Before you go off grumbling about this article simply being another rant from some crazy vegan, allow me to shed some light on the subject and perhaps open your eyes to the unnecessary and cruel world of animal testing...
We test on animals for everything, from the medical cures we deem "necessary" to the ingredients in beauty products. The torturing of animals for our supposed benefit is endless. Most people will argue that animal testing saves lives and that without it we would live in a world with rampid disease and illness. But ninety-four percent of animal testing is done to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products, leaving only 6% for medical research. The reality is this; Testing on Animals is utterly pointless and unnecessary. Animal testing is a waste of our tax-dollars, medical research, and unneeded suffering and deaths of innocent animals. And it is a fact that most medical researchers and doctors simply cannot disagree with.
There is possibly nothing more vain than the testing of animals for cosmetics (except perhaps the fur industry). It is an act of cruelty for what? So your eyelashes can be miles long? So that preservative in your moisturizer can be used over something natural? My thoughts are that if your cosmetics need to be tested on animals before human use, then perhaps it is time to reconsider whether you really want to slather up that junk on your skin every day anyway.
Perhaps part of the misconception is the thinking that those animals are just sat there with their lashes swiped with mascara or their fur washed with shampoo. No, that would be a huge misconception. Those animals are strapped down, poisoned, burned, and blinded.
A common eye irritancy test is the Draize Test, done on rabbits in which their heads are locked in stocks so they can't move, their eyelids are clipped (preventing them from being able to blink), and chemicals are poured into their eyes. These poor rabits are left to suffer for Weeks through the burning and irritation of these chemicals. They bleed, get ulcers, and their eyes are destroyed. Some even break their necks while trying to escape their stocks.
Whole Body, Short-term Toxicity, Skin Penetration, Skin Irritancy, Eye irritancy, Skin Sensitization, Phototoxicity & Photosensitisation, Mutagenicity, Carcinogenicity, Reproductive Toxicity, Teratogenicity and Finished Product Testing are all common tests performed on animals. And you can imagine that these are all done in horribly inhumane manners and without pain-killers.
The sad part is that there are so many alternatives to test these chemicals than using animals as test subjects. Manufacturers can now drop a chemical onto a donated human cornea instead of burning away the cornea of a rabbit's eye. Human skin cultures can be grown and ordered for irritancy testing. And, again, if an ingredient in your cosmetics needs to be that extensively tested, you probably shouldn't be putting it on your skin. What these tests really serve is beyond me, considering the majority of beauty products on the market contain harmful carcinogens, cause respiratory problems, and are known-irritants anyway. There is also already enough existing safety data, and the in vitro alternative testing option, that make animal testing for cosmetics completely unnecessary.
Most people don't like the idea of testing on animals for cosmetics, but almost everyone will insist upon the importance of animal experimentation for medical research. After all, finding a cure for HIV or cancer are pretty important causes.
It would be nice to live in a world where diseases could be cured and our lives could be healthier, where things like cancer and parkinsons and AIDS were no longer a worry. Sadly, animal testing is not the road to that magical world. In fact, animals have proven to be horrible test subjects all together. And you may be surprised (I know I was) and horrified (I most definitely was) that much of this supposed "medical testing" is far from productive, helpful, or even evidently useful or medically relevant. In fact, most of it is downright pointless and ridiculous. And that's your tax dollars, I may add, that go towards these baffling and pointless tests.
For instance, did you know that via the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you paid for an experiment that discovered that mice don't need to be electrocuted to run on a wheel? Mhmm, you heard it, that received federal funding. For real.
Okay, so I'll start by pointing out that the animals that we test on are NOT Humans (alarming I know), but this is an important factor to be considered when their DNA is not the same as ours. This makes them terrible test subjects as their bodies are so different than ours that it is simply not an accurate or effective way to test how a drug or disease will affect our human bodies. The results can never be trusted definitively.
Even Chimpanzees, whose DNA is ninety-eight percent similar to ours, are not always reliable. That two percent can be a significant difference in how a disease progresses through their bodies. For example, in a chimp's body, HIV doesn't progress to AIDS like it does in humans.
There are so many other examples of the inadequacy of testing on animals versus the effects on humans. Like how an equal dose of a particular pesticide can be high enough to kill an entire human family but be perfectly safe for monkeys. Or that sheep love arsenic; penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits; aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and monkeys; morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats, and horses. The contraceptive pill causes blood clots in humans but has the opposite effect in dogs. Mice don't get the same types of cancer as humans do, yet they are still used for cancer research. And this is really just scratching the surface.
Taking a healthy being from a different species, giving them some condition that they would not normally ever contract, keeping them in an unnatrual and distressful environment and trying to use the results of such a study for human beings is just absurd. Even the simple notion of taking a human being and putting them in a distressful environment totally changes the results of a study, so how is experimenting on extremely psychologically distressed animals not going to invalidate the results of such a test?
Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals. Over 98% never are. At least 50 drugs on the market cause cancer in lab animals. They are allowed because it is admitted that animal tests are not relevant.
The other sad factor is that all this research is often not for noble causes like it should be. People may be sad to hear about some of these tests done with the money they are generously donating to find a cure for some illness that touches someone close to them. An example of this is the maternal deprivation tests done on baby chimps; done in the name of AIDS research! The studies are done to show the importance of maternal attachment, in which researchers rip baby chimps away from their mothers and study them while they are in isolation. These baby chimps are sometimes given a stuffed "mom" to act as a surrogate in place of their real moms. The babies are so traumatized that they have been seen clinging to these surrogate "moms" even if the "mom" stabbed them with spikes. This is all done just to prove that maternal figures are important. You know, because we can't just blatantly see the importance of maternal attachment ourselves, by watching humans in real life. No, we have to do studies to explain why and how and to what degree.
More examples of ridiculous Experiments done on Animals that are utterly pointless:
Again, I will remind you that most of these tests are done in the name of cancer research, to find a cure for AIDS, or some other illness. These are Your tax dollars, donations, and other government funding at work.
The Inhumane nature of Animal Testing:
People often just don't want to hear what is going on in the world of Animals, including Animal Testing. It is not surprising to most the unfortunate and inhumane manner in which these experiments are performed. However, I am here to ellaborate regardless.
These animals are kept in tiny cages unsuitable for wild creatures where they are burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, forcibly restrained, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged for the sake of science and the "benefit of humankind." No experiment is prohibited and the animals litterally have no rights, no matter how painful or trivial the experiment may be. And, remember, pain-killers are not required either.
Many of these animals are bred specifically for animal experimentation (much in the same manner as factory farming). Many more of these test-subjects are taken from animals shelters, meaning those cats and dogs that were abandoned on the streets.
Once the experiments end, and the animals have served their purpose in the lab, their bodies are so damaged, tainted and impure and can't be used for further experimentation so are therefore killed. There is no happy ending. And sometimes animals used in lab experiments aren't intentionally killed, such as the thirty monkeys that died in a Nevada lab because an employee left the heater on. Such instances are not rare either since animals have no rights and the penalties for such inhumanity and negligence is really just a tap on the wrist at best.
Worldwide, at least 22 animals die every second in labs. In the UK one animal dies every five seconds.
There is no Need for Animal Testing and it is utterly and completely Pointless...
Even when we do experiment on animals, human tests still need to be done regardless.
The FDA has noted that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials. And as for that small percentage that do get approved for human use, half will be relabeled because of side effects that were not identified in animal tests.
If testing on animals was actually reliable and accurate then prescription drugs would not be the 4th biggest cause of death in the USA.
The simple reality remains that most experiments done on animals are not relevant to human health. They do not contribute meaningfully to medical advances. In fact, many of these experiments are undertaken out of pure curiosity and don't even pretend to hold promise for curing illnesses. The only reason people are under the strong misconception that animal testing is necessary and actually helps humans is because there are strong dollars going towards the media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups to have you believe animal experiments lead to new cures and have contributed to past medical advances. This misconception has been strongly debunked even within high-esteemed medical groups.
At the end of the day, there shouldn't be any need for testing to be done to begin with. There are tons of natural herbs, foods, and products that are already known to help our bodies and contribute to good health. Eating healthily, taking care of our bodies, not subjecting ourselves to nuclear fallout, radioactive materials, pesticides, and other pollution, toxins, and chemicals, would litterally end many of today's health problems. This herb will help you, but no, let's try if this hexaphtalatemiaijaijija-unpronounceable chemical will help instead. What, it causes health problems? Well let's toss it onto the market anyways.
There is simply no actual Need for subjecting animals to horrible experimentation. We could safely end animal testing altogether without sacrificing or changing any of today's supposed medical advances. There already exist so many alternative methods for studying diseases and testing products, and that are actually relevant to human health and the human body. At least 450 methods exist with which we can replace animal experiments. These effective, affordable, and humane methods include things like cell and tissue culture (in vitro), genomic, and computer-modeling techniques as well as studies of human population, volunteers, and patients--and remember, human-testing needs to be done even if animal testing is done prior. There has been far more progress in the medical industry done on alternative studies than there has ever been done by testing on animals. And the deeper you look the more obvious this becomes. If animal testing worked then cancer numbers wouldn't be getting higher, disease and illnesses wouldn't be getting worse, and (again) prescription drugs would help us instead of kill us.
The reality is blatant: You do NOT have to choose Experimenting on Animals to find a cure for any illness or disease.
It is scientifically enviable.
Extra Material to watch:
If you can stomach it, here is some extra material to view. I know that I have a hard time watching these sorts of things, I am so in love with animals that watching the insane amount of cruelty reduces me to tears. However, if you still have doubts whether Animal Testing is useful or "humane" then I recommend watching the following:
And of course, watch the movie Earthlings.
Send a letter to National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins asking him to step up and lead where others have failed by creating a policy that takes real steps to eliminate the use of animals in experiments that will bring that number to zero, in addition to providing training opportunities for non-animal experiments.
Send a similar letter to Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) President Alain Beaudet.
Money talks. Get loud with your cash. Check for the animal-friendly Leaping Bunny symbol on products from cosmetics to household cleaners, or make your own non-toxic cleaning supplies. You can also check out PETA's caring consumer database for a list of which companies and products are animal-friendly as well as alternatives to products manufactured by companies that do test on animals.
Sign this Petition Telling the NIH to Make a Plan to End Animal Experiments:
Take a minute to speak up for lab animals by contacting Obama through the Office of Public Liaison on the need to move away from using animals in research. It’s time for the new administration to pull the financial plug on cruel and wasteful research.
If you're looking to donate to a charity then you can visit the Humane Seal for a list of organizations that use progressive non-animal research methods for a number of causes from cancer and Alzheimers disease to trauma treatments and substance abuse. You can also search their site for a specific cause.
And AAVS (American Anti-Vivisection Society) for more campaigns, take action, and information on animal experimentation.
You can also put as much pressure as possible on both the EPA and FDA to stop their "required" animal testing.
Together, we can end Animal Testing forever. One of the most important things you can do is to Spread the word and become educated on the matter, let others know that animal experimentation is medically irrelevant and wasting your tax dollars. Speak up and give a voice to animals needlessly suffering in labs.
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