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U.S. Health Department Recommends Cruel and Ineffective Animal Studies to Fight COVID-19 | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

June 2, 2020
Cruel and unnecessary: Monkeys have been subjected to COVID-19 research, though they fail to develop symptoms when infected with COVID-19. (Photo: Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research)

Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research: The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has released a Strategic Plan detailing its research priorities for fighting COVID-19.  Unfortunately, the plan recommends ineffective and cruel animal studies while omitting non-animal methods that can provide more efficient, human-relevant data. Additionally, it prioritizes infecting animals with coronavirus even though abundant evidence has shown that animals do not express COVID-19 infections in the same way humans do, if at all. NIAID’s plan ignores cutting-edge non-animal models like organoids and organ-chips that, unlike cruel animal experiments, have been shown to accurately mimic the human response. There are far more effective methods for studying COVID-19 that do not involve harming and killing animals.
>>>Urge NIAID to prioritize superior, human-relevant methods to study COVID-19.

Humane Decisions: Capturing and confining dolphins and orcas in concrete pools is killing them—physically and psychologically. Both captive orcas and dolphins die prematurely from living in restrictive captivity. They experience deep psychological trauma and neurosis from boredom, stress and anxiety. Every day they are denied the company of their families and are prevented from expressing their natural instincts and behaviors. They are also denied the ability to swim up to 100 miles a day as they normally would. In captivity, they live diminished lives where (before the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic) they must perform tricks, entertain people against their will, or withstand being touched and handled by people nonstop for hours. These dolphins have no choice but to inhabit small and shallow concrete swimming pools, and cannot escape. Because of the constant stress and inability to escape, dolphins have bitten children due to their stress and fear. These businesses endanger both dolphins and the public, and are often in violation of federal laws and animal welfare laws.
>>>Take these steps to help bring an end to marine mammal captivity.

Animal Legal Defense Fund: The life of tigers exploited for profit is no life at all for these majestic creatures. Cubs are taken from their distressed mothers moments after they’re born, and are worked to exhaustion and often physically abused so they can be passed around for tourist photo opportunities. Meanwhile, adult tigers live out their days in cages—most of which are completely inadequate for their needs. Many captive tigers will never see the sky, feel the grass, or enjoy any behaviors that come naturally to them. Because cubs can only be “handled” for a few months, drugging tigers to be compliant and docile is commonplace. When they get too old and their existence is no longer profitable, they are often irresponsibly sold into the pet trade or killed. The Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1380) seeks to prohibit the private ownership of big cats, direct public contact, and dangerous public interactions with big cats such as cub petting.
>>>Join Joaquin Phoenix, Glenn Close, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Walken, Alan Cumming, Olivia Wilde and dozens of Hollywood stars in urging Congress to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Letter to editor…

In cats’ crosshairs: The piping plover is a small, sparrow-sized shorebird that nests and feeds along coastal beaches in North America. It is globally threatened and endangered, in part due to predation by domestic cats. (Photo credit: Alberto_VO5/Flickr)

Replying to “Collisions With Buildings Kill Up to a Billion Birds a Year in the U.S. Alone—but There’s a Solution | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife:

I am bird-friendly. I do not have a cat. —Paul Whittaker (Ontario, Canada)

(Editor: According to the American Bird Conservancy: “Outdoor domestic cats are a recognized threat to global biodiversity. Cats have contributed to the extinction of 63 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the wild and continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species, including those at risk of extinction such as piping plover.” Cat guardians can make their felines safer for birds by keeping cats inside or on a leash.)

Cause for concern…

Factory farm fail: A new investigation by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group found that manure from Minnesota’s 23,000 animal feedlots threatens to overload nearby cropland with chemicals that can pollute lakes, streams and aquifers, including drinking water sources. (Photo credit: Kent Becker, U.S. Geological Survey)

Round of applause…

Friends for life: Piia Anttonen and a rescued cow at Tuulispaa Animal Sanctuary in Finland, 2015. (Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals)

“Cows tell the difference between people, remember people who have been kind to them and nurse grudges,” writes Indian MP Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, a staunch animal rights activist and environmentalist. “They are easily offended and will ignore you forever until you try very hard to make friends again. But ultimately, they are forgiving. They make friends for life. They can be obstinate, gentle or aggressive. Above all they are wise. If you choose to see a cow the way you see your dog, she can be very good company. They love each other, have friends and enemies. They communicate with people—if you are willing to listen. They like music. They are problem solvers—which means a high degree of intelligence.”

Parting thought…

One fight: Activists make the connection between human rights and animal rights during an animal rights march in Athens, Greece, on October 14, 2019. (Photo credit: Elias Tsolis/Flickr)

“If you care about the working poor, about racial justice, and about climate change, you have to stop eating animals.” —Jonathan Safran Foer

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and nature/animal rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

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