Stop Using Beagles For Lab Testing

Stop Using Beagles For Lab Testing

These sweet-natured creatures deserve better.
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If you know me, you know I'm a proud owner of five beagles. If you don't know me: yes, I own five beagles. They are loud, terrible listeners and the sweetest, cutest creatures I've ever encountered. Beagles are often known for their loud howling, their keen sense of smell, their incredibly playful manner and their very gentle nature. But did you know that beagles are almost the dog breed that is the most commonly used in lab testing? Because of their size and mild nature, beagles are the "perfect" breed for scientific "research."

Just this past summer, researchers at University of Missouri were sued for blinding and killing multiple beagles in an experiment that led to inconclusive results. Mizzou isn't the only university that have mistreated these hounds. University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State University are two other universities that have done inhumane research on beagles. Some studies include blindings dogs, giving them Oxycontin and forcing them to run on a treadmill until their hearts fail. The worst part is that the dogs are usually euthanized after the study is complete.

As I said before, beagles are chosen because of their sweet nature. They are incredibly mild, friendly and adoring. You never hear about a "mean" beagle; they won't fight back and they will even treat the research technicians with the same kindness while being used for testing. They are being taken advantage of.

Researchers obtain their beagles from various sources. Sometimes beagles are stolen from people's properties and sold to testing labs. There are also breeders who breed beagles purely to be used in lab testing. Thousands of beagles are used in lab research yearly, and since they are an easy breed to come by, it's easy for researchers to get their hands on them.

The Beagle Freedom Project is a Los Angeles-based non-profit business that rescues lab research beagles and finds them foster and forever homes. BFP is also proposing a bill to give animals used in testing a life after the research. Although this wouldn't eliminate the physical damage done to the animals, it would give them a chance to live a fulfilling and loving life.

Although beagles are the most effected, all cats and dogs have been victims to medical and scientific research. I understand that it's a good and necessary thing to further medical understanding, but the mistreatment of innocent creatures is not something I can stand behind, no matter what medicine we are discovering. Some research is done for veterinary reasons, but most research is done to benefit human beings. It is selfish and it is cruel. It is something no one would be on board with if it were being done to human beings, whose lives, in my opinion, are no more valuable than that of any other living creature.

I believe we must strive to find a better way to conduct medical research. I understand we are making great medical advances, but I don't understand how we can be making so many breakthroughs with science and still not be capable of discovering a better, more humane way to conducts these studies. I think we have the tools to do so, and we just need to make the effort. Every living being is important, whether it's a 30 year old human being, a 200 year old tree or a 2 year kindhearted beagle.

Cover Image Credit: Jolie Delia

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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8 Lessons I Learned From My Three-Legged Cat

Having a cat with three legs can teach you a lot about life

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Back in February, I was going through a spiral. I had no motivation to do anything, my candle was burning out if you will. My girlfriend and I had discussed getting a kitten so that our other cat, Athena, could have a little playmate. We got to the shelter, only to find that they had to quarantine a good number of their cats due to an FIV or leukemia contamination. Luckily, there were other cats that had been cleared and were ready to go out to a cat cafe. I got to hold a few, but the one that won was a little black kitten that had her leg amputated. I knew she was the one by the way she purred when I held her.

Over the last few months, this little cat, Posey, has taught me so much. Such as:

Anything is possible

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Posey has made incredible adjustments to having just three legs. She chases her sister, jumps up onto cabinets, you name it. Jumping down from ledges isn't quite her favorite, but she's been amazing about it. If she can adjust to that kind of life, so can I. Even if my job hunting isn't going great, nothing is going to stop me.

It takes some work to get where you want to be

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Of course, learning how to do things with three legs takes a lot of work. I don't know how she adjusted when she was in the shelter, but I do know that by the time we got her she was a little champ. She had to have put in effort post surgery to get where she is. Now I need to put in the work to get my life together.

Don't be afraid to speak up

Giphy

I'm going to say it right now: she is a little crybaby. I could be sitting two feet away, and she will start crying if I don't give her attention. She let it be known when she wants loving. Letting anyone, even my girlfriend, in on what's going through my head is something that I need to work on.

Someone will love you for you

Giphy

Cats like Posey usually have a harder time getting adopted, mostly because of color and "defect". That being said, if she was older, she might have been in the shelter even longer.

There's more than one way to contribute to the house

Giphy

When either of them start protesting about being held, my girlfriend and I just say "Oh I know, life is hard when you don't have to pay rent". In all seriousness, these two contribute in ways to help us deal with emotions. The more I think about what they do, the more I realize that I don't have to just work and put in a paycheck for the house.

It does not take much to be self sufficient

Giphy

I always worry about her when we go to Atlanta to take care of stuff for our move. But I know that they will be fine for a weekend as long as they have food, clean water, and a clean litter box. As long as I have basic needs met, I'll be okay.

Or to be happy

Giphy

She just wants to play and to cuddle. As long as she gets that, it does not take her much to purr like a motorboat. And just like having the needs met, as long as have the simple things, like something to do or someone to do that something with, I am happy.

There's always time for a nap (or just do nothing at all)

Giphy

She loves to sleep and gets fussy when anyone wakes her up. It's gotta be so tough to be as cute as she is. But more to the point, she takes time to take care of herself. And while I may not take a nap, I've realized that I don't have to be go-go-go all the time, and that slowing down and doing absolutely nothing actually helps. Now if I could actually do it, I'd be in business.

So, Posey, I thank you for bringing me so much and teaching me so much more.

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