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What Animals Want: Expertise and Advocacy in Laboratory Animal Welfare Policy

Available in print and e-book edition.

Larry Carbone, a veterinarian who is in charge of the lab animal welfare assurance program at a major research university, presents this scholarly history of animal rights. Biomedical researchers, and the less fanatical among the animal rights activists will find this book reasonable, humane,
and novel in its perspective. It brings a novel, sociological perspective to an area that has been addressed largely from a philosophical perspective, or from the entrenched positions of highly committed advocates of a particular position in the debate.


"In early chapters of What Animals Want, he describes the unending philosophical debates over animal care and use, while in the more interesting later chapters he documents the jostling that determined the rather limited turf of the lab animal vet. Laboratories first hired veterinarians in the 1930s, he explains, to assuage public concern over animal care and indeed restricted their duties to keeping animals healthy until needed. With the passage of the Animal Welfare Act in 1966, and its several amendments, veterinarians came to play a more central role. Today they run animal facilities, answer to federal inspectors (most of whom are themselves veterinarians), and advise on anesthesia and other aspects of research.
Madhusree Mukerjee
Scientific American
"[The book] is the result of extensive research by the author, but this is no dry, academic treatment: with his decades of experience as a laboratory animal veterinarian, Larry Carbone knows at first hand what he's talking about. ...I would recommend the book to anyone who chooses to consider the responsibility we bear, as a society, for the millions of animals who, for our benefit, live and die in research establishments worldwide."
Animal Welfare
"Carbone's excellent new book, What Animals Want, is the fruit of extensive research he conducted to discover what determines how we view laboratory animals and why policies concerning their care have developed as they have."
American Scientist
"What Animals Want is an outstanding contribution the field of animal welfare. Clearly written and engaging, it has something to offer both a general audience and those who are intimately involved in the issues under discussion-- animal protectionists, veterinarians and scientists, for whom it is a 'must read.' It is written by a realistic, knowledgable individual who daily weighs the cost and benefits of animal research"
American Scientist
This book is written by a laboratory animal vet who is also a trained historian. Because he has worked extensively with animals, he has a better idea than most about which animal welfare considerations should be paramount for lab animals. I'm not sure we can really know "what animals want," but the strength of this book is that it overcomes the polarity of the animal protection debate and provides a reasoned assessment that gets us back to the important thing: the needs of the animals, in the context in which they are living today.
Susan D.
Goodreads Review

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