It looks like I’ve offended my Instagram followers. I posted a picture about the Stand up 2 Cancer campaign currently in the UK (Cancer Research UK) and have received a less than supportive reaction.
Let me make this clear; I do not support animal testing for cosmetics in any way shape or form, however I understand that unfortunately our medicines cannot be administered to humans without some kind of testing on animals (and humans) This is a legal requirement in the UK, under something called the Animals Act 1986 (ASPA)
So, this means antibiotics, pain relief, children’s paracetamol, blood thinners, anti depressants and antipsychotics. It means cancer treatments. We’re talking hayfever and blood pressure meds. It means life saving drugs that prevent us working back into the dark ages. I think it’s a pretty shitty situation to be in. But something we must put into balance.
For example, an epileptic child relies on a certain medication to prevent seizures. As a vegan you know this medication contains lactose and has been tested, subjectively, on animals for its purpose, and refuse to accept that drug on behalf of a minor. As a result, the child has a fit at school. Bangs his head on a book case and is subjected to brain damage? Or worse death? As humans our first instinct is to find fault and either fight or flight, so at what point does somebody take responsibility? Where is the balance?
The parents? The school? The local authorities and medical professionals? The laboratories? The research centres? The statistical reporters? Are we not all responsible? Is depriving someone (whether young or old, or aged and infirmed) of medical treatment on the grounds of animal testing fair? Safe even?
I agree that its pretty fucked morally but there is a fine line between morality and human nature. I believe it’s called balance.
This subject in it’s entirety has been a main talking point for my husband and I for quite some time now. It’s hugely prevalent in both of our lives and something we feel so strongly about.
Hubby nearly died last year; a routine operation to make life a little easier to bear, turned into a massive life threatening infection. Yes, we accepted the antibiotics to save his life. We bit the hand off of the NHS, (another blog completely) and fortunately my better half is here to tell the tale. He might be missing half a foot but he’s alive an I could never even try to articulate how grateful I am for that.
At the time, morality didn’t even come into question (rightly or wrongly) it didn’t occur to us that the medicine used to save my husbands life probably ended the life of an innocent animal. As I said, in no way do I think that’s acceptable but in balance to that, I do know that without animal testing we wouldn’t be where we are ecologically, socially, medically, technologically or independently.
That being said and with balance still in mind, do we not owe it back to our planet, our world and its inhabitants to do the best we can individually to take responsibility for what we can do to better our own future? Whether it’s through religion, veganism, volunteering, charity work or donations or even education. We are all ultimately responsible for our future.
We are one planet.