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Animal Testing: End the Hypocrisy
What is animal testing? Every year 115,000,000 animals around the world are experimented on. 115,000,000. Think about that. How would you feel if the United States government took your pet for animal testing experiments?
Safety tests are conducted on these millions of innocent specimens concerning a wide range of chemicals and products, including vaccines, drugs, cosmetics, pesticides, and a wide multitude of other deleterious substances.
Why use animals for testing? The common answer is “because they are like us”. Ask experimenters why it isn’t morally heterodox, and the common answer is “because they (animals) aren’t like us”.
“Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction” – Professor Charles R. Magel
This phantasmagoria of inhumane acts – pumping chemicals into rats’ stomachs, putting baby monkeys into isolation chambers, hacking muscle tissue from dogs – is paid for by the taxpayer. It’s true, but as a consumer, you can’t visit a laboratory and see these breaches of animal rights for yourself.
In the United States, animal testing is primarily regulated by the 1966 Animal Welfare Act, which is enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture. The AWA has been amended five times since 1966, most recently in 2002. Thinking these organizations help to control factors in experimentation, therefore making our country’s animals safer? Think again. If these organizations can control the premises in which animal rights are oppressed, could they not put a stop to animal testing?
Currently, the only products that are federally mandated to be tested on animals are those that serve medicinal purposes. Yet thousands of other products are still being put to the test at the expense of animals. Compassionate organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States are working to put a stop to these dolorous acts, and validate non-animal methods of testing.
What are these non-animal methods of testing? Names of these alternative methods include: Eytex, a test-tube procedure that measures eye irritancy via a protein alteration system; Skintex, another in-vitro method that uses pumpkin rind to mimic the reaction of a foreign substance on human skin; Epipac, which uses cloned human tissue to test potentially harmful substances; Neutral Red Bioassay, cultured human cells that are used to compute the absorption of a water-soluble substance to measure relative toxicity; Testskin, uses human skin grown in a sterile plastic bag to measure irritancy; TOPKAT, a computer software program that measures toxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and teratonogenicity; Ames Test, mixes a test culture with Salmonella typhimurium and adds activating enzymes to test for carcinogenity; and the Agarose Diffusion Method. For more information concerning these altruistic methods, visit www.allforanimals.com.
In 2004, the National Institutes of Health provided funds to 3,180 different research universities and institutions for use in the animal testing industry.
Thought that the U.S. government was erroneous? Why don’t you hear Britain’s stand on animal testing. The House of Lords states that, “The institution of morality, society, and law is founded on the belief that human beings are unique among animals…and are therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes.” The types of institutions conducting animal research in the U.K. were: universities (42.1%); commercial organizations (33.3%); non-profit organizations (4.9%); government departments (2.4%); National Health Service hospitals (0.9%); public health laboratories (0.6%); and other public bodies (15.8%).
According to the USDA, in Britain, in 2002, there were 1,137,718 animals tested on. Not including birds, rats, and mice, which make up about 85% of research animals.
“To my mind the life of the lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi
Something to think about…countervail animal testing today. Give animals their rights back.
For a listing of companies that test on animals, visit www.caringconsumer.com.
For more ways to oppose animal cruelty, visit
www.peta.org and www.hsus.org.