Conscious choices make a difference. Last month, I wrote about how informed and conscious choices about the cosmetics you use benefit not just you, but also your cats. Today, I’d like to encourage you to use the same diligence when you decide what charities you support with your donations.
It’s difficult to say no to all the requests that all of us see almost every day to donate to charities that are seeking a cure for a disease. Often these requests come from friends who are supporting the charity through walks, bike races, and other activities. And how many of us really take the time to find out how our donation will be used? We want to think that our money goes toward reducing suffering, but if the charity supports animal testing, that may not be the case.
Animal experiments are cruel and unnecessary
There are plenty of arguments that animal testing is a necessary part of medical research, and that finding a cure for human diseases outweighs the suffering this research causes to innocent animals. However, scientists are increasingly seeing that the results of animal experiments are not directly applicable to humans. Doctors Against Animal Experiments, a German organization advocating animal-free research, quotes a study conducted by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The study came to the conclusion that “one would be better off tossing a coin than relying on animal experiments to answer the question of carcinogenic substances. Only 5 – 25% of the substances harmful to humans also have adverse effects on the experimental animals. Tossing a coin delivers better results.”
Does your favorite charity support animal testing?
I’ve gotten into the habit of checking whether a charity supports animal testing before making any type of donation. The Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine maintains an extensive searchable database via its Humane Charity Seal program. For more information, and to search the charity database, visit HumaneSeal.org.