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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Animal Research- from 2009

Remember that essay I had to write on animal research? Well, I got a 90.3 as, apparently, I do not write in a straight clinical style. Here it is. A lot of quizzing, blood, sweat and tears went into this. My next assignment is on the function of the two hemispheres of the brain and on whether I believe I am right or left brained. I guess for the most part, on this topic, I ran on the emotional side.

I am split on animal research.
For cosmetic use, such as testing lipsticks or shampoos, I am putting my foot down and saying "No, definately not".
These (excluding shampoos) are non-essential items, and can lead to animals being in great pain.
It is up to researchers to remember that we have a responsibility to not only create safe products, but to do so with a minimum of pain, if at all.
This also goes towards the creation of folk medicines, such as bear gall, where North American black bears are brought to China, the lead producers of bear gall in medicines and aphrodisiacs. Or they are killed illegally and devested of paws and gall bladders (and everything else left.) Not only is a poaching problem being created, but bear gall production has already drastically cut down Asian bear populations, leading to demand and greed for American bears.
There are very few documented proofs of effectiveness for bear gall, although it is promised to cure athlete's foot, cancer, and more. More or less I consider this to be at best, cosmetic, at worst, a modern day snake oil. For more information, I consider this article to be a gold standard.www1.american.edu/TED/bear.htm
In other words, cosmetic animal testing can lead to needless pain and greed.
On the other hand, medical testing, provided it be done with a minimum of pain for the animals affected, is something I can agree with.
Because of animal research, we were capable of creating insulin for diabetics. Many lives have been saved, both human and animal, because of insulin either taken from the pancreases of pigs, or synthesized to create an artificial form, Humalin, which owes itself to that from pigs.Unlike bear gall, there is a documented effectiveness.
Other non-snake-oil "miracles" have come in the form of medicines such as Catapres*, which involves snake venom as part of its' makeup, and can be used effectively for both heart conditions and ADD/ADHD. Without pigs being used to test effectiveness, could we have found a dose that is therapetic, not lethal? Without at least one researcher being indicted for murder? I think not!
Medical research is not without its' greed, of course, but for every bad researcher, every researcher more interested in a bottom line than someone's health, there are thousands more who want only to help and to heal.
Another example of the use of animal research in medicine is that we can see how diseases develop in controlled settings, and can find ways to treat them quickly, in ways we cannot in many patients who are in advanced stages of disease by the time many see a doctor for treatment.
For cosmetic use:
1)But isn't better that a rabbit gets a rash from a new shampoo or lipstick, then a human, who in this liturgical society, might sue over any little bump or blister?
2)So there's some poaching. How do we know bear gall isn't effective for something? After all, it's good for the bear!
3)Pain is part of the process. Exactly what is too much? If there can be too much, can there be too little?

On medical testing:
1)Don't you think this makes you a hipocrite? You disaprove of animal testing to make you pretty, but you have no problems with medical research on animals to keep you alive?
2)Don't a lot of these ADD/ADHD medicines cause problems of their own?
3)Shouldn't you feel terrible for animals purposefully made sick to test the courses of human disease?

* For basic information on Catapres, including what conditions it treats, please visit this link. I learned of the makeup of Catapres using pharmacy sheets when I used it in 1995.


  1. I think you do a very good job of standing up for what you believe in.. great blog!

  2. Thank you! I sucked in debate club for being quote "Too nice", but on most issues, if I say it, then I must show it in my example. It's great to know that for some, I do actually live that! :)