Ok, I am aware that this post has the potential to be contraversial, but I stand by my opinions and am prepared to defend them as I see fit.
Currently I'm doing a day's home care for a wonderful lady, who is now asleep in her chair. The 12.13 news headlines have just been on, and I'm angered to hear that animal rights activists have written to all small shareholders of GlaxoSmithKline telling them to sell their shares, or risk their personal details being published on the internet.
Let me say this now: I have tested on, and dissected animals in my academic career. For my biomedical sciences BSc it involved laboratory bred rats and tissue from guinea pigs. My laboratory has a home office licence, and the animals were reared and sacrificed humanely, following approved methods.
The laboratory work I carried out was never optional - it was part of my degree and for research. Therefore, I am in no way ashamed of having tested on animals.
Individually, whether we agree with animal testing or not, certain (but not all) mammals share similar biological mechanisms and functions with humans (cats for example cannot be used for testing toxicity as they break down drugs differently), and the only way to prevent chemical injury to humans is to test on a biologically similar system.
How are drugs ever going to improve if we don't test on animals?? Just because humans are used in the testing process, doesn't mean animals (or tissue from them) haven't been used first, or even that animal testing should stop.
Many drugs do not make it through early stage animal testing due to dangerous or undesirable side effects - yet without animal testing, it would need to be trialled on humans!
Admittedly, as we have seen in recent news, not all animal testing can indicate problems in humans. Interestingly, Thalidomide also successfully passed animal testing, although having never been tested on pregnant animals.
Imagine all the products we would be without if not for animal testing?
-- Contact lens wearer?? You'd probably still be cleaning your rapidly disintegrating lenses in tap water.
-- Asthmatic?? Forget that nebuliser or inhaler.
-- Headache?? We'd still be chewing toxic willow bark
-- Diabetic?? You'd be in big trouble.
As a woman who wears cosmetics and perfumes (i'm not including personal hygiene products here), I do not agree with vivisection for the beauty industry, because, despite the opinions of some of my peers, beauty products are not essential for day-to-day life.
Do I really need to elaborate?
I am aware that Huntingdon Life Sciences (linked to GSK) is currently being targetted over claims of alleged 'animal cruelty', but the issue of animal testing still annoys me from time to time. I mean, digging up dead grandmothers is really low.........
Obviously animal rights activists don't need pharmaceuticals.