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December 21, 2013

A Life Behind Bars.

Can you imagine a life sentenced to constant pain and torture?

Being skinned alive, lose the sight and/or several shots on a continuous basis? This is what lab animals face every day of their life until they die or are put to death. Whether we turn our eye from it or not, animals are still locked up and it is not okay. Up to 10-12 million animals are used yearly to be experimented on in labs just in USA.

Animals are used in laboratories that go from cosmetic industry to biomedical research facilities. Many times, there are no regulations on how animals are treated or lawful consequences on the violations to the few laws intended to protect lab animal. On one hand, there is not even an exact count on the number of animals in labs, just an estimate; on the other hand, the communities who use the products that come out of those labs do not realize the magnitude of the issue and the quantity of pain they are part of when purchasing goods. All these factors contribute to the persistent use of animals on the labs.

From one of the scientists’ points of view, most of them agree with the fact that it is okay to experiment on animals for the sake of humanity. They argue that in order for us to improve our treatment options in the health field, animals have to be used in order to prove the safety of the new meds or the natural history of certain disease. Even some scientists have come to acceptance that animal suffering is part of the research field.

Animals in laboratories don’t stop there.

There is also the cosmetic industry which uses animals to prove innovations on skin, hair and makeup formulations. Researchers in this field say that they need to practice animal testing before a new product is released. However, there are other companies who manage to develop new products with either natural ingredients or formulas already proven without the necessity to do animal testing anymore.

Perhaps the biomedical industry will continue to use animals in the foreseeable future, and even though I disagree with that, I believe that when it comes to the cosmetic industry, we as members of the consumer community could do a lot if we want to help stop the use of animals on the laboratories. There are many ways of protesting day to day, such as not buying from brands known to prove their products or ingredients on animals and furthermore, to buy from brands that use natural ingredients or that use cruelty free practices.

By practicing these small choices, we can help reduce the profits of the companies who still use animals to experiment on, and eventually free all lab animals.

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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Flickr

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