Every year, more than 100 million animals—mice, rats, dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and many others—are killed in laboratories across the United States. Some are immobilized in restrained devices. Others have holes drilled into their skulls. Many are forced to inhale toxic fumes. None, however, signed a consent form before being drafted into the deadly game of animal testing.
That’s why the work, be it protests or product boycotting, done this week—World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week—is so important. From April 22 through 29, the animal rights community will coalesce and give voice to the voiceless. Here are five ways you can help lab animals.
1) Support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act
The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would ban invasive experimentation on chimpanzees and other great apes (orangutans, bonobos, gorillas, gibbons), and retire all federally owned chimps to sanctuaries.
According to The Humane Society of the United States, The Institute of Medicine has confirmed that there is no area of invasive research that requires the use of chimpanzees.
Click here to ask your representatives to support the bill.
2) Attend a Demonstration
The dedicated people at SAEN—Stop Animal Experimentation Now—have compiled a list of events, from demonstrations and vigils to vegan potlucks and movie screenings, in honor of World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week. Click here to find an event in your area.
You can also check IDA’s WWAIL list, which contains international events as well as events occurring across the United States.
Can’t find an event?
Check out IDA’s Take Action Against Vivisection for other things you can do to help animals in labs.
3) Adopt an Activist
Unable to attend an event? Through IDA’s Adopt an Activist Program, you can donate as little as $15 or as much as $250 to help cover the costs for World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week—such as literature, posters, or news release distribution.
Click here to adopt an activist.
4) Educate Your Kids about Animal Testing
As difficult as this topic can be, there are ways to enlighten your kids without traumatizing them. Rent or download Rise of the Planet of the Apes or check out Disneynature’s new film Chimpanzee and connect the films to issues like the Great Ape Protection Act.
Many kids are horrified to learn that beauty and cleaning products are tested on animals. PETA offers stickers, pamphlets, and very reasonably priced literature about dissection and animal testing. These are perfect for school projects and general awareness-raising.
5) Boycott Products and Services that Conduct and Support Animal Testing
We can vote against vivisection every day when we buy beauty and cleaning products or even when we donate to charities. To find out what companies test on animals, click here.
And click here to download the Be Nice to Bunnies iPhone and iPad app that can tell you if a product is cruelty-free or not.
PETA also sells wallet-sized guides to share with friends:
Charities that do and don’t fund animal research (25 guides for $4.00)
Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide (20 guides for $5.00)
Pet Food Manufacturers that Don’t Test on Animals: (25 for $4.00)
Before purchasing a beauty product, do you factor in whether or not it has been tested on animals?
Jocelyn Heaney is an English instructor, animal activist and freelance writer for L.A. Review of Books and Warner Bros. Pictures, among others. Her favorite animals are great white sharks, horses and all cats. She is currently at work on a memoir. Email Jocelyn | @JocelynHeaney