Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Santa Maria Explains Her Support Of SHAC

I have always been against animal testing, but I admit that I have not always been too vigilant about ensuring my shopping habits reflect that. I found it very confusing and overwhelming to know which products I should use, not to mention working my way through the web of branding trickery that makes a product seem OK by trying to hide the parent company it belongs to. And before now I have never really tried to find out much about animal testing for medical purposes.

I am now a supporter of SHAC and actively avoid products tested on animals, and those products that come from companies and corparations that test on animals. Many people will, I am sure, feel that SHAC is too harsh in its campaigning and too extreme in it's methods. I disagree with this feeling, and the reason I disagree is that I have done my own research and I agree with the things they are trying to achieve.

SHAC (Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty) works specifically to shut down Huntington Life Sciences (HLS) and I firmly believe this is something that needs to be done. In this day and age science has progressed past the need for testing on animals. The idea that humans are better than animals, and have more right to health and life is not an idea that I believe in and it's one that I will fight against. There's no animal on this planet that has done as much damage to it as we have so really it should be the other way round. Animals may have more right to health and life than humans, but at the very least they have as much right. But that's for another blog I think.

SHAC have a reputation as I have already mentioned for being very hard and almost militant and I think this is used against them, but I understand their passion. Their website has information about why they do what they do and it explains the situation very well. I looked into the group, their campaigns and the press surrounding them before I made the decision to support them so I feel it has been been an informed decision and I am happy with it. One of the things that swayed my decision the most was the video above which was filmed by an undercover SHAC campaigner who spent time working in an HLS facility. I would encourage you to watch it but be warned it contains very distressing scenes.

This coming Friday 28th June is national beagle day and SHAC are arranging protests all over the world to mark this. One aspect of their campaigning targets those companies that work with HLS in some capacity such as clients and suppliers. AK and I will be traveling to Edinburgh to attend a protest at a facility that supplies HLS. To get details of a protest or target near you please visit this page.

AK and I have 4 cats and we love them like they're our children. They have their own quirks and personalities, and they give so much love. I cannot imagine someone using them to experiment on, or test some medical or beauty product, without feeling sick to my stomach. It actually makes me cry, and then when one of them comes and licks my finger to make me feel better I cry even harder knowing that someone would want to hurt any animal. People can cope with the idea of a faceless corporation doing these things, but it's not the corporation that does it. It's a person. In fact it's a whole workforce of people. It's their hands, their heads, their actions that lead to such immense cruelty and suffering. And in this time of advanced science, it is unnecessary! Alternatives exist and, as far as I am concerned, should be used in all cases. I will not rest until animal testing is outlawed and companies such as HLS are shut down.

If you can, please join us in Edinburgh on Friday, or attend a rally near you. If you have any questions or concerns at all please give SHAC a call and they will help you out. Please have a look at the SHAC website and sign up for their newsletter and email alerts. Be aware of what you're putting into your shopping cart and boycott products from companies that test on animals. Consider investing in a book such as The Good Shopping Guide as it will help you identify where your household and bathroom products have come from in terms of animal cruelty, fair trade and sustainable sources.

Todays recommendation is activist and Scottish emcee Eastborn. We're honoured to be in the process of bringing him into The AIM as a member, and he has kindly donated a track to the upcoming Lyrical Warfare Volume One mixtape and will also be performing at The 5 Elements event in Glasgow in November. Eastborn is Scotland's biggest selling Hip Hop artist. He is also a Youth Worker/Political activist. He is based Scotland but also works out of Australia, New York (USA) and Italy. Be sure to check out the site for his record label Drop Zone Records.
*Santa Maria*
*Vice President of The AIM*

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself."
(George Orwell, Animal Farm)

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