In the past year, we’ve been given a number of reasons to celebrate and more hope that the needless suffering of animals labs will come to an end, but countless animals who are still being used as test subjects need us to help keep the momentum going.
This April 20-26, organizations including In Defense of Animals (IDA) and Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) will be rallying animal advocates to honor the lives that have been lost and become a voice for those still trapped in labs during World Week for Animals in Labs and World Lab Animal Liberation Week.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than 25 million animals are maimed, burned, poisoned, restrained and killed to test a range of things from new drugs and consumer products to weapons, while millions more are tortured and killed in labs around the world. The lost lives of birds, rats and mice, who make up the majority of test subjects, are not even accounted for because they are specifically excluded from the definition of animal under the Animal Welfare Act.
While some in the scientific community continue to cling to the animal model, many others argue that we can no longer ethically or scientifically justify their continued use and suffering. Fortunately, many scientists are continuing to work towards innovative methods that don’t involve harming animals in their quest for human health.
Here are seven easy ways to help stop animal suffering and support progress in research this week.
Support the Humane Cosmetics Act
The United States is lagging behind other countries that have taken a stand against animal cruelty by banning animal testing for cosmetics, or are working towards that goal. Last month, Rep. Jim Moran introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148), which bans cosmetics tested on animals from being manufactured and sold in the United States.
Help the country step up by signing and sharing the petition asking your representative to support and co-sponsor this critical piece of legislation.
Pass on Companies that Support Animal Testing
As consumers, we have the power to tell companies that animal testing is unacceptable with our money. By supporting ethical companies, we send the message that there’s a demand for products that are made without harming animals and encourage those that are stuck in the past to get on board if they want to continue to profit.
For an international list of companies that make cruelty-free household and beauty products, visit gocrueltyfree.org.
Ask Air France to Shop Shipping Primates for Research
Please sign and share the petition urging Air France to stop shipping primates to labs.
Give and Let Live
If you’re looking to donate to charities that have adopted progressive non-animal research methods, visit the Humane Seal for a list of organizations that support hundreds of human health-related causes from Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer to substance abuse and veterans’ health. The National Anti-Vivisection Society also offers a Good Charities Guide for people who want to ensure their donations aren’t funding research that involves animals.
Attend an Event
Both IDA and SAEN will be holding demonstrations and vigils around the world to help raise awareness about the plight of lab animals and demand change. Check here for a list of IDA events and SAEN events. The National Anti-Vivisection Society also has materials and badges available for people who want to spread the word.
If you can’t attend, you can still adopt an activist. Donations from adopters help cover the costs of materials used at events.
Help Lab Animals Get Rescued
Some research institutions have policies that allow for adoptions of companion animals when they are no longer needed, but legislation in California (AB 2431) and Minnesota (SF 2068) has been introduced that would require facilities to make their animals available to the public. For more information about these efforts and adopting, visit the Beagle Freedom Project.
Watch Maximum Tolerated Dose
Maximum Tolerated Dose is a feature length documentary that debates vivisection and includes perspectives from scientists and lab techs who formerly worked in the industry and had a change of heart, along with featuring stories about animals who have “seen both sides of the cage.” The title refers to the type of experiment that involves dosing animals with drugs or chemicals to to see how much they can tolerate before it kills them.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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