Torturing Animals in Research: Scientifically Invalid, Morally Repugnant   
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The images in the following program are highly sensitive and may be as disturbing to viewers as they were to us. However, we have to show the truth about cruelty to animals, praying that you will help to stop it.

This is the Stop Animal Cruelty series on Supreme Master Television. This week we’ll hear from Michael Budkie, the vegan co-founder and executive director of the US-based non-profit organization Stop Animal Exploitation NOW, on the subject of animal experimentation. The group was established in 1996 to help put an end to animal abuse in so-called scientific research. Now let’s meet Mr. Budkie to learn more about his organization and its benevolent work.

The work that we do is about the use of animals in laboratories. It’s all about animal experimentation and I first became concerned about this during my education, because I spent nine months as a student inside an animal- research facility, and actually saw animals used in experimentation and was taught how to do it. I’ve actually had animals die in my own hands, and that’s what first generated the concern that we have for this issue.

There are several categories of animal testing; all equally heartless and unconscionable. Mr. Budkie tells us more.

One of the kinds of animal testing or experimentation that people run into on a daily basis, whether they know it or not, is the use of animals for the testing of consumer products. Everything from laundry detergent to floor cleaner to mouthwash and toothpaste are tested on animals.

Typically, these are things that are varieties of toxicity testing where, for example, in the LD50, rats and mice are literally force-fed the chemicals that make up these different products, including things like floor cleaners, until half of them die. That’s what the LD50 means. It’s the lethal dose to 50% of the animals used in the experiment.

Another kind of testing that a lot of people do come in contact with also is the testing of drugs and pharmaceuticals. And this is probably the only kind of testing that is actually required by (US) law, as far as involving animals. The testing of consumer products is required. They have to do some kind of safety testing, but there is no requirement that animals are a part of that.

Probably a larger and more widespread use of animals in laboratories is what takes place in colleges, in universities and a lot of other private labs, which is much more along the lines of basic science, where they purport to look at, what happens in basic physiology and how the body works.

One of the real problems with this, though, is that human anatomy and physiology is very different from that of any other species. That’s why you go to a medical doctor, but dogs and cats and primates are taken to veterinarians.

The animals used in these appalling experiments are commonly obtained from breeders, who produce them based on demand in conditions similar to those of puppy mills. Other sources of test animals include animal shelters, public auctions, and businesses in the animal entertainment industry like zoos and circuses.

Some animals are also trapped or captured in the wild and then shipped thousands of miles in wooden crates to live nightmarish lives in laboratories. For all such sensitive, intelligent beings, living in captivity, where they’re unable to exhibit their normal behaviors and interact with family members, is utterly unbearable.

Some of the best examples of the consequences of being confined in the laboratory setting are relevant to our use of non-human primates; for example, Rhesus Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys and other species of primates. And what we’ve found is that in most instances, just the confinement in the laboratory setting is literally enough to drive these animals insane.

Because if you look at the environment that they normally live in, in their natural settings in the wild; for example, a Rhesus Monkey will typically cover as much as one square mile of territory in a day in their natural setting. But when you look at the environment they’re kept in, in the laboratory, it’s a stainless steel cage which is designed primarily to be easy to clean.

Also they will have only a few square feet, nine to as much as maybe 15 square feet of space in the cage, but this is a very artificial setting. There are no trees, there’s no sunlight, there’s usually no fresh air, there’s very limited if any contact with members of their own species, and non-human primates are very social animals, just like human beings are. And so, it’s very common for them to literally lose their minds as a result of this severe stress of confinement.

They’ll also become self-destructive to the point where they will actually begin to rip out their own hair, they’ll bite and tear at their own flesh. In many instances, as much as one out of 10 primates in laboratories are literally missing a part of their own bodies, anything from just a section of a finger or a toe, up to an entire limb. The stress literally causes them to lose their minds.

The experiments inflict excruciating pain and sheer torment on our fellow beings. All forms of toxic drugs, sickening surgical procedures, lethal diseases and horrific weapons are tested on these unsuspecting and unwilling participants.

The reality is that for most animals in laboratories, at the conclusion of most experimentation, they’re killed. And in many instances, not only are they killed, but they’re actually dissected afterwards. One of the laboratories we’ve just obtained some very damning information about, the non-human primates, in many instances after the experiments are concluded, they’re actually decapitated, because their brains are dissected to look at what happens to them.

In many other instances, animals are used in situations where they’re exposed to things such as chemical and biological weapons, and part of the experiment actually causes their death. One of the other very real consequences of using these animals in experimentation, as a result of the fact that they’re not required to use pain relievers or anaesthesia, is that they undergo the full consequences of diseases.

They will experience the full consequences of chemical or biological weapons. They will experience the full consequences of drug addiction. These are the kinds of things that if you or I allowed them to happen to animals that were in our care in our private homes, we would be arrested for cruelty to animals. But in the laboratory setting, literally almost anything goes.

In 2010 approximately 125,000 primates were imprisoned in laboratories across the US. Mr. Budkie estimates that overall 25-million animals are currently being experimented on and tortured in labs. These tests are utterly flawed and scientifically invalid as the anatomy and physiology of human beings and animals differ enormously. In fact, many drugs that supposedly pass tests with animals are actually deadly or severely harmful to humans.

Time and time again, we’ve found that drugs that went through testing on animals are not safe for human beings. We only need to look at the drug Vioxx, which went for the full raft of animal testing, and when it came to the human market, was taken off the market for causing bone pain, for causing nausea and for literally killing people.

A very significant percentage, in fact over, I believe it’s over 90% of the drugs that make it into pre-market testing and pre-clinical testing, and then reach clinical testing in human beings, never make it to the market, because what we keep finding out is that animals do not predict consequences and side effects of drugs in human beings, because rats and mice are not human beings in little fur coats.

Even when they’re not being tested on, animals in research facilities are treated in ways that defy belief. The gentle beings are considered inanimate objects and not given the most basic physical needs such as adequate food and water, let alone veterinary care or love.

It’s not uncommon for a non-human primate to be deprived of access to water for as much as 22 hours a day, five days a week. It’s not uncommon for them to be deprived of access to food for the same period of time. It’s also very common for them to be confined in devices that extremely and severely restrict their ability to move. That is a photograph of a primate restraint chair.

It’s essentially a large Plexiglas box. The primate sits here. Their feet are strapped in here. There’s another section of Plexiglas which comes in from the front so that their neck is entirely enclosed. In addition to this, they very often have restraining bars that are literally bolted into the bones of their skull so that they can’t even turn their head. And they will spend hours and hours in devices like this.

And to top it off, you see these metal plates down here that the feet rest on? They’re metal for a reason. In some instances, those are used to deliver electric shock to the primate’s feet. Or, if they don’t want to do that, they will add a metal clip onto the monkey’s tail and deliver electric shock there.

Animal testing needs to end now. Such experiments are grossly cruel, murderous and have ready alternatives which are humane and provide bona fide, useful scientific data.

There are other alternative methodologies for product testing involving everything from computer simulations to physical tests like gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy, to cell culture methods which measure the irritancy of chemicals by exposing tissue culture to them. In terms of medical testing, much of research for example this brain mapping that’s done, we can get better information about how the human brain works by using non-invasive technologies like functional MRIs.

By refusing to purchase drugs or consumer products tested on animals or that use animal ingredients, and letting our lawmakers know that we want these bloody, barbaric animal experiments ended immediately, we as individuals can help make this testing a thing of the past.

Mr. Michael Budkie and Stop Animal Exploitation NOW volunteers, you are to be praised for your sustained, noble efforts to stop the torture of animals and protect the voiceless. By placing the issue of animal experimentation front and center in the public consciousness, you are causing more and more people to realize every day that this heinous crime against the animals must cease right away.

For more information on Stop Animal Exploitation NOW, please visit www.SAENonline.org

Thank you for your company today on Stop Animal Cruelty. May humanity soon realize the divinity within all beings and live according to the law of love.

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