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A picture is worth a 1000 words ...

Much animal suffering and abuse caused by common practices today continues because the public is unaware of it.

Animal Rights

Animal rights’ is the recognition that animals feel pleasure and pain and are aware of their own existence. It respects their right to share this earth with us.

Basic animal rights

H.E.N.’s commitment to end animal suffering will continue until some basic rights of animals are recognized:
  • To live in a habitat that meets their basic physical and psychological needs — to stand, sit upright, stretch, and to climb, swim, fly, or run.
  • If killed, to experience a quick and painless death.
  • The right of animals not to suffer or die for our “entertainment.”
  • Not to suffer and die in the testing of non-medical, personal care, cosmetics, and household cleaning products.
  • Not to suffer and die for pointless, repetitious laboratory experiments.

Did you know ...

picture of a cat
  • Five to seven million dogs and cats are euthanized annually in the U.S.
  • The supply of dogs and cats — a surplus created by unrestricted breeding — outstrips the demand because of too few loving homes.
picture of a laboratory rat
  • An estimated 20 million animals are used in research and testing in the U.S. each year.
  • Many laboratory animals suffer and die in pointless, repetitive laboratory experiments.
  • Millions of animals still suffer and die in painful LD50 and Draize tests of cosmetics and household cleaning products, even though hundreds of companies market similar products using safe ingredients or modern, non-animal testing procedures.
picture of a cow
  • Of the nine billion animals killed annually for human consumption, most live miserable lives in intensive confinement producing more, faster.
  • Animals living on U.S. factory farms are denied their basic physical and behavioral needs.
  • Chickens are crammed into wire cases, never scratching the ground in sunlight.
  • Veal calves are chained to crates so confining they cannot even turn around.
  • Pigs are kept indoors on unbedded concrete or slatted floors.
  • Ill or injured farms animals called “downers” are routinely kicked, electrically shocked, dragged by chains fastened to their legs, or dumped on “deadpiles” at stockyards while still alive.
picture of a wolf howling
  • Over 400,000 wild animals are killed and wounded each year by hunters and trappers in nearly 60 percent of our 538 National Wildlife Refuges.
  • These “sanctuaries” allow recreational hunting and permit commercial trappers to set leghold traps, which are indisciminate and cause slow, agonizing deaths.
picture of a horse
  • America’s horses — former companions, unprofitable racehorses, and wild horses — rounded up from their ranges and sent to slaughter houses to provide meat to European and Asian markets.

Myths and Facts

Defenders of the status quo in the abuse of animals often use myths to argue against reforms. The facts show that reforms are needed to ensure that our tax dollars are spent wisely and animal suffering is minimized.
Myth #1There is no waste
Myth #2Abuse is rare
Myth #3Alternatives are used whenever possible
Facts contained in the summaries of the APIS database refute these myths by giving concrete examples of waste, abuse, and alternatives. Quotes below are samples of many summaries that debunk some of those myths.

Myth #1 – There is no waste

"All use of animals in laboratories is necessary and imporant."
"Peer review prevents waste and unnecessary duplication."

"The current peer review system ensures that unnecessary duplication of research does not occur." Moreover, the fact that only about one-third of all research proposals are now funded is "a powerful deterrent" against wasteful use of animals. Dr. James Wyngaarden, National Institutes of Health, the federal agency that funds animal research. ()

"It is our opinion that the peer review system of the major granting agencies, including the NIH, the editorial review process for originality of thought by scientific journals and the cost-effectiveness of private industry prevent most so-called unnecessary animal experiments." Dr. Edward C. Melby, Association for Biomedical Research. ()

Facts #1 - Waste is Too Common

Animal use is often of no practical value and ignores alternatives
Scientists are rewarded financially and professionally for using animals

"Experiments are duplicated sometimes because of ineptitude. Scientists sometimes don’t know what’s already been done. Or, because they can’t think of new experiments, they repeat old ones." Professor Joen Neilands, University of California at Berkeley. ()

"About half of all scientific papers are never cited in the year after they are published. ... for an article never to be cited means it probably had no influence on any other scientist’s work and hence no impact on the progress of science." William Broad and Nicholas Wade. ()

"There is not only much unnecessarily repetitive research with animals, but also misleading research as well as irrelevent research. ... I studied dozens of articles about child abuse, ... only one in fifty references pertained to animal research. ... [in other areas of childhood therapy] animal experiments were rarely, if ever, mentioned." Emmanuel Bernstein, Ph.D.. ()

"There were over a dozen researchers doing the same type of work that I was, ... and this is in one building ... there’s so much wasted time and effort repeating what other people have done and reexperiencing the same mistakes." Dr. Bart Green, University of Miami School of Medicine. ()

"Melby’s opposition to the bill is ’understandable’ because of Melby’s position as a consultant for Charles River Breeding Laboratories, the leading worldwide producer of high quality laboratory animals." From article titled "USDA reports cite Cornell University for animal care violations" by David Cooper. ()

For lists of summaries describing uses of animals, select a link below:

For lists of summaries explaining why alternatives are not used:
  • Callousness - because many animal users are insensitive to animal suffering.
  • Excessive Regulation - too many regulations require animal use.
  • Inertia - continuing known animal use is easier than reform.
  • Validation - viable alternatives are not validated.
  • Vested Interests - scientists and universities get financial gain from animal use.