The challenge of animal testing
Category : Uncategorized
I often get requests from friends & co-workers to pledge them in some walk or run or bikeride that they are doing to benefit a health charity. I love to see people involved and trying to make a difference.
The only problem is, I can’t support them.
I do support their desire and their efforts to find a cure for cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or any number of other horrible diseases. I also support their efforts to make change, to try to improve the world.
What I can’t support is the use of animals in research to try to find these cures.
On the most basic level I can’t support this because I don’t think that we can ethically justify causing so many animals to suffer in the hopes of helping some humans. The suffering is too great, the chances of it working are way too small.
Also, animal-based research is really becoming seen as inefficient, a waste of resources, and more of a business than any real effort to help people.
A recent article in the Daily Mail, written by a supporter of vivisection, speaks to this issue.
I do not dispute for one moment that some animal experiments are vital to medical progress. But for solid scientific reasons, I do question whether the sheer extent of such tests in modern medical science is necessary.
Many medical researchers will agree with me. Put simply, as often as not, testing drugs on animals very often gives misleading results that can endanger human health.
This is not an extreme viewpoint. New Scientist magazine recently described the results of animal medical experiments as ‘no more informative than tossing a coin’. I would not go that far myself, but I do believe that vivisection is, at best, unreliable and, at worst, lethal.
In Canada there are very few health charities that do not fund animal testing. Those that do are simply wasting their donors money by pouring it down the drain by funding research that has not helped and likely will not help. Animal testing really is bad science, and it’s time we started demanding that our health charities stop funding a system that isn’t getting us anywhere and start working for real solutions using new methods and more accurate testing.
Governments in Europe have started work to approve new non-animal-based tests for toxicity tests, which are a huge portion of animal testing. Wikipedia has some information about animal testing and alternatives. Most of the alternatives are toxicity tests, for which the majority of animals are used.
If you donate to a health charity, demand that they justify the use of our money. Ask them to tell you how it is being used and ask them to ensure that it is being used in the most efficient manner possible. We donate our money to them because we trust them, but if they are putting millions of dollars each year into faulty, archaic animal tests, should we really be trusting them?
It’s not worth all the suffering.