Letters [Jan/Feb 2007]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
Alternatives to animal experiments
Animal experiments have long been the subject of controversy.
Although many claims have been made either way about their value,
until recently large-scale scientific studies of their efficacy in
advancing human health have been rare. Since 2004, however,
several such studies have been published in peer-reviewed scientific
journals, and presented at international scientific conferences, at
which some have received awards.
The results have been remarkably consistent: the stress that
laboratory animals experience is greater than commonly understood,
and experiments on them contribute far less to advancing human
medical progress than advocates often claim. The abstracts, and
usually complete texts of these studies, are freely downloadable
from <www.Animal-ExperimentFacts.info>, along with published reviews
of non-animal experimental models, and relevant government reports.
We have also just launched <www.HumaneLearning.info>. This
provides over 250 published studies describing humane teaching
methods, sorted by academic discipline, including a review of 28
studies conclusively demonstrating that students using well-designed
humane alternatives achieve learning outcomes at least as good as
those achieved via traditional harmful animal use; detailed
submissions describing the alternatives available in certain academic
disciplines, that have resulted in their introduction at some
universities; a large photo gallery of humane alternatives and
harmful animal use in education; links to free on-line alternatives;
links to alternatives databases; links to alternatives libraries;
links to humane education email lists; links to other humane
education web sites; and resources to guide and assist students who
wish to conscientiously object to harmful animal use in their
It is my hope that these resources may assist others to
introduce humane alternatives to harmful animal use in their own
universities and schools, as my colleagues and I have done at
several universities worldwide. They complement my older web site
<www.Learning-WithoutKilling.info>, which provides encouragement and
guidance for students who are unwilling to harm animals during their
Animal Consultants Intl.
Going veg helps more than driving fuel-efficient hybrid car
Kudos on your excellent longtime efforts to improve
conditions for animals.
With the recent increased interest in global warming and
other environmental threats, I believe that the animal rights
movement can increase our effectiveness by making people aware of the
very harmful effects of animal-based agriculture on most, if not all
current environmental problems.
We were just given a very valuable tool for accomplishing
this objective: a November 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization report which indicates that animal-based agriculture has
an even greater effect on global climate change and other
environmental problems than motor vehicles. Hence, one can do more
to reduce global climate change by switching to a plant-based diet
than by switching to a fuel-efficient hybrid car.
The 400-page FAO report is summarized at <www.fao.org/
newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html>, and is downloadable at
It follows warnings from renowned climate scientists, such as James
Hansen of NASA, that global climate change may spiral out of control
within a decade, with disastrous consequences.
It is scandalous that at a time when the world faces so many
environmental problems, over 50 billion animals are reared and
slaughtered each year, 70% of the grain produced in the United
States (and over a third produced worldwide) is inefficiently
diverted to feed farmed animals, and we are using up to 14 times as
much water than is required to produce vegan diets.
Even more frightening is that the FAO report projects that
rising demand for meat and dairy products in the developing world
will result in more than doubling global meat and dairy production by
2050 (using 1999-2001 as a baseline). The FAO report does not even
address the impact of rising poultry, egg, fish and seafood
In view of the above and the very negative consequences that
the widespread production and consumption of animal products are
having on animals and on human health, we should increase our
efforts to make people aware that it is essential that there be a
major shift toward plant-based diets, in order to shift our
imperiled planet to a sustainable path.
–Richard H. Schwartz
Staten Island, N.Y.
Pledges allegiance to higher law; mourns loss of INRA
I am responding to the letters printed in the November 2006
issue of Animal People regarding Tammy Grimes and her rescue of
Doogie. I could not agree more with her actions. She is right in
refusing to return Doogie to his “home,” and in being willing to
take whatever consequence this act results in for her.
Demonstrations which call attention to the issue are fine for
other animals, but not for Doogie. Tammy did the only merciful
thing that could be done for him: she rescued him and gave him
sanctuary. To return him to his former situation would be a
travesty. Imagine the terror and sense of abandonment this animal
would feel. Nothing is worth allowing that.
Our country has not yet reached the point where our laws
about animals reflect mercy and justice. In those cases, I always
feel there is a higher law, and it is that law to which I pledge my
On a separate topic, I am glad you and Joanna Harkin
researched the disappearance of the International Network for
Religion and Animals. I was a member of that organization for many
years. Ginny Bee was right! This organization had the potential to
help religious people see what tenets of their own faith foster
compassion and kindness toward animals.
Because INRA meant so much to me personally, and I did so
much within my own religious community as a result of its suggestions
and celebrations, I am appalled, livid, and deeply saddened to
know exactly what happened to it.
Shame! Shame! Shame!
–Caryl McIntire Edwards
South Paris, Maine
I endorse Dennis Erdman’s suggestion that subscribers leave
past copies of Animal People in public reading areas.
At Kindness House in Melbourne we have 150 young people,
including environmentalists, human and animal rights activists,
refugee groups, social program initiators, elite sportsmen, and
newspaper publishers. We also have web designers, graphic
designers, music promoters and architects in the building.
We leave past copies of Animal People in our foyer, kitchen,
boardroom, meeting room and hot desk areas. I am always surprised
when copies “go missing” and notice they emerge miraculously in the
private office suites. I am ecstatic when I see big macho
meat-eating elite athletes suddenly take an interest in
vegetarianism, sneaking into the Vegetarian Network Victoria office
to acquire a copy of the “Go Vegan” brochure.
We now have a clause in all our leases that reads “As a
courtesy to Phil and Trix Wollen, please do not consume animals in
this building.” We have received no objections from the tenants to
the insertion of this clause.
QuickSpay in Poland
We would like to thank you cordially for sending us your
October 2005 edition with the CD QuickSpay: Early-Age & Adult
Surgical Sterilization Techniques for Dogs & Cats, by Marvin Mackie,
DVM, which shows the details of how to master this type of surgery.
Please thank Dr. Mackie for us. We appreciate his kindness and that
he shares his experience with other vets.
As you know, our foundation finances sterilizing pets in the
villages of Poland. To encourage vets to cooperate with us, we
would like to further distribute this excellent CD.
We would also like to thank you for publishing information
about our foundation. Our actions were appreciated even in the U.S.
We received $100 from your readers. We sterilized pets for this
& Alina Kasprowicz
Fundacja Zwierzeta i my
Ul. Dabrowskiego 25/3
PL-60-840 Poznan, Poland
Nicole Paquette, Gil Lamont, and Camilla Fox of the Animal
Protection Institute were mistakenly listed as employees of the
Animal Welfare Institute in the Individual Compensation tables
published in the December 2006 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE. Michelle
Thew, listed as executive director of API, returned to Britain at
the end of the 2006 API fiscal year, where she again heads the
British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, her position before
joining API in 2004.