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More Than 200,000 Animals Used in UBC Experiments in 2010

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Rodents, fish and reptiles used: 97%

Apparently these three classes of animals are low enough on the of-concern-to-humans scale that subjecting 205,412 of them to laboratory procedures is acceptable. There are at least two problems with this line of thinking.

The first is that we are gradually learning our non-human relatives experience pain and emotions as significant as our own. (Of course, even these discoveries are often made by testing animals in laboratories.)

For example, recent studies have concluded:

  • Stressed bees make poorer decisions
  • Crayfish try to keep their environment calm and controlled and are visibly upset when something disrupts it
  • Male mice about to have sex squeal in delight
  • Reptiles respond to stroking and attention

The second problem is that no other species is a 100% match for humans. (In fact, the same is true with humans. Research on men does not always hold true for women—and the reverse.)

In her article on the National Toxicology Program, Heather M. writes:

There are vast physiological differences between people and animals. Meaningful scientific conclusions just can’t be drawn about one species by studying another. Aspirin kills cats and penicillin kills guinea pigs, yet both are considered safe for humans. Arsenic, strychnine, potassium cyanide, and other chemicals which can kill humans, are harmless to certain animals. And let’s not forget about Thalidomide, a drug which was thoroughly tested on animals and determined safe, yet caused birth defects in thousands of children.

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Frog photo from Muhammad Mahdi Karim via Wikimedia Commons; Rescued lab rats photo from SMercury98 via Flickr Creative Commons; Lizard eye photo from Clicksy via Flickr Creative Commons; Monkey photo from Alex Pacheco of PETA (1981) via Wikimedia Commons

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330 comments

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11:20PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

“All of the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering, the animals are our equals”.
-Peter Singer

2:19PM PST on Mar 8, 2012

This is the year 2012. We have stem cells now. HUMAN stem cells! Use them, and join the rest of us in the 21st century and leave animals out of our HUMAN health care system!!!

11:00AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

In the 20th century we have less cruel means to conduct testing, don't we? Why keep using medieval torture methods - we don't "tar and feather" anyone anymore either, do we?

9:03AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

i could not watch nor read these,

just sent a message to STOP

7:16AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

I couldn't watch the video either, Jane--just reading about it mad me sick, disgusted and sad.
I think they keep saying "this research will help human quality of life or extend human life" because they seek to justify their own sick, cruel tendencies. I don't want to increase my quality of life or extend my life on the bones of animals who were tortured and murdered.

1:28PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Very informative but it needs to get out to a wider audience because it's only like minded people that will be reading these articles and watching these videos.

10:52PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

There are several examples of the after-effects of radiation.
No such experiments are necessary !
Do these laboratories just get a kick out of being cruel to justify their existance?

9:32PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

Humans have different physiological characteristics than animals.

Human/man-made models are more effective for the purpose of research than testing on live animals. It's been proven time and time again.

The vast majority of animal research funded is an abject failure; a waste of time, money
and most tragically, lives.

Animals are tortured and abused world wide to keep researchers working and labs operating.
It's all about money; far from being about perpetuating the health and wellness of humanity.

If we truly cared about human health, we would take into consideration the value and the worth of other sentient beings.

Human ignorance, cruelty, arrogance and apathy will be the downfall of the human species.

We cannot continue to destroy other without destroying ourselves. Period.

Animals are not ours to use in research or test on.

1:24PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

UBC must know that ALWAYS is possible a cruelty free alternative to animal research, they should stop excuses and leave all animals alone!

6:07AM PST on Nov 30, 2011

When the human species stops torturing animals they will stop torturing each other. The one is directly related to the other.

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