The Real Reasons Why We Test on Animals
The Sad Truth
Let me start by saying, I am many things, but one thing I am not is a scientist. So to find out the truth about animal testing, I have to ask those working in this industry.
For me, the truth means collecting facts and figures and combine them with common sense, empathy and the willingness and action made to create a better solution for the good of all beings on this planet.
What I’m about to say may not please everyone, especially those earning money from torturing and killing animals, however, I feel that the truth about animal testing needs to be told because many misconceptions are being spread.
On April 24, 2021: World Day for Laboratory Animals, I spent the day in Cologne with Doctors Against Animal Experiments, a German-based organization with the sole purpose of banning animal testing in Germany and worldwide. I’ve been a supporting member since September 2018 and had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. rer. nat. Dilyana Filipova, Geneticist and Scientist at Doctors Against Animal Experiments.
Some things I already knew while researching for my book which addresses the topic of animal testing in a child-friendly way: Lily Bowers and the Uninvited Guest. And yet, some things shocked me even though I know what motivates many humans.
Dr. Filipova explained why animal testing is more than 99% funded in Germany while the safer, more efficient, cheaper, quicker and obviously kinder methods using human cells are not.
Not only that, 95% of all experiments on meds that are tested on animals are unsuitable for humans.
So, why on Earth do we still perform horrific tests on hundreds of millions of innocent animals?
Because animal testing is an old tradition with a big lobby behind it.
Animal testing is big business! Ka-ching!
Animal Testing has No Future
According to Cruelty-Free International, an estimate of at least 192.1 million animals were used for scientific purposes worldwide in 2015. Scientific purposes include biology lessons, medical training, curiosity-driven experimentation and safety testing in the chemicals, meds, food, and cosmetics we consume.
Animal testers are cats, dogs (mostly beagles), mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, cows, monkeys and other mammals as well as various species of birds, amphibians and fish.
Let’s face it, we are not mice or beagles. We share a lot of the same DNA, however, we are so very different. Many tests on animals are performed over and over again with no increase in effectiveness. Tests are also done on animals to explain human psychology. Why not just ask us and put probes on our head or pay humans to do repetitive activities? These psychological ‘curiosity-driven’ experiments make no sense!
There are humane, safer and more efficient methods using human cells and computers to perform necessary experiments and produce medicine. Fact is, if animal testing was successful, we would have cures for all diseases already. This is not my opinion by the way, this was a statement from Dr. Filipova and the view of Doctors Against Animal Experiments.
Human lives are at risk and millions of animals die every year for no good reason! Filling the pockets of those in the cruel animal testing business is NOT a good reason.
And guess who’s filling their pockets? You and I. Taxes fund these experiments.
It’s also very sad to find out that that there are organizations and initiatives out there who advocate for animal testing instead of spending their time, energy and money on better methods.
If we look at how COVID-19 started, either at the wet market in Wuhan or in a laboratory in China (we’ll probably never be told the truth) animals were exploited, specifically the bat. So, if we learn anything from this deadly pandemic, it should be to respect all animals.
More and more people understand this concept and I have faith that nature will win in the end because Mother Earth is resilient. Humans? Not so much.
The change I’d like to see in this world today is for all humanity to embrace a deep ecological philosophy in that we are not above nature, nor are we the most important species.
Scientists and labticians should spend their time, energy and money on better methods that are safer, less expensive, more efficient and humane.
Do you want to help?
Because animal testing doesn’t have a viable future for all the reasons mentioned above, we still have the problem of money and big business that is prohibiting progress on the better methods.
However, if we work together, we can speed up the process to get animal testing banned. There are a few easy things each and every one of us can do to help spare the lives of lab animals and make it very clear to companies and the government that you do not support this cruelty. Some ideas can be done together with or solely by your children, so please involve them because they are our future and have a strong voice.
Here are a few tips:
- Only purchase cruelty-free products. If you don’t see a cruelty-free label such as the leaping bunny from Cruelty-free International, then write or call the company and ask them if they test. The more demand they hear from customers, the more they will listen.
- Pursue an animal testing-free career. If you’re interested in the medical research field, you can think about a career in a laboratory that uses NAMs (New Approach Methodologies that use human cells) and become an advocate for humane methods.
- Call and write your city government officials to take a stand on banning animal testing.
- Donate to or volunteer at an animal rights organization with a focus against animal testing.
- Spread awareness on social media.
- Organize or participate in a protest and/or a petition.
- Follow cruelty-free influencers, such as bloggers and YouTubers. A few of my favorites are:
Cruelty-Free Models | Logical Harmony | Ethical Elephant | Cruelty-Free Kitty | Phyrra | My Beauty Bunny
- Join cruelty-free groups on Facebook or other platforms to stay informed and engage with others.
- Donate your organs to science. This may sound morbid, but we all will move on once we can no longer live in our physical bodies. Donating to science is a wonderful gift to humanity.
- Just say no to experiments on dead animals in biology class. I didn’t have this privilege in the 70s when I was forced to cut open a dead frog marinated in formaldehyde, but times have changed and as a student, you now have the right to just say no and still pass your class!
- Watch and share ‘Save Ralph‘ and this panel discussion about the project of banning testing in the cosmetic industry.
- Read or gift my book: Lily Bowers and the Uninvited Guest because it addresses this topic in a child-friendly, yet realistic way. This is the 1st book in a planned series in which each book addresses a different animal rights issue. Why did I choose this heavy topic as the first one? Because laboratory animals are ‘invisible’. They’re not on everyone’s minds. Many people don’t agree with animal testing in the cosmetic industry but feel it’s necessary in order to help humans in the medical field. This is, however, just not true.
Who does Lily Bowers want to save?
How do you personally feel about testing on animals? Please comment below and let’s talk!
Peace and love,