blue-flag-thumb2_50x50Our side's flag is a thin, airlight blue, drifting almost unseen against the sky. Our military march is a meadowlark's song among the dandelions. --Ken Kesey, The Real War
 

DeOccupy Animal Experimentation: Don't Put Descartes Before the Horse | Mickey Z.

Photo Credit: Mickey Z.
Photo Credit: Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

“Atrocities are no less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research." --G. Bernard Shaw

Mar. 22, 2012 -- If your 10-year-old neighbor strapped down his pet bunny, used metal clamps to keep its eyes wide open, and poured Mommy’s perfume directly into those unprotected eyeballs, you’d presumably be horrified. Even if Junior professed he was tormenting the rabbit in the name of the common good, he’d surely be on a collision course with Ritalin.

Mic Check: Fast-forward 20 years, give Junior a college degree and a white lab coat, and voila: he’s an esteemed member of the corporate/scientific community. Such is a world in which cruelty is big business.
   
It can be argued that the roots of such barbarism lie in the philosophy (sic) of René Descartes who postulated (sic) that animals could not experience pain. In this enlightened 21st century of ours, we now recognize that animals are not machines. Yet, we still embrace laboratory animal suffering as unavoidable, even necessary.

WTF?

Meanwhile, millions of dollars have been raised and tens of thousands of humans have been mobilized to assail animal experimentation almost exclusively on moral grounds. While I believe, in a sane society, a moralistic appeal should be adequate to end this practice, this is corporate capitalist America, the Land of Denial... where moral stances are effortlessly quashed by those seeking to justify the laboratory torture of animals on well... "moral" grounds.

"What's more important, your child or some nameless rodent?" they ask.

Mic Check: If it is established that such experiments are not only morally vacant, but scientifically specious as well, the hunter becomes the hunted, if you’ll pardon the expression.

#OccupyTruth
"The reason why I am against animal research is because it doesn't work,” explains Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. “It has no scientific value and every good scientist knows that."

Aysha Z Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., a senior medical advisor and Jarrod Bailey, Ph.D., a senior research consultant for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, concur. “The more we study the relevance of animal tests, the more apparent their shortcomings become,”

Akhtar and Bailey state in a Feb. 9, 2007 letter published in the British Medical Journal. “Even subtle physiological differences between humans and animals can manifest as profound differences in disease physiology and treatment effectiveness and safety. For example, numerous differences in spinal cord physiology and reaction to injury exist between species and even strains within a species. These differences likely contribute to the repeated failure of spinal cord treatments that have tested safe and effective in animals to translate into human benefit.”

In addition, say Akhtar and Bailey, “tests in rodents for predicting human carcinogenicity with a false negative rate approaching two-thirds, potentially caus(ed) widespread human exposure to carcinogens.” They also point at wonder drugs like Vioxx, which failed to show adverse reactions in animal tests but ended up to be potentially deadly for humans.

"Results from animal tests are not transferable between species, and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans,” agrees Herbert Gundersheimer, M.D.

“A major shift in our research paradigm is long overdue,” declare Akhtar and Bailey. “The move away from animal experiments toward more accurate methods of studying disease and intervention is scientifically superior and more ethical for humanity, as well as for animals.”

"Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are like us,'” says Professor Charles R. Magel. “Ask the experimenters why it is morally OK to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us.' Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction."

If animal experimentation is both indefensible cruelty and unsound science, why is it still in widespread use?

Dr. Gundersheimer has a possible answer: "In reality (animal) tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products, but rather they are used to protect corporations from legal liability."

(Did I just hear someone shout out “Bingo”?)

#OccupyHolisticJustice
Once again, the connections between animal rights and Occupy movement are clear. The corporate powers-that-be manipulate and twist our minds in the name of profit and they're damn sure not gonna let animal abuse get in their avaricious way.

Mic Check: If the new wave of occupants and the old guard of animal rights activists join hands, well... the 99% becomes that much more unstoppable.

As I've said over and over, the system being challenged by OWS is built, in a major way, on the exploitation of non-human animals and the eco-system. It's all connected within a culture constructed on the premise of unlimited growth and it must all remain connected within a movement aiming for holistic justice.

If you're working to dismantle corporate power, expand freedoms, and create a safer, more sane culture, you already have plenty in common with animal rights activists. Why not take things even further and recognize that the mighty 99% also includes non-human animals -- and the entire ecosystem itself?

We are the 99%. Expect us. Join us…

# DeOccupyAnimalExperimentation. #OccupyHolisticJustice.

Upcoming Mickey Z. event: Let's welcome the American Spring in NYC on March 23

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Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

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