I mentioned last week that I was going to be writing about some really horrific animal testing that was begin done by tobacco companies. Well, here it is. Horrible as it is to think about, I couldn’t let anymore time pass before writing about, and sharing this information.
Vivisection can be a contentious issue for some who focus on the potential advancements and benefits for human health. But personally I just can’t let go of Mahatma Gandhi words, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Whatever your view on animal testing however, I think there’s one type of vivisection that if more widely known about, few would be in favour of. And that is the “tobacco industry’s vain attempt to prove that their product doesn’t actually kill people, they have invested literally millions of dollars into animal testing facilities of their own.” If I hadn’t read and cross-referenced this information myself, I don’t know if I would have believed it. It’s just so ludicrous. More animals need to suffer and be killed to prove smoking is harmful? Really?
Many sources report, “Inside laboratories built by the tobacco industry, or in contract laboratories, beagle puppies are attached to gas mask-like devices and forced to breathe in cigarette smoke for hours on end.” Many accounts say this is for “upwards of ten hours a day” for tens of thousands of dogs in research labs all over the world. “After enduring months, if not years, of this torture, the poor, helpless dogs are killed so their lungs and other organs can be examined to study the impact the smoke had on them.”
“Pregnant Rhesus monkeys in these laboratories are forced to breathe in cigarette smoke during the duration of their pregnancy and, shortly before giving birth, the mother and her unborn child will be killed so her body may be dissected and her baby removed to observe the side effects of smoking on pregnancy and fetal development.”
Testing of tobacco products on animals has been illegal in Britain since 1997, but even though it is not required by federal law, it continues elsewhere, including in the US, Canada, and Europe. In addition to big tobacco companies funding their own testing, “Experimenters have taken large grants from cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris; from government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health; and even from the March of Dimes, to inject animals with nicotine, force them to inhale smoke and addict them to tobacco.”
A sampling of other smoking experiments being done to animals:
• Cutting holes in beagles’ throats through which the dogs are forced to breathe concentrated cigarette smoke for a year.
• Inserting electrodes into dogs’ penises to measure the effect of cigarette smoke on sexual performance.
• Strapping masks to the faces of rats and monkeys and permanently restraining them to force them to breathe cigarette smoke constantly.
• Restraining Rhesus monkeys in chairs with head devices and exposing them to nicotine and caffeine to determine how caffeine and nicotine affect breathing.
• Forcing dogs to be on mechanical ventilators and chronically exposed to cigarette smoke.
Lives of all these sentient beings, “kept in restraints like smoke masks and body holders and subjected to horrific experiments every year,” all in the hopes of making more money for the tobacco companies.
What can we do?
If you smoke, and I know of some incredibly wonderful people who still do, please consider quitting, if not for yourself, for the sake of these animals. Stop buying tobacco products and putting profits in these companies’ pockets.