This is a bit more of a serious post than normal but I’ll try to keep it a little light-hearted! Going back to 1984 when my mum would be 19 years old, near the end of her punk days (Yes she use to have a Mohawk, yes she use to dye it different colours!) she decided to make a difference, in fact the whole of her friendship group did.
“We had joined the animal rights movement. We were all at the age where we could finally see what was going on in the world. We had all became vegan which was, well, back then they sold fuck all so it was hard! Sean mentioned there was going to be a protest at Toxicol in Ledbury against testing on bunnies so we all jumped in the camper van and made our way. Music blaring we jumped out to join the sit down protest. Sitting in front of the entrances blocking people’s way with our whistles (at this point I’m sat here like why would you take whistles … to which she answered, “I cant really remember we just had whistles ok?” so yeah… they had whistles). People had signs, were chanting, the atmosphere was great and it was a peaceful protest. After hours of sitting there the police came to shut it down, drag people away and arrest them.”
Toxicol is animal testing company (who use to test for so many reasons) in ledbury which has been open for the past 40 years. Note I have written has, the company is still open now but has changed their name to Sequani coincidentally not long after the string of protests and media coverage and undercover reports were made. However their reasoning was “we went on to join Quintiles; a venture destined to grow into one of the largest contract research organisations in the world.” (- direct quote from their website). Now they test for drug trials, crop protection and chemical safety. Which some would say sounds reasonable but when you get into it and read about how they test on beagle dogs, rabbits, genetically stunted pigs “mini pigs”, transgenic mice, rats and guinea pigs you may change your mind.
In fact Acute Toxicity Tests are even still carried out (Acute toxicity studies in mammals are conducted to measure a chemical’s capacity to cause harm or death with a single dose). This can be by:
- Oral — chemicals are pumped directly into the animal’s stomach via a force-feeding tube or syringe.
- Skin — chemicals are painted onto the shaved and abraded skin on the animal’s back.
- Inhalation — animals are either confined in an inhalation chamber or restrained with a breathing apparatus fixed over their mouths.
I could go on and on for days (But I wont because you can look into it more if you like! literally just type in sequani animal testing and you’ll see how hard people are trying to shut it down). Apart from the obvious I asked my mum why she got into the camper van that day.
“Nowadays Iya there’s just no need for it. Companies now have the resources to carry out tests in better, safer, more ethical, and cruelty free ways. The company has always said ‘Highest standard of animal care is given’ how is it that the highest standard of care means torture and death?”
People cried over the Yulin dog festival in china (a traditional summer Chinese festival where people eat dog meat and lychee as part of a celebration) and caused an uproar, rightfully so but when dogs and other animals are being treated like this and undergoing torture right here in the UK it seems some what hypocritical. Are you going to stand up and join the movement? I’ll be posting about standing up against animal testing in future posts!
**Finally here’s a picture of my mum with a small mohawk just for bants – Sorry mum not sorry!**