Fighting for a world free from animal testing

Even though the EU accepted a new law prohibiting animal testing of cosmetics within the union last year, the law is far from perfect, and there is a lot more to be done on behalf of the animals used in animal testing for both cosmetic and other reasons.

In fact, the number of animals used in tests in Finland have increased during the last few years, even though you would think that the reality would be the opposite considering how much alternatives have been developed. The animal protection organisation Animalia launched a new campaign last week, with the intend of turning the trend and make sure fewer animals are used for animal testing year by year.

In Finland, most animal tests (70%) are done for basic research, in other words to get information about different biologic processes, without really giving any answers to specific (medical) problems. Genetic manipulation has increased the use of animals for these kind of tests. Animal tests used for medical research amount for less than one-fourth of all animal tests conducted in Finland. The most used animals are mice, rats and fishes, but also rabbits, dogs, pigs and sheep are used a lot. Apart from the use of animals in direct experiments, a lot of animals are also raised so that their tissues can be used.

The well-being of animals used in animal tests is questionable, even apart from the tests themselves, which might be very painful and in some cases cause chronic problems. The living conditions of the animals are poor, they live in confined spaces – rats that are fond of climbing, for example, can live their whole life in cages so low that they can’t even stand up on their back legs – and get no stimulation whatsoever.

There are a lot of alternatives for animal tests, and it has also been proven over and over again that results of tests conducted on animals cannot be directly transferred to humans, but require further research. When it comes to animals raised for their tissues, the problem could easily be resolved by using donated human tissues, which can be done the same way as donating organs – something you might want to consider doing!

On the campaign website www.koe-elain.fi you can find more information about the campaign, about animal testing and it’s alternatives (unfortunately only in Finnish).

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Birthday celebration

Yesterday we had a small celebration of R’s birthday here in our home. We had some friends over – some of them I had the privilege to meet for the first time – and of course we had food. R had planned which foods to serve, kind of like a mini-buffet of different foods, mainly finger-foods, and I made a birthday cake.

It’s very rewarding to make food when people appreciate it and find it interesting, especially if it can change someone’s perception of vegan food being boring. Then it’s worth all the time and effort it took to make it! Here are some pictures of the food we served, among with a fresh salad and spring rolls:

DSC_0253#Marinated tofu with red bell pepper & “Frankenberger” sausage with olives

DSC_0252#Toasted bread with a vegetable and cashew paste

roasted vegetablesRoasted vegetables with vegetarian meat balls

lavash rollVegetable roll lavash

DSC_0251#Waldorf salad

DSC_0290#