We, the patients, say no to animal experiments!

Medical research charities claim that they conduct animal research for the benefit of patients, but animal ‘models’ of human disease not only cause immense suffering, they are also unreliable and the results gained can be dangerously misleading. Non-animal research methods allow us to obtain data that is more accurate and relevant to human health, and therefore more likely to lead to effective treatments.

Prior to the June 2011 launch of our Victims of Charity campaign, we invited people who are suffering from diseases such as cancer and heart disease to get in touch with us, and declare their opposition to the animal experiments that are conducted in their name. Below you can read the heartfelt statements we received.

This is an extremely important aspect to our campaign, and we would like to thank everyone who was kind enough to get involved.

I am a type 2 non-insulin dependent diabetic, and could possibly be facing quite a bleak future healthwise. Despite all of that, I am totally and utterly against vivisection. I believe that animals should have rights the same as humans, and freedom from pain and cruelty is a major right. Animals are not ours to do with as we please. Besides, it has been extensively proven that results from animal experimentation are not transferable to humans. Vivisection? Definitely NOT in my name.

Dawn, Northumberland

I may have a life-threatening condition, but I don't want diabetes to threaten the life of any animal because of it. Humans seem to think that animals were put here purely for our "use". The experiments carried out on animals are irrelevant (some scientists and doctors are now telling us this) and there are cruelty-free alternatives available. I will not give to any charity that uses animals in experiments, even Diabetes UK, whilst they continue to torture animals in our name. I have to live with my condition, I don't expect an animal to suffer or lose its life because of it – that is arrogance beyond belief.

Tania, Bristol

I unknowingly married into a family affected by Huntington's disease. This is a genetic disorder in which the brain cells degenerate causing behavioural and movement disorders. It is a dominant gene. If you have the gene you will get the disorder. There is a 50% chance that it will be inherited by the children. There is now a presymptomatic test and both my daughters have tested positive. I have two grandchildren who are too young to be tested but are both at 50% risk. I live in hope that scientists will find a way of either preventing the onset of this horrendous disease or of succeeding to slow down the progression once it starts. However in order to experiment they are using hundreds of genetically modified mice. No matter how horrendous the disease I do not see we have the right to inflict such devastating symptoms on innocent mice. Apart from which how can results from mice show what will happen with humans.

Lyn, Luton

I have had epilepsy for over 40 years, and it has not always been under good control, which means I have had many tablet changes – undoubtedly tested on animals. To coin a phrase – not in my name! I know that these tests are not only dreadfully cruel, but a waste of time and resources. Here's a case in point. For many years I was on a tablet called Phenytoin. Over the last 5 years it has been discovered – through human patients – that this drug has many more undesirable side effects than were discovered by animal testing, and many people (including myself) have been taken off them. Point proven in my opinion!

Jan, Powys

I am a vegan and have been an animal and human rights campaigner for 30 years. I have been diagnosed with MS for over ten years. It is my belief and philosophy that animals are not utilities or property, and just as I do not want my stomach to be a graveyard for animals, I do not want my health to be dependent on the torture of sentient creatures in vivisection laboratories.

Alan, Blandford

My name is Maxine and I have Multiple Sclerosis and have had it since 2004. Even though I have used a wheelchair and have struggled with normal day-to-day activities, I would not under any circumstances support animal testing. I believe experimenting on animals is unnecessary and cruel, and believe that in this day and age there are many other, more reliable, alternatives.

Maxine, South Cumbria

I, despite having breast cancer, could never support animal testing. I don’t believe it is necessary as there are many other more reliable methods of research. I don’t see how anyone can approve of inflicting pain and trauma on innocent creatures, or see any normality in the short, miserable lives they lead. Vivisection should be banned completely, with no exceptions.

Hafsa, Glasgow

My name is Claire and I have congenital heart disease. I was born with three separate conditions: hole in the heart (heart murmur); missing valve and restriction in the aorta. The latter was operated on when I was a toddler. I believe that research which focuses on the human body provides a clearer understanding of the development and causes of many illnesses, which can only lead to more accurate treatments and prevention. I attend bi-annual hospital appointments with a specialist to help them understand more about my heart condition as I do not believe that animals should suffer at my expense.

Claire, Sevenoaks

I have had three operations for breast cancer over the years, but I am adamantly opposed to any animal testing. Animal testing is just not acceptable. Animals are a different species and although we can artificially induce cancer into their bodies we can never replicate the same circumstances as in a human body. There are dozens of humane methods of disease control that do not use animals and I, and I'm sure others suffering from cancer, would rather these be used than contribute to animals suffering on our behalf which, as it turns out, is the wrong way to solve the problem. Civilized societies do not torture animals.

Haris, Hull

I am an artist and lecturer in my 60's and was diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago. All my adult life I have actively campaigned against animal cruelty, including vivisection, which I consider to be completely immoral and very bad science. I do not believe that millions of animals should be killed in an attempt to prolong my life or that of any other human being.

Laura, Kent

My name is Paul and I'm 57 years old. I have been Vegan for over 30 years and have until recently have been in good health. Two years ago I had a heart valve replacement operation and since then I've suffered two epileptic seizures and a number of mini strokes, and have been diagnosed with vascular dementia. I do not want to see animals harmed in the vain hope that their suffering will solve my health problems. Money raised by charities would be better spent on human studies and modelling as carried out by the Dr Hadwen Trust.

Paul, Lampeter

My father died last month of liver cancer. I feel great sadness for his loss, but I would not want animal experiments to be carried out on his behalf. The animal research done behind the scenes by these charities is truly sickening, and there are so many other methods which are far more effective.

Ruth, Swansea

My name is Sue. I am 55 years old, and was diagnosed last year with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I wish to register my disgust that medical research into this disease involves the use of animals; the thought of this practice being carried out in my name degrades both me and those undertaking it. Not only is animal experimentation morally indefensible, but also I feel cheated because if, instead of persisting with this unproven and dangerous method of research, funding was used on accurate and relevant research, it is far more likely that by now a cure could be available or, at least we would have moderating drugs without painful side effects.

Sue, Scarborough

My name is Joan. I am 92 years old and I have ventricular heart failure and arthritis. Under no circumstances would I agree to animal experiments to be carried out on my behalf, and I do not believe that any animal experiments would have any relevance to my condition, or to my recovery from a slight stroke.

Joan, Cambridge

My name is Pete and I am 55 years old. Shortly after my fiftieth birthday, I had a heart attack and was diagnosed with heart disease. What I find shocking is that animals continue to be used as models for human diseases even when sophisticated non-animal techniques are available that are directly applicable to people. I am appalled that heart disease research involves cruel experiments on healthy animals in which their hearts are deliberately damaged and heart attacks are artificially induced. I will not contribute to animal suffering. Therefore, I refuse to donate to charities that fund animal experiments.

Pete, West Midlands

I am 82 years old and have the misfortune to have developed Dementia with Lewy Bodies, which is related to both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. I am glad to support your campaign against donating to charities that fund experiments on animals. It has always seemed morally repugnant to me to search for a cure by trying to mimic distressing human diseases in animals.

Michael, London

My name is Joan, I am 64 years old and was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2006. Having had the terrible trauma of chronic illness I can only say ‘no’ to the use of animals in medical experiments. The evidence of advancement for human health does not bear scrutiny. The suffering of animals in laboratories is for nothing, and worse it delays real advancement. Let us please go forward into the 21st century with alternative advanced technology that really does benefit human health.

Joan, Sheffield

My name is Rosalind, and I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 38 years. I totally disagree with animal experimentation, for medical purposes or any others. Experimenting on animals is unreliable, and their suffering is just as real as mine.

Rosalind, Co. Down

I have recently had biopsies, scans and surgery for breast cancer. These, and other non-animal methods of research, give doctors the information they require to administer treatment, and are much more reliable than using animals as models for human diseases.

Nan, Troon

I contracted cardiomyopathy in 1997, and later had a heart transplant. This was a difficult decision to make, knowing that the procedure had first been attempted in animals. I think it is morally wrong that some charities purport to help people, whilst torturing animals, which is of little benefit to humans. There are plenty of scientists who reject animal experimentation as old-fashioned and outdated, and the money should instead be spent on alternative methods of research. I would urge people to donate to charities that fund only non-animal research, such as the Dr Hadwen Trust.

Pauline, Kent

I have cancer, and I do not want animal experiments to be carried out in my name. As well as being unethical, they are unreliable, as animal tests only tell you how a drug will work in the species tested. Decades of research and the sacrifice of millions of animals have been to no avail, and charity money would be much better spent on modern and accurate non-animal research methods.

Deborah, Cornwall

I have suffered from many illnesses, including cancer of the womb and coronary heart disease. I now have myasthenia gravis, a rare and incurable condition. I am lucky to be alive, however I do not agree with animal testing whatsoever. I am always careful when donating to charity that I do not support any that are involved with vivisection. The cruelty involved is diabolical, and such testing is unreliable because animals’ bodies react differently from our own. Money should instead be invested in non-animal research technology.

Amanda, Grimsby

I have rheumatoid arthritis, which developed virtually overnight in September 2007. I have never agreed with animal experiments, as I do not believe animals should suffer in a vain attempt to help humans.

Susan, Newmarket

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s four years ago but would profoundly oppose even one mouse being made to suffer 'in my name' in search for a cure. Once I accidentally opened the wrong door at a university and the sight I witnessed of animals undergoing experiments still haunts me. Nothing could ever justify that. Throughout my career as a diet writer I have had close links and friendships with many excellent scientists and can still spot “rubbish research” when I see it reported. So much research on animals comes in that category.

Audrey, Canterbury

My mum died of a heart attack on December 1st 1994. However, I have never contributed any money to the British Heart Foundation before or since, as I only support humane and reliable research. Mum would have agreed with that.

Fiona, East Midlands

I suffer from prostate cancer and emphysema and am totally opposed to experiments being conducted on animals. From the literature I have read, the use of animals for medical research has been shown not only to be extremely cruel, but also of doubtful benefit to humans. Therefore, I do not wish animal experiments to be carried out on my behalf.

Tony, Cardiff

I am Kate, I'm 61 years old and last February I was diagnosed with connective tissue disease, which is a serious and debilitating autoimmune condition whereby the immune system attacks itself. It is hard for me to imagine, having suffered the above, how anybody can be so callous as to inflict such suffering on an entirely innocent, healthy animal. Diseases which animals could not possibly get naturally are inflicted upon them so that drugs to be used on humans can be tested on them. Little wonder that most of these experimental drugs fail in clinical studies on humans. What a waste of money. What a shameful state of affairs. It is not only a moral issue but also a matter of an old-fashioned and unreliable practice being continued which should have been outlawed years ago. Not in my name please!

Kate, London

I suffer from arthritis in my neck, from sciatica, and tendonitis in my right hand. I have always been opposed to all forms of animal abuse, and cannot condone the use of animals in experiments. It is said that we can do this, for our own good, because we are ‘superior’, but the fact that we do proves that we are, in many ways, inferior. So many drugs prove to be dangerous despite the number of animals that are sacrificed. I myself have experienced hallucinations and nightmares from a medical drug I was given. Arthritis and related conditions have existed for many, many years, and we still have no cure because using animals is not only morally wrong, it is scientifically invalid.

Mary, Middlesex

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 31st and am shortly going to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy for this. The research on the drugs which will be used in my treatment has unfortunately already been done, and no doubt involved the mutilation, suffering and death of many animals. I am not at all comfortable about this, and certainly would not want any further research carried out on animals in my name when there are such good alternatives available, such as computer modelling, the use of human cells to test material, etc etc. Much of the results of animal research are inapplicable to humans, and in any case all drugs have to be trialled on human volunteers before they are licensed. Testing on animals is the dark ages of searching for a cure for human disease and for all our sakes we need to move on from animal experimentation. Finally, it seems to me that many of these experiments are simply duplicating already existing research findings and one wonders how many animals are sacrificed to the academic kudos of those involved.

Alison, Bristol

I am 62 and have suffered from asthma since my mid twenties. I have to use 2 inhalers, otherwise, my breathing becomes compromised. This probably means that I am using medicines which have been tested on animals previously. But they do not "cure" or deal with the cause of the illness, and like many other medicines, I am told I shall have to take more and more as my body gets used to it (good deal for the pharmaceuticals). The same old testing regime continues to be used. If up to date, non-animal methods of testing had been used, a more accurate medicine would no doubt have been discovered by now.
I don't support vivisection.

Julie, Worthing

I have been diabetic for most of my life. I don't like the cruelty involved in animal testing and such testing is not necessary. There are many alternatives available which are not injurious to other species. Drugs also have unpleasant side effects, even though they have been tested on animals.

Wynne, Oldham

I was diagnosed with cancer of one lung in 2009 and the other in 2010. However, my opinion with regard to animal experiments remains unchanged. The practice is horrific, immoral and evidence shows that it is unproductive. My life is a very happy one but what right have I to wish to extend it by one moment at the expense of any other living creature. In the great scheme of things, my existence is of no more importance than that of a mouse or a chimp.

Carol, West Worthing

I'm a 63 year old vegan and I now suffer from arthritis, lupus & high blood pressure. I'm totally opposed to animal testing, especially when you learn from charities like the Dr Hadwen & Lord Dowding Funds that it isn't necessary. I believe that if the money was instead provided to such organisations, the time would soon come when it was wholly evident that animal testing is outmoded and unneccessary.

Jenny, Brighton

I don’t have a life-limiting or chronic illness, but I do take long-term prescription medication for high blood pressure and hiatus hernia, and in no way do I support vivisection. I do what I can to help in the fight against vivisection – supporting relevant charities, adding my signature to petitions, being vegetarian and only buying cosmetics and toiletries that have not been tested on animals. Although, as I have already said, I don’t have a life-limiting or chronic illness myself, I do have family members that do. I have relatives with cancer, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia – all serious illnesses. Despite this I still would not support or give money to charities that conduct research experiments on animals for these illnesses or any others. Of course I would love to see a cure for these illnesses – I would do almost anything I could to stop their suffering – but supporting vivisection because of this is totally out of the question. I know there are alternatives and I try to explain this when challenged.

Diane, Norfolk

I lost a kidney to cancer. I often wonder if the drug which might have helped me has ended up on the 'cutting room floor', jettisoned by misleading and outrageously cruel animal tests.

Gill, Staines

Would you like to be featured on this page?

If so, please send us an email at info@animalaid.org.uk, telling us your name, location, the condition you suffer from, and a statement about why you do not want animal experiments to be carried out ‘in your name’. If you could also include a photograph, that would be great!