PLEASE, DON’T TURN A BLIND EYE ANY LONGER
There’s a lot of misconceptions that go on about animal use in research, animals in zoos, etc. I won’t get into the agricultural part because I don’t know enough about it (and yes, the agricultural industry has a lot of problems) but if I can refute some of the other claims, I will.
1. Do you know why we have shampoos, cleaners, and other substances that we can use safely around the house? It’s because we have tested the substances on animals. When a new product gets developed, whether it be for human or animal use, it gets tested before it goes into the market. “Don’t get shampoo into your eyes” no shit, but the people who developed the shampoo needed to know if their product would blind you if it accidentally got into your face. In addition, the study he is referencing is that stupid picture of the rabbits that was taken decades ago, well before there were guidelines and laws in animal research. If you look up rabbits in animal research on google (don’t, seriously), all the pictures are old and show horrible conditions that are ILLEGAL IN ALL AMERICAN LABS. And legality in a lab is necessary if a researcher wants any funding. In addition, nobody in a lab will look at an animal in pain and think it’s okay. Nobody. I find it astounding that the public thinks that people who work with animals in a lab actually enjoy hurting animals. That is the most toxic, vile thought process I can imagine, and I think it comes from the idea that anything not animal rights is lumped into animal exploitation, when actually in between those two designations is animal welfare, which is where animal research falls.
Animal rights (PETA)——Animal welfare (labs)—-Animal exploitation (crazy people)
2. First off, the likelihood of anybody doing LD50 testing on dogs, much less for substances that are already established to be toxic, is extremely low. You’ll notice that most of these pictures involve cute, cuddly animals, and completely ignore the majority of animals used in research, mice and rats. This is a blatant shock tactic to win the most support, and it is embarrassing that so many people are duped by it. Those dogs can be inhaling anything, i.e. an anesthetic for surgery. Again, that picture shows outdated technology, and is likely not even applicable to the caption. In addition, to throw a cold, boring economic explanation in, research animals are extremely expensive. One transgenic mouse can fetch $1000. A regular cat? $1500. If you think that researchers are killing off animals for fun, or allowing them to get hurt, you are sorely mistaken. Even allowing an animal to experience a moment’s pain during a study requires permits acquired by the FDA that are almost impossible to get, and for good reason. (Why is that even allowable? you ask. There are people who suffer from chronic pain. Finding a cure for those diseases often means that the animal be in pain.)
Laboratory animals are some of the most underappreciated animals in America. These animals take part in life-saving research, not only for humans, but for animals, too. Taken a Tylenol? Animal research allowed that to exist. Gotten a vaccine? Same thing. Does anybody here know the story of finding the cure to Tetralogy of Fallot? No? It’s a heart condition that affects thousands of newborns. Before animals were used in researching a fix, those thousands of babies just died. There was no way to fix it. How about all those new studies finding reasons and cures for Parkinson’s? Dementia? HIV? Epilepsy? Diabetes? They were studied in animals, first, so that we save more people, and animals who suffer the same diseases. Do you give your dog Frontline? Heartworm medication? Did it get its rabies shots, or FIV shots? All those medicines and vaccines were developed working with animals. Do you buy pet food? Do you take your pets to get groomed? Animal research made sure the food was safe, the shampoos were safe. These animals, these researchers, are here to make the world safer.
There is a mantra, the Three R’s of animal research. Replace, Reduce, Refine. Replace is to replace the use of animals whenever possible with alternative techniques, such as stem cells or cell cultures or computer models. Reduce is to reduce the number of animals to the minimum. And refine is to always strive to refine techniques so there is absolute minimum animal discomfort. These animals live better lives than most American pets. And this is not even getting into the European practices, which are years ahead of us in excellent animal care.
But why haven’t you heard about all of this? Why is it that when you look up animal research, you get only horror stories? It’s very simple. Animal rights groups such as PETA are funded by well-meaning people who think they are helping animals, and subsequently the groups have millions of dollars. (Note: PETA kills 82% of the animals it takes in every year, and that is a conservative quote.) Animal welfare groups, such as PSBR, are much less known and have much less money. PETA goes into schools and throws propaganda at young people, indoctrinating them into their radical group. This makes animal welfare groups much less able to go give talks. And the scariest part, the one that is the most important, is that PETA (and more notably ALF and SHAC) are violent activist groups. They have gone to colleges saying that they will pay $100 for the names and addresses of students working in the scientific field, and when they get those names, they threaten and harass the students until they drop out. They have hit lists. They find scientists’ information and threaten them, threaten their children. Scientists are told by their “elders” in the science world to never talk about their jobs in public, or access animal rights websites at work, or wear their ID badges that identify them as a worker at a research lab because we can get killed by people. And it’s prevalent enough that it is a common practice to stay silent. So that’s why people don’t know about animal research: we have been terrified into silence due to threats against our well being by people who honestly do not know the levels of care and adoration that animals receive in a lab. PETA has funnelled money into law schools to get their representatives there as teachers teaching the future lawmakers of this country. They have threatened so many transportation companies that there is literally only one airline that ships animals anymore, and the main ground-based company stopped too so now researchers have to pay exorbitant prices to hire private shipment options. What does that have to do with anything? Well, if the cost of the research is driven up, so is the cost of the final product. Why do you think medicines cost so much? They’re playing the game, at the cost of people’s lives. Scientists aren’t working for money, we are working to make life better, and to understand truth.
Anybody who thinks they can live not ever using something that has come about due to animal testing is conceited and rude. And denying people the things they need to survive (i.e. any medication for anybody who is ever sick, whether it be a short sickness or a chronic, debilitating disease) due to your own misguided morality is one of the most depraved things I can think of.
Respect the animals that have given their lives to make yours better. Because the scientists? We respect them. 100%.
As for zoos, people seem to have a very romantic idea of how it is to live in the wild, with a short lifespan and no idea where the next meal or predator will come from. Zoos provide an opportunity to observe animal behavior and to protect endangered species. Zoos provide educational outreach programs that give the public, both young and old, information on things they might not otherwise understand. Knowledge breeds respect, and if more people respect animals, fewer will be mistreated. The zoos in America follow strict laws on animal enrichment and enclosures, and again, the people who work at zoos love animals. The pictures in this post look like they come from zoos in SE Asia or China, where animal care is… unimportant, to be generous. (Note: I went to the Beijing zoo myself. It was horrible.)
Please, educate yourselves before you go spouting off hatred.
If anybody has any questions, just ask (politely, please). I want people to learn things. (Impolite asks will be ignored; we are all capable having discussion here.)
Thank you for such an informative reply. I’m glad to hear most of the things you mentioned (however, I do doubt that every scientist respects and empathises with animals in their care, but I’m happy to hear that the ones you know do, at least), and I do know PETA is just as bad, if not worse, than many of the people and organisations they have a problem with. But, just because we have begun treating animals better, and thank goodness, doesn’t erase the past or the fact that many people still mistreat them (not just researchers).
I also am not one who believes animals are “lessers” who are to be used so that humans can have it easy?? They are our equals in spirit, in feeling, and in their capacity to experience pain and agony, I think, and I’d much rather we use volunteers or criminals than animals who get no say in the matter (expensively priced as they are or not).
Animals are abused daily by people who do not respect them and have no empathy, and exposing people to images such as these, outdated or not, awakens their hearts for the animal’s struggle. Even if 1% of labs are inhumane towards animals - that is too much. .01% would be too much.
I also noted that you dismiss the zoo allegation because America & Europe don’t do what Asian countries are doing - well, this isn’t just for American/Canadian/European eyes - this is for Asian eyes, too - we’re trying to spread this message across the world and it is a matter of significance that we improve conditions everywhere, again, not being satisfied just because animals are treated well “here” and “here”, but continuing on until it is the norm that they be treated with respect and as humanely as our own children and friends, everywhere.
Thank you for your contribution to my post, and I hope I didn’t come off as rude, I want the world to have a comprehensive knowledge of this issue and I believe what you have to say is worth hearing as well!
And thank you for the wonderful, polite reply!
Yeah, speaking in absolutes leads to falsehoods but I think that saying “most people in science love working with animals” leaves a greater margin of people who dislike animals than if I say “all.” You’re right.
I also agree that animals are not “lessers” to be used to make our lives easier, but animals (and people!) have contributed to making lives possible for sick people and animals. Ideally, we wouldn’t have to do testing on anybody but unfortunately we do, at least until technology can come up with a viable alternative.
I have seen more animals abused at the hands of non-scientists than I have ever seen in a lab.
I addressed the zoo thing as American- and Euro-centric because it’s written in English on a site with a large amount of America/Euro people. I have seen a lot of outcry against zoos in the Americas/Europe and not a lot of outcry against zoos that are worlds worse, and it’s frustrating when people lump all zoos together, regardless of their benefits, as an evil institution.
Thank you for reblogging my response, it means a lot to me! I really, truly love animals, both in their pure, wild state, and as partners to humans.