In the ’80s, when PETA began pushing cosmetics companies to stop testing their products on animals, those companies insisted that there were no alternatives to dripping mascara into rabbits’ eyes and pumping copious quantities of lip gloss into the stomachs of guinea pigs. Miraculously, when consumers began sending cruelly tested products back to the companies and demanding their money back, the giants of the cosmetics industry found alternatives. Ah, what a difference a little incentive makes!
For years, PETA has been saying that non-animal alternatives are faster, cheaper, and more effective than animal tests, and just last summer, a report published by the not-so-shabby National Academy of Sciences said much the same thing. But as long as the federal government continues to pour money into cruel and pointless animal tests—and as long as vivisectors can map out a tenured career for themselves feeding at the government trough—animal experiments will continue. And even as we work to hold up a mirror to the evil that is vivisection, we need more incentives for non-animal research.
World-famous primate expert Dr. Jane Goodall hit the nail on the head last week when she appealed to the European Union to end the use of animals in experimentation, suggesting that a Nobel Prize be conferred for scientific breakthroughs that use “new ways of testing and experimenting that will not involve the use of live, sentient beings.” She added, “We need to recognize at the outset that what we do to animals from their perspective certainly, and probably from ours, is morally wrong and unacceptable.”
It’s not the first time that Dr. Goodall has ignited a firestorm of controversy, throwing monkey wrenches into conventionally held prejudices and preconceptions. In 1960, Dr. Goodall shook the world by documenting tool use in chimpanzees, an ability that was believed to be uniquely human. Her mentor famously commented, “Now we must redefine tool, redefine Man, or accept chimpanzees as humans.”
Forty-eight years later, Dr. Goodall continues to turn conventional thinking on its head, and our guess is that she’s right once again!
—GracePosted by Grace Friedan