Biomedical research at Yale University is a costly endeavor and not simply in financial terms (“Medical School sees spike in NIH grants” Sept. 4). More than 150,000 animals — from fish to mice to monkeys — are confined throughout the city of New Haven in Yale’s laboratories. The physical torment that these animals are forced to endure in painful experiments is coupled with profound psychological trauma from being subjected to lives of deprivation, loneliness and fear in barren and often socially isolated conditions.

Through scientific study we have learned so much about both the world we inhabit and the animals we share it with. It is unfortunate, if not shameful, that despite the overwhelming scientific evidence indicating that animals suffer in ways similar to humans, those among us who we credit with being the most intelligent continue to defy science and ethics by abusing animals to fulfill even trivial curiosities in the laboratory. It is time we act on the scientific knowledge that we already firmly possess. Non-human animals have lives of their own, and they deserve to be treated with respect.

Ian Smith
Sept. 8
The writer is a research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.