Medical Testing on Animals
Every year, nearly 100 million animals die in research
laboratories at the hands of curious scientists who perform outdated
and inaccurate tests that prove no benefit to humans or animals.
Before these animals die, they are routinely burned, scalded,
poisoned, starved, given electric shocks, addicted to drugs, subjected
to near freezing temperatures, dosed with radioactive elements, driven
insane, deliberately inflicted with diseases such as cancer, diabetes,
oral infections, stomach ulcers, Syphilis, herpes, and AIDS. Their
eyes are surgically removed; their brains and spinal cords damaged,
and their bones broken. The usage of anesthesia is not mandated by
law, and consequently, thus is rarely administered. Despite all of
this cruelty, not a single disease has been cured through vivisection
in this century. The overall adult cancer rate has risen in the past
40 years and a fatal heart attack strikes a person every 45 seconds.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 70-80% of the common
diseases killing Americans are preventable given a responsible diet
and lifestyle. Drug testing on animals is inaccurate and does not
benefit humans or animals at all. Animals including, but not limited
to, dogs, cats, mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rhesus
monkeys, imported primates, owls, deer, sheep, llama, and cattle are
commonly used for vivisection. Vivisection is the medical term for
the practice of experimenting on animals. Charles River Breeding
Laboratories, a company owned by Bausch and Lomb, provides 40-50% of
the animals used in experiments of laboratories. The other remainig
misfortunate animals come from places a little closer to you and me.
Some of them come from animal shelters, some come from the "free to
good home" ads in the classified section of the newspaper, some from
unsuspecting people who allow their companion animals to become
pregnant, or even worse, some have been stolen directly from their own
front yard. Imagine your pet one day being crammed into a cage with
ten other animals waiting to die like approximately 20-100 million
other animals do each year in numerous unreliable tests.
More than 205,000 new drugs are marketed worldwide every year,
most after undergoing the most common unreliable test method still in
use: animal vivisection. The current system of drug testing places
consumers in a dangerous predicament. According to the General
Accounting Office, more than half of the prescription drugs approved
by the Food and Drug Administration between 1976 and 1985 caused
serious side effects that later caused the drugs to be either
re-labeled or removed from the market. The following drugs passed
safe in animal experiments but proved tragic consequences in humans:
Opren: 3500 people suffered serious side effects including damage to
skin, eyes, liver, and kidneys. Thalidomide: Caused about 10,000 birth
defects worldwide Clioquinol: Caused 30,000 cases of blindness and/or
paralysis and thousands of deaths
Conversely, many drugs that are beneficial to humans are
dangerous or even fatal to animals:
Penicillin: An antibiotic to humans, but kill's guinea pigs.
Aspirin: Caused birth defects in rats, mice, monkeys, guinea pigs,
cats and dogs, but not humans.
This is obvious proof that testing on animals is unreliable, but
sadistic tests still go on every day. The Physicians Committee for
Responsible Medicine reports that sophisticated non-animal research
methods are more accurate, less expensive, and less-time consuming
than traditional animal based research methods. Fewer accidental
deaths caused by drugs and treatments would occur if stubborn
bureaucrats and wealthy vivisectors would use the more accurate
alternatives such as:
1. Cell and tissue culture in vitro.
2. Microorganisms and other species of little or no capacity
for pain or suffering.
3. Computer models to answer questions and guide animal
4. Fewer animals used per study.
5. Less poorly planned work.
If animal experimentation was eliminated, it would free up 6.8 billion
dollars that could be used for education programs and medical
assistance programs for low-income individuals; helping the more than
30 million U.S. citizens who cannot afford health insurance, rather
than making animals sick.
There will be nearly 275,000 animals dead this time tomorrow
that were not dead right now. The numbers are real and this happening
in our world every day only because it is a multibillion dollar income
for some people and is legal in the U.S. The National Institutes of
Health, the world's largest recipient of funds used for research, must
be pushed to fund more preventative programs and human based research.
The problem that we are faced with today is not a difficult one to
fix. The technology is available for us to use and we should take
advantage of our advanced alternate methods.