This week is the World Week for Animals in Laboratories.
Along with the suffering of animals in various exploitative industries, and the harmful consequences of many other human activities, the suffering of nonhuman animals in laboratories is supposed to serve as a very strong motivation for humanity to change its ways, given that hundreds of millions of sentient beings are forced to be tortured in the research industry, mainly to solve problems that humanity could have easily avoided in the first place by changing its harmful lifestyle.
But that is what was long ago supposed to happen. In reality, humanity doesn’t change its ways, even after bringing a pandemic on itself. Despite warnings that something like that is about to happen sooner or later, despite preknowledge of the sources of most past pandemics, and despite that clearly small scale epidemics constantly spread in factory farms, humanity doesn’t and will never learn the lesson. Even the specific live animal markets (‘wet markets’) from which the current pandemic has spread will go on as the cruel usual. Animals will keep being tortured in laboratories, paying the price for humans’ cruel insistence on torturing other animals in other industries.
More and more animals will keep suffering more and more cruel experiments because more and more pathogens will keep jumping to humans from more and more nonhumans who will keep being more and more tortured in factory farms and live animal markets.
Of course there are other ways to develop and test medicines, and to do research in general. Even the NIH admits that 95% of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in tests on animals fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous, and a 2014 review published in the British Medical Journal found that even the most promising findings from animal research often fail in human trials and are rarely adopted into clinical practice. For example, one study found that fewer than 10% of highly promising basic science discoveries enter routine clinical use within 20 years. And there are certainly other ways to prevent the need for developing and testing medicines in the first place. But humanity keeps insisting on the biomedical approach instead of the much more efficient and definitely much less cruel option of preventive medicine – prevention of diseases through proactive social changes that consider first and foremost the food industry, environmental issues, public health, economics, and etc. Because why work hard, think ahead, think creatively and responsibly, educate the public and etc., when you can simply torture defenseless animals instead, and make a profit out of it on the way?
Animal organizations and activists are right calling for decades now – calls that have been very strong in the past year for obvious reasons – to embrace other research methods and completely ditch animal testing. But that is not going to happen.
And animal organizations and activists are of course also right about calling out the origin of this current pandemic, which like almost each and every one of the former pandemics is originated in animal exploitation. But like animal testing, that is not going to end either. And that’s exactly why animal exploitation must also be the source of the next pandemic, but not from a biological aspect but rather from an ethical one. Not a pandemic that has been spontaneously developed as a result of animal exploitation, but a pandemic that has been deliberately engineered because of animal exploitation. And one that would end it all and for good.