You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where to draw the line?


Alot of you know that I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis). This year, I've decided to do the MS Walkathon to help raise money for research and aid for those who need it. I sent a "please sponsor me" email to just about everyone in my address book. One of those people happens to be a strict vegan, tree hugger and extreme animal activist.

I have nothing against hugging trees or loving animals. I love nature and will always try to do what I can to protect it. Animals? Oh, yes...I love animals! If you've ever read this blog, you know all the animals I've had in the past and what I have now.

This friend of mine sent me an email asking if they use animals for MS research. I told her I have no idea, never read anything about it. A couple hours later, I get a forwarded message from her. It's a statement from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society explaining that yes, they do use animals for research, but tells why and how, etc.

I sent her a reply that, eventhough I don't agree with animal testing for stupid things like makeup or shampoos, medical research is different and is a necessary thing. If ti weren't for animal testing, I cannot imagine the medicines that we WOULDN'T HAVE! I know that I would not have the medicine I take everyday to help keep my MS manageable.

My friend will not sponsor me.

I sincerely hope that she never gets cancer, MS or any of the thousands of diseases that are out there, because you know what? She'd die from it. She is so ignorant that if (and when) she found out any medications for her problem were tested on bunnies, pigs, frogs or monkeys, she'd refuse to take it.

To me it only shows her ignorance and stupidity.

14 comments:

misti said...

It's like eating meat and thinking of the slaughterhouse. It's something you just try not to think about, but you can make choices. Ie: don't buy tested on animal products like shampoo, but know that medical research wouldn't be possible today if it weren't for animals. It is incredibly sad to think about, but at what point do you, like you said, draw the line?

I was at the Holocaust museum in 2001 and it wasn't like I didn't know Hitler used humans to test all sorts of crazy things, but when you saw the videos of it and how these people came out from all sorts of things, can you imagine that ever being legal??? No. At the same time, sure we're using animals. It sucks, but unless we get a bunch of people who want to be human guinea pigs or we want diseases to continue down their merry way....

I dunno. That does suck.

lisa marie said...

I agree for medical research we really need those animals help, but yeah, shampoos and makeup and such nah.

Your friend, well I hope she doesn't get anything either, she seems rather narrow-minded and sad.

SophieMae said...

Well, for whatever it's worth, I'm only 22% likely to eat my friends. 8-}

I agree with something I heard Grace Slick say years ago... we should test all that stuff on prisoners... I'm fairly sure she said those on death row.

SwampAngel65 said...

Sophiemae...now THAT I would totally agree to!

Celeste said...

I believe that we have a responsibility to be guardians of the animals in our world (as well as our world). I own dogs, and consider it my privilege to provide for the gentle souls that grace my life. That being said, I also believe that this is roll for animals (including dogs) in some forms of research. I hope only that the researchers treat them with dignity. Good luck with the walk.

SwampAngel65 said...

Celeste,
I agree with you 100%!

Anonymous said...

By all means, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but it was thoughtless to make a statement that implies that their higher belief is that the harm to animals outweighs the value of a human life belonging to someone they know.

SwampAngel65 said...

Thanks everyone for all you thoughts on this. I was a little afraid I'd get blasted, but your comments have made me feel better. I love animals and don't want to see them suffer, but sometimes they play a very important role in medical research. I hope with all my heart that those animals who are used in research aren't subjected to unnecessary pain and are treated with the repect they deserve.

Queenie said...

Chris, I had a similar experience. It is exasperating...to say the least. You are not the only one I know with MS. I hate to see this disease hurting so many people. Let this person have a child someday that winds up with MS or downs or some other not so nice thing...I bet the feelings will change.
BTW - I had a hellish week and forgot to go back and donate for you last week. I am heading there NOW though. :)

nana5tje said...

Chris,

I have always supported you and you have done the same for me, and I really appreciate that.

You are a person that I have managed to respect, appreciate and get close to, and I am sorry that you were diagnosed with that disease. It is sad that nice people suffer while the bad people out there just live a "happy" life.

I did not donate to this cause because I don't believe in animal testing, I believe and know that there are many other methods out there of research that don't require animal testing and still provide good data. There are many organizations for cancer or other diseases that do research to find the cure for all these horrible diseases yet they don't use animals.

This is a free country and we all have the choice to support who we feel comfortable with, that doesn't mean that we won't support the person that has this problem.

I would have supported you with the walk (I won't be in town) but I don't support with money because I don't want the money to be use for something that I am against-animal testing.

Also, all these animals that are used in research are not giving pain medicine, giving the proper diet, living or good living. I have seen the videos, pictures and done my research, so I speak from knowledge and not stupidity or ignorance.

I wish you would have taking the time to see my point of view as well, before assuming that I am stupid or ignorant. Like you know, I do a lot of research of many topics. And, just like I help animals, the environment, I also help humans.

SwampAngel65 said...

Eliana,

I DO repect you! I respect that you stand up for your beliefs 100%. Not many people do that.

The money raised for the National MS Society is not strictly for research. Alot of it goes towards helping people who do not have insurance get the medication they need or special equipment they may need (wheelchairs, canes, ramps, etc.) I am very fortunate that my insurance covers my meds except for a $20 copay every 3 months. If not for my insurance, my medicine would cost over $1000 EACH MONTH! So being that I have insurance, I like to donate in order to help those who don't.

Yes, they do animal research. I do not know what kind of animals are used. I do not know their living conditions or what they are subjected to. But if, through the help of those animals, a cure could be found and I could be rid of this disease, I would be ecstatic. I'm sorry, but if it comes down to a human's life or an animal's life, the human wins.

It just makes me wonder if you were diagnosed with MS, would you refuse medical treatment and deal with the knowledge that with it, you may be trouble free for 10 or more years, but if you refused, you could be in a wheelchair within 1 year?

Of course, it all depends on the severity with which the disease it attacking you, but the truth is this disease is bizarre and strikes without warning.

Sometimes it's easy to say what we would do in a particular situation, but when that situation actually arises, what we do is often different from what we said we would. It's hard for me to believe that if you were hit with a terrible, life-altering disease...and that there was treatment - or even a cure - you'd refuse it because an animal may have used on the research of it?

Where do you draw the line?

(I still love you and will donate for IWY)

exoticdvm said...

Looking at this from an objective standpoint, I think was unfair to use the words ignorance and stupidity when describing her decline of support for Chris's organization. Ignorance implies lack of knowledge, and her remarks were spoken from research that she did to determine whether this MS group performs animal testing, which they do. While I don't share her views on animal testing, and personally feel that there *is* a role for it in medical research, I can appreciate and respect her beliefs. There are alternatives to animal testing, even in the medical research field, including testing on cell cultures and on non-animal models. It is OK if she chooses to support those organizations that do not use animals in favor of the ones that do. What would she do if she had a disease that required medications that were formulated based on animal testing? I don't know. I saw an episode of Grey's Anatomy once, where a Jewish patient refused a pig-derived heart valve to save her life, because the pig is not considered a kosher animal in the Jewish religion. If one's beliefs are strong enough, sometimes they put their own health aside to adhere to their principles. I'd like to make a donation .. but I think everyone here needs to respect each other's feelings. And please, no more name-calling! 'Nuff said.

SwampAngel65 said...

Marc,

Like I said, I respect Eliana's convictions and beliefs. I share alot of the same feelings when it comes to nature and animals.

I'm sorry I called her ignorant and stupid. She is neither.

I sincerely hope, though, that she nor anyone she loves, ever gets one of the terrible medical diseases that are out there.

I wonder how many (if not all) of the vaccines people get everyday are a result of animal testing?

Anyway, I'm through...over and out!

C.L.J. said...

Your friend has drawn a line she will not cross; but she hasn't placed the line rationally. While I agree that a lot of research being done on animals can be done another way, the fact is that in researching cures for diseases, there are some studies that can ONLY be done on animals.

Let's say your selfish friend succeeds in banning all animal testing outright; the result is that they have also condemned tens of millions of people to death by the diseases being researched, and hundreds of millions of more to life of pain and suffering and hardship.

I'm sure your friend believes she's only being decent and moral. But when your views are so absolute, you cross the line from holding the moral high ground and into the realm of tyranny over others. We don't live in a world of black and white simplicity; there are a billion shades of gray in the real world.

She claims she's researched her position; but she's lying. In fact, she's barely researched HALF of it; she's only reviewed what happens to the animals. And if she hasn't watched several years worth of tapes, she really hasn't seen much of that.

She should spend a year volunteering in a hospice, or caring for someone dying of cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's, or muscular dystrophy, or any of the thousands of devastating disease being researched with animal studies. She should babysit children suffering autism.

She's studied the issue? Horsepucky. Watching an hour or two of PETA propaganda isn't studying the issues, it's indoctrination.

She might be the sweetest person on the planet, and she might be a MENSA member, but until she bothers to do all the research on BOTH sides of the issue, then yes, she's ignorant.