Mark Hawthorne as posted on
Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
[Also visit Mark's website, Striking at the Roots]
Action Alert: Get Active for Animals in Laboratories
An estimated 100 million animals suffer in laboratory research—with little to no regulatory oversight. Legal requirements for painkillers are often overridden by claiming “scientific necessity” and 95% of these animals are unprotected by the federal Animal Welfare Act.
They are hidden from view, but animals in labs suffer by the millions each year, and we can all do something about it. This week is World Week for Animals in Laboratories. Built around World Day for Animals in Laboratories (April 24), this is an international movement of protests, rallies, demonstrations, marches, candlelight vigils, and media events to raise awareness about animal testing. An estimated 100 million animals suffer in laboratory research—with little to no regulatory oversight. Legal requirements for painkillers are often overridden by claiming “scientific necessity” and 95% of these animals are unprotected by the federal Animal Welfare Act. See ALDF’s “Animal Testing and the Law.”
Pirka is a rescued rabbit, similar to those who live in laboratories.
Animals in laboratories are beaten, burned, and blinded. They are nailed down, tied up, and sliced open. They are starved, suffocated, shaken, and shot. Their organs are pulverized, their limbs are severed, their bodies are irradiated, and their spirits are broken. They are forced to drink alcohol, inhale tobacco smoke, and consume a variety of highly dangerous narcotics, including heroin. Name a modern disease, and they’ve been infected with it. Imagine a torment, and they’ve suffered it.
Whether it’s called animal testing, animal research, animal studies, animal experimentation, or vivisection, the exploitation of animals in labs occurs throughout the world over three broad categories:
The good news is that alternatives to animal-based models are making headway and show great promise for one day replacing animals altogether. These include In vitro (“in glass”) studies on human cells and tissues; computer modeling; machines that screen chemicals for toxicity; clinical research, which entails observing and analyzing illnesses in human patients; and a humane alternative for HIV/AIDS research called the Modular Immune In vitro Construct (MIMIC), which uses human cells to create a surrogate human immune system. Unfortunately, fully implementing these compassionate options will be a long process. In the meantime, please speak out for animals in labs this week. Here are some things you can do:
Mark Hawthorne is the author of Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering and Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (both from Changemakers Books). You’ll find him tweeting @markhawthorne
Return to Animal Rights Articles