The beginning of a new year marks the perfect time to reevaluate the things that matter most to us and to make an even stronger commitment to them.
As advocates for animals, it is a great time to consider how we can better help animals involved in scientific experimentation. Each year, millions of animals are used for scientific purposes despite the growing recognition that data produced in animal models may be irrelevant for humans. Many in the scientific community have historically relied on animal experiments. But just because researchers can use animals in their experiments does not mean they should. Especially when there are better options.
How can we do more to protect animals from this injustice?
One way that we can be stronger animal advocates is by ensuring that our voice is heard by those who can enact change: regulatory agencies, funding agencies, corporations, policymakers and others. We have to make sure that when we speak or write about issues pertaining to animal experimentation, we make the most of that opportunity by conveying our message factually and in a way that can help animals the most. Words matter when discussing the use of animals in science, and it is important that we communicate our stance on the issue more clearly.
Some animal researchers in the scientific community imply (or even state outright) that animal advocates are “anti-science.” That can’t be further from the truth. We as animal advocates share common ground with animal researchers in that we both want to advance science. But animal advocates believe that the rate of human-relevant scientific discoveries would be enhanced by the use of more modern cell-based and computer-based approaches. We need to more strongly advocate for the development and use of innovative, human-relevant models that can replace the use of animal models. Ultimately these approaches will help scientists collect data more quickly and at less expense, both financially and ethically, than animal experiments.
Please also consider utilizing NAVS’ Advocacy Center to contact elected officials, policymakers and corporations about animal-related issues. You can also sign up for our free, weekly “Take Action Thursday” email alert, which summarizes important federal and state initiatives affecting animals.
If there are issues related to the use of animals in scientific experiments that you would like us to be notified of, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to also provide general comments and feedback using that address.
Finally, please consider making a donation to NAVS today. Your gift will fund smarter science, promote innovative science education and assist animals in need. Ending the use of animals in product testing, education and research continue to be an upward battle, but with your support, we can make great strides together.
Let’s make 2018 count for animals. Make a New Year’s resolution to be an even stronger animal advocate than you are today. Happy New Year!