Common Ground: Animals, Women, Environment

NEAVS founders included esteemed Bostonians concerned not only about the plight of animals in research, but those who also fought against slavery, worked to enact child labor laws, and were active in the women’s suffrage movement. They recognized injustice and suffering, and they met it head on wherever it existed.

Today, NEAVS honors the seeds of modern social consciousness they planted by expanding our work for animals in research by incorporating into it other related social issues. Though progressive advocates may all have similar end goals in mind, too often diverging areas of focus dilute what could otherwise be united strength and, therefore, impede change. In response, we present our Common Ground initiative linking advocacy for animals, women, and the environment.

NEAVS does not see these areas of social justice as separate categories, but instead part of an overarching responsibility to kindness, fairness, and compassion toward life.

Through this declaration, we can stand proud and repel accusations that we brush aside pressing issues for people and the environment, or other forms of oppression, abuse, and neglect. In fact, we believe it is crucial to understand the connection between all types of oppression to be a successful animal advocate. The domination of one group over another, be it humans or humans and non-human animals, has similar psychological roots. This reality is key to bringing more into our movement and working together toward shared social justice goals.

As such, our Common Ground initiative includes three initial campaigns incorporating support for women in science and environmental stewardship with our animals in research mission.

Animal Research is Hazardous Waste

Millions of animals are bred, used, and ultimately disposed, including as pathogenic (i.e., capable of causing disease) or hazardous waste, in research and testing for the drug, cosmetics, personal care, household, and other product sectors. The use of more predictive non-animal research and testing methods helps reduce or completely eliminate many of these sources of environmental waste and harm. Read more…

Fellowship Grant for Alternatives to Animal Research in Women's Health and Sex Differences

NEAVS and our sister organization, the American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research (AFAAR), offer a one-year, $40,000 postdoctoral fellowship grant to a woman committed to developing, validating, or using alternatives to animal methods in the investigation of women's health or sex differences. As we learn of more consequences of biological sex differences, such as different drug reactions or susceptibility to various diseases, it becomes problematic – even unscientific – to rely on data derived mainly or exclusively from men. It follows that relying on results of studies derived from animal data is even riskier. Read more…

Horses and Hormone Replacement Therapy

When NEAVS began looking into women’s health as part of our Common Ground campaign, one area stood out as particularly egregious due to its unnecessary use of horses in drug development: hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT drugs can be prescribed to increase estrogen levels, most commonly to treat menopausal symptoms, but also for post-hysterectomy and transgender patients. The urine from pregnant mares, due to its high estrogen concentration, is a key ingredient in some popular HRT drugs. However, on pregnant mare urine farms mares are used as breeding machines and suffer as a result. This suffering is unnecessary because plant-based and synthetic HRTs exist, with comparable benefits and risks. Read more ...

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