Thursday, July 4, 2013

Animal testing alternatives

The fact that animals are still tested on for 'scientific research' astounds me in this modern era. I stumbled across this article this morning which asks us to challenge the flippant use of animals in experiments and I was impressed by its simplicity.

As usual our allowance of these experiments constitutes complicity; in other words, bad things happen when good people do nothing. I've blogged before about using your money to not fund animal experimentation; but often where it is obvious we don't need to torture animals for cosmetics it is less obvious when referring to medical research.

The article referred to above talks about mice used in Alzheimers research, and the research I protest most vehemently against is animals used in cancer research. Why? Do I love animals more than people? No.

My father has myeloma and I would move the earth to find a cure for his cancer, but what I won't do is unnecessarily torture millions of animals. That's the point, the experiments are ALL null and void. Pointless.

"Not only is animal research harmful to animals, it is also potentially harmful to people. Animals do not get the same diseases as we do, and different species react very differently to drugs and procedures. Drugs that are shown to be safe in animals have often later proved to be dangerous in humans, while valuable cures and treatments can be missed if they fail in animal tests."1

So what is the alternative? Dr Hadwen's Trust is one that I know of, and I'd like to hear about more. We live in a very technological era where A LOT is known about the human body. Computer labs are the medical research labs of the future: they can test theoretical results faster, more accurately and more objectively than humans can. Computer research can lead us to more advanced knowledge prior to human testing than animal research too, so not only does it save the lives of millions of animals, it improves the outcomes of scientific medical research for all of us.

If we lived in a world where computer research was the norm instead of animal research, perhaps I could hope for a cure for cancer in time for my father; sadly, at the moment, it seems a long way off.
“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals and the answer is: 'Because animals are like us.'
“Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us.'
“Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”
—Prof. Charles R. Magel

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