Vegan meals, sweets, beer, and wine—Madison may be the capital of the dairy state, but it makes a super getaway for vegans. Just hold the cheese.
Nestled on an isthmus between two beautiful lakes, this Wisconsin city raises the bar for music in all kinds of genres as well as for urban and rural activities and cuisine that uses fresh, seasonal, and regional ingredients. I even saw a big red billboard in town announcing Madison Vegan’s new online restaurant guide.
The billboard was posted by Alliance for Animals and the Environment, which also organizes a weekly dining e-newsletter, citywide vegan chili cook-offs, and the Mad City Vegan Fest, at which thousands of vegans and supporters party each June. read full article here:
“Knowing her changes everything.” — Michael Smith, former hunter, who saved a fawn like Giggles from the DNR
The DNR continues to expand its national reputation for cruelty to wild creatures and the non-hunters who want to protect them. In July, 13 heavily armed people stormed the St. Francis No Kill Shelter in Kenosha to drag out a 2-week-old fawn in a bag. Even the way the DNR killed her was heavy-handed: “a bolt gun via depression of the cerebral cortex of the brain.” Though the DNR forbids citizens from raising deer due to health concerns, “Giggles” was not tested for chronic wasting disease. She was cremated. …
While veganism isn’t for everyone, it is an increasingly popular choice for people who want to pursue more holistic dietary habits, and these sites offer awesome recipes and in-depth descriptions of the benefits of veganism for anyone who wants to give it a shot.
In June 2013, in a talk at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., Dr. Elias Zerhouni, NIH Director from 2002 to 2008, ended his presentation with three key lessons. The agency’s online newsletter, NIH Reporter, summarized one of them like this:
“We have moved away from studying human disease in humans,” he lamented. “We all drank the Kool-Aid on that one, me included. With the ability to knock in or knock out any gene in a mouse — which can’t sue us,” Zerhouni quipped, “researchers have over-relied on animal data. The problem is that it hasn’t worked, and it’s time we stopped dancing around the problem. … We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.”
More than 45,000 dogs and 68,000 monkeys have been killed in Madison at UW-Madison and Covance over the past 10 years, according to reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture by each facility. Many of these animals have endured multiple experimental procedures and profound environmental and social deprivation.
Supporters of this use of animals claim that their suffering is justified by the medical advancements that are being made, but verifiable evidence of much medical progress as a result of using these animals does not appear to exist.
Once upon a time it was possible to learn something that might have shed some light on human biology by experimenting on animals, but those days are long gone. We don’t need to open a dog’s chest and watch her heart beat to understand the circulatory system. Questions about human biology that are being researched through animal experimentation today aren’t being accurately answered.
This lack of clear benefit has resulted in scientists calling attention to what is sometimes referred to as the “translation problem.” Translating the results of experiments on animals into improved health care for humans has proved to be devilishly difficult. Senior scientists like Zerhouni are questioning the fundamental and explicit claim that what’s learned from experiments on one species can be productively applied to another species.
It is becoming more commonplace for scientists to look carefully at the real results of animal experimentation and to ask whether or not human patients have benefited from the use of animals as models of human biology. In an article published in May from Independent Science News, “The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown Into Doubt,” the writers report that a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a consortium of researchers suggests that product safety testing on animals (like much of that done at Covance on dogs and monkeys) may be worthless (Seok et al. 2013). The authors address the translation problem:
“The results of these experiments challenge the longstanding scientific presumption holding that animal experiments are of direct relevance to humans. For that reason they potentially invalidate the entire body of safety information that has been built up to distinguish safe chemicals from unsafe ones. The new results arise from basic medical research, which itself rests heavily on the idea that treatments can be developed in animals and transferred to humans.”
In late 2011, the National Academy of Sciences published a report on the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research and argued that most research using them or even keeping them in standard laboratory environments is unethical. Earlier this year, the NIH announced it was adopting most of the academy’s recommendations and dramatically reducing its sponsorship and involvement in medical research using chimpanzees. Both groups acknowledged that chimpanzees’ similarity to humans makes the standard experimental use of them ethically problematic.
This change in perspective and policy by such conservative bodies is due to the increasing recognition that many other animals share with us the capacity for both satisfaction and suffering, desire and a sense of loss. In fact, India announced just last month that dolphins are now “non-human persons” in the eyes of the law and has forbid the use of any cetaceans for entertainment purposes.
The change in NIH policy on chimpanzees brings the U.S. closer to the Western world’s norm. Prior to this change, only Gabon and the U.S. continued to allow experiments on chimpanzees. The NIH change is three-quarter’s of the way to endorsement of the modern ethical consensus.
These changes in understanding should cause us to think carefully and very critically about the thousands of dogs, monkeys, and other animals being hurt and killed in Madison in the name of science.
We should have an open discussion about this matter; increasing evidence of the very poor results from using animals, the realities of what they endure, and the accelerating consensus regarding their cognitive and emotional similarity to us — of at least the members of some other species — seems to demand this of us.
The secrecy that shields the laboratories’ use of animals from the public makes this hard to do. The lack of investigative journalism and reporting on the changing consensus and the many problems and accidents at the labs help to keep the matter hidden and out of sight. It’s past time for full disclosure and inclusive public discussion about the things being done to animals in the name of science and product safety here in Madison and throughout the country.
Madisonian Rick Bogle works for Alliance for Animals.
Thank you Cap Times and especially Jessica Vanegeren for covering this story. To make your voice heard see contacts below.
CONSERVATION WARDEN. Contact: Jennifer C. Niemeyer.
Location: DNR Field Office, 9531 Rayne Road, Suite 4, Sturtevant, WI 53177
Last week, a fawn named Giggles was euthanized by state wardens after it was brought to a shelter by a family who believed the fawn had been abandoned by its mother.
The incident, first reported by Milwaukee’s WISN-TV, angered those caring for Giggles at the Society of St. Francis Animal Shelter near Kenosha. The fawn had been brought to the no-kill shelter by an Illinois family in an effort to save the animal.
In accordance with the state’s “captive deer laws” no animal is supposed to be taken or transported from its home in the wild.
In an ongoing effort to stop the spread of the deadly chronic wasting disease (CWD) among the state’s deer population, deer that are taken into captivity in areas of the state where CWD has been discovered are required to be euthanized.
Chronic wasting disease is a nervous system disease that infects white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and elk. The disease has been found in these animals in 17 states, including Wisconsin.
There are no licensed rehabilitation facilities which are authorized to rehab deer in a CWD zone, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
“Last week our warden staff had the difficult and emotional job of removing a fawn that was illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity,” said Cathy Stepp, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in a statement. “None of our staff take joy in these situations.”
Staff at the Society of St. Francis shelter told a WISN reporter that the fawn was taken from the shelter after being tranquilized by “nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs … all armed to the teeth.”
The DNR had received calls informing them of the fawn’s presence at the shelter. According to Stepp’s statement, the wardens did request voluntary compliance from the facility.
“When that didn’t happen, our staff took precautions to keep everyone safe as they executed the required search warrant,” said Stepp. “We are always very empathetic to those involved in these situations and understand how difficult they are to all who are involved.”
Stepp added the department does the best it can to educate the public about keeping wild animals in the wild.
“In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature,” she said. “It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We don’t have the ability to pick and choose which laws to enforce.”
A similar incident played out around Christmas 2011 when a fawn named Charlotte was rescued and brought to a shelter in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker saved Charlotte from being euthanized after a story appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
Released to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Below is a series of images released in July 2013 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) under Wisconsin’s open records law. The images, from a procedure performed in 2009, show a surgical procedure to place a cochlear implant into a cat, the subject of a hearing study. Earlier images were used by PETA, an organization that objects to the use of all animal models in research, to misrepresent the clinical and technological value of the work, as well as the treatment and condition of the animals used in the study. We are posting the images to preempt their misuse and continued mischaracterization of a study that has demonstrated clinical and technological benefit for humans. Read the university’s full article here.
See too: More images from the Yin Lab.