April 21-29 was officially World Week for Animals in Laboratories, and Tuesday April 24th commemorated World Day for Animals in Laboratories. Sadly, as shown in the image above, harming animals during testing and research has a long sordid history, and like other animal use is difficult to stamp out in part because it's such a profitable enterprise. Never mind that nicotine experiments are STILL being conducted on pregnant animals, or done to figure out whether Harry Sadistic Asshole Harlow ("The only thing I care about is whether or not the monkeys will turn out a property I can publish. I don't have any love for them. Never have. I don't really like animals. I despise cats. I hate dogs. How could you like monkeys?" quoted in Deborah Blum, The Monkey Wars, p. 92.) was actually right about maternal attachment and deprivation. The truth is that most animal testing and experimentation isn't done to promote human welfare as falsely claimed, but exists to feed corporate drug companies and keep scientists spinning on their academic research wheels.
As a vegan I object to any use/abuse of other sentient beings, and while I know that vastly more beings are tortured and killed for food, animal experimentation and vivisection seems to send its own particular chill down my spine. Maybe it's the prolonged confinement and repeated torture, or the fear and terror that can't be escaped time and time again, or maybe it's the outrage I feel toward educated scientists and physicians who obviously don't give a fig about the "first do no harm" principle that should be emblazoned on their hearts and beings. I don't know, but there seems to me something so heinous about this form of use that I can only describe it as Mengelian.
So what can we do? Here are a few ideas:
- become informed about the scope and reality of vivisection today
- inform family, friends and others about what you know
- send letters to editors of local papers to reach even more people
- go cruelty-free and boycott products tested on animals
- make sure that the charities you donate to do not fund animal research
- contact the alumni office of your university to let them know how you feel about animal research done on campus (every time I get called to make a donation I tell them exactly why they're not getting a single penny from me)
- support legislative efforts such as the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act
- celebrate stories of rescue like the raid in Italy against Green Hill
- and finally, remember and share this vegan rule: if there's something you wouldn't do unto another human, then don't do it to any other sentient being