Monday, October 29, 2012

Similarity between Animal Sacrifices and Animal Experiments

I have written many times on this blog and on my site Human Health and Animal Ethics that animal experiments in biomedicine do not help human health: the method is scientifically wrong and, because of its lack of predictive ability and consequent unreliability, it can do great harm to humans as well as not doing good.

So animal testing is not only useless, it is dangerous because misleading.

I have explained at length the reasons why this is the case, and you can read them there.

As far as drugs are concerned, an important part of the solution to the problem of possible unwanted side effects is better control of the effects of medicines after they have been marketed.

“We need to encourage doctors and drug companies to watch for, report and take note of side effects in order to protect patients properly. If proper drug surveillance techniques had been available in the 1960s the thalidomide problem would have been picked up much earlier. We still don't have proper post marketing trials in place.”

Testing on humans is unavoidable whether or not you have experimented on animals first, because any new drug which is marketed is an unknown, due to the unreliability of previous animal testing.

There are cases where there is a correspondence between human and non-human animals. But how do we know that? Because we transferred the results of animal testing on humans. That is, for all practical purposes, we tested them on humans.

As I said, I have already extensively written on this. Now I want to make a connection.

Three days ago, on 26 October, was the Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Adha, which Muslims "celebrate" by sacrificing animals.

Eid al-Adha, in Arabic "feast of sacrifice", is celebrated in honour of Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to show his obedience to God, before God stopped him and offered him a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son.

Almost all religions, from Islam to Judaism, from paganism to Hinduism, sacrifice animals to gods.

Nepal's Gadhimai Festival in Hinduism, a religion generally believed to be benign to animals,
calls for a mass animal sacrifice which is considered to be the world's goriest mass killing of animals.

A few hundred thousands buffaloes, pigs, goats, pigeons, rabbits and chickens are killed as part of the blood-soaked festival held every five years (November 24, 25) to honor the Hindu goddess of power.

...Animal sacrifice is an everyday occurrence in Nepal. One could visit one of the countless temples and suddenly find oneself witnessing the beheading of a goat, a chicken, a duck, or even a young buffalo. The visitor might catch the last sounds of a dying animal or find oneself wading through a stream of blood.
Christianity and Buddhism are the exceptions.

Jesus Christ banned the Jewish practice of animal sacrifices. Here, as in many other crucial areas, Christianity demonstrates once again its considerable enlightenment and progress in comparison to other religions. Christianity, along with Greco-Roman civilization, is what has made the West and its immensurable achievements over the rest of the world possible.

People have been sacrificing animals to their gods in the hope that the sacrifices would deliver them from evils.

Our culture is not so barbaric, but the hope that sacrificing somebody else, someone who cannot defend himself (or herself), will save us is still present.

God offering Abraham a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son Ishmael reminds me of the way animals are used in biomedical experiments to make them suffer and die instead of humans.

Animal experimentation is the heir to the ritual sacrifice, the modern-day equivalent of the hope that a "scapegoat" will take from us all the bad things and dangers and free us.

And it is just as irrational.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moderate Muslims Sacrifice Animals for Eid Celebrations

Manchester police have allowed the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha, which this year falls on 26 October, to go ahead (via Christian Defence League).

What we are not told, though, is whether the "celebrations" will involve animal sacrifices.

Eid al-Adha, which in Arabic means "feast of sacrifice", is celebrated by Muslims worldwide in honour of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God, before God stopped him and provided him with a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son (funny how this reminds me of the way animals are used in biomedical experiments to make them suffer and die instead of humans).

Animal sacrifices are part of the ritual "festivities". The animals traditionally killed are cows, camels, goats and sheep depending on the region. In the Indian subcontinent, the festival is called "Bakr-Id" because of the tradition of sacrificing goats ("bakri").

In the post "Bakra Eid: The cost of sacrifice", that is only concerned about the economic cost anyway, Travel Wire Asia estimates that 7.5 million animals are sacrificed every year in Pakistan alone on Eid.

Last year, a County Commissioner in Florida tried to stop local Muslims from killing animals for Eid al-Adha on a field by getting the land owner to withdraw permission.

The voice of "moderate Muslims" in America, the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who had organized the ceremony, called her actions "disturbing".

This was the South Florida branch of a national organization which represents mainstream Muslims in the USA: they organized the sacrifices, they would slit the throat of sacrificial lambs.

Remember this next time you hear about "moderate Muslims". These are the moderate Muslims. Those who participate in this sort of bloodshed and complain if stopped are mainstream, ordinary, "moderate" Muslims.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

New Turkey Law Slowly Killing Stray Cats and Dogs

A new draft law presented to the Turkish Parliament, if passed, would condemn Turkey's stray cats and dogs to a slow and agonizing death.

The Government's plan is to abolish the current programme of TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) and replace it with a policy instructing the municipalities to round up all free-roaming animals to place them in what are called  'Dogal hayat parklari' (natural life parks).

Now this may sound nice but these parks will just be fenced off areas, probably forests, far from populated areas where hundreds or even thousands of animals will have to fend for themselves. Those that don't die of starvation will probably suffer terrible injuries from fights over limited food sources and disease will spread through the population like wildfire.

At the moment many municipalities do not employ a vet to neuter or treat street animals, some cannot even support the animal shelters in their own areas properly so who is going to care for the animals in these out of the way parks? There will be no way to check on their welfare or even to find out if animals were actually taken there at all or disposed of in some other way!! These "parks" will become nothing but mass death camps!
Change has a petition to the Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan, "Stop Turkey’s proposed Death Camps for stray animals!".

Please sign the petition. They have now already collected more than 15,000 signature and need just over 9,000 to reach their target.