In another stunning example of consumer power, the world’s top two largest cargo airlines, Fed Ex and DHL, join UPS in initiating a ban on shipments of live animals to laboratories.
After growing pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as part of its anti-vivisection campaign, both Fed Ex and DHL have sent written confirmation to the animal activist group that they will not transport mammals for scientific purposes.
UPS also announced that it will further restrict an exemption that allows the transport of reptiles, amphibians and other non-mammal animals for research, according to the scientific journal Nature.
Although Fed Ex and DHL admit they ship few to no live animals for research, their ban on shipping research animals denotes a turn in the tide of public opinion in regards to the ethics of torturing animals under the pretense of finding even the smallest benefit to humankind.
PETA lists Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways, Air China, China Southern Airlines, TAM Airlines, Hainan Airlines and El Al Airlines, among dozens of others, as being committed to denying transport of nonhuman primates and other mammals from breeding facilities to torture chambers.
A few airlines have yet to be convinced that their profits are better protected bowing to the will of the people rather than the few institutions that make a living off of imprisoning and purposefully injuring or sickening animals.
The more of us who vocally refuse to fly with these airlines, the sooner they will join the air carriers enjoying the favorable public relations attention that comes with corporate responsibility.
Click on any of the provided links for those airlines and you can politely let them know why you will not be flying with them. The Philippine Airlines can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send a generic email through PETA to the airlines here.
Seriously folks, this is the surest way to change in an era of Big Business. They work for us.
According to Nature:
PETA says that it is systematically approaching every major cargo carrier in the world, putting pressure on both international and domestic shipments. In India, for example, the government’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), in Hyderabad, relies on Air India to ship specialized mouse strains to researchers and companies throughout the country.
In response to pressure from PETA-India, Air India wrote to the group in July saying “we … do not accept animals for experimental purposes.” On 23 August, Air India issued a circular to all its managers and cargo staff declaring “Air India does not carry ‘Live Animals for experimental purposes’”.
Around 23,000 primates were shipped just to the United States in 2010, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, nearly all of them destined to the misery of a laboratory filled with cold metal bars and cold hearts.
Along with our cousins the primates, millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs and other animals are forced to endure confinement and medical testing that outside of the walls of these laboratories would clearly violate our animal welfare laws, only to be euthanized at the end of the study if they did not already die from their trials.
Animals do not exist for our benefit. They were here long before our species emerged, and will hopefully persist long after our exit. As ethical beings , most of us would shudder at the true images of life for these creatures inside a laboratory.
Does yet another lemon-scented cleanser justify torture? If a new shade of eye shadow means thousands of animals must suffer, I don’t want it.
You can purchase many products that have not been tested on animals. See this Cruelty free product search.
And, as pharmaceutical companies are one of the greatest contributors of global animal suffering in the name of science, perhaps the strongest stand you can take is to get healthy.
As long as the West continues to suffer from the myriad of lifestyle diseases causing us to depend on prescription drugs, millions of animals, even those we have deemed worthy of family member status like dogs and cats, will suffer more.
Banner photo by Vinoth Chandar