March Against Animal Testing

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I realise this will sound very cliché, but it’s my life goal to try and leave the world a better place than it was back in ’83. Therefore I’ll stand up for what I think is right whenever I can and one such occasion was last month, on World Animal Day. More than a thousand people came together at the famous town square of Maastricht, ‘het Vrijthof’, to protest in a silent march against abusing animals for testing. My aunt Joke, her twin sister Anja (both my dear friends), my lovely cousin Valesca and their dog Kyona signed up to show the world this matter is important to us. Animals need our voices to stop the unnecessary cruelty against them.

The way I see it, every smart and responsible human being would agree with us that we shouldn’t abuse fellow creatures this way. We simply shouldn’t think we have the right to torture another being in order to become better ourselves. But some argue that a human life is more important than that of another animal and “if you had to choose between your beloved family member or a lab rat, wouldn’t you also…” Which was the other side of the story used in the news that day. The problem is though, that we’re mostly ‘becoming better’ because we’re saving money and time by testing on animals. The testing itself is not necessary and often not even a good solution.

The good news is: there are other options! Alternatives cost money though and it takes time to develop even better ways of testing. Before we set off for the silent march to show our support for the Anti Vivisection Coalition, one of the organisers declared he dreams of a world without animal cruelty and this is why I decided to walk along with them too. We need to put energy in better tests; tests that do not require brutality and that are more accurate too. More recently, the Netherlands were fined for not doing their part to minimise the use of animals and for not protecting their rights, so clearly it’s still necessary to raise awareness for them.

My little cousin doesn’t know all of this; she’s too young to investigate all the angles. But she does think we simply should be nice to animals. Even though she was slightly upset to find out she’s a sort of ape too – she likes apes, but she doesn’t want to be one. I informed her that that’s okay. You can dislike facts. It doesn’t make them less true though. And it’s also a fact we’re using way more animals then we need to, for painful tests for which we have better alternatives. And as long as we continue to do this, charities like ‘Proefdiervrij’ will need our help. It felt good to do my bit and be part of the thousand people, fifty dogs and one rat, that protested that day.

Animals do still need our voices to stop the unnecessary cruelty against them.

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