Spinal cord injuries – a dog named Gil

Spinal cord injuries – a dog named Gil

“Treatment-induced recovery in a rodent model does not necessarily mean that primates and (human) individuals with spinal cord injuries will recover to a similar degree (or to any degree) given the same therapy” (Fouad et. al. 2013) Just over a month ago, a friend posted on her facebook page a video of a small, black dog dragging himself across a concrete floor in a makeshift veterinary facility. This little dog, named Gil, had been found by a family living in very remote, rural area in Arizona. Having no control or ability to move his hind legs, he somehow managed to […]
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Should Animals be Used to Ensure Capital Punishment is Humane?

Should Animals be Used to Ensure Capital Punishment is Humane?

I had a completely different topic in mind when I sat down to write this post, but I could not stop thinking about an article in yesterday’s New York Times1 about the controversial use of fentanyl in the execution of a convicted murderer in Nebraska on Tuesday, August 14th. This is the first time fentanyl, a powerful drug playing a starring role in the current American opioid overdose epidemic in the US, has been used in an execution in the US. This article piqued my interest because of its repeated descriptions of the controversy surrounding the fact that the drug […]
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Devil’s Advocate: The Case for Biomedical Testing

Devil’s Advocate: The Case for Biomedical Testing

“Americans are living longer, healthier lives and we owe much of that success to biomedical research.” Dr Robert Palazzo, President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)   In my research on the use of animals in biomedical testing, I found that there were primarily three compelling reasons for its support. These include 1) the notion that animals and humans are physiologically and genetically similar to humans; 2) there is a need to understand how a drug impacts the entire system and not just one organ or bodily system; and 3) that it stops human suffering and/or […]
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Drawing the Line: Biomedical vs Cosmetic Testing on Animals

Drawing the Line: Biomedical vs Cosmetic Testing on Animals

What do you think of when you hear the words “animal testing”? When I asked this question to members of the general public in my research, often the responses included things like “bunnies having horrible things put in their eyes” or “the skin of rats or rabbits being used for chemical burn tests.” Not once did a study participant mention dogs being forced to run on a treadmill until they suffered a heart attack or monkeys with boxes implanted into their skulls strapped into chairs while they viewed tv screens and researchers monitored their neural pathways. My research shows that […]
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Unlocking the cage on animal experimentation

Unlocking the cage on animal experimentation

“When we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak” Audre Lorde, American writer, feminist, womanist, and civil rights activist. A few weeks ago, quite early on a Sunday morning (we get up early here in the desert Southwest to beat the heat!), I joined about fifty of my fellow animal rights activists in downtown Tucson to commemorate National Animal Rights Day. Organizers provided participants with large images of various animals, all used in exploitative ways by humans, and asked us […]
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