industry, the dairy industry and the pharmaceutical
industry have a number of mutual features. To
begin with, these are branches with a cashflow
of billions, and tens of thousands of people earn
a very good living working there. The second mutual
factor is the use and, in most cases, abuse of
animals. The third mutual factor is the used tactic,
namely the maintaining and the further spread
of untruths by means of advertising and false
Misconception: animal proteins are indispensable
to a full eating pattern for humans.
It is not true that people need meat and/or dairy
products to stay healthy. From a growing number
of publications, and from daily experiences of
people who restrict themselves to vegetable proteins,
it's apparent that in fact it is possible to get
sufficient proteins and calcium from vegetable
food. It has even been proved by research in the
past years, that meat and dairy products are causes
of a great deal of prosperity diseases.
medication and treatments that have been tested
on animals guarantee a safe use for humans.
Animals are not human beings, as much as they
might seem alike, both physically and psychologically.
The suggestion that a drug tested on animals would
be safe for people has been proved scientifically
Tests on animals are part of the so-called experimental
research: scientists try to imitate the same disease
in a healthy animal as has appeared spontaneously
in a human being.
This means that with the testing of a medicine
on this animal, the spontaneous human related
original disease can not be examined. For this
reason modern medication often has such a long
list of side effects.
A notorious consequence of this kind of research
was the medicine Softenon; it was extensively
tested and was 'found safe' on numerous different
lab animals, but ultimately it proved to deform
The true reason for researchers
to continue working with lab animals (millions
each year), is that these animals are much cheaper
than human guinea pigs, and there are almost no
limitations to adapt to in research for the (ab)
use of animals. Where for humans there is an obvious
consideration between the possible risk and the
expected improvement for the human race (and of
course a considerable settlement for the human
test person), lab animals have no such thing.
Nothing is too crazy to use lab animals for,
and anyone who reads the newspaper, knows to which
revolting experiments this has led. The consumer demand for an effective,
wellpriced, ethical responsible health care,
isn't the drive behind the developments in the
medical/pharmaceutical industry, but the hunger
to introduce new technical tour de forces. This is done over
and over again and aimed to lure the public with possibilities,
growing wishes, raising hope and to gain a lot
of money out of it.
What is the alternative: prevention
and clinical research.
A disease is a sign, that you should pay more attention to your body. You can better take these signs seriously,
and try to take every possible precaution (clean
food, time to relax). You can for example take
advantage of the Chinese
(preventative) art of medicine: she has been practised for thousands of years and consists of regular examinations and treatments, against lability, e.g.
Avoid medicines that are
developed to only remove the unwanted symptom
from the body (chemical medicines that are tested
on lab animals and general large groups of people).
Instead, take, when prevention has failed, medicines
that are developed by and for people, and that
are specially prescribed by the specialised doctor
for the person concerned, in the right composition.
Homeopathic and anthroposofic doctors urge the recovery of the good, self-healing powers
of the body, instead of trying to suppress the
unwanted symptoms with chemicals.
The chicken or the egg?
What existed first, the food producer trying
to keep producing cheaper in order to make more
money, or the consumer who refused to pay a fair
price for a good product?
What existed first, the western people who started
to believe in the endless possibilities of the
medical industry, or the medical industry holding
out a carrot to the western people, as a 'possibility'?
If there is someone who knows the answer it won't
do us any good. What we have to do, is turn our
back on the present escalations. A grievances
that turns big, doesn't have to just stay that
way. For instance, think of nuclear energy, a
piece of modern thinking and acting that is unparalleled,
which was connected with huge economical interests
and yet ..
At some point the joint feeling
and sense prevailed and now nuclear plants are
being closed, one after the other. This could also be
possible for other abuses like factory farming,
the medical-technical industry and poisoned agriculture-
and stockbreeding industry. If only we want to.
If only every individual wants to. Because indeed,
a better world starts with us.
proteins are indispensable in a full food pattern
medicines and treatments that are tested on
animals, guarantee a safe use on people
the alternative: prevention and clinical research
the chicken or the egg?
When you leave out dairy- and meat products from
your daily food, or have some as a delicacy on
an exceptional base instead of as a 'daily necessity',
it has enormous positive consequences for your
own health as well as for the wellbeing of animals,
the environment and the social relations in the
world. Who wants to read more about objections
against the (production of) dairy products, click
The deep-rooted dogma in the Netherlands that
'meat is a necessity and we need milk to obtain
calcium' is the direct result of our economical
interests as a 'dairy land' and long-term advertising.
This result is fed by the constraint to make
profit; not by the need to restore a better life to the people and better environment.
1999 723.816 tests on animals took place in the
Netherlands, in 68.400 cases genetically modified
animals (mostly mice) were used. Almost half of
these tests were done for scientific research
for the cause and treatment of human diseases.
Over 40% were done for sera, vaccines, drugs and
medical or veterinarian products.
Unfortunately, in our technocratic society, the
modern thought on life and death are dominating:
you don't have to put up with illness; everything
would have a solution and should be curable;
everybody has a 'right' to a long life free of
sickness or 'right' to a child.
To take responsibility for ones own health (by
eating healthy food, free of chemicals and pesticides,
to take time for fresh air, rest and relaxation)
would be expensive and time-consuming.
It is much cheaper and easier to reach for the
medicine jar 'when something is wrong'. Under
influence of the medical-technical industry people
have been dissociated so far from their
own responsibility for their health that even
an absolutely hideous idea like animal organ transplants
(= to keep animals like little plants of spare
parts for people) is taken seriously. It is sad
to see that even organisations that claim to be
fighting against animal testing are convinced
of the dogma that these tests are unavoidable.
They fight for the reduce and avoidance of animal
tests and for making them less painful, but exactly
with this soft not-rigorous-rejecting-all animal-tests
approach, they confirm the public's idea that
tests on animals are necessary and cannot be avoided.
A human being is a mortal creature, just like
an animal, not a meccano set (toy with) which can be fiddled
about with, and there is a reason for this. Death and decay have a place in nature next to birth and growth;
also a human life ends at a time.
Still, there will be situations, like a serious
disease that attacks a young life, when the persons
concerned will demand the biggest qualities of medical
science, in order to preserve the life. In this
case it would be not only ethical but also most efficient
from a safety view, a matter of to do using only clinical
research and medicines that
were clinically tested. This means also: methods and
cures that are found by extensive research on
people with the same symptoms.
Author Anna van Beek
Reduction in the needs for
BioSim is a Network of Excellence established by the European
Commission. The main objective of the Network is
to demonstrate how the use of modern simulation
technique through a deeper and more qualitative
understanding of the underlying biological, pathological
and pharmacological processes can lead to a more
rational drug development process, improved treatment
procedures, and a reduction in the needs for animal