Are you causing agony to others?

Are Your Actions Causing Unspeakable Agony to Others?
By Amber Williams

“NO!” you say rather indignantly.  “I gave more than I could even afford in church last Sunday.  I stayed up all night with a sick relative to ease his pain, and then went to work at eight am.  I left a huge tip for a waitress who was kind of a grouch, and I was honest enough to give back the extra ten dollars when she made a mistake in giving me my change.  I make a point of smiling at strangers in the hope of brightening their day in some small way!” I’M A KIND, CONSIDERATE AND GIVING PERSON!!!”

Rabbit in Research for Animal Testing
Rabbit in Research for Animal Testing (Photo credit: www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk)

Bad Karma

Well, what if I could prove that you ARE the cause of horrendous, unnecessary torture to others, possibly directly damaging your mind and body in the process as well.  What kind of terrible Karma would that mean you’re building?  For your protection, read on…

We Are Not Alone

There’s a great deal of speculation these days about the existence of life on other planets. The idea of other intelligent species, from a distant galaxy making contact with us is somewhat exciting, romantic and perhaps even a little scary.  Considering the immeasurable multitude of stars in our vast universe – we have yet to even discover many planets surrounding the stars, or discern where the universe ends for that matter – it seems a given that we are not alone.

Let’s reflect for a moment on the following, however:  The universe has been estimated to be somewhere in the region of 15 billion years old.  Our solar system is a mere 4.5 billion years old, give or take a few million years, depending upon which cosmologist you listen to.  What does that astronomical trivia mean to us?  Specifically, some other life forms may have had many millions, even billions of years to evolve before man even existed.

For the sake of argument, most people would probably agree that these alien species will be visiting us (or already have), before we’re technologically able to venture as far as their worlds.  In addition, most of us would also agree that these alien species are far more advanced, at least technologically (and hopefully spiritually) than we are.  Given the above, what impression do you think our world is creating about us, the humanoid race, and likewise our treatment of the other species we share our planet with?

Take Responsibility

Now is the time to take responsibility for our actions – how what we do affects the “aliens” that reside with us on Earth.  What I’m about to tell you isn’t pretty and will, I’m sure, be very disturbing to you. A year ago, I was oblivious to this information. Most people don’t want to know and therefore absolve themselves by staying in the dark and pushing the following painfully distressing information under the carpet.  If you fall into that category, without familiarizing yourself with the facts, I truly pity you given the massive, negative karma you’re bringing upon yourself.

Rat in Research for Animal Testing
Rat in Research for Animal Testing (Photo credit: www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk)

Abuse

There are four main areas of abuse in which sensitive, thinking and feeling animals are continually subjected to.  Various types of daily torture, equivalent to, if not worse than that which any serial killer in history has subjected his human victims to.  These are the following:

1.  Animal Research

Not only are animals used in medical research, but also to test household products, office products and cosmetics.  An estimated 14 million animals per year, 20% of the animals used in experiments in the USA, are killed to test the safety of cosmetics and household products.  No anesthetics are used.  These experiments which cause extreme suffering are not required by law and are neither necessary nor reliable.  The types of animals used are rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, primates, horses and dogs.

To identify mice, (to be used in tests such as a dermal toxic reaction test for a shampoo ingredient), a lab technician will clip off a certain number of it’s toes. The mouse will usually lose consciousness at this point.

The Draize Eye Irritancy Test consists of dripping a flesh eating chemical into the eyes of conscious rabbits.  The rabbits are held in stocks so that only their heads protrude.  Rabbits sometimes break their necks or backs in this confinement to escape the agonizing pain.  They are checked at intervals of 24, 48, and 72 hours, although the test may go on for 21 days.  In other eye irritancy tests, chemicals, such as detergents, liquid paper and nail polish are dripped into the restrained animal’s eyes to observe tissue damage.  When the test is done, the animals are killed or “recycled” into further tests, such as dermal toxicity tests where chemicals are applied to raw, shaved skin which burn into the animals.

In lethal dose poisoning tests, products such as shampoos or oven cleaners are pumped into animals’ stomachs until a percentage of them die.  Other tests include forcing animals to inhale heavy concentrations of antiperspirants or other aerosol products.  One test involves spraying the equivalent of 15 cans of hairspray over rats, caged in airtight inhalation chambers.

Animals’ reactions to toxicity tests include convulsions, vomiting, paralysis and bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth and rectum.  The mere quantities of the substances – aside from the toxicity – can cause the animals to die.  Sub-acute tests can last 90 days or longer.  In chronic tests, caged anaesthetized animals are dosed daily for up to 2 years.

Horses are Abused Too

This year approximately 75,000 mares will be impregnated and confined in cramped stalls so their estrogen-rich urine can be collected for use in the drugs called Premarin and Prempak-C made by Wyeth-Ayerst.  To produce Premarin, pregnant mares are fitted with rubber collection bags strapped between their legs which cause painful sores.  The mares are given up to a third less water than normal so that their urine is as thick as syrup.  Kept in stalls measuring just 3 1/2 to 5′ wide and 8′ long,  for 6 months, these tethered pregnant mares are unable to take more than a step or two in any direction, turn around, or even lie down comfortably.  Lameness often develops.  The mares are reimpregnated just 7-9 days after giving birth and may go through this same grueling cycle, year in and year out, some for more than 20 years.  At the tender age of 4 months, the foals – all but a few kept for stud or to replace worn out mares – are sold for slaughter, as are the older crippled mares.

Duchess Horse Sanctuary
Duchess Horse Sanctuary (Photo credit: Marji Beach)

Premarin and Prempak-C are the ONLY menopause drugs still deriving estrogen from horses’ urine.  Safe, effective, synthetic and plant derived alternatives are readily available.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a terrible disease from which many Americans suffer. Yet for more than a century, millions of animals have been needlessly destroyed to gather information that in many cases was already known, without finding a cure for this debilitating disease.  Despite a history of failure, experimenters persist in using other than human animals as diabetic “models”. Since 1889, dogs have suffered and been killed when 2 experimenters discovered, by chance, that a dog whose pancreas had been removed exhibited the symptoms of diabetes.

At the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Md., one experimenter removes beagles’ eyeballs to study retinopathy, a vision disorder that commonly affects diabetics.  The beagles don’t even receive analgesia after the procedure, during a period considered by veterinarians to be extremely painful. At the University of Wisconsin, a researcher tried using monkeys for the same experiment but could not get them to develop the symptoms.  His theory was that the monkey’s vegan diet kept them from developing retinopathy.

The most significant advances have come from information gleaned directly from human diabetics.  Earlier this century, it was the biochemist J.B. Collip’s work, not on animals, but in the test tube, which laid the groundwork for what is now the standard treatment for insulin-dependent diabetics.  Collip made a purified pancreatic extract that, in its first trial, brought immediate improvement to a 14 yr. old diabetic.  Later, a 15 yr. study of the Pima Indians in AZ revealed a way to predict who is most susceptible to Type II diabetes. It was by autopsies on teenagers that viral diabetes was discovered.

Perhaps the most exciting study began in 1983 when the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases started a 10 yr. clinical trial.  It’s findings, released in 1993, from the study of human diabetics has been called “the most important discovery for diabetics since insulin”. It also seems to suggest that subjecting other-than-human animals to gruesome experiments throws away money and lives.

PROFESSIONAL OPINIONS

“If we only look at it from the point of view of efficiency and economy, we are much better off doing anything we do in vitro, rather than on animals, because it’s cheaper, it’s quicker, it’s more reliable, there’s less variation – everything about it is better.”  Irwin Whitman, M.D., Director of Medical Affairs, Bristol-Myers Corporation (a company which does animal testing).

“Tests on animals, no matter how well run, aren’t going to give you the final answer because, quite simply, one doesn’t know what effect our products have on people”  Dr. Richard LaRosa, Pharmacologist, on-camera interview.

“As an ophthalmologist, I have no use for Draize test data because the rabbit’s eye differs from the human eye.  I know of no case in which an ophthalmologist used Draize data to assist in the care of a patient.”  Stephen Kaufman, M.D., New York University Medical Center.

“No animal has skin which closely resembles human skin, neither anatomically nor physiologically”,  Drug & Cosmetic Industry Magazine.

WHICH COMPANIES TEST ON ANIMALS?

Gillette, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb are among the worst offenders.  Some of their most commonly used products are Bufferin, Comtrex, Ban, Excedrin, Final Net, Keri Lotion, Renuzit, Sea Breeze, Ultra, Vanish, Vitalis, Windex, Bold, Camay, Cheer, Comet, Head & Shoulders, Ivory, Oil of Olay, Safeguard, Secret, Spic’n’ Span, Sure Tide, Zest, Aapri, Atra & Daisy razors, Gillette Series for Men, Gillette Swivel, Liquid Paper, Right Guard, Sensor razors, Silkience, Soft & Dry, Tame, Toni Perms, Crest, White Rain, Braun home appliances, Parker pens, PaperMate, Flair, Dry Idea, Gillette Foamy Shaving Cream, Trac II, Cool Wave,  Lustrasilk, Mink Difference, The Dry Look.

* If you aren’t sure whether the products you use are cruelty-free, write or call PETA, (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals), today for an up to date list:  PETA, 501 Front Street, Norfolk, VA  23510, or  757-622-7382.

**Beware of products that say “No Animal Testing” on the label.  Many of these companies don’t do the testing themselves, however their ingredients are from companies that do!

WHAT CAN EXPERIMENTERS USE INSTEAD OF ANIMALS?

Alternatives to animal experiments include clinical and epidemiological studies; cell and tissue cultures; and mathematical, computer, and mechanical models; in vitro and human skin tests.

AREN’T ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS NEEDED TO GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF DRUGS, COSMETIC AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS?

In countless cases, animal experiments actually hurt, rather than help consumers. For example, drugs that were tested on animals and determined to be “safe” have caused dangerous or even lethal side effects when given to humans.  Despite countless tests in which animals are blinded or poisoned by household products, potentially harmful substances still reach our store shelves.

Consumers have suffered serious and sometimes permanent ill effects from cosmetic related injuries that were tested on animals and marketed as safe.  Beauticians who are exposed to hairsprays, dyes and related products several hours a day have endured occupational asthma, memory loss, headaches, miscarriages and other health problems.

WHY DO COMPANIES STILL TEST ON ANIMALS THEN?

Ah, the million dollar question.  In a word, to cover their ass in the event of a lawsuit.   Most of these companies mollify the injured parties through financial compensation.  The cases never go to a jury trial and the court records are sealed.  If the case should go to court, the company relies on the fact that they have conducted animal tests to show they are conscientious and have done enough to determine the safety of the product in question.  Testing products on animals in essence gives a company the freedom to put virtually anything on the market (including products that damage the eyes, cause convulsions and even kill their test subjects, apparently).

DO ANIMAL TESTS HELP HUMAN POISONING VICTIMS?

No.  The animals blinded or poisoned in product tests are given no special veterinary care and their injuries therefore do not aid in the development of treatments.  The animal data are merely recorded.  The products that cause blindness, rashes, or severe injury to the animals are not modified before being sold to consumers;  bleach, lipstick, or any other product tested on animals is not any safer to swallow or misuse just because the manufacturer tested it on animals.  Many physicians maintain that the only reliable data comes from studies of humans.

Most people are upset at the idea of an animal suffering.  The labels on our shampoos don’t mention that the animals  were forced to swallow enough of the product to kill them.  And hey, guess what?  We have one of those research death labs located in Ashland, Ohio.

2.  THE CLOTHING BUSINESS

I’d be willing to bet that most of you reading this article are thinking “Well, this part DOESN’T apply to me since she’s probably going to talk about fur”.  Yes, you’re right, but that’s coming later. Right now we’re going to talk about DOWN!

Down comes from ducks or geese.  A flock of geese is divided by color; the gray ones are force-fed to make their livers swell to four times the normal size to produce goose liver pate, and the white geese are raised for their feathers to make comforters, jackets, pillows, etc.  A goose may live through four or five pluckings.  A skilled plucker can yank about 5 ounces of feathers from a bird’s chest and underbelly, per bird, from 100 geese per day.  When it becomes more expensive to keep the geese than their feathers are worth (usually in the winter), the geese are slaughtered for their flesh.  Did you know that geese mate for life?

WOOL

Australia, which with 135 million sheep, produces 80% of all wool used in clothing.

The animals undergo several painful mutilations such as “mulesing”, which involves shearing a large section of skin – not wool – off the rear of the lambs to prevent a buildup of moisture and urine in the tail area. No anesthetic is used, and the wounds take 3 to 5 weeks to scar over.  Other operations performed without anesthesia include ear-punching – which draws blood – tail-docking; castration; and tooth-grinding, a frightening procedure performed with a battery operated grinder or a disc cutter.

During shearing, sheep may be injured by unskilled or even mechanical shearers.  For maximum production, sheep are bred to have extra folds of skin and carry extra thick wool; thus they suffer from overheating in the summer and, because of over shearing, extreme cold in the winter

When sheep age and profits drop, they are exported in 14-tiered ships from Australia to the Middle East, a 3-6 week journey during which 18% of the animals die.  7 million endure this transport, after which they are treated to a ritual slaughter while fully conscious.

FUR

If you choose to wear it, please don’t be mislead that the animals that made your beautiful coat were killed humanely.  These animals die shocking deaths.

Fox, mink, beavers and chinchillas are raised and killed on fur farms.  The farmer’s primary concern is to not damage the animal’s precious coat, so they routinely kill animals by electrocution.  One electrode is attached to the animal’s ear, the other to the genitals, or inserted anally, and the wire plugged into a socket.  The animal doesn’t die right away.  The electrical current stops the heart and paralyses the animal, leaving it unable to escape, but fully able to feel the intense pain of being skinned alive.  The luckier animals are gassed or injected with weed killer.

The following is the true story of a young fox rescued at a fur auction by Betty and Kristine Breck:

The auction of the abandoned  foxes was at 10am.  The barn was filled with the stench of sick and dying animals.  Here and there, starving, weak silver foxes lay on wire thick with frozen  feces,  urine and rotted food.  Some were dead.  Many were too sick to lift their heads, yet some came to the front of their 2’by2′ cages pleading for release.

Kristine bent to look into the steady amber eyes of a little female and it licked  her outstretched fingers .

The auction began.  A metal and wire noose was forced around the neck of the trembling little female in the first cage.  The men carried her dangling by the neck and tail, her little body shaking.  The foxes weren’t only sick and weak from starvation, they were also unaccustomed to handling and commotion.  The handlers swung them roughly by their necks in the wire nooses.

Kristine and Betty were determined to save one and did for $105.

Animals raised on fur ranches endure months of suffering.  Kept in crowded filthy wire cages, the animals have no respite from temperature extremes, rampant disease and boredom.  Their feed, usually the parts of factory-farmed chickens that are considered unfit for human consumption, is distributed on the wire covers of their cages.  In the winter, the animals’ tongue may become frozen to the metal as they lick at the food.  When the animal pulls away, the tongue may stay stuck to the wire.

Trapping

Unfortunately, animals in the wild fare no better when captured by a steel leg hold trap.  Two bars slam shut on his limb (or face) causing excruciating pain.  Besides coping with the intense pain, caught animals will eventually endure thirst, hunger, temperature extremes, separation from family (their young will most probably perish from hunger), and sometimes predatory attacks.

Few traps kill animals instantly, an animal may stay in a trap for days.  Others are set underwater to drown animals, particularly beavers, but drowning can take as long as 20 minutes.  Millions of cats, dogs and other animals are caught in fur traps.  Known as “trash” animals, they are left to die.

No laws regulate the killing of animals for their fur.  Trappers kill animals in ways that are cheap, crude and painful, such as standing on the animal’s chest and pulling the legs to “tear the heart strings”.  Up to one out of every four trapped animals chews its’ foot off to escape, but those who crawl away often die later from loss of blood or infection.

Trap check laws vary from state to state.  In Alaska, trappers are allowed a week to check on traps.  Even this minimal regulation is difficult to enforce, and trapping violations are low on the list of priorities of most local law enforcement agencies.

In 1987, 3,590,093 raccoons were killed for their fur.  That’s approximately equivalent to the number of breathes an average person takes in one year.  The next time you take a breath, think about it.

3.  ENTERTAINMENT

Very few people are even remotely aware of the severity of suffering and cruelty involved to provide us with “a good time” at the circus, marine parks and the like.  If we could see how animals live – and die – for our entertainment, such places would quickly lose their appeal.

Physical punishment has long been the standard training method for animals in circuses.  To “break” newly captured baby elephants, captors chain or tie down the baby elephants and beat them daily for up to a month.  Elephants are routinely beaten to break their spirits and show them who’s boss.

Elephants are highly intelligent, sensitive animals that live very long lives.  They are large brained mammals, whose brains resemble ours.  Families (sometimes 4 generations) stay together for life, and mourn their dead.  When elephants in the wild come across an unknown deceased elephant, the hurd circles around it, are very quiet for a time, and then they bury the dead animal.

The Animal Welfare Act puts no restrictions on what training methods may be used.  One former Ringling Bros. employee told the Elephant Alliance how the circus treated one animal: “She was a sweet, little innocent brown bear who never hurt anyone… but sometimes she had trouble balancing on the high wire.  She was beaten with long metal rods until she was screaming and bloody.  She became so neurotic that she would beat her head against her small cage.  She finally died.”

A Hudson News reporter, who traveled with Ringling Bros., reported in an article about one chimpanzee’s “training”: “Repeatedly, he was struck with a study club. The thumps could be heard outside the arena building and the screams farther than that. ” Says former animal trainer Pat Derby, “after 25 years of observing and documenting circuses, I know there are no kind animal trainers.”

The animals, most of whom are quite large and naturally active, are forced to spend most of their lives in the small cages used to transport them, and are allowed out of their cages only for the short periods when they must perform.  Many circus operations don’t have much money and as a result water, clean cages, and food are not only limited but a low priority. During the winter and off-season, animals may be kept in traveling crates, barn stalls or trucks.

After animals have outlived their performing “usefulness”,  they are either permanently relegated to their winter quarters, sold to game farms (to be shot for recreation or exotic meat),  sent for slaughter or end up in research laboratories to be experimented on.

Fair Prizes

Animals won as “prizes” at fairs are frequently hurt, killed, or discarded by indifferent “winners.”  I myself, rescued a baby rabbit abandoned in a fairground parking lot.  The Arkansas State Fair stopped giving away baby ducklings after one was dropped from a Ferris wheel and another was drowned in a cup of beer.

Elephants and ponies, used to give rides, must carry children around on their backs for hours at a time without rest or shelter from the sun.  Water and food are frequently withheld to prevent unsightly “messes.” Fair hours are 12+ hours a day.

Whips, electric prods, starvation and other weapons are used to force animals to perform confusing, unnatural and sometimes dangerous “tricks.”  Given half a chance, these intelligent captives make their own feelings abundantly clear.  Since 1990, at least 11 people have been killed and numerous others injured by captive elephant attacks.  Officer Blaine Doyle, who had to shoot 47 rounds into Janet, an elephant who ran amok with three children on her back, noted:  “I think these elephants are trying to tell us that zoos and circuses are not what God created them for…but we have not been listening.”

Guest Article by Amber (Goddard) Williams

Note from Joni Solis (site owner): Now that you know about many of the ways that humans are hurting animals, will you try to just forget about it or will you take steps to make a difference? Awake up and change your ways to live a better life while causing less pain to others on this planet.

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