I've spoken to a lot of wonderfully inspiring people for the 'behind the scenes of creativity' podcast that I've been making
Consent is as simple as saying yes or no. It doesn't matter if you are single, because that doesn't mean yes. It doesn't matter if you accept a drink, because that doesn't mean yes. It doesn't matter if you smile at someone, because that doesn't mean yes.
Animals are potentially suffering and it is right to acknowledge that in full, but they are also not suffering for no reason. Granted, they are likely suffering less than the general public already believe them to be.
We want to see a debate framed in terms of what is happening now, not whether the use of animals led to a scientific discovery or progress eighty or a hundred years ago. Science, technology, and concern for animals have all evolved significantly since then, and the debate must too. Why is a specific animal 'model' or study thought relevant or valid now?
Of course I'm not claiming animals never suffer in labs - that's why such research is licensed. My point is merely that it's likely that most people have a worse perception about what goes on than is the case in reality.
Given our expanding understanding of animals' needs and their capacity to experience suffering, it is clear that some of the current provisions for animals are not the highest standards that could be possible.
The question many organisations have to ask themselves is - are they ready to hack the future and create it?
One of the perks of being an MP is access to a wonderful private library - the House of Commons Library. I know that MPs can ask for the Library to buy books they are interested in reading. So, curious to know which books MPs have been asking us, as taxpayers, to buy for them, I lodged a Freedom of Information Act request.