The same week The Seattle Times reported that a macaque monkey at the UW died of thirst, The Baltimore Sun offered some hopeful news: Johns Hopkins, which runs the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, is now going to compare standard animal tests with more modern scientific methods that use human cells or computer models.
I used to think the end of animal testing — or, at least, most animal testing — was a no-brainer. It’s not emotionally tied to food, and people can surely understand that more accurate non-animal alternatives are better than inhumane treatment of animals.
But the propaganda is effective. Many people believe humans will die if animal testing stops, despite much evidence to the contrary — some of it self-evident.
How valuable do you think smoking tests on animals are? Do we not know the ill health effects of cigarettes? Yet the tests continue.
How about emotionally wrenching tests at the University of Wisconsin that showed monkeys prefer love to food? They’re at it again.
In an excellent report that gives a comprehensive outline of the issue, Meredith Cohn at The Baltimore Sun writes: “Many hope to decrease the number of drugs that show promise in animal testing but fail to prove safe and effective in human trials, failures that are costly and disappointing to pharmaceutical companies and researchers as well as to patients hoping for better therapies and cures. A drug trial for a promising Alzheimer’s drug failed in a large trials last year, for example.”
In 2015, more than 767,600 animals were used in research, Cohn reported. That’s according to data from a U.S. Department of Agriculture website that was recently taken down. That number included dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, primates and some farm animals.
It’s incredible that this hasn’t been done before, and thank heavens it’s happening now.
Next, how about someone stops the creation of these human-pig hybrids meant to carry human organs for transplant?