Research Article| Volume 10, ISSUE 2, P49-52, June 1994

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The Increasing Role of Animals in Support of Modern Lifestyles1

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      Animals will contribute more diversity of support and services to our future lifestyles than ever, while continuing to make the contributions we recognize at present. New and emerging animal contributions to society include biomonitoring of the environment, serving as bioreactors to produce unique proteins, assisting in bioremediation and recycling, supporting biomedical research, providing therapy for disadvantaged individuals, and aiding in maintenance of biodiversity. Paramount in allowing these contributions to be achieved is adequate funding at all levels of education and particularly funds for essential forms of creative animal research. This research and education process must encompass a holistic perspective to include technological development, economic enhancement, animal wellbeing, environmental compatibility, and the physical and mental health of society. The economic impact of research with livestock represents one of the most important investments for society, with a documented annual return of 47%. Although animal scientists and those industries closely associated with domestic animal activities consider these contributions to be obvious, we must be prepared to discuss these issues across society, at the political, regulatory, and social levels, to educate the primary benefactors: the general public.

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