safety, assuming such an old tradition must be well-founded. Their ignorance and fear of potential liability lead them to overwhelmingly accept animal data over replacement techniques.

This long history also endows vivisectors with a false sense of relevance and importance in their profession. With blind acceptance of such an enduring tradition, they see no need to question the value of their test methods. But, just because vivisection has been conducted for centuries does not indicate its legitimacy or usefulness. Remember, child abuse and slavery were also once accepted.

Vivisectors’ resistance to questioning their line of work can stem from a huge ego to an honest belief in doing good. Some continue using animals because they’ve already committed to it, and to change tactics would be admitting defeat or wrongdoing.

Some vivisectors claim to love animals, undoubtedly a ruse to deny the suffering they are causing them. Some are just ignorant, some too lazy to learn new techniques, some too comfortable with their established routines. Others continue testing on animals because they don’t want to concede to the animal rights’ movement.

So for these feeble reasons, cruel and ridiculous experiments continue to be performed on animals. Vivisection has not proven to be relevant or reliable. It persists because of custom.

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,