Someone in their 20’s asked me to sign a petition against animal research and testing. They were lucky I only said “no” and walked away. They were lucky they didn’t get the lecture that always comes to mind and they were lucky that there has been animal research. They aren’t old enough to remember sharing a classroom with kids before there were vaccines tested on animals. They don’t remember the three deaf kids and a blind kid being in their sixth grade class. That was if those kids were mainstreamed at all. In Glendale they were but the kids with polio and CP had to go to Home School. They were the only elementary kids that rode a bus.
When I was a kid there was no polio vaccine. I remember lining up at school for my sugar cube with the bright pink splash of vaccine on it. I remember getting the shot series when the sugar cubes were deemed ineffective. I remember the girl whose mom taped her hearing aid to the top of her head between her pigtails and the think wires to the hearing aids in her ears because her mother like mine had had rubella. I remember Steve and his stylus and Braille template and later his Braille typewriter. They don’t remember asking him to go with our group on Grad Night because no one else had asked him to be in their group. The only male with 15 girls.
I remember my experimental eye surgery in 1961 something that I’m sure they tested on a pig since they had the most human like eyes because my mom had German measles.. I remember having the mumps on one side and two weeks later getting them again on the other side. Two weeks after that Cam got the mumps and then two weeks after that I got the chicken poxes and the he did. Now a days that doesn’t happen. And there were a lot of little boys rendered sterile because of those diseases.
They don’t think that the reason their still have a grandmother who is walking is because of joint replacements tested on animals. They don’t remember riding in Mrs H’s lap in her chariot because she had had polio and didn’t want us to fear people in wheelchairs. They don’t remember the furious testing on mouse cells to come up with the cause for gay men dying of an unknown thing they were calling GRID 30 years ago this week.
They are very lucky to have gotten the benefit of measles, mumps, chicken pox, polio and rubella shots. They aren’t dead and they can hear and see. They can walk and talk and think. Their mothers got those vaccines too when they were small and before they were born she may have gotten an amniocentesis to make sure they were fine. Another procedure tested on an animal before a human and if there was something wrong now they can do surgery while the baby is still in the womb. Another procedure tested on an animal first.
So please don’t ask me to be against animal research and testing when you wouldn’t be standing there to ask me without it.