What is Vivisection?

Vivisection is the practice of animal experimentation. This can include administering drugs, infecting with diseases, poisoning for toxicity testing, brain damaging, maiming, blinding, and other painful and invasive procedures. It can include protocols that cause severe suffering, such as long-term social isolation, full-body restraint, electric shocks, withholding of food and water, or repeatedly breeding and separating infants from mothers. Essentially, it is using animals in ways that cause distress and/or death in attempts to test the safety of drugs and biological products or of finding treatments, prevention, or cures for human diseases. However, results derived from the animal model are not valid or relevant for humans. Tens of millions (some estimate in excess of 25 million) of animals in the U.S. suffer, die, or are killed each year in laboratories for biomedical experimentation, product and cosmetic testing, and for science education.

Imagine spending your entire life as a hospital patient or prisoner – this will only begin to approximate the life of an animal in a laboratory. Animals in labs live stressful, unnatural lives of daily confinement and deprivation. They spend their life in barren cages, unable to exert their will, make choices, or express their natural behaviors and needs. Most never experience fresh air or sunshine, only bars and concrete. The only changes in their lives come from invasive experiments, which range from uncomfortable to agonizing. And they are helpless to defend themselves.

Millions of taxpayer dollars, wasted for pointless animal experiments

  • Researchers at Emory University conduct post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experiments on rats and monkeys. One researcher induced PTSD in monkeys by separating infants from their mothers. Another studied how PTSD affects learning by damaging monkeys’ brains…redundant research that has been going on for years.
  • The Oregon National Primate Research Center feeds monkeys a high-calorie/high-fat diet to make them obese, then tests the effects of diet and diabetes drugs, gastric bypass surgery, and more. To monitor their food intake and prevent them from getting exercise, some of the monkeys are kept caged alone for months, even years…unnecessary research that is already widely available through human clinical data.
  • At Yale University School of Medicine, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, researchers immobilized mice and rats in tubes, shocked their feet, suspended them by their tails, and forced them to swim to avoid drowning…irrelevant research that claims to have relevance for human anxiety and depression, with no proof that it does.

Wasteful. Repetitive. Unnecessary. Irrelevant. Inhumane.

There IS a better way. This is why NEAVS is dedicated to replacing all animal experiments with humane and better science. We expose and oppose unproductive and inhumane animal research and work to develop, validate, and advance alternatives that are better science for everyone.

Steps YOU can take to help end animal research

  • Buy only cruelty-free cosmetics and household products. Download our free, pocket-sized Leaping Bunny Compassionate Shopping Guide with hundreds of companies who guarantee cruelty free at all levels of production.
  • Write to companies that still test their products on animals and let them know that you won’t buy their products until they STOP.
  • Sign up for NEAVS eNews and eAlerts to learn what you can do to help locally, nationally and globally.
  • Make sure your charitable contributions are not going to cruel and wasteful animal experimentation. Visit Leaping Bunny for a complete updated list of approved charities.
  • Tell the college or university from which you graduated that you won’t donate to the alumni fund as long as they continue to use animals in research or in their science education programs.
  • Educate yourself and others about vivisection. Contact NEAVS for free materials to distribute in your community.
  • Spread the word! When you see articles in your local newspaper about animal testing, write letters to the editor explaining how vivisection is cruel to animals and impedes progress on human health problems.
  • Become a NEAVS supporter and help bring an end to vivisection.
  • If you live in the Boston area, volunteer at the NEAVS office. Or get involved from anywhere in the nation on behalf of animals in labs

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