One of the most controversial areas of animal abuse is Animal Research or Vivisection. If you ask the majority of people, they will tell you that they support Vivisection because it saves human lives. Is that so? It is a fact that the public is usually misinformed on most issues as we have a small elite who loves to keep people ignorant. That is nothing new. The elites want to stay in power, therefore they have to keep people apathetic and non-rebellious. As far as the animal rights movement, there was always a movement to abolish vivisection as the barbaric practice that it is for over a century. But like a lot of work that is being done in the area of animal abuse, the problem is not the animal abusers per say but the public who supports them with their tax dollars. Let’s face it, as Professor Gary Francione would say, if there is no demand, there is no supply. Education is the key once again. As far as vivisection is concerned, as long as people are convinced that their interests trumps the interests of non-human animals, it will continue. As long as they (erroneously) believe that it is a useful practice which saves human lives, it will continue.
It is a fact that most diseases have not been conquered with vaccines but better sanitation and personal care habits. Most drugs on the market today, tested on non-human animals, are in the end dangerous to humans and a lot of them get recalled (Vioxx anyone?). But the medical industry would have us believe that it is necessary to experiment on animals. The truth is that most “research” is just a way to get grant money. A lot of the testing is done for household products which could be very well tested with alternatives. In fact, more and more animal testings can now be replaced with alternatives.
There is some encouragement on the horizon. According to the American Anti-vivisection Society: “In the European Union (EU) two major initiatives on toxicity and safety testing specifically acknowledge that the development and use of alternatives is critical. In the EU’s REACH legislation, one of the law’s guiding principles calls for the use of non-animal tests. And the 7th amendment to the EU’s Cosmetic Directive contains a provision that will prohibit any cosmetic from being marketed in the EU if it, or any of its ingredients, have been tested on animals. The EU has taken a leading role in the development of alternatives and has also invested its resources in validating alternatives for use in regulatory decision-making. The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), established in 1992, is based on EU Directives that state: “An Experiment shall not be performed if another scientifically satisfactory method of obtaining the result sought, not entailing the use of an animal, is reasonably and practicably available.”[….]”The EU has also implemented legislation that requires nearly 30,000 chemicals to be tested in an effort to protect human health and the environment. This legislation, called REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals), caused major concern for animal advocates. Fortunately, it was amended to stipulate that the testing of cosmetic ingredients must also follow the EU Cosmetics Directive and that non-animal test methods must be used to prove that these chemicals are safe. In fact, REACH has spurred the creation of many new alternative methods.”
As usual the American leadership is non-existent. I just hope that the example of the EU will force changes over here. But we have to remember that the European directives came about because PEOPLE demanded them. The bottom line is that, just like a bigger cage is still a cage, animals won’t be free of torture chambers (aka medical labs) unless it is made clear that animal experimentation is unnecessary and outdated.
We need to educate people towards eating a healthy plant based diet. A plant based diet will alleviate most of the chronic diseases which are now behind all the dangerous toxic drug tested on animals. We also need to educate people on shopping intelligently. There is a cruelty free alternative to most products out there. It is just a matter of being informed. Ultimately, educating people to go Vegan is the best service we can do the animals in labs and elsewhere as a TRUE Vegan will avoid all (or to the best of his or her ability) products and situations which create harm to animals.
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