There is much more to say about animals who are used for food, but that will have to wait for another time. However, before we leave the animal topic completely to cover other vegan things, I want to look at animal testing.
Animal testing is completely unnecessary but continues to happen. Some people are under the impression that products being developed for humans need to be tested on animals, but this is really pointless because animals don’t react to these products in the same way humans do and they must be tested on humans anyway. Aside from that, the animals have never given any kind of consent for this cruelty being done to them. I don’t have much to say on the subject that hasn’t already been said better by someone else, so here are some quotes from vivisectioninfo.org for your information:
What is wrong with Experimenting on Animals?
No lab rat (or dog or monkey) ever signed a consent form. In and of itself, this constitutes an ethical problem with the practice of experimenting on non-human animals for the hypothetical benefit of humans.
What animals are used and why?
A complete count of animals used in research is unknown because federal laws do not require research institutions to record the number of rats, mice and cold blooded animals that are used in experimentation. Estimates for total numbers are between 20-70 million. Of the animals who are counted, here is what we know: The number of warm-blooded vertebrate animals used in science each year in the United States is approximately 28 million. Of that total, about 18 million animals are killed for research, compared with 2.51 million in England, 1.66 million in Canada, and 0.73 million in the Netherlands.
Animals Used in Product Testing
Eye Irritancy Tests: In these tests, a liquid, flake, granule, or powdered substance is dropped into the eyes of animals, usually rabbits. The animals are often immobilized in stocks from which only their heads protrude. They usually receive no anesthesia during the tests.
After placing the substance in the rabbits’ eyes, laboratory technicians record the damage to the eye tissue at specific intervals over an average period of 72 hours, with tests sometimes lasting 7 to 18 days. Reactions to the substances include swollen eyelids, inflamed irises, ulceration, bleeding, massive deterioration, and blindness. During the tests, the rabbits’ eyelids are held open with clips. Many animals have broken their necks or backs while struggling to escape.
Acute Toxicity Tests: Acute toxicity tests, commonly called lethal dose or poisoning tests, determine the amount of a substance that will kill a percentage, even up to 100 percent, of a group of test animals. In these tests, a substance is forced by tube into the animals’ stomachs or through holes cut into their throats. It may also be injected under the skin, into a vein, or into the lining of the abdomen; mixed into lab chow; inhaled through a gas mask; or introduced into the eyes, rectum, or vagina. Experimenters observe the animals’ reactions, which can include convulsions, labored breathing, diarrhea, constipation, emaciation, skin eruptions, abnormal posture, and bleeding from the eyes, nose, or mouth.
The widely used lethal dose 50 (LD50) test was developed in 1927. The LD50 testing period continues until at least 50 percent of the animals die, usually in two to four weeks.
Like eye irritancy tests, lethal dose tests are unreliable at best. Says Microbiological Associates’ Rodger D. Curren, researchers looking for non-animal alternatives must prove that these in vitro models perform “at least as well as animal tests. But as we conduct these validation exercises, it’s become more apparent that the animal tests themselves are highly variable.” The European Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods’ Dr. Michael Ball puts it more bluntly: “The scientific basis” for animal safety tests is “weak.”
Common companies that do test their products on animals:
Playtex, Proctor and Gamble (Cover Girl, Clairol, Pantene…), Unilever (Lever, Suave, Ponds, All…), Colgate-Palmolive (Softsoap, Palmolive dish soap, assorted toothpastes…), and many more. If you start reading the labels in your house, I bet you will find that most of the products you own are tested on animals. That was my discovery.
Common companies that do not test products on animals:
Almay, Bath & Body Works, Mary Kay, Revlon, and more here. As time goes on, I will review some cruelty-free companies that I love. So far, I really enjoy Method products for cleaning, which you can easily get at Target. Some Method products are also available at Wegman’s and Method has its own website too. Visit caringconsumer.com for more info on cruelty-free companies.
Some resources to learn more about the uselessness of animal testing and its alternatives:
Animal Liberation Front, Animal Experiments, Humane Learning. Google “animal testing” to research on your own.
I am also strongly against using animals for Entertainment purposes including circuses and zoos, as well as using them for clothing or any other reason.
This is all I plan to say for now about how animals are directly affected. It’s honestly too overwhelming for me to continue at present and the information about it is truly endless. If you want to learn more, or feel convicted at least to learn more, please search out the information. A film I would highly recommend watching to get a very comprehensive knowledge-base concerning the animal industry would be Earthlings. You can watch it for free at that site. I did sob through a lot of it and the images and sounds are a lot harsher than what I’ve given you a glimpse of here, but I would consider it the ultimate and most effective resource. If I post more or add additional info to this topic in the future, I will let you know. The next issues to cover will be how the animal industry affects the environment and the welfare (health and mental well-being) of humanity. I’m not sure when they’ll be published, so stay tuned.