Hundreds of companies have permanently banned animal testing in their research laboratories, and with good reason. Each
year, 17 to 22 million rabbits, cats, dogs, primates, mice, and other animals are used in animal experimentation. These animals
may seem neccessary to help produce cures for diseases, but there are alternatives. And what about the animals tortured and
killed just so people can have a new overn cleaner, or yet another kind of shampoo? With the thousands of shampoos out there,
why do we need more?
Vivisection, the practice of experimenting on animals, began because of religious prohibitions against the dissection of
human corpses. When religious leaders finally lifted these prohibitions, it was too late - vivisection was already entrenched
in medical and educational institutions.
Estimates of the number of animals tortured and killed annually in U.S. laboratories diverge widely - from 17 to 70 million
animals. The Animal Welfare Act requires laboratories to report the number of animals used in experiments, but the Act does
not cover mice, rats, and birds (used in some 80 to 90 percent of all experiments). Because these animals are not covered
by the Act, they remain uncounted and we can only guess at how many actually suffer and die each year.
The Draize eye irritancy test has been used since 1944. Liquid, flake, granule, and powdered substances are placed into
the eyes of rabbits, and then the eyes' progressive deterioration is recorded. The Draize test is responsible for the suffering
and death of thousands of rabbits each year in the United States but does not prevent or help cure human injury.
During the test, 100 milligrams of a concentrated solution are dripped into the eyes of six to nine conscious albino rabbits,
who may be immobilized in stocks from which only their heads protrude. Their eyes often are held open with clips at the lid,
and rabbits can break their necks or backs struggling to escape. The damage to the rabbits' eyes is recorded at specific intervals
over an average period of 72 hours, with the test sometimes lasting 7-18 days. Reactions to the irritants can include swelling
of the eyelid, inflammation of the iris, ulceration, hemorrhaging (bleeding), and blindness. Pain-relieving drugs usually
are not administered because experimenters claim their use would interfere with test results. If anesthesia is given, the
relief is only temporary.
Animal tests protect companies, not consumers. Knowing that a rabbit goes blind 72 hours after being dosed with dandruff
shampoo doesn't help us. We already know not to pour caustic substances into our eyes and leave them there; the pain tells
us that. We also already know how dangerous various ingredients are, and we can run computer assays of mixtures of these ingredients
to predict irritation levels. Human volunteers are already used by some companies to test for skin irritation; these tests
provide much more accurate information than animal-based tests. To treat accidental poisoning victims, physicians can use
data collected by hospitals from previous poisoning cases--data that are readily applicable to treating human injury.
Photos of animals from Research Laboritiories
American Heart Association's Lies
This site gives you lists of companies and charities that do test on animals, and ones that don't
A very helpful site that exposes the cruelties of vivisection
Check out PETA's factsheet page (scroll down to the "Animal Experimentation" part)