Sometimes people wonder how I can be a vegetarian and work in the pharmaceutical industry. After all, pharmaceutical companies do testing on animals. Well, first of all, let me tell you - if the government didn't require animal testing in order to bring products to market, there'd be a lot less of it. But actually, I support animal testing of pharmaceutical products. The reason? - I'm a part of nature and, as such, I am willing to do what I need to in order to protect myself, my family, and my belongings.
Now, as a (relatively) rational part of nature, I recognize that I do not need to always destroy any bit of nature I encounter. The caterpillar munching a few leaves on a plant need not be destroyed. And the rabbits in my yard can be kept away from fragile plants with non-lethal means. But if a bear attacks me in the woods, I will fight back - and with lethal force, if I can muster it. Similarly, if I'm trapped for weeks in a log cabin provisioned only with Spam, I will eat it.
I see animal testing of products in the same light. Before I take a drug, I want its safety thoroughly tested. And before it can be tested on people, testing it on animals seems entirely appropriate. I'm certainly willing to let beagles (monkeys, rats, mice, etc.) bear the brunt of an unexpectedly toxic drug, rather than have humans bear it.
So, call me a pragmatic vegetarian (or, hell, call me a hypocrite if you must). I'm not going to make the critters of the world die so that I can get still fatter or have more fashionable clothing. But I'm also not going to let myself (or my loved ones) suffer or die when the death or discomfort of an animal could prevent it.