Skepticism and Science: Responsibilities of the Comparative Nutritionist


Ullrey DE. 1995. Skepticism and science: responsibilities of the comparative nutritionist. In Proceedings of the First Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Scarborough, OT.


Comparative nutritionists are asked to formulate diets for over 3,000 species of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Little research has been conducted to provide an information base for this task, and both popular and scientific publications contain factual errors and irrational concepts that confuse the user. When data are suspect and theories don’t make sense, they should be viewed skeptically. Untruths should not be perpetuated by uncritical repetition, and unsubstantiated information should be replaced as promptly as possible through controlled scientific study. Progress in this field can best be made through the cooperative efforts of qualified individuals. The ultimate personal reward should be the health and welfare of the animals we propose to feed.

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