Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – Protecting Innocent Animals

Many people have never heard of PCRM. This organization was founded in 1985 by Dr. Neal Barnard. The main purpose of PCRM is to oppose animal testing while promoting non-animal methods in education and research. PCRM also promotes a plant-based diet to maintain health and prevent diseases. I discovered PCRM many years ago when I went vegetarian.

PCRM

A guinea pig is subjected to testing at the National Cancer Institute. Image credit: Linda Bartlett

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – Protecting Innocent Animals

Back then, I was in the dark regarding animal testing and experiments done by large companies. I knew animal testing existed, I just didn’t know the extent of it. Reading literature and articles from PCRM, I found that there are a lot of barbaric experiments quietly going on behind closed doors. This has bothered me for many years.

WAS ANIMAL TESTING A NECESSARY EVIL?

When my best friend contracted leukemia, she said that animal experimentation was necessary to help treat people like her. She loved animals dearly like I do but felt that animal testing was a necessary evil. I thought about that but it was hard for me to handle. I wondered if there was an alternative to using live animals in medical research.

PCRM

This is one of many posters protesting animal testing. The look on the bunny’s face tells it all.

Now there are alternative methods to research and testing. Animal testing isn’t as prevalent as it was 25 years ago, but there are still companies who think it is okay to torture animals in research.  Companies that still test their products on animals can be found on the PETA website.

MEDICAL SCHOOLS HAVE STOPPED USING LIVE ANIMALS

Luckily, the practice of using live animals in medical schools has steadily declined in the last 20 years. The last medical school that finally stopped using live animals was the University of Tennessee College of Medicine located in Chattanooga. This was in 2016. Students now use simulators to learn surgery and other medical procedures.

PCRM

When we buy cosmetics we don’t realize that animals were tortured so we can wear makeup.

THERE ARE STILL COMPANIES THAT TEST PRODUCTS ON ANIMALS

Sadly, there are many companies that still test their products on animals. Many household cleaners and types of makeup have been tested on animals over and over. Why they keep killing these animals, I just don’t know, but it’s wrong. I did find out that some countries actually require that animal tests be done on certain products before they can be imported to their country. China is one of these countries. This is dark ages thinking at best. The best way to let companies know that you’re against animal testing is choosing your products carefully. If you’re interested in putting an app on your phone to let you know what products are cruelty free, check this link.

PCRM

Thankfully there are fewer companies that test their products on animals than there was 25 years ago.

PCRM HAS SAVED THE LIVES OF THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has worked tirelessly to replace live animals with simulators in medical schools in the United States since 1985.  This has been a huge endeavor since the doctors at PCRM had to convince legislators, professors, the public, and the media that this could be done.

THE FDA SITS ON THE FENCE REGARDING ANIMAL TESTING

On the other hand, the FDA gives cosmetic companies the option of testing their products in a way that the company believes is most effective. The testing could be conducted on animals or by alternative methods. In the end, the manufacturer is responsible for being sure ingredients are safe for human use before they are incorporated into a product.

THE ICCVAM CAMPAIGN CHANGED A LOT OF ATTITUDES

I remember the ICCVAM (Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods) campaign in the nineties. This was a program to garner government acceptance of alternative toxicology tests.

During this campaign, I wrote a letter to Proctor and Gamble arguing that they should abolish their barbaric testing on animals. I got a form letter back from them stating they would consider it. Today Proctor and Gamble doesn’t do animal testing on products sold in the United States, however they sell products to China, and China requires products to be tested on animals.

Eventually, the FDA and thirteen other government agencies adopted the ICCVAM. To read more about this check out their online document. Sadly, the current government administration has hidden the original site.

PCRM

We’ve been told that “We are what we eat.” This is true – if we eat healthy foods we will be healthier.

PCRM TODAY IS STILL FIGHTING TO SAVE ANIMALS AND PREVENT DISEASES

Today PCRM is still working to save the lives of millions of animals. Their main focus is to educate the public and the government on the importance of preventing disease through nutrition. PCRM is also fighting the current administration’s efforts to drastically cut protection for animals in laboratories. The government wants to stifle public input and give companies that perform animal experiments the ability to regulate themselves as well as reducing the number of inspections done by the USDA . As you can see there is a lot more work to do but PCRM will keep fighting for the animals and our health.

 

21 Comments

  1. I LOVE that these guys are fighting to protect animals. These days, I check every new product I’m thinking about buying. There are so many different products out there that still do animal testing of some sort.

    • Yes, sadly there are companies that won’t get away from animal testing. My biology professor told us that our physiology and animals physiology aren’t the same. Testing products on animals is futile.

  2. I am so happy that more companies are going towards not testing on animals. Hopefully they all will get there one day. We do not buy products tasted on animals. It always makes me smile when I see “never tested on animals” on labels.

  3. I only buy cosmetics that are animal cruelty free~ I do not want any innocent animals being hurt so I can wear makeup. I also do look for labels that show how the products are tested.

  4. I actually had the opportunity to meet Neal Barnard. I think a lot of these don’t think about these things on a daily basis. We really need to be better informed as consumers and research things when we buy them.

  5. I’m kinda on the fence about animal testing. I feel it’s necessary to some degree so that researchers can do their research studies. But at the same time it is cruel to kill an animal for testing. I have autoimmune disorders and I’m sure there was extensive animal testing for the medicine that I take.

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