Archive for science

EUROPE: Animal testing controls to be tightened

Posted in vivisection with tags , , , , on December 28, 2009 by carmen4thepets

An agreement in principle on new rules for animal testing has been reached by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, affecting universities and commercial researchers. This will strengthen European controls over experiments on animals without apparently threatening any loss of research to countries with looser controls.

But the final legal text still has to be approved by a parliamentary committee and then by the full assembly, as well as by the EU ministerial council, so there could be changes before it finally becomes law next year.
Animal welfare has been among the leading concerns of voters in the EU in recent years and this is reflected in the relatively tough line taken by the parliament. Its members (MEPs) have also had to take into account warnings by industry that too strict a crackdown on animal testing could impair EU research efforts or drive testing out of the EU.

On balance it looks as though the animal lobby has mostly prevailed. The new draft legislation would reduce the number of animal tests and introduce a compulsory assessment for each experiment to safeguard animal welfare.

Elisabeth Jeggle, a German Christian Democrat who led the parliament’s negotiating team, said: “We were particularly pleased to see that the council accepted our position with regard to inspections of breeders, suppliers and users of animals used for testing. A robust inspection system is essential to ensure that the rules we are introducing are complied with.”

There is new language to ensure that “whenever an alternative, scientifically valid, method is available that does not use animals, it has to be used instead”.


A ban on using great apes such as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans for scientific testing has been broadly accepted but the text as originally proposed would also have restricted the use of other primates such as ouistitis and macaques, which could have hampered European scientific research on neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, and this has been struck out.

source: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=200912181022474

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If Animals Spoke our Language

Posted in animal rights, holocaust, veganism with tags , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2009 by carmen4thepets

Poem by: Vegan Poet


Animals speak to us in their own way,
but if they spoke with words, what would they say?
One thing I declare, without ANY doubt:
All creatures in cages would say ‘Let me out!’


‘Watch my eyes follow your every motion’
A dog would say, ‘my life speaks of devotion’.
A horse would say, ‘A fire burns deep within me
that yearns to run through the countryside, free!’

‘You can be soft and cuddly, like I am’
illustrates an adorable little lamb.
‘Soar with your thoughts like I soar through the sky,’
advises a wood pigeon gliding by.

Help, my mother’s been shot’ a fawn would cry,
who woefully witnessed her mother die.
She’d flee in fear to her cousins and brother,
‘The scariest beast of all killed my mother.’


‘Your blindness to bovines is an oddity,
for you see us as a mere commodity.
It’s so sad; all the exploitation we’ve seen,
We are conscious beings treated like a machine.’

‘Some scientists are really quite confused
seeking answers by primates being abused.
I, with eyes that greatly resemble yours,
see madness in some things that man explores.’


‘I can’t breathe or move; I’m living in hell!’
cries a chicken from her crowded prison cell.
‘Humans inflict such excruciating pain’,
With a hook in his mouth, a fish would explain.

One way we can improve the human race
is to respect those of a different face.
We need to listen in a whole new way
to what animals are trying to say.

Vivisector Quotes of the Week

Posted in animal liberation, vivisection with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2009 by carmen4thepets

The Quotes Of  The Week

The quotes below by animal abusers should remove any remaining doubt among our dear readers that direct action is an extremely effective tactic in stopping the exploitation, torture and murder of sentient non-human animals:

“It [action by animal liberationists] is changing the kind of work people will do in the future,” he says. “If students come to me interested in primate research, I would tell them to think about other things.” –Dario Ringach, UCLA Vivisector who quit killing non-human primates in his laboratory in 2006 when his colleagues were attacked by the ALF

“The issue he [Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis] was mostly concerned about was that he really did not want to attract controversy from the violent elements of various animal rights groups. He did not want to put OSU in that spotlight and so unnecessarily distract from or interfere with current research.” OSU Vice-President for Research and Technology Transfer Stephen McKeever, to Science Magazine when explaining why Hargis had canceled OSU plans to kill baboons with Anthrax.

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source: http://www.animalliberationpressoffice.org/index.htm



OSU Stops Primate Torture: Panties Bunched Up by Baboons

Posted in animal liberation with tags , , , , , , on December 4, 2009 by carmen4thepets

Good job Madeline!

By Rick Bogle

12/2/09

Simulposted with Primate Freedom

You may have read about Oklahoma State University canceling planned anthrax experiments on baboons after Madeleine Pickens apparently threatened to cancel her and her husband’s $5 million donation to the university’s vet school. (Anthrax study rejected by OSU: Euthanasia of primates may be to blame for decision to cancel veterinary school project. NewsOK November 30, 2009.)

Please contact Madeleine Pickens and OSU President Burns Hargis and thank them for sparing our primate friends from torture and death:

http://www.madeleinepickens.com/contact/

osupres@okstate.edu

Good job Madeline and Burns! Pickens is better known for her work on behalf of wild horses.

Unsurprisingly, the vivisection community has been unnerved by this. Paul Browne, of ProTest, commented on The Scientist:

… When university administrators go over the heads of university review boards and stop a project without consulting the investigators involved or members of the relevant ethics and safety committees something is clearly wrong, and when it looks as if the administration is acting under pressure from a wealthy donor it is time for us to stand up for academic freedom.

Today the issue is anthrax research in baboons, but what might it be tomorrow? Can any funder trust the OSU administration any more?

Over at ScienceBlogsDrugMonkey (aka, Michael A. Taffe) said:

This, my friends, is the start of the slippery slope. OSU has put the bit in Ms. Pickens’ teeth and given her (and whatever ARA extremist groups have their claws into her) free rein to bring down any and all of OSU’s ongoing programs she objects to. Unchecked, this is going to end up with the complete dissolution of the baboon research ERV mentioned.

The blogger mentioned above by Taffe, also at ScienceBlogs, the anonymous ERV, [maybe that’s why she feels comfortable throwing around the profanity?] who claims to be a graduate student at OSU,launched into an ad hominem attack on Pickens:

That horribly disfigured woman, Madeleine Pickens? That poor dumb thing married to some rich guy? Rich guy gives money to OSU, so people listen to the stupid blonde who mutilated herself a-la Michael Jackson with ‘animal free’ (**WINK!!**) plastic surgery/botox/hair dye/make-up? Oh, Im sure she had nothing to do with this. **WINK!!**

But none of these deep thinkers have addressed the issue of using baboons or other monkeys in studies like these. All they can do is fan the flames of fear that have erupted in a few vivisectors’ guts because of a potential future loss of income. All they can do is claim that Ms. Pickens has had plastic surgery. Is it any wonder that genuinely hard questions about human biology and health are so rarely answered by scientists of this ilk?

DrugMonkey (aka, Michael A. Taffe) made the doped-up claim that because Ms. Picken’s husband kills quail, that she is a hypocrite if she voices any concern for other animals. The drugs he is probably stealing and secretly consuming must have really kicked in as he was writing, because he then claims that the Pickenses are terrorists. Wow. That sounds like good shit Mike.

It is well past time for the NIH to provide an equally weighty counter to the intimidation of the ARA terrorists. Because that’s what this is. A University president fearing “controversial” research has been terrorized by the extremist fringe into deciding that the best path is simply to give in.

Rick Bogle taught in a public elementary school for eight years after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. After learning details of experiments occurring in U.S. laboratories, he gave up his teaching career in 1997 and began working full time to call attention to the government-sponsored abuse of animals.

Rick is knowledgeable on all issues surrounding the use of animals in science, but is particularly well-informed about the use of monkeys. Rick says, “Science has shown repeatedly and convincingly that other animals have minds and emotions so like our own that their joy and suffering is essentially indistinguishable from our own joy and suffering. People are waking up to the implications of this fact; a revolution has begun.


For the latest updates on the animal liberation movement, visit NAALPO at  http://www.animalliberationpressoffice.org/


To support or undertake animal rights and liberation activism in the Kansas City area, visit Bite Club of KC athttp://biteclubkc.wordpress.com/.

source: http://thomaspainescorner.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/panties-bunched-up-by-baboons/

NASA’s plan to zap monkeys with radiation riles physicians’ group

Posted in vivisection with tags , , , , on December 3, 2009 by carmen4thepets

A physicians’ group is asking NASA to delay plans to zap up to 27 squirrel monkeys with radiation to see how cosmic rays might affect humans on a three-year trip to Mars, Florida Today reports.

The monkeys will be hit with a single blast of gamma rays, then observed to see how they perform certain tasks.

“There could be horrible side effects, for all we know,” says Dr. John J. Pippin with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The non-profit group calls the $1.75 million NASA-funded project “one giant leap backward for NASA,” which hasn’t experimented on monkeys since the 1970s, the paper says.

NASA officials say the agency would follow widely accepted ethical standards in the four-year study, which will be led by a Harvard associate professor of psychobiology.

“We understand their concern, which is one of the reasons that we followed such rigorous standards and procedures before we do any kind of research on primates,” said Ashley Edwards, a NASA spokeswoman.

She tells the paper that monkeys make good candidates for the experiment because they’re easily trained and genetically similar to humans.

But Pippin, a cardiologist, says using monkeys is unnecessary and unethical.

“This looks like total nonsense to me,” he tells Florida Today.“It’s almost as if they had some money, they had some monkeys, and they had to find out something to do with it.”

(Posted by Doug Stanglin)

source: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2009/11/nasa-plans-to-zap-monkeys-with-radiation-riles-physicians-group/1

Animals Are Stupid

Posted in animal liberation with tags , on December 2, 2009 by carmen4thepets

In a recent interview with Larry King, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain quipped that it was OK for humans to kill and eat animals because we’ve been designed to chase down “smaller and stupider creatures.” Never mind that cows and pigs, two animals that are slaughtered by the millions for food, are most certainly bigger than we are. It was the “stupider” remark that caught my attention, and not just for Bourdain’s obvious grammatical shortcomings.

I think many of us feel that animals are dumb; that animals lack the intelligence we humans seem to have so abundantly. I believe this looking down on animals plays a big part in what allows us to treat them in the most heinous ways — from factory farms to fur farms to laboratories to circuses. We believe that because animals can’t write a book, compose a symphony, or do algebra that we’re so much better than them.

What a load of bullshit.

Did you know, for example, that pigeons can fly thousands of miles to find the same roosting spot with no navigational difficulties? Some species of birds, like the Arctic Tern, make a 25,000-mile round-trip journey every year. Many species use built-in ferromagnets to detect their orientation with respect to the Earth’s magnetic field. Can you do that?

Dolphins have a very distinct language that scientists now refer to as “dolphinese” which humans can’t decipher. For all our human knowledge, we have no idea how to understand what should be, according to Bourdain, a “stupider” means of communication.

Salmon are born in rivers, but swim thousands of miles to the ocean only to return to the exact same spot upstream to die.

Elephants communicate with each other subsonically, using low rumbles that can travel for miles underground. They also mourn their dead and have been seen cradling the bones of family members that have passed on.

Butterflies are now thought to have the equivalent of a GPS system in their antennae.

Pigs have the mental capacity of a four year-old human child and have beat humans in memory games.

So, perhaps animals are not stupid. Perhaps it’s we who are stupid for not recognizing the amazing things animals can do, many of which we can’t do ourselves. Perhaps it’s we who are dumb for not being able to circumnavigate the globe without instruments as albatross do, or find our way home across thousands of miles of ocean as Blue Whales do.

Maybe humans can actually learn a thing or two from these “stupid” animals. How about we start with this: animals don’t create trash. Animals don’t build nuclear weapons to annihilate each other. Animals don’t conjure up religions and then kill each other in the name of their Gods. Animals with white fur don’t discriminate against animals with fur of a different hue or color. Animals only take what they need. Animals are self-cleaning and don’t waste water — my cat has NEVER had a bath yet he’d smell better than any human who didn’t shower. Animals don’t gay bash homosexual animals. Animals don’t screw over other animals for financial gain a la Bernie Madoff. Animals don’t breed other animals to be prettier, fatter, or tastier. Animals don’t systematically torture and abuse and kill billions of other animals (or each other) the way humans do. Animals don’t commit Holocausts, they don’t factory farm, and they don’t ethnically cleanse each other. Animals don’t cheat. Animals don’t front. Animals are their authentic selves.

Yes, humans can do some amazing things: we can cure diseases, we can build skyscrapers, we can figure out how to travel into space. But only human arrogance would suggest that we’re better or smarter than animals. The animals of the world evolved to be just as they are. They exist for their own reasons. Only an idiot would call them stupid.

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ari-solomon/animals-are-stupid_b_336049.html

Biodiversity loss is Earth’s ‘immense and hidden’ tragedy, Darwin’s ‘natural heir’ warns

Posted in science, speciesism, wildlife with tags on November 22, 2009 by carmen4thepets

Problem of biodiversity loss has been ‘eased off centre stage’ by focus on climate change, according to Prof Edward Wilson, the ecologist described as ‘Darwin’s natural heir’

Extinct Tasmanian Wolf on Display in Sydney, Australia Photograph: Frans Lanting/Corbis

 

The diversity of life on Earth is undergoing an “immense and hidden” tragedy that requires the scale of global response now being deployed to tackle climate change, according to one of the world’s most eminent biologists.

Prof Edward Wilson, an ecologist who has been described as “Darwin’s natural heir” and hailed by novelist Ian McEwan as an “intellectual hero” and “inspirational” writer, told the Guardian that the threat was so grave he is pushing for the creation of an international body of experts modelled on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC, which is credited with convincing world leaders that the threat from climate change is real, includes about 2,500 scientific expert reviewers from more than 130 countries and was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2007 along with Al Gore. Wilson’s proposed organisation – which he names the Barometer of Life – would report to governments on the threats posed to species around the world.

Wilson said the problem of biodiversity loss had been “eased off centre stage” because of the focus on climate change.

“We don’t hear as much public concern, protestation and plans by political leaders to save the living environment. It doesn’t get anything like the attention the physical environment has,” he said.

Since the beginning of the last century, 183 species are known to have become extinct, including the Tasmanian tiger, the Caribbean monk seal and the toolache wallaby. But this number is a gross underestimate of the true number of extinctions, according to the International Union forConservation of Nature species programme.

Wilson was speaking ahead of the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species on Tuesday. The 80-year-old scientist will deliver a lecture via video link to an audience at London’s Royal Institution on Darwin’s legacy and “the future of biology”.

The extent of scientific ignorance about the diversity of life on Earth is vast. Scientists have catalogued about 1.9 m species, but estimate there are about 20m-30m in total (excluding microbes).

Wilson said the scale of the mass extinction now under way was even harder to comprehend.

At the start of the Neolithic period – about 9500BC – scientists estimate that species were becoming extinct at a rate of 20-30 per year. Since the population explosion of modern humans, that is estimated to have increased to 20,000-30,000. Most have never been documented by scientists. And in a couple of decades, Wilson reckons this will have increased to 200,000-300,000. Wilson’s proposed international initiative, which he has developed with Simon Stuart, the chairman of the Species Survival Commission, would document this species loss and work out how to tackle it.

“Darwin would be simply appalled by what humanity had done to the richness and diversity of natural life,” said Randal Keynes, one of Darwin’s great-great-grandsons, who is helping to coordinate the 150th anniversary with the British Council. “He would be in the lead of campaigning on the preservation of biodiversity.”

Some of the species that played a central role in the formulation of Darwin’s theoryof evolution by natural selection are now either extinct or severely threatened. The Floreana mockingbird, that lives on the island of the same name in the Galapagos, was one of a handful of related species that first gave Darwin the idea that species could change (it is a myth that finches were the crucial group).

Reflecting on the similarities and differences between mockingbirds on different islands and on the mainland, Darwin gave the first vague hint of his later theory in his notes on the Beagle voyage that “such facts would undermine the stability of species”.

Today, the Floreana mockingbird is classed as “critically endangered” and exists in two populations numbering 200 and 49. The giant tortoise that Darwin encountered on the same island – Geochelone elephantopus – was driven extinct by hungry whalers who enjoyed eating its meat in soup.

Wilson said conservation efforts around the world were far from adequate. “Right now we are just piddling around with efforts here and there, some of them strong and dedicated, the aggregate of which is not even close to what we need.””The benefits for humanity [of a concerted international effort on biodiversity] would be enormous … the discovery of the rest of life on Earth and fuller evaluation of it is going to result in all sorts of very valuable knowledge,” said Wilson, pointing at new crops, products and biotechnology advances.

A year of celebration of Darwin’s achievements (and his 200th birthday) is drawing to a close and will segue neatly into the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010.

“The public recognition of the importance of biodiversity as an issue is very poor, very low,” said Kenyes, “I think Darwin would want everyone to pick up that agenda and give it all the support they can.”

 

source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/20/biodiversity-loss-darwin-edward-wilson