Rows of rabbits wait in cages, their heads tightly clamped in stocks to prevent movement. The lower lids of the rabbits’ eyes are pulled back. Technicians drip nail polish remover, mascara, shampoo, and astringent into their eyes, where the chemicals stay for three to 21 days. The chemicals burn and often blind the animals. Rabbits’ sensitive corneas make excellent subjects for this procedure—called the Draize test—because they cannot cry to wash away the toxic chemicals. They have no tear ducts.
First I will introduce the amounts of animals that are being used in these tests and those tests that they are being used for.
Second I will describe what these tests are used to figure out and how they are carried out.
Third I will describe the alternative tests which would make it so that no more animal tests would need to be preformed
Then I will show what these tests really do, not only to the animals forced to endure them but also to the scientists which intentionally harm and kill hundreds of innocent animals of every year.
Finally I will explain what you can do to stop the continuance of these animals deaths.
The definition of animal cruelty is the willful, or wanton infliction of pain, suffering, or death upon an animal.
The problem is that as Newsweek magazine reports the lives of 17 to 22 million animals is being sacrificed in laboratory experiments each year. Many of those animals die in the noble search for cures to diseases that cripple and kill millions of people every year. Those animals die for a purpose and with their use I cannot argue. I sympathize with those people that say that they would prefer to lose animal lives rather than human ones and I agree. I lost my father to lung cancer when I was a teenager and I would give up the lives of millions of animals in order to have saved him from that disease. However estimates range from 2 to 20 million of those animals are not being killed to save lives, they are being killed in order to provide vain women with cosmetics.
The tests that these animals are being used in range in cruelty.
The two that are the cruelest and are the mostly widely used are the Draize and the LD50 tests.
The Draize test, developed in 1944, involves dropping potentially irritating substances into the eyes of rabbits, whose inferior tear ducts do not allow them to cry the substances away. The Food and Drug Administration supports this test.
Susan Rick, director of the “compassion program” at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a Washington, D.C. based animal rights organization.
Points out the fact that “its their test” pointing out that the doctor that developed the test worked for the FDA.
Its not surprising then that according to FDA guidelines, new drugs must be determined safe as well as effective. While the FDA has no authority to require animal tests per se, it does require the most accurate tests available. And right now, the FDA believes that means animals.
That’s right they have no authority, because there is NO law that requires companies to test their personal care and household products on animals before selling them to consumers.
The second, and possibly even crueler than the Draize test is the LD50 test.
LD50 stands for Lethal Dose 50, meaning that they determine what concentration of a substance is needed to kill 50 percent of an animal group. They kill HALF of the animals in a test group in order to know how much it takes to kill them. How does this test make any sense? That would be like killing half of the people in this room. There are 20 students in this class, how would you like coming to class knowing that only 10 people were going to leave, you would be killed intentionally with a lethal cleaning solution, just so that someone would be able to know how much it took before you died.
These tests are evil and cruel, and what makes it worse is that they are completely unnecessary. There are half a dozen tests already being run to replace the Draize test and one incredibly reliable one to replace the LD50 test.
The Draize replacements are:
Neutral Red Bioassay:
Agarose Diffusion Method
All of these test for irritants and are just as effective as the Draize test and use absolutely no animals.
The Human Epidermal Keratinocytes are a battery of tests used to replace the LD50. And best of all absolutely no animals need to lose their lives in order to achieve the results.
Its easy to talk about animals in terms of millions of animals but it’s a little harder to condemn these animals to death when you have to visualize them as individuals.
I’d like to introduce York and Jersey. They are 4 month old black Russian long haired kittens.
I’d also like to ask for a volunteer. I’ve filled this eye dropper with a solution which I personally use to rewet my s when they are in my eyes. This is an important product because if improperly produced I could lose my eyesight.
I’d like you’d to please drop a drop of this liquid into the eye of Jersey. York will remain as our control animal. Given that they are meant for s it’s a strong possibility that it will burn her eyes and she will be blinded for life.
We already know this product is safe, just as the scientist performing the experiments on the animals in the labs have proven that their products are 99.9% safe for human use. So its now up to you will you sacrifice the health of this kitten to prove an already proven product safe?
Call to Action:
Its obvious that we as individuals can’t personally cause harm to animals. So how can we condemn those unknown animals to pain and death when it is equally unnecessary. Thus I urge you all to continue the New York tradition, for the first anticruelty society in the United States was chartered in New York in 1866. Join the boycott of those cosmetic companies which refuse to stop animal testing. The Coalition for consumer information on cosmetics has made it easier to identify those products with have not been tested on animals by placing this logo on all products which have been manufactured under the corporate standard of compassion for animals. Support those companies, such as Avon and Revlon, which have stopped all animal tests and bear this logo by buying their products.
Animals are living things, and sometimes in our position at the top of the food chain we forget that we aren’t the only things on this planet that deserves respect and the right to live. We can make the choice to save lives instead of take them. Simply by directing where our money goes we can decide wether to support life, or to support cruelty. Don’t let York and Jersey and their millions of relatives die in vain.
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