News & Alerts

Winter 2009 newsletter

Winter 2009 newsletter

President's Message:

Once again we are moving closer to the holiday season of hope. This year my greatest hope comes from the realization that we are moving closer and closer to our goals. There are already nearly 100 co-sponsors to the Great Ape Protection Act. There are rulings all over the world that enhance protections for animals in labs. And, most importantly, today when anti-vivisectionists are attacked by our opposition for not having human interests at heart, the opposition doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

The work we are doing is adding scientific credibility to our ethical arguments. We are showing that not only is animal research cruel and ethically indefensible, it is scientifically unjustifiable. It does not work. While status quo science is wasting the lives of millions of animals, wasting time in finding cures and treatments, and wasting precious research dollars, a new breed of scientists is effectively challenging status quo science.

The media is letting the world know about fraud in research where those who, for their own career advancement, throw ethics to the wind and publish papers that come from flawed science and fraudulent results. Public support for animal research is dropping steadily. In the past decade, Americans’ support for animal research shrank from 70 to 54 percent. A recent Pew poll found only 52 percent of Americans support animal research – an unconvincing slim majority.

Lobbying groups like the Foundation for Biomedical Research are investing more than $1 million in a “Research Saves” campaign to tout the supposed benefits of animal research. From where we sit, we wonder on what basis they form their arguments, since everywhere we look, the facts are not with those arguments.

Like the fact that needed vaccines are not being developed, in part because of our reliance on animal models; or the fact that entire areas of killer diseases’ research have given up on using even our closest genetic relative, the chimpanzee, because research on them doesn’t apply to humans. New scientists are responding to the carte blanc authority animal researchers have laid claim to for decades, challenging these researchers to “prove” that what they say is what we get.

Consistently their response is, sadly, propaganda campaigns to reach the public, dodging any legitimate debate. But soon they will have to come to the table … because the public, legislators, and their fellow scientists are questioning their authority and saying, “enough.” Though some justify animal suffering for proposed benefi ts to humankind, without those benefits, those opposed to animal research are rapidly growing in number and strength.

While my holidays seem, for the moment, filled with good news, I know that the work of NEAVS will not be over for years. Changing an establishment that has both profi t and power is never easy. Sadly, reality alone is not always enough to turn the tide. But hearts and minds of compassion and power are seeing the light … the light that is informed, caring, and committed to no other agenda than compassion for all. Thank you, this holiday season, for being such an important part of this work and of NEAVS. Together, we will make it happen. One day. Soon.

Theodora Capaldo, EdD

To read the full newsletter, you can download Winter 2009 UPDATE here.