What are the alternatives to testing on animals?
In scientific fields outside biology, animal tests are largely obsolete. We no longer crash-test pigs, or send dogs into space. Why? Because the data provided by these tests is not representative of humans in those situations.
In other fields, the use of dummies (artificial bodies) and mathematical/computer modelling is now far more common, prior to confirmation tests involving actual humans. We also use the vast array of historic data that has been collected over the years: we can validate models, and draw conclusions from experience on similar work.
We know that biomedical animal testing is also not always representative of how a human will react. There have been several cases of animal tests predicting that a drug will be safe or effective, but then human subjects have had an adverse reaction. [forum.vegtalk.org/t/some-animal-testing-facts/817/1)
We now have the technology to grow human skin in a laboratory environment. I have also seen universities using computer modelling increasingly, in many aspects of biomedical research. And we certainly have a wealth of previous data from years of animal and human tests. I don’t think animal tests are necessary.
I’m afraid that some animal tests are still necessary if we don’t want to slow down medical advancement. There are still a lot of scientific discoveries made with animal testing and most researchers doing tests on animal know the difference between human body and animal body.
I think that we as vegans should concentrate our efforts on lowering down animal consumption as food. There are magnitudes more animals suffering for food than in animal tests. Also by blindly opposing all animal tests we alienate most other people, because they will think “They love animals more than my 6 year old daughter who desperately needs this drug”
So I think that by blindly opposing all animal testing we’re causing more suffering than if we’ll concentrate on animals for food. A good read on this is veganoutreach.org/
You are quite right Sergio: these are just my personal views and thoughts, and not representative of other vegans
I agree that medical advancement should not be slowed, and I see that there is a Public Relations issue here. Perhaps I should have written that there will be no need for animal tests in the future, to allow a transition period?
The Dr Hadwen trust campaign for research into alternatives to animal testing: drhadwentrust.org/ In response to mavbv4d’s original question, there’s a more detailed article on alternatives to animal testing here.
There is also some interesting reading on The Hans Ruesch Foundation website: vivisectionfraud.com/ They actually argue against alternative testing, on the basis that much of the original testing is not necessary.
In the spirit of being impartial, there is an organisation called Pro-Test in the UK, who were set up to oppose the anti-vivisection movement’s activities against Universities and Research Institutions (there were some high profile cases a few years ago where animal rights protestors were attacking scientists, and even dug up the body of somebody’s Grandmother ) I’ve found their website to be rather emotive and biased! But they do have some interesting information on how animal tests are used at the moment. pro-test.org.uk/
I noticed that you have made several comments regarding posts about animal testing and I have to disagree with the stance you continue to take. Most vegans would agree that the treatment and exploitation of animals for unecessary human benefit is unethical and repugnant. While perhaps more animals are killed as a result of the food industry than they are the scientific community, there is something to be said about a culture that supports the intentional maiming and torture of a living creature for vanity’s sake. Medical testing is one thing and I don’t know that there is a good answer for an alternative method of testing drugs but cosmetic testing is completely different. If people on this site share my setiments in this arena then there is no reason why they shouldn’t talk about it. Taking issue with animal testing doesn’t threaten the “vegan image”, making blanket statements in combative, unintelligible and irrational ways does. If you are really concerned about the way vegans are perceived by others you should voice your opposition to the way vegans say things rather than the things they say.
There are many good books out there that address this issue intelligently. I would suggest Dr. Ray Greek’s, “Sacred Cows & Golden Geese: The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals”.
Try to ignore the trolls here who apparently feel no compassion for anyone but themselves and interrupt those who are here to learn and share information. Death and suffering is not a joke, despite the comments from those who think it is.