I’m temporarily putting aside the immediate issue of people, jails, and civil rights struggles, for the “occurring tomorrow” issue that is animal rights – also close to my heart. The national animal rights conference was held in Virginia this year (today is the last day of the conference), and they will be meeting on Monday to lobby Congress. The biggest single change that human beings can make in the happiness of many animals is to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.
Other issues that I believe should be implemented:
1) Best humane alternatives to any experimental treatment for the control groups. Don’t just make your drug look good by not giving the control group anything.
2) Use of naturally sick animals when possible for studies. Test a new transplant protocol on a mouse that naturally has kidney failure. Heal the naturally suffering mouse, when possible.
3) Animals should be allowed to live out the rest of their natural life humanely if possible. They should not be sacrificed because of the cost of maintaining their lives.
4) Laws that penalize groups on ethical grounds for monetary damages to companies should be changed. It is unfair that a company can compete with a business if they are in the same business, thereby economically harming that business, but that if someone has an ethical concern about the way animals are being treated, they can be sued for damages (for example, for broadly advocating veganism).
5) Animal terrorism acts need to change. i.e. AETA.
6) Be cognizant of research studies that demonstrate problems with transferring research results from animals to humans. For example, it was shown 15 years ago that human breast tumor cells grown in mice and rats are easier to kill in those animals than in humans. So, experiments that would inject a human breast cancer cell into a rat and then try to use chemotherapy to cure the cancer are going to work much better in the rat than they would ever work in a human.
7) Endpoints for testing toxicity need to be changed. Toxicity should not be evaluated as the point where 50% of all animals are killed. Today, one has markers for organ failure, and one can test for those markers short of watching an animal suffer and die, and stop a product before it kills animals. Consume organically and avoid the issue of testing many consumer products on animals.
So, Monday is the big day. My personal belief is that some research needs to be done, so be respectful. Write a letter, put a post up today in solidarity with animals. Today, our voice will be heard.
The quality and care of animals needs to be higher.