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Letter: Don’t support animal testing

With more than 500 home and personal care companies now marketing products without testing on animals, it is hard to believe that some companies still use animals in painful tests. For example, the Draize Eye Test confines albino rabbits in stocks and drips chemicals into their forced-open eyes. The animals then suffer redness, bleeding ulcers and even blindness. Skin irritant tests clamp noxious substances on the bare skin of rabbits, rats and mice with observation made of swelling, itching, soreness and inflammation.

Using animals to conduct safety testing is fraudulent science because differences between species and even between individual animals of the same species lead to unreliable results. Currently, there are many alternatives to animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients, such as Epiocular, Episkin and Eyetex, to name a few.

Many health charities fund tests on animals that include starving, crippling, burning, poisoning and cutting animals open to study diseases that affect humans, not animals. The experiments are cruel, unreliable and often dangerously misleading. Compassionate charities focus their research where the best hope of treatment lies: with humans. Human volunteers, clinical studies, autopsy reports and statistical and epidemiological analysis provide useful data on people with diseases and disabilities.

Human cell cultures and tissue studies, in vitro tests, and artificial human “skin” and “eyes” mimic the body’s natural properties and provide scientists with less expensive alternatives to animal tests. A number of sophisticated computer virtual organs also serve as accurate models of human body parts.

Support companies and charities that truly care about animals by not hurting them. For a list of those that don’t use animals and those that still do, log on to PETA.org or visit humaneseal.org. For a local contact, call 224-1361.

BARBARA BONSIGNORE

Concord

HD, you are correct. I have been seeing a change though with regards to products. I only use natural products and I feel pretty good that an animal was not sacrificed so my hair could look more shiny or my house look cleaner. It makes sense if it is about a cure for a disease. Not too many folks are willing to be test subjects because of the risk. Whatever happened to common sense. I was brought up poor and my parents used natural products always. A box of baking soda goes a long way and has many uses. As does vinegar.

You're so right Rabbit! Vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide . . . you can do most anything with them! As for the hair products, I shave my head so I don't have to worry about that!

I don't support animal testing. In the cosmetic industry. It's arrogant and uncaring to torture and abuse animals in the name of human vanity. But in the medical field? Well that's another matter. If we can cure Cancer or AIDS by infecting some rats and then testing potential cures on them I think that's ok. Everything's relative. And last time I checked - we are the dominant species on the planet, albeit in numbers that are just too damn high. We have a responsibility towards animal husbandry, animal welfare and conservation. We also - like all living things - have an innate instinct for self-preservation. That is a good thing and something that should not be apologized for.

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