We are not without tools to help stop animals from being tortured in testing. We can help defenseless animals. You can affect real change.
Read on to learn how to stop animal testing.
Unreliable and ineffective animal tests mean consumer safety cannot be guaranteed. Only Animal testing alternatives can combine human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models to deliver human-relevant results in hours or days, unlike some animal tests that can take months or years. It’s well known that the vast majority of drugs that pass tests on animals do not work on humans. “The FDA reports that 92 percent of drugs approved for testing in humans fail to receive approval for human use. This failure rate has increased from 86 percent in 1985, in spite of all the ‘advances and refinements’ intended to make animal tests more accurate.”
At this moment, almost 1 million of living, feeling beings just like us are being held prisoner in laboratories throughout the U.S. They’re repeatedly poked, prodded, biopsied, infected, injected, and robbed of their babies. Many are kept in isolation inside steel cages with no beds and nothing to see or do. They are often withheld food and water as well.
Experiments can cause paralysis, swelling and ulceration of the skin and eyes, convulsions, bleeding from the nose or mouth, severe pain, self-mutilation, and ultimately death. There is no requirement to provide animals with pain-relieving drugs during these experiments, and animals who have not died by the end are usually killed. In 2017, hundreds of thousands of animals were subjected to painful experiments, and few receive any form of pain relief. Although scientists have state-of-the-art, effective, non-animal methods available, experimenters continue to torture countless animals anyway.
Dr. Melvin Andersen, coauthor of the report and former director of the Division of Computational Biology at The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, stated, “The reason we use animal tests is because we have a comfort level with the process … not because it is the correct process, not because it gives us any real new information we need to make decisions. Animal tests are no longer the gold standard.” The former head of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, Dr. Thomas Hartung, echoed Dr. Andersen’s statement when he said, “Some animal tests haven’t changed in 60 years. The tests are frozen in time. This is not science. Science is always moving ahead.”
Animal testing is completely unnecessary.
Animal testing alternatives
According to the Humane Society of the U.S., there are more than 50 identified animal testing alternatives! Here’s just a few:
1. Lab-grown epidermis. It comes from human stem cells. These stem cells in our skin multiply constantly, so doesn’t it sound better to use our own skin than pets? Of course!
2. In Silico. This is a computer simulation model and becoming more and more popular. It’s quick and efficient and tests toxicity of chemicals on a human model. This method is time as well as cost efficient.
3.Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) Computer-based techniques that can replace animal tests by making sophisticated estimates of a substance’s likelihood of being hazardous, based on its similarity to existing substances and our knowledge of human biology. Companies and governments are increasingly using QSAR tools to avoid testing chemicals on animals.
4. Pyrogenicity – Using five human cells in this procedure with human whole blood, for detecting pyrogenicity by Gram-negative endotoxins. Pyrogenicity is another word for a vascular lesion or irritation on skin.
5. Genotoxicity – Using in vitro methods, this alternative method is a reverse bacterial mutation test. This is testing the interactions of mammalian cells. In vitro occurs in a laboratory vessel or other controlled experimental environment rather than within a living organism.
6. Metabolism – No, not concerning weight this time! This is testing human drug-drug interactions, enzyme induction, using metabolizing systems for in vitro testing (In vitro diagnostics are tests done on samples such as blood or tissue that have been taken from the human body) of endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine systems at certain doses. Disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders.
7. Human trials. This method make the most sense, since we are the ones that are going to be using the product? There are ways to safely do it by micro-dosing and microchip technologies. Using small doses, it can safely be tested if there is any reaction.
8. MatTek Life Sciences’ EpiAlveolar, a first-of-its-kind 3-dimensional model of the deepest part of the human lung. The model, composed of human cells, can be used to study the effects of inhaling different kinds of chemicals, pathogens, and (e-)cigarette smoke.
Scientists try to answer questions about the safety of long-term exposure to low levels of a substance—but it’s impossible to study these long-term effects in animals, since most of them don’t live as long as humans. In order to try to see these toxic effects in a short time frame, scientists expose animals to much higher doses of chemicals than humans would ever experience or would ever be seen in the environment (animal testing normally requires that the top dose in experiments shows some signs of overdose).
These tests generally require concentrations of the chemical that are thousands of times higher than someone would experience in a typical real-world exposure. However, this approach doesn’t make problems show up thousands of times faster – it makes different problems show up. It’s a little like tossing a rat into a vat of window cleaner and then concluding that window cleaner causes drowning. The rat dies of other causes before tests can show the neurological damage that can be caused by long-term, low-dose exposure to window cleaner. All we can possibly learn from high-dose experiments is what might happen in overdose situations. And we don’t learn what might actually happen with exposures to lower concentration for longer periods of time.
Animal testing alternatives combined give better outcomes
By combining different non-animal methods, (such as computer simulation and human cell-based models) like animal testing alternatives mentioned above, can be used as a working and efficient way to evaluate a chemical’s overall biological activity relative to other chemicals and to give toxicologists a good idea of what kind of toxicity it might induce. Additionally, monitoring real-life, daily exposure of humans can help us understand what effects low level, long-term exposure has. These population-based studies have been shown to provide information on health risks that have not been revealed by animal testing.
The future of chemical and product safety assessment lies in animal testing alternatives called “new approach methods.” By combining advanced test systems engineered in the lab using cells from the relevant species with the latest tools in computer science and bioinformatics, we are move forward to improved calculations of real-world reactions to chemicals or products, thereby increasing confidence in regulatory decisions, and better protecting the safety of consumers.
Sources: Humane Society International / Global, PETA
What can you do to stop animal testing. How to help defenseless animals.
They find, expose, and de-fund wasteful government spending on animal experiments. To change public policy, they unite liberty lovers and animal lovers with hard-hitting investigations and public policy campaigns. While buying cruelty-free cosmetics and household products is a good start, the overwhelming majority of animal experimentation in the U.S. is being done in federally-funded laboratories that are not involved in consumer product development. This is why addressing the federal spending problem is the way to stop most animal experimentation.
NAVS promotes greater compassion, respect and justice for animals through educational and advocacy programs based on respected ethical, scientific and legal theory. Supported by extensive documentation of the cruelty and waste of vivisection, NAVS works to increase public awareness about animal experimentation, to promote positive solutions that advance humane science, to support the development of alternatives to the use of animals, and in cooperation with like-minded individuals and groups, to effect changes which help to end the unnecessary suffering of animals.
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