Written by PETA
It looks like scientists do sometimes spend time on worthwhile projects and have now found that being caged, having your bone marrow sucked out, and being used for bioterrorism research is torture—no matter whom it's being done to.
A recent study showed that 95 percent of 119 chimpanzees who had been used for "research" exhibited the same symptoms as humans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone—I mean, chimpanzees and humans share the same blood types and have at least a 98 percent genetic similarity. Why wouldn't they have shellshock and nightmares if we do?
This study is being presented today at a primate conference in Edinburgh—I hope it shakes things up in some rigid minds!
Courtesy of the good folks in PETA’s Regulatory Testing Division—who have been working behind the scenes with these agencies for years to get them to admit that their bloated animal testing programs (which are responsible for the suffering and death of hundreds of millions of animals) are outdated, ineffective, and, frankly, absurd—here’s a little rundown on what this all means, and how it came about:
First of all, this is a significant about-face for the NTP and the EPA—both of whom have been shockingly resistant to incorporating modern science into their toxicity testing programs. It looks like the United States is finally beginning to realize (as Europe has known for some time and as the animal protection community has been advocating for years) that the public and the environment can be better protected through non-animal in vitro tests based on well-understood biological principles than by throwing wads of cash and millions upon millions of lives into the bottomless pit of animal testing.
Fighting this entrenched, bureaucratic mentality over the past couple of decades hasn’t been easy—and, as usual, we’ve had to use a two-pronged attack to get it done: While our Regulatory Testing Division comments on each animal testing plan that the EPA and the NTP puts forward, works directly with top corporations doing the testing and finding alternatives, testifies at government workshops and before Congress, and, occasionally, sues the government to disclose their deliberations about promoting animal tests, our Campaigns Department gets out the billboards, the bullhorns, and the bunny suits and shouts about these ludicrous, wasteful experiments to anyone who will listen. During this time, PETA has convinced the Department of Transportation to stop testing corrosive substances on rabbits, followed Al Gore around on his campaign stops with a 10-foot rabbit to convince him to stop pushing EPA animal tests, and worked (ever-so-patiently) to persuade regulatory agencies which still believe that it’s important, for example, to keep testing asbestos on animals (the NTP) and which have failed to ban a single toxic industrial chemical in more than a decade (the EPA) that maybe it’s time to stop testing on animals and start using modern science instead. We’ve also funded the development and incorporation of non-animal test methods to the tune of more than ¾ million dollars in recent years.
This new collaboration is certainly something different, and it’s a promising step in the right direction—but it has to be backed up with Congressional will and funding if it’s going to get anywhere. A new entity must be created with the resources to get the job done—it can not be left to the EPA and the NTP. The fact that the head of the human genome project is involved with this is a good sign—it’s going to take an intense, focused effort on the scale of the human genome project to get the job done.
So we’re hoping that the prevailing wind surrounding the National Research Council’s vision and the newly announced collaboration between the NTP and the EPA will provide the momentum necessary to overcome the inertia that has characterized the American government’s attitude to toxicity testing for decades, and which causes the suffering and death of more than 15 million animals every year.
For more information on what you can do to help animals used for experimentation, check out StopAnimalTests.com.
Now I’m sure there are a bunch of things that Ayumu would prefer to be doing than playing a computer game with an accountant from Derby (such as, like, being a normal chimpanzee), but the widely reported story does show, yet again, just how intelligent primates are, and just how overwhelmingly hideous it is that it’s still legal to throw them in cages, pump them full of drugs, and dispose of them once we’ve gotten what we wanted out of them. I’m thinking specifically of you guys right now, Covance.
Not to be a total downer or anything, but here’s hoping that this story at least helps a few more people to make that connection.
Embarrassing as it is to get scooped by the peta2 blog on a story, this news is way too exciting to pass up. After negotiations with PETA, PepsiCo (the multibillion-dollar parent company of the Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Quaker Oats, and Gatorade brands) has pledged to end all animal testing. The company's official statement on the topic is just about as progressive as it gets—both a powerful endorsement of alternatives to animal testing and a strong warning to other companies that they need to embrace these alternatives if they want to survive in the marketplace:
“PepsiCo does not do any animal testing and does not directly fund testing using animals. … Where testing on animals is not required, PepsiCo strongly endorses efficient and effective research that does not include the use of animals. We will encourage our partners to use alternatives to animal testing and share this statement with organizations we believe to be involved in projects potentially involving animal research done on behalf of PepsiCo or with PepsiCo or PepsiCo Foundation funding.”
It goes without saying that this is a big step forward. For some more detailed information on the topic, you can check out PETA's PepsiCo victory feature here. And if all this good news puts you in the mood for some witty banter about vegan cupcakes and dreamy rock stars, you should check out the peta2 blog.
First of all, Happy third day of Be Kind to Animals week! I hope your week has been as jam-packed with compassion for animals as mine has (mental note: don't ever say that again). In case you're casting about for some easy ways to help animals that will fit into your schedule, one great thing you can do is write to your legislators about pending bills that will affect animals in your area. The good news is that PETA keeps track of all these bills, and can keep you informed about what's going on and what it all means through our Activist Network, which you can sign up for here.
Conveniently enough, if you live in California, you can get started right away. The particular bill that's pending right now is a singularly unpleasant piece of legislation that seeks to undo an act that made it illegal in the state of California to sell kangaroo skin. As you might imagine, nobody bothered to ask the kangaroos how they felt about this bill, and various interests that stand to profit from their suffering—including the California Chamber of Commerce—are making an effort to push this one through. You can learn more by clicking here, and you can help out by using the form to write to the Chamber of Commerce about the bill, and the contact information provided to let the senator responsible for this bill know why it's such a lousy idea. For anyone who's not convinced that this bill needs to be firmly defeated, here's a short video (warning: this one's really graphic).
It's not going to bankrupt Covance—torturing animals in experiments is big business—but this is a big black eye for them, and it's a vindication of PETA Europe's work to expose the callous disregard for suffering that helps Covance's execs sleep at night. But today, the New Jersey-based animal-testing company paid PETA Europe $290,000 following a British court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the company to stop them from publicizing undercover video footage from a Covance lab here in Virginia. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it,
“Instead of spending a small fortune to try to cover up its abuses, Covance could have used the money to improve the hideous conditions for animals in its U.S. prisons. This company is a monkey’s Guantanamo Bay.”
How d'ya like them apples, Covance? To mark PETA Europe's big victory for free speech, here's the video that Covance really, really doesn't want people to see. It should come as no surprise that the footage is extremely disturbing, but—as the British courts have just demonstrated—it's vitally important that companies like Covance not be allowed to get away with trying to keep their dirty little secrets from the public.
This is actually really incredible, and it's been a long time coming. A couple of months ago, I wrote about a lab Iams was using to test its food that was under investigation by the USDA. Well, I just found out that the lab just agreed to a $33,000 civil penalty after federal investigators alleged the company committed nearly 40 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Some of the violations found by USDA inspectors were failing to provide sheep with appropriate pain relief during surgery, inadequate training of employees for animal handling and care, failure to vaccinate dogs and cats used for research, and keeping animals in cages smaller than the legal limits. You can read the full story here.
Of course, this is just one small step forward in our campaign to stop companies from lab-testing pet food. While Iams may have stopped using this lab after our investigation, the company needs to stop lab-testing its food altogether. You can help persuade them to do just that by only feeding your animals cruelty-free pet food, and by clicking here to let Iams know that you won’t buy their food until they stop testing on animals.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.