Rabbits immobilized in wooden stocks with ulcers in their eyes, baby seals being clubbed over the head, and the infamous shock treatment. Surely you have all witnessed footage of one or all of the aforementioned practices and were appalled by the cruelty. Appalled yes, willing to stand up and voice your thoughts…
not often. There is one significant reason for this unwillingness by most to stand up for the rights of our fellow inhabitants of this planet, personal convenience.
We are systematically cutting down the last forest that provides their shelter to farm cattle; we dump toxic chemicals and sewage into the waters in which they live; we wear the tusks of the last few of their species on our arms, and we pour cosmetic products into their eyes, rectums or vaginas to determine the harmful effects they might cause on humans, even though the physiological differences between humans and the animals they use are drastic. On a daily basis most people do not see their own degree of unintentional support towards this global dilemma, but hopefully after I am finished here today you too will question how mankind can, with conscience, commit these acts which shame us as human beings.
Animals possess the same kinds of feelings and emotions as human beings, and without anesthesia, they are subjected to the pain as well. Mankind often fails to give animals the respect and rights they deserve, they are treated as lifeless, unfeeling scientific specimens: items that we may manipulate at our own convenience, for vanitys sake.
Laboratory research involving animals is cruel and merciless treatment of helpless creatures. No law requires that cosmetics and household products be tested on animals. Nevertheless, by six o’clock this evening, hundreds of animals will have had their eyes, skin or gastrointestinal systems unnecessarily burned or destroyed. Two of the most famous animal tests are the Draize, or eye irritancy test and the LD50, Lethal Dose 50. The Draize test is performed almost exclusively on albino rabbits, such as the Florida White, because they are cheap, docile, and are not “equipped” with tear ducts to wash away the chemicals. During this test the rabbits are immobilized in a stock with only their head protruding, a solid or liquid is then placed in the lower lid of one of its eyes; substances vary from mascara to aftershave and even oven cleaner.
The rabbits eyes are clipped open and observed at intervals of 1, 24, 48, 72 and 168 hours. It is important to note that, during this test, anesthesia is rarely used. Reactions include inflammation, ulceration, rupture of the eyeball, corrosion and bleeding. Some of these studies continue for weeks, and all the while no measures are made to reduce suffering or treat the rabbits. Survival, however, will only lead to an entirely new set of tests, such as the LD50. Lethal Dose 50 refers to the lethal dose that is required to kill 50% of all animals in a test group of 40-200.
Animals are force fed substances through a stomach tube, forced to inhale a substance, or have the substance applied to their rectum or vagina. These tests continue until half of the test animals die. During these tests animals will often endure excruciating pain, convulsions, loss of motor function, seizures, vomiting, paralysis and bleeding from every open orifice in the body. Any animals who somehow manage to survive these particular tests are subsequently destroyed. There is also a Lethal Dose 100 test that determines the amount of a test substance required to kill 100% of the test animals. Ironically, results of these tests are rarely, if ever, used in situations of actual human poisoning.
Not only are these tests cruel, but the results are unreliable and unnecessary as scientific evidence. As with the aforementioned Draize test; rabbits eyes are not the same as human eyes – there are profound differences, mainly the absence of tear ducts. In addition, different species react differently to various substances; In fact one study done at John Hopkins University found only a 5-25% correlation between harmful effects in people and the results of animal experiments.
So why do these tests continue? The truth of the .