Just as we do not experiment on humans who are incapable of consenting to experimentation, we should not experiment on non-human animals. Non-human animals cannot give informed consent, and the vast majority of experiments using animals are so invasive and injurious, we would never even consider allowing humans to consent to being subjects in such experiments.
In the United States, the Animal Welfare Act appears to set certain minimum requirements for the humane treatment of non-human animals in laboratories and other settings, but in fact is very ineffective.
For example, the AWA explicitly excludes from protection all rats and mice, which make up approximately 95% of the animals used in laboratories. The AWA also requires institutions that perform vivisection to have Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees that are supposed to oversee and approve the proposed use of animals, making sure that non-animal alternatives are considered.
However, since IACUCs include the institutions own researchers, they tend to rubber stamp the proposals. Furthermore, the AWA does not prohibit invasive procedures or the killing of the animals when the experiments are over. The AWA tends to address more superficial concerns, such as cage size, toys, and anesthesia.
regardless of how large the cages are or whether the animals are anesthetized before they are cut open, vivisection is antithetical to animal rights because animals have a right to be free from experimentation, imprisonment, and killing.
Ending vivisection would not end medical progress, because non-animal research would continue. There are so many medical issues that go unexplored because of lack of resources, if we took all the resources that go into animal research and redirected them towards non-animal research, we would continue to make medical progress. Some examples of the types of research that would still continue include human cell and tissue cultures, epidemiological studies, and ethical human experimentation with fully informed consent.
Obama's Animal Welfare Team
Target . Companies That Do Test
Companies That Don't Test
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Just as unethical experimentation on a group of humans cannot be justified by a benefit to humanity at large, the same holds true for animal experimentation. Like humans, animals are sentient beings with interests in their own lives and freedom. To treat them differently and say that experimentation on non-human animals is justified but experimentation on humans is not would be speciesist.
We the undersigned urge you to discuss the possibility of all companies currently involved in animal testing to be closed or agree to investigate more humane alternatives than they have already.
We Thank You For Your time And Consideration To This Matter
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