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Activists clash (peacefully) over animal testing at UCLA

Animal testing protest

On opposite corners of the intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Le Conte Avenue near UCLA, opponents and supporters of the university's experimentation on animals clashed today.  Our colleague Larry Gordon at the L.A. Now blog has the details:

About 400 people, including UCLA faculty, staff and students, have joined a pro-research rally on the northwest corner ... just south of the campus. The demonstrators are carrying signs with such slogans as "Animal research saves lives" and "Campus terrorism is not OK."

As numerous police officers stood by, the pro-research group briefly traded slogans across Westwood Boulevard with a smaller, rival rally of about 30 animal rights activists on the intersection’s northeast corner. Opponents of the research contend that UCLA scientists ignore the suffering of primates and other animals used in the experiments.

The anti-experimentation faction turned out in observation of World Week for Animals in Laboratories, an annual event organized by the group In Defense of Animals.  A website for World Week for Animals in Laboratories describes animal research as "cruel, unnecessary and outdated."  Among the studies it lists as unnecessary are "Nipple preference in nursing infant monkeys," "Effect of high-fat diets on mice sleep," and "Effect of exercise on rat health."  (Rats that exercised were healthier, the site notes.)

The rally in favor of the experiments was the first organized by a new group called UCLA Pro-Test and was scheduled to coincide with the planned animal-rights rally.  "With over 70% of Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine going to those who have used animals in their research, it is little wonder that scientists believe that such methods are still crucial in helping treat and cure modern diseases," reads a statement on Pro-Test's website. 

The Pro-Test group, an offshoot of an Oxford, England-based group founded in 2006, was organized by J. David Jentsch, a UCLA neuroscientist who was the target of a recent attack by anonymous animal-rights activists.  In the attack, Jentsch's car was set on fire while it was parked in front of his Westside home.  (The FBI recently announced that a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible has been increased to $75,000.)  Jentsch, who researches schizophrenia and drug addiction, conducts tests on monkeys.  While he acknowledges that some monkeys are killed as part of his research, he maintains that they do not suffer.  Jentsch was expected to speak at today's rally.

Pro-Test's hundreds-strong turnout at today's event no doubt received a boost from the Jentsch incident and other recent, violent incidents aimed at University of California researchers who participate in animal testing. 

On Monday, two activists, Linda Faith Greene and Kevin Richard Olliff, were charged with conspiracy, stalking and other felonies for incidents involving UCLA scientists and the POM Wonderful Juice Co.  Prosecutors allege that Greene and Olliff are part of the Animal Liberation Front, a group best known for sabotaging research facilities that conduct animal tests, often removing or setting loose the animals kept there.

Although the opposing demonstrations were described as peaceful, a substantial police presence was in place to monitor the event.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Tom Holder, a leader of the Pro-Test group, speaks to those gathered at the UCLA campus on April 22, 2009. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

 
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"Jentsch, who researches schizophrenia and drug addiction, conducts tests on monkeys. While he acknowledges that some monkeys are killed as part of his research, he maintains that they do not suffer. "

Making claims in the absence of specificity is just spouting off to hear oneself. At least be clear about what Jentsch does.


Neuropsychopharmacology (2008)

"Clozapine Normalizes Prefrontal Cortex Dopamine Transmission in Monkeys Subchronically Exposed to Phencyclidine
John D Elsworth, J David Jentsch, Bret A Morrow, D Eugene Redmond Jr and Robert H Roth

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Young adult male or female St Kitts green (vervet) monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) at the St Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation (St Kitts, West Indies) were used. As the subjects were feral monkeys, their exact age was not known. These studies were
approved by the relevant institutional animal care and use committee. Monkeys, housed individually in squeeze-cages, were injected with 0.3 mg/kg PCP hydrochloride (Sigma-Aldrich, St Louis, MO) or saline twice daily for 14 days, as described before (Jentsch et al, 1997c). Clozapine (1 mg/kg daily for 3 days) or clozapine vehicle was injected for 3 days, following our previous regimen (Jentsch et al, 1997b), starting 7 or 8 days after completion of PCP or saline treatment. Some monkeys that did not receive clozapine were not injected with
clozapine vehicle, and received no injections between the termination of 14 days of PCP or saline treatment and sacrifice; the biochemical values for these monkeys were pooled with those that received clozapine vehicle, as no significant difference between them existed. Animals were rapidly euthanized 90 min after the final clozapine dose by an injection of sodium pentobarbital..."

He believes that twice daily injections of PCP for two weeks causes a mental condition in monkeys that approximates schitzophrenia in humans. How can he then say that the monkeys -- trapped, isolated, and injected twice daily with drugs that eventually cause them to go insane -- don't suffer?

He's a liar. All vivisectors are liars. Cruel, monstrous, liars.

Craig,

I can't speak for every animal rights advocate, but in my view there is a difference between using current treatments that were developed in animals and seeking new treatments through animal research.

It's very simple: I believe in doing things that will help animals and not hurt them. Whether or not I take a drug that was tested on animals in the past, it does absolutely nothing to help those animals - what's done is done. On the other hand, if I speak about and advocate changes in our laws to allow drugs to be developed, evaluated for safety in a comprehensive battery of tissue cultures, and then slowly and carefully tested in willing human subjects (or animal subjects who developed a disease naturally and could actually benefit from the therapy, rather than ones purposely bred to have disease induced in them), that could help animals in the future.

Furthermore, as someone pointed out above, it is not the drug companies who determine that drugs must be tested in animals, it is the FDA. An animal rights advocate refusing to take a drug would cut into drug company profits, but it would have no effect on the FDA's policies and thus no benefit for animals.

Unless you have some reason that my refusal to take medications would help animals (or my acceptance of them would harm animals), I believe that is a morally consistent position to take. You're free to disagree, of course, but I honestly don't see how it's hypocritical.

I thought like many of you then I spoke and truly listened to people and I asked and got answers and was shown it was wrong to assume these animals were treated badly - here is a little about what I found out. So would you rather it be tested on humans? Talk to the man that I spoke to who has to pay for nurses 24/7 because after doing a drug trial his heart now just stops, sometimes weekly sometimes many times a day and always for more then just a few beats. He has to be brought back weekly and deal with this. Whatever he tested (which was for insomnia) could have been tested on animals and he would not have to live with this situation. The animals are treated fairly and not tortued, they are not allowed to be. Their enclosures are zoo quality if not better. So take time to listen, ask questions but keep an open mind.

Gretchen,

Still factually wrong. And the point wasn't that the people weren't important - my point was the DATES of those quotes.

As pointed out, the one about mice and cancer. It may surprise you, but cancer treatment in 1986 sucked compared to today. Hopefully todays treatment will suck by 2034.

And here's why you're wrong:
"Our diseases of affluence, like cancer, diabetes, heartdisease, strok; our biggest killers today, are eliminated or greatly reduced by eating a whole foods plant-based diet. Study after study (human research) confirms this."

First, diabetes can be genetic, as can some heart disease things.

Second, you know WHY they are now the biggest killers?

Because we ALREADY handled a ton of diseases! We have drugs! We have VACCINES! We no longer die in massive droves to measles, to Polio. We have drugs, and battle infections of cholera and the bubonic plague.

We can do surgery and implants. We can give cancer patients virtually an entirely new immune system, giving many a fighting chance. We can do a whole lot of things.

You're exactly right Gretchen, a lot of medical problems today are due to lifestyle. Obesity and heart disease in general, etc. And thus, I agree with you in part. Eat healthy. Exercise. Etc.

But you're, either intentionally or by unintentional ignorance, completely ignoring the foundation of modern medicine.

Please think about what I just said in context to your point about the actual current problem that "studies" suggest.

I bet you all "studies" would agree with my assertion.

And if not, then perhaps you're right. No more research is needed, let's focus on improving diet and lifestyle. Though looking at the rest of the world, especially the African wartorn areas, I bet you they have a lot more medical problems on their mind than heart disease and obesity.

The only thing I have to say about this, is that animals do not have the same systems as we do. How can we determine that if a rabbit acts normally to a medication, then a human will? If people were willing to test human products on animals, than would it be any different to test animal products on humans? Why don't we just go around eating guinea pig food, and put some mascara on a rabbit?

To suggest that anyone who questions animal testing should forgo all medical treatment to avoid the dreaded hypocrisy label is absurd. Most of us have benefitted in some way from practices that society now finds abhorrent. President Obama lives in a house built by slaves. Britain to this day enjoys the wealth of its ill gotten gains. Water and pomegranate juice have been tested on animals for some reason. Even now in the U.S., the government REQUIRES animal testing for medicines, so patients don't have a choice.

I suggest we pass laws requiring stricter oversight, minimal use of animals - particularly primates, surveillance cameras running at all times in animal labs, and a ban on university researchers receiving conflict of interest grants, like the $6 million UCLA professor Edythe London received from Philip Morris for nicotine research: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/feb/09/local/me-tobacco9

UCLA refused to sign the following pledge from the Humane Society:

"Our institution joins others that have pledged to ensure that no laboratory animals in our care experience severe and unrelieved pain and/or distress."

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals_in_research/

"If people want more research to find cures for diseases, why don't they start by putting down there double whopper, stop spraying chemicals on them that they call "perfume", eat some vegetables, drink some water and go exercise. Then we wouldn't have diseases to find cures for in the first place."

Totally. Tell that to women who were raped and exposed to HIV. I guess they should have run faster?

Oh yeah and I think there's this thing called genetics too...

It is despicable to use in our time and age animals for tests.
These tests should be outlawed right here now and then.

The tests on animals don`t replicate the results if done on humans anyway so why waste taxpayers money to keep a few sadistic minded low live people with no respect for God`s creatures in the job?
Students etc. can learn on carcasses of animals.

There are enough people on this earth that are willing to be a real guinea pig for tests why not make use of them?
Stop the torture and use of animals in experiments now.

Gretchen quotes Gandhi: “I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence.”

And what about the innocents who died of smallpox because Gandhi was against vaccines? Gandhi is too complex to quote out of context.

Here's a quote that I hope by the grace of God you never have to hear:
"I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do."

That was said to my sister and her husband by his oncologist.

They heard it after three years of fighting the multiple cancers ravaging his body. It was only through treatments developed as a result of animal research that he got those precious years. That's far more than he would have gotten two decades ago. If research keeps progressing, then maybe in a generation, another husband and father might get to live his full lifespan.

You can eat nothing but tofu and kale, and run ten miles every day. But if there's some ticking time bomb in your DNA, it's going to take more than a healthy lifestyle to keep you alive. God forbid you ever have to find out just how much.

Diana - HSUS is a scam. They have nothing to do with your local humane shelter and do everything to try to exploit the general public possible and use it for their personal agenda of ending the human-animal relationship totally. INCLUDING the "exploitation" of having companion animals. Their interests in "animal welfare" have done nothing for this country except to 1) ban the slaughter of horses here in the United States so that they now have to be transported hundreds of miles to Mexico where they're killed in horrible and unhumane ways. Now they're trying to put the American farmer out of business. I would be the first one to say that there needs to be changes in the agriculture industry, but it's going to have to come from the consumer. There isn't enough land left in America for free-range farming for all animals and soon enough HSUS will have shoved all agriculture out of the United States into other country without ANY regulations as far as animal welfare goes. Think twice about what they're really promoting. No university in their right mind would sign something HSUS came up with...they are frauds. Their "pledge" is already included in the rule and regulations that are set out by federal and state laws. Plus if you look at their ridiculous pledge most of them are marked "No, as determined by HSUS". Wow. Bet that wasn't biased!

Of course we are hypocrites, Craig. I am an animal rights activist who can't stand the fact that I have to take antibiotics or pain medication once in a while. Or that I have to give my cat meds that were tested on innocent, suffering animals. But just because we use medicines we don't agree with does not mean we cannot fight to change things. Just because something good has come out of something evil doesn't mean we're not going to use it. We can't do anything about the past; we can only focus on changing the future. For example, I'm sure you would agree that it was a horrible thing that our Founding Fathers pretty much wiped the Native Americans off the face of the map. Do you agree that that was an ethical thing to do? I assume the answer is no, yet you live and breathe on former Indian land.

The point is is that hypocrisy is not the biggest evil in my book. Everyone is a hypocrite to some degree. We do the best we can. We don't use household products or make-up that was tested on animals, and we don't eat animals or wear them. We hope one day to have a choice of using life-saving medicines that were not tested on animals. But until Humanity evolves we are stuck with using medicines that were produced in some of the most cruel and heinous ways imaginable.

"Animal rights people are such hypocrites. If you get sick or injured, don't go the hospital or you will be supporting animal testing. Ever break a bone and have to go the hospital? Ever have to be put under for surgery? Isn't it nice to know they can bring you back? Animal Liberation Front is nothing but ignorant angry people who can't see the error of their ways. Again, if you think animal testing is wrong and you get sick, don't see a doctor or go the hospital or you will absolutely be selling out. Bunch of hypocrites."

1. In the US, over 60% of human deaths are linked to cancer, heart
disease, and stroke, all health problems highly linked to consuming
animal flesh and fluids. However, nationwide, over 93% of primate
experiments do not address these disorders. There are literally more
taxpayer funded studies of monkey reproduction and monkey sex than
of heart disease and cancer.

2. Former NERPRC acting director Bertha Madras has spent over 40
years addicting animals to recreational drugs, including cocaine,
speed, heroine, speedballs, and alcohol. She has apparently become so
desensitized to her abuse of animals that one of her actual research
protocols referred to monkeys as "taking the cocaine challenge".

3. Roger Spealman also addicts monkeys to drugs. One of his studies
addicts monkeys to cocaine, breaks them of the addiction,
then "induces social stress" to see if they will re-addict. Frankly,
anybody with an IQ higher than his/her shoe size could tell you that
ocial stress can cause re-addiction. We don't need to spend over 1
million tax dollars to torture monkeys to find this out.

4. Spealman also electroshocks shocks monkeys "in order to sudy
the effects of electroshocks on monkeys". Electroshock has a
notorious history of abuse in human mental institution patients but
has reportedly been refined for use in treating extremely depressed
and highly suicidal patients. As we understand it, even the strongest
of anti-depressants take a couple of weeks to work, too long for
extremely suicidal people, so this treatment may have benefits for
humans if carefully used (we leave that up to you medical and psych
professionals to determine). However, lab monkeys are not humans, and
if lab monkeys are depressed, it's because their lives are living
nightmares caused by humans like Roger Spealman.

5. NERPRC reseacher David Adams has spent a career failing to
transplant pig kidneys and hearts into baboons. Because of the risk
of introducing new diseases into the human population,
xenotransplantation (the term for trans-species transplants) is
extremely controversial even among people who don't care a bit about
animal suffering. Adams, though, has been blithely proceeding along,
killing dozens of two of the most intelligent species on earth with
no success whatsoever. And, just to prove his status as a sociopath
(in our humble opinion), Adams has taken to filming the animals'
dying and broadcasting it on the internet.

6. John Assad has been permantly attaching head restraint bolts to
monkeys' heads so that he can keep them still during his "research"
studies. In 2003, NERPRC actually claimed in federal documents that
zero primates felt pain. It's hard to imagine that having a permanent
head restraint bolt installed is not painful. Assad also has
installed "coils" in monkeys' eyes. We're sure that that's not
painful either.

7. Alberto Palleroni and associates scammed 50,000 taxpayer dollars
to go to a Latin American island to play tape recordings of raptor
(hawk, eagle, etc.) calls to young monkeys to "study their fear
reactions". Concerned about high medical bills and high health
insurance? Why should you be when you know how monkeys react to
frightful stimuli?

8. Another study of lab animal research done by Harvard found that
the "effectiveness" of all but one "enrichment" methods "declined
over time". Enrichment is the feel good BS term for giving balls and
toys to animals subjected to brutal research. The researchers
literally seemed puzzled by the idea that the balls and toys didn't
work as well over time. DUHHHH! The longer an animal is denied all of
his/her basic instincts, the more depressed and neurotic and/or
psychotic that animal will become. If that animal is also subjected
to the abuses of people like John Assad, David Adams, Bertha Madras,
and Roger Spealman, his/her problems multiply exponentially. Even if
that animal is not currently under assault, he/she may hear the cries
of other battered and butchered animals.

The one "enrichment" method that supposedly works is "group housing".
Primates are just as social as humans and are happier and better
adjusted when given contact with other primates. Nationwide, over 35%
of lab animal primates are denied group housing.

9.NERPRC staff has justified all of its BS, horors, and nonsense by
claiming that they are doing cutting edge AIDS research. In fact, the
director, Ronald Derosiers, has gained his position on the basis of
so-called AIDS research. NERPRC press releases have claimed 6 times
in the last 20 years that NERPRC has "developed vaccines against
AIDS". All 6 have failed. 82 of 82 AIDS vaccines that "worked" in
primates have failed in humans. Science, the most prestigious general
science journal in the country, declared AIDS primate research a
failure and dead end as long ago as 1990. Yet Harvard continues to
suck up millions of dollars and torture thousands of animals for this
failed and horrific approach to AIDS research. Multiple breakthroughs
have occurred that help alleviate the suffering and prolong the
lives of AIDS sufferers; none of them have come from abusing primates.

10. Animals are not objects for us to do what we want with; they are
not "things" or "its"; they are not "tools" for research; they are
beings with emotions, desires, needs, and the capacity for suffering.
Even if a primate in a lab is, for some highly unlikely reason, never
subjected to the nightmares of vivisection, that animal is denied all
of his/her basic instincts and is suffering. This suffering is hidden
from public view, denied, and justified as necessary by those who
earn their paychecks by causing this suffering.

Vivisectors are duplicitous to say the least. They emphasize the "humane" treatment of animals in theory and in public, when they know that over 90% of test animals (all rats, mice and birds) are not covered by the AWA and have no protection whatsoever. Even the animals who are covered have weak protection as the AWA does not apply to experimental procedures - anything goes there.

What is done to animals in labs? Some have screws and devices implanted into their skulls which are affixed to restraining posts so they can't move during experimental procedures. Some have coils implanted in their eyes. Some have their skulls cut open and chemicals poured directly onto their brains to see the effects. Incredibly, nicotine and maternal deprivation experiments still go on as they have for decades - can anyone not figure out what happens in maternal deprivation? Someone mentioned the need to find cures for nicotine addiction as a justification for this kind of vivisection - well, it's been studied for decades with no results - job security for researchers but obviously a failed approach. Also, why should animals have to suffer because humans make poor choices (like smoking)?

The statement that we must test on animals to save humans from being guinea pigs is also false. Animals are poor predictors of reactions in humans. There have been plenty of disasters in Phase 1 clinical trials, including death. Humans in fact are guinea pigs in initial testing trials. In England recently a drug that had cleared animal tests in 3 species, including monkeys, almost killed the 6 humans in the first level trials. These people are permanently disabled. But such results never make the media.

A big problem for anti-vivisection folks is that media in this country is controlled by the large corporations - and there is no group more powerful than the pharmaceutical industry. There are many scientists and doctors who oppose vivisection, but their views are not given a public forum in the media or in medical journals. So it's not surprising that a majority of people in this country feel testing is ok - they are never allowed to hear the opposing viewpoint. In countries with a freer press like England, where anti - vivisection views by scientists and doctors are presented publicly, support for vivisection falls dramatically. In this country the only portrayals of AR people allowed in the mainstream media are that of "wackos" or "extremists". (By the way, isn't torturing animals "extreme"?)

Anyone who is against animal testing should go all out like vegetarians do by not wearing leather or partaking of animal products. Those against animal testing should not, out of their own morality, take ANY medications or medical treatments including aspirin, organ transplants, or wear band-aids. All medical developments have been done through animal testing, and those against it should not partake of any medicines whatsoever. Furthermore, they should register on a national list as "against products tested on animals", so that when they go to the doctor, the doctor has this information, and will tell them: "Sorry Ma'am/Sir, your condition could be easily cured with modern medicine, but unfortunately, you are registered as being against products made through animal testing, so you have to go home and die. Pain medication? Are you kidding? You can't have that, it was tested on animals".
I think you get the idea.

Just because something doesn't bleed, doesn't mean it doesn't suffer. Schizophrenia and drug addiction experimenting? No blood, so wow, it must be fun! C'mon guys, at least be honest, okay? You are whitewashing all animal experimentation in an attempt to legitimize your calling when we all know it is far from utopia for these animals. There are videos that have been publicized and they aren't ALL from the '90's. There are whistle blowers and former lab workers who have completely different stories to tell. Everything is so very secretive and we are not buying your explanations until you can *prove* otherwise, and that is never going to happen.
For one thing, can someone please "educate" us "AR's" on what happened at the primate research lab in Louisianna recently? How can you defend that?
Oh, and for "lol", what does it matter that the list of scientists Gretchen provided lived or died 50 years ago? They paved the way for you but at least they ultimately realized the error of their ways. What an assinine statement. If you work in a lab, you are, hopefully, the janitor.

It's morally OBJECTIONABLE to exploit a living person this way (even if it were DEEMED painless). Even if, on utilitarian or consequentialist grounds (net benefit)one were to support the use of some animals in this way, (a) we could at most only be making a provisional support of some uses, and for a short time UNTIL non-animal (and thus non-animal) research methods could be found, and (b) we oblige ourselves (the entire human community or species) to work vigorously to replace animal models with nonanimal research models and to commit ourselves o validating nonanimal research methods. That some things at this time may be difficult, impossible, or inconceivable does not mean that replacing and eliminating all animal models in all basic science entirely could not happen.

Exploiting persons against there wills may be unethical and immoral; though not everyone agrees to that, it ought to be very clear that it is objectionable - good reasons are given for objecting to it on ethical grounds that nonhumans animals are persons.

Those who override the ethical judgment on the grounds that such research is useful seem to be excusing unethical behavior on the grounds that useful outcomes are produced (without searchng for non-objectionable means to search for the kinds of knowledge that we need or think we need to get). Look at what the advocates of animal-based are saying; you will see that 'utility' using current methods is advocated in favor of doing something harmful (and thus unethical) to morally significant persons (sentient beings who can suffer under such treatment). More than the pain caused, the exploitation of these nonhumans persons is the basis of the moral complaint.

We ought to find ways to totally replace all animal models in all research, whatever is thought to be the 'scientific necessity' for using animal models today.

Further, claims for the usefulness of animals models cannot be transferred to other uses of animals (fashion, food, entertainment, etc.) - truly trivial uses advanced for mostly cultural and not scientific reasons, though none of those harmful abuses of animal persons is a morally trivial issue.

Animals are no longer used in most colleges and medical schools. Unfortunately, the public is shielded from reality by pharmaceutical companies who depend on your drug dependencies, even if they make you even sicker. More animal testing is useless as test results are notoriously unreliable.

Millions of animals; primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, suffer incredible cruelties in laboratory environments, many supplied to pharmaceutical testing facilities from class B Dealers. Dealers obtain the animals from "bunchers" who steal dogs and cats from back yards, cars, and answer "free to good home" ads. Not to mention "breeders", who breed specifically to sell animals, mostly beagles, to labs. So you think mice and rats don't feel pain? Guess again.

In the twenty-first century, not only has animal testing proven to be unreliable, but cruel and inhumane beyond measure.

Visit the National Anti-Vivisection Society web site to learn what the pharmaceutical industry doesn't want you to know. You'll be a better human being for it.
http://www.navs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index

Ad hominem arguments seem to be leveled often against those who would speak on behalf of nonhuman persons.

Last time i took a course in formal logic, 'Ad hominem' arguments were considered invalid.

I like the vet student (above) who wrote about the search for creative but scientifically effective solutions to the moral injustices of some current practices.

To all the pro-test people here: if you are truly committed to humanity, why don´t you volunteer as experiment models, then? It''s easy to be pro-test when it's not you who's going to be mutilated, infected with diseases and then exterminated. Ethics is more important than science, that's the bottom line.

THE POINT IS WE DONT NEED TO USE ANIMALS FOR RESEARCH. THEIR DNA IS DIFFERENT. USE PEOPLE OR COMPUTER MODELS. WE DONT NEED TO ABUSE PRIMATES. THE MOST RELEVANT MODEL TO USE IS PEOPLE.

Gretchen:

Many of the quotes you cite are inaccurate (as most of what comes out of the mouths of animal right extremists).

For example, the Gandhi quote cannot be traced at all:

http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/3812

I vote No. Do not test Animals

This poll is misleading; it leaves out the true answers, which is: "Depends on the research."

Some animal research is necessary; a lot of it is not. This has been acknowledged by people within the scientific community itself. Let's stop pretending this is a black-and-white issue when, in fact, there is a whole lot of gray.

Using animals to reproduce human diseases is problematic for several reasons. If a non-infectious disease, such as cancer, heart disease or epilepsy, is artificially induced in a subject the disease is no longer the same disease that occurs naturally.

There are relevant physiological and immunological differences between species. These differences are important when analyzing the reactions of research subjects to various drugs. In the case of teratogenic (birth defect-causing) drugs, only about 19 drugs have been identified as teratogens in humans, whereas approximately 800 drugs are known to be teratogenic in non-human animals. This demonstrates the unreliability, and indeed, danger of using animal tests to predict birth defects in humans. A case in point is the drug thalidomide, which was administered to pregnant women and caused atrocious birth defects. Testing drugs on animals will always be a hit-and-miss strategy. Therefore, using animals for this purpose is pseudoscience, not real science.

The unnatural environment of the laboratory, confinement, and isolation can cause undue stress in the animal subjects, which necessarily skews the results even further. Living creatures are very complex-their physiological, hormonal, and emotional states of being are all tied together. Anyone who has fallen ill after losing a loved one or lost weight during a stressful period in life can attest to this fact.

It is important to realize that businesses and industries that have a vested interest in marketing their products, regardless of their detrimental impacts to human health or the environment, benefit from the ambiguous, inconclusive nature of animal tests. The tobacco industry was able to use the results of animal experiments in which rats were forced to inhale smoke to argue that lung cancer is not linked to smoking tobacco.

It is generally accepted that vivisecting humans to find cures for human diseases is morally indefensible. Animals have done nothing to deserve being imprisoned in cages, purposely infected with our diseases, and vivisected in the name of science.

How can people be for animal testing its so wrong... On top of that compare the suffering of aniamls to the Troops in Iraq thats horrible and the two don't compare

Most of the so called "diseases" humans suffer are due to our bloated gluttony of unhealthy food and consumption/exposure of toxins. To top it off we then subject other creatures to tortures experiments so we can maintain our hideous lifestyles. There are many other testing methods available. Wake up people! Let's start having some consideration for other beings that we are supposed to "SHARE" this planet with. Maybe if we can cultivate some compassion for other creatures we might be able to solve some of our biggest problems which are ALL manifested by our self centered egotistic attitudes.

Erin,

The Nazis classified Jews as “sub-human” which opened the door to the atrocities that were committed against Jews. Animal researchers do the same with animals when they make the tacit assumption that animals are somehow “below” humans. They are not. They are simply different, and are perfectly evolved to fulfill their niche in the NATURAL world, not an artificial one of cages, test tubes, and restraint chairs.

I recommend reading "What Will We Do If We Don't Experiment on Animals" by Drs. Ray and Jean Swingle Greek.

"I was wondering how long it would take for someone to call upon Hitler for defense.

Let me spell something out:
Jews=Human Beings
Animals=Not Human Beings"

actually, with Hitler:
Jews=Not Aryan
Animals = Not Aryan

"If you have any moral qualms at all about people having sex with animals, then you understand that animals and people are NOT the same thing."

There are people with moral qualms about interracial sex, this use to be a majority. you're logic doesn't flow well through time

I think there is an will be a natural progression of valued lives:

White Landowners
White Men
White Humans
Humans

next two milestones will be Primates and Mammals, but I am not optimistic about seeing it in my time. Certainly a vegetarian diet for the majority of the world will occur first.

People always want to just talk about primates.

According to the Fiscal Year 2006 Animal Welfare Enforcement report, 1,012,713 warm-blooded animals were used in research, testing, teaching, or experimentation. This figure does not cover laboratory rats and mice, and farm animals used exclusively in agricultural research. Of these, 62,315 primates (6.15% of the total) were used. Two points should be made. First, the vast majority of animals used in research are laboratory rats and mice. In 1995, researchers at Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy estimated that 14-21 million animals were used in American laboratories in 1992. In 1986, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment reported that that its best estimate was 17-22 million. The difference between the 1.01 million and the estimated 14-22 million numbers mostly reflects rats and mice (and birds). Second, individual animals are 'used' more than once, in most cases. That is, many, if not most, of the 62,315 primates studied in 2006 were probably also studied in 2005, and again in 2007. These numbers refer just to captive animals; unfortunately, there is no estimate available for the number studied in their natural habitat. (Reference: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/publications_and_reports.shtml).

6.15% of WARM-blooded animals used are primates. Typically lesser ones, monkeys.

The majority of research animals are mice and rats. Because of genetics, a lot more can be learned from them.

No, humans cant be used in their place.
Yes, their research is neccessary.

All stem cell and cancer treatments are derived from work in mice. Yes, they differ physiology, but that doesn't bar research.


The other big research "animal" is the zebrafish, used in the zillions by developmental biologists and researchers.

"Over 90% of test animals (all rats, mice and birds) are not covered by the AWA and have no protection whatsoever."

They may not be covered by the AWA, but an institution that receives funding from the NIH must follow PHS policy, including the Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. And those are only minimum guidelines, most institutions exceed those standards by leaps and bounds. It's the job of the laboratory animal medicine community to continue improving on the techniques we use. Your prejudice blinds you to the fact that those who work in the field are invested in animal welfare and love and care for animals just as deeply as you...that's why they work there, caring for the animals who make the ultimate sacrifice. The only difference is that we see the unfortunate necessity for the use of animals in laboratories at this point in time. Animal research is EXPENSIVE...of course we wouldn't do it if there were better alternatives. In some cases where there are alternatives, then they are done. Many scientists and researchers spend their whole lives working towards finding replacements for animals in laboratories, instead of whining from the outside and saying they regret having to reap all the benefits that biomedical research has brought them. It's entirely disrespectful to the animals had their lives sacrificed for you...saying on the outside that you believe they're subjected to "torture" but gulping down your advil on the side. Own up to the benefits you reap and try to make it better without tearing the whole system down. You don't seem to understand that we all have the same goal...if there was an alternative to testing in animals of course it would be done! You really think that all people who support research do it because they're inherently cruel people? Laboratory animals are more protected than humans in hospitals!

Only arrogant humans who think the earth is theirs alone would assume they have the right to use,abuse and kill the voiceless and choiceless in the name of medicine/science.

Defenseless, innocent animals if they had a choice- if they had a voice- would certainly not elect to be experiemented on.

How dare anyone assume they have the right to impose their will on those who are not in a position to speak out for themselves.

It is reprehensible and immoral to assume the ends justifies the means.

WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO TORTURE AND KILL ANIMALS FOR ANY REASON.

ZERO RIGHTs.
NONE- NADA- WHAT PART OF THAT DO PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND?

This same attitude, was displayed when mankind perpetuated horrendous inhumanity to man, by subjugating various people over the centuries.
3 good examples?

Look at the American Indians- the African Americans and yes, the Jews who were victims of the Holocaust.

Might does NOT make right!

Victor Wilson said above: "The people who protest against animal research in general and allege inhumane demonic treatment and living conditions are willfully ignorant of all the care involved in our current animal medical research projects to address these issues. "

Is this what you call "care"?
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story?id=6997869&page=1

(Video and article expose cruelty in a primate research facility in Louisiana.)

A lot of abuse does go on in animal labs, and it is absolutely unconscionable. Yes, there are laws about animal cruelty, but they don't seem to enforce them very well.

Even if the monkeys were treated in the best possible manner, what right do we have to imprison them? They are compassionate, feeling animals that deserve to live in freedom in their own right. I can't think of a single justification for the kind of torture human beings exert against these primates. Supposed medical benefits or not-- isn't ethical obligation more important?

I wonder how people would feel about being tested on?
Why????????? Do animals feel pain??????I think so....

NO ANIMAL TESTING, WHY SHOULD WE HURT LIVING FEELING BEINGS.

XOXO NO TESTING ON ANIMALS ONLY PEOPLE.

after reading all these comments i've still no idea as to the real truth so i voted "not sure"...good debate though...i do know i'm thankful for the vivisection protesters—as who knows how much worse it would be for the animals if not for them...i also don't understand why labs continue to be so secretive...all the footage i see of them seems to be derived from hidden-cameras...i mean even slaughter houses have tours open to the public where one can see the cows marched in, slaughtered, and processed...why can't one view the "humane" treatment to so readily offered...and doesn't "humane" allude to "as one would treat a human"...random thoughts

Anyone who does not have FIRST HAND knowledge of animal research does not know anything about it, so they should just stop making themselves look like idiots by commenting pure nonsense.

For example, I would never comment on a forum about auto mechanics, because I do not have first hand knowledge about the subject, I am not a mechanic, therefore my opinions would be ignorant and inconsequential.

I am a scientist. I sometimes do research on animals. I see the children it cures, I see the parents that are so very grateful that their child is alive because of this animal research.

All of these comments by people who don't know the first thing about the actual facts of animal research, and only post things they have heard on the internet are completely illogical.

Why don't they go post about things they actually experience in real life instead of posting about something they have never observed in real life with their own eyes? Anything they post should be ignored.

People who say we need research to improve/extend our lives are not even thinking about the wreckless disregard for quality of life that research involves. The issue isn't testing crucial drugs and procedures on animals. There are plenty of sick/injured animals, even people, who wouldn't have a chance without new tools tried on them. The issue is the unimaginable waste and cruelty that exists behind closed doors because people delude themselves into believing this rampant greed and disrespect is necessary to help humans. We're not talking about trying cancer treatments on sick animals, under humane conditions. The reality is a lifetime of terror, pain, isolation in a cold wire cage, deprived of freedom of movement, comfort, social connections. Can't you supporters of vivesection understand it's a world where any scientist can use any animal for absurd and useless, often agonizing testing and repetitive product testing, while the animals live in steel boxes in terror and misery? Is this the only alternative? No control, no conscience, no reason, no mercy, no restrictions and limits, no public exposure? Anyone who loves a pet would be sickened and horrified by the reality, and wouldn't justify it with a blind slogan about the necessity to preserve human health. You can't pretend it's the way you'd like to believe it is, and then ignore the immorality. All life is connected and deserves to be treated with respect, compassion and the right to quality of life. What true human would support anything less?

This is such a no-brainer. There is no such thing as humane animal testing. Period. If people want more research to find cures for diseases, why don't they start by putting down there double whopper, stop spraying chemicals on them that they call "perfume", eat some vegetables, drink some water and go exercise. Then we wouldn't have diseases to find cures for in the first place.

Posted by: genesis | April 24, 2009 at 10:08 AM


You demonstrated the "no-brainer" part. A healthier diet can cut down on certain health problems, and strengthen the immune system; however there are many diseases which are not attributed to unhealthy lifestyles. The current outbreak of swine flu is attacking and killing healthy individuals. Epilepsy is not a function of diet. Cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, ALS, various types fo cancer, diabetes, and accidental injury are among the examples of treatable illnesses not prevented by diet and exercise.

Vivisection is a key part of the discoveries of treatments for illnesses, to claim otherwise is willful ignorance.

Here is a real glimpse of an animal facility. NOT illegally obtained footage of shakey 10 second, out of context garbage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGy1QHPyvtM&feature=channel_page

If a practice involves imprisoning members of other species against their will, tormenting them with so called experiments and then killing them, who cares if it may result in some perceived benefit to our species?

Moral, civilized and compassionate societies don't treat others that way. If we wouldn't do it to humans, or our pets, it shouldn't be done. That's speciesism.

The end does not justify the means. Period.


I wonder if all those votes suggesting animal research is inherently inhumane are from vegans... because animals in factory farms suffer much more than animals in Laboratories. If one truly wanted to stop animal suffering, your first choice would be to stop eating them.

"Our diseases of affluence, like cancer, diabetes, heartdisease, strok; our biggest killers today, are eliminated or greatly reduced by eating a whole foods plant-based diet. Study after study (human research) confirms this."

Greatly reduced doesn't cut it. If people are suffering at all, then the ethical obligation is to search for a treatment. Certainly there are sociological issues at play for some of the larger issues you cite, but they're not germane to the topic at hand; sorry. By the way, that's an awfully simplistic view of disease.

One other thing animal rights activists seem to forget is that even the basic research level relies heavily upon animal research. It's not only for safety and efficacy testing for products that we need animal models. If not for basic research as far back as, say, Frederick Griffith's pneumococcus study in 1928, we would be ill equipped to deal with mechanisms of disease transmission. Even much work on the human genome for inherited human disorders requires knock-out and knock-in mouse models simply to figure out what enzymes are doing what in the disease process, and only from that can we even begin to understand what it is we intend to treat pharmacologically.

This is stuff that quite simply can't ever be tested on humans, since we can't control breeding populations and certainly can't make the DNA-transfer adjustments. We can't make artificial models of this stuff, either, as protein-protein interaction assays can only give so much information as to the mechanisms at work in the pathways involved. The reliance is solely upon the biological system in vivo to develop into a full organism to garner any information at all for many disease mechanisms.

When you take an animal to the vet for surgery the vet gives the animal anesthesia so that the animal will not feel pain. Why then does UCLA say that the animals don't suffer when they cut them open without pain killers?
When a person goes to the hospital for surgery the anesthesiologist gives him pain killers before the surgery. How can experiments on animals be relevant if you give no pain killers. Then science is missing a variable & the experiment is void. Animal researchers are taking the tax payers money to conduct torture on animals & these experiments don't correlate to helping humans. THEY ARE JUST TAKING THE MONEY & DON'T CARE WHO SUFFERS.The taxpayers suffer from misuse of funds & the animals suffer while these guys get funding.LA TIMES PLEASE GET THE TRUTH & STOP FOCUSING ON THOSE AR PEOPLE WHO ARE RADICALS & START FOCUSING ON THE MAJORITY OF AR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT ENGAGE IN VIOLENCE!

To Gretchen Ryan: You keep quoting famous people, but you aren't actually addressing the issue. How do you propose to save human beings without animal testing? Your comments about the risk of cancer and other big killers being decreased by eating a plant-based diet is not only greatly oversimplifying the complexities of those illnesses, but doesn't even address *how one is supposed to CURE those diseases after one has gotten them.* If you genuinely think animals are as important as people, then I respect your views. However, I and other people who see the necessity of animal testing (the necessity, not the "OMG I just love hurting animals") have decided that saving cancer patients, diabetics, people with neurodegenerative diseases, and so on, is more important. As a human being, when it comes down to saving non-human animals or saving people, my morals say to save people.

Finally, the reason another commenter said your quotes are outdated is because vivisection is NOT ALLOWED and not performed now. So you are arguing against something that doesn't even happen in modern science.

Here's a good no-brainer: if your child's life could be saved through animal research, would you condemn her or him to death rather than ok the animal research to save your child?

If you answer is no, you would not allow your child to die, then you are FOR animal research.

If you answer yes, you would allow your child to die, you are AGAINST animal research. And a pretty bad parent too.

This is not hypothetical, it happens every day.

Gretchen Ryan,
So if “Vivisection is a social evil", I assume you're ready to give up all medicine that has been gained by it, since it's "tainted". Start with giving up Insulin for diabetics in your family, then cancer medicine, then vaccines, and any surgery that you might ever need, and, oh, you get the point.

You choose - you either get to have medicine, or no dissections in biology.

To the person who suggested that we give up our pets for research. YOU need to do some research, animals are purchased for shelters across the country by Class B dealers and sold into research.These animals were someones pet t one point. Michigan especialy is notorious for this practice!!

There's no such thing as humane animal testing. Even if the animal has nothing painful done to him or her in the testing process, simply locking an intelligent, sentient being, such as a rat (they ARE highly intelligent), mouse, dog, cat, primate, etc, in a cage for life, never to feel the sun, to be confined to a barren existence for months or years, is a living hell. PLEASE READ this article published in the Guardian, by scientists, not activists:

Cage life may drive lab animals so insane that experiments are invalid

..."But what if the mouse, in the bleak, confined circumstances of its laboratory cage, has gone quietly insane before the experiment even begins?
That is the possibility being raised by US scientists who say they have found evidence that the sheer boredom of life as a captive lab animal may be enough to incur brain damage..."

full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/aug/28/highereducation.research

 
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