Koko and ELISA, histories of animal testing practices and their alternatives ENG


The stories of Koko and ELISA: posthumanist* histories of animal testing & alternatives practices in the Netherlands.
Humans have all sorts of relations with other animals. From the dog that we see as a member of our family to the male chicks in the egg industries, killed when they are just one day old and whose existence many humans are not even aware of. During the 20th century, human/nonhuman animal relations have become increasingly paradoxical: on the one hand, we see (certain) animals more and more as individuals with whom we have an emotional connection, on the other hand, we have increasingly objectified animals in large scale food production (i.e. factory farming). One of the ways humans use other animals is in animal testing practices. Although the first tests on animals were already conducted in classical antiquity, they did not become standard practice in biomedical research until the 19th century. Animal testing really took of and became the golden standard in many research areas after WWII. Yet recently, the Dutch government announced that it wants to be world leader in innovative animal-free research methods by 2025. In addition, there seems to be consensus that the ultimate goal is to phase out all animal testing. So what changed between 1950 and today? In this lecture I will introduce you to Koko and ELISA and tell their stories to help explain changes in animal testing practices. I also ask the question why virtually everyone accepts the notion that animal testing should only be allowed if no alternatives are available as logical.
Because if this is so logical, then why do most people not find it logical that using animals for nutrition should only be allowed if no alternatives are available?

*Posthumanism means for me that there is no pre-existing human/animal dichotomy, but that that is a boundary (re)produced and challenged in practices such as animal testing.

About me: I am a PhD candidate at Utrecht University where I research histories of animal testing and alternatives in the Netherlands (1950-2016) using a posthumanist performative approach. Website: http://annevanveen.com

Speaking slot

Saturday, 11/03/17, 14:00 o┬┤clock
Blue room


Anne van Veen