I've worked in a lab that writes papers of that nature and I quit one day after seeing a 'sacrifice' via guillotine. I prefer to work with bacteria.
Bacteria can often be quite beautiful, with symmetry of form and color that seems like it must be artificial - but of course, it isn't. That is a plus, for sure: I have a much greater appreciation for smaller scale life than I did previous to this job.The sacrifices though... You know, it's interesting, that word. It has a sort of religious context, almost inviting pagan imagery. For that reason, one journal I work on actually has us go through and change every use of "sacrifice" to "euthanized". White washing, essentially.
Man...I agree. I've read a handful of cancer books and books about biology lately, and it seems they all derive their evidence by subjecting mice, specifically, to really awful tortures. There could be so much more said about this...but ultimately, it just sucks.