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Table 2 Results for questions about “Characteristics of non-human-animals arguments” to morally justify animal research

From: The ethics of animal research: a survey of the public and scientists in North America

Argument (A)/Counterargument (CA)
  Group Is this a good enough reason to justify using animals in medical research? Do any of the following responses make the argument much less convincing? Of those convinced: proportion who judged the counterargument as persuasive.
Yes No Yes No
A1. Animals harm other animals.
  Public 153/1237 (12 %) 1084/1237 (88 %)    
Med School 7/169 (4 %) 162/169 (96 %)    
CA: It is unclear why we should take this (we may harm animals) as moral advice from animals, but not take other moral advice from animals (for example, animals rape and kill members of their own species would mean we may rape and kill humans). In other words, animals are not qualified to give moral advice.a
  Public    655/1227 (53 %) 572/1227 (47 %) 80/148 (54 %)
Med School    114/168 (68 %) 54/168 (32 %) 2/7 (29 %)
A2: Animals cannot really feel anything. They are simply living machines.
  Public 84/1239 (7 %) 1155/1239 (93 %)    
Med School 9/168 (5 %) 159/168 (95 %)    
CA: This would mean that a pet cat or dog is simply a living machine, without any feelings like happiness, sadness, fear or pain.a
  Public    574/1237 (46 %) 663/1237 (54 %) 60/83 (72 %)
Med School    118/167 (71 %) 49/167 (29 %) 6/9 (67 %)
A3: Animals are property.
  Public 179/1215 (15 %) 1036/1215 (85 %)    
Med School 9/161 (6 %) 152/161 (94 %)    
CA: Since animals can desire things, intentionally act to fulfill those desires, and can understand (even dimly) that it is me that wants something and is trying to get it, they are not simply property.
  Public    759/1212 (63 %) 453/1212 (37 %) 84/176 (48 %)
Med School    110/160 (69 %) 50/160 (31 %) 2/9 (33 %)
  1. aStatistically significant difference between public and medical students (p < 0.05 after Bonferroni correction). Clinically significant difference between public and medical students (statistically significant, and a clear majority of at least 60 % on opposite sides of the yes/no response option): none