Scientific progress has depended greatly on animal test subjects—from the development of many medicines to determining if we could survive a launch into space (the first astronaut was the dog Laika, sent up by the USSR in 1957).
We’ve even directed the evolution of many animals to better suit our needs, from pocket poodles to farm cows to lab rats.
In this modern day, with the impact raising livestock and eating meat has on the environment, as well as a growing understanding of the intellectual and emotional capacity of animals, many people are rethinking our traditional relationship with all creatures great and small. Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, argues that, thanks to new techniques, scientific discoveries still can be made “without the patter of little feet”.
Science, pop culture & comedy collide on StarTalk w/ astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-hosts, celebrities & scientists.