Mufti Day

Story continues from yesterday.  For the story so far, click here 😀

The following morning everyone arrived at school in clothes of their own choosing.  Some had clearly taken ages with hair and make-up; some wore ridiculously impractical shoes; some wore the latest High Street fashions; most wore jeans and T-shirt.  Nine wore school uniform.  Joe Currant, Luke Walker, Isabel Jessop and Tania Spriggs, all in year seven, wore school uniform because they were not afraid to stand up for what they believed in.  Kristin West in year eleven, Jake Guest and George Broughton in year ten, and Ellie Baxter in year nine, wore school uniform because they’d read Isabel’s email.  Nigel Salter in year eight wore school uniform because he’d forgotten it was Mufti Day.  None of them paid £2 to their form tutors.  Between them they collected £21 for Animal Free Research.

PLEASE DON’T GIVE DONATIONS TO CANCER RESEARCH UK BECAUSE THE CHARITY WASTES SUPPORTERS’ MONEY ON CRUEL AND POINTLESS EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS WHICH DON’T HELP HUMAN CANCER SUFFERERS.

The following are just a couple of examples of the horrible things CRUK has done:

Researchers funded by CRUK conducted experiments on nude mice in order to give them bone cancer [nude mice are bred in laboratories with a genetic mutation which causes a deteriorated or absent thymus, resulting in an inhibited immune system and no body hair].

The baby mice had cancer cells injected into their hearts. The male mice received prostate cancer cells and the female mice received breast cancer cells. These cells were made to glow so that tumour growth could be identified while the animals were alive. This was also confirmed after their deaths. Over several weeks the animals developed tumours in their bones and some, who had been injected wrongly, developed tumours in their hearts. The animals were killed at various times after the injection into their hearts.

Relevance to humans:

  • Researchers admit that as the animals had no thymus, they could not determine the role of the immune system in regulating the bone cancer spread.
  • Researchers admit that their method of creating cancer in these animals is very different to how humans develop cancer. In these experiments, the males were injected with approximately 100,000 cancer cells and the females with approximately 75,000 cells in one injection.

CRUK co-funded a complex study on rats and mice designed to investigate whether disrupting a particular network of proteins could help treat bile duct cancer.

Three different types of animals were used:
Nude mice were injected under the skin with tumour cells from people with bile duct cancer. After three weeks some of them were given treatments to reduce the severity of the tumours.
A second group of genetically modified mice were chemically poisoned for around six months so that they would develop cancer.
Rats were subjected to the same chemical poisoning regime as the mice. After about five months, some of them were given substances designed to target the tumours. One of these was the treatment that depleted levels of some white blood cells (macrophages) and therefore damaged their immune system.

Relevance to humans:

  • Researchers are unclear as to the exact cause of bile duct cancer but contributing factors can include a rare type of liver disease, abnormalities of the bile duct and parasitic infections. Being forced to ingest an industrial chemical for six months, therefore, does not provide an accurate ‘model’ of how the disease develops in humans.
  • Genetically modifying mice to develop cancer is no more reliable than injecting them with human cancer cells. It is an over-simplistic approach, since human cancers are usually caused by multiple mutations in co-existent cells, and depend on a highly individualised cellular environment.
  • The researchers admit that only a small proportion of bile duct cancer patients have the mutation inflicted on the GM mice they used.

While being very secretive about the specific details of the animal research they fund, CRUK states:

“At the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, we only use mice.  We breed some strains ourselves and obtain others from suppliers who are licensed to supply animals for research.  Most of the mice we use have altered genetics”

When considering this one should be aware that the creation of GM mice generally involves several painful and invasive procedures, including major surgery and mutilation.  Creating just one ‘founder’ mouse with the required genetic alteration can entail the deaths of hundreds of others. These unwanted mice are often killed by being gassed or having their necks broken.

It is incomprehensible that CRUK continues to waste its supporters’ money on animal research despite the fact that pharmaceutical companies acknowledge the failure of animal-based research in their drug development process and write about this openly and often in the scientific literature.

A leading oncologist, voted one of America’s Top Doctors, Dr Azra Raza, made the absolute failure of mice models of cancer the focus of her
TED-x talk: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=07rgtBzN4Qo

She said:
“The fact of the matter is, that we cured acute myeloid leukemia in mice back in 1977 and today, in humans, we are using exactly the same drugs with absolutely dreadful results.  We have to stop studying mice because it’s essentially pointless and we have to start studying freshly obtained human cells.”

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
SEND THE SCHOOL’S DONATIONS TO AN ETHICAL CHARITY SUCH AS
ANIMAL FREE RESEARCH UK
(animalfreeresearchuk.org)
WHICH IS DOING SCIENTIFICALLY VALID, HUMAN RELEVANT RESEARCH THAT WILL HELP HUMAN SUFFERERS.

SOURCES:

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Summons

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

The first lesson on Thursday afternoons was P.E.  Tania and Isabel were getting changed for hockey.

“Oh no!” said Isabel as she tipped out the contents of her kit bag, “I forgot my socks!”

Tania laughed.  “Oh well, you’ll just have to wear your other socks.”

“What other socks?”

“The socks you came to school in.”

“I wore tights.”

“Oh.”

Isabel slumped down on the bench.  “I’m going to have to wear my boots with bare feet.  I’m gonna get blisters! Have you got any spare socks?”

“Sorry.”

“Isabel Jessop!”  Miss Stremp’s voice preceded her.

“Ooh, ask Miss Stremp,” suggested Tania, “she’s bound to have some spare kit around.  See if she’ll lend you some socks.”

Isabel wrinkled her nose at the prospect just as Miss Stremp caught up to her voice.

“Off you go girls – three laps of the field!” she ordered the class.  “Not you Miss Jessop.”

Tania shrugged apologetically at her friend and followed the rest of the girls outside.  Isabel pulled her boots onto her bare feet.

“Get dressed please Isabel, Mr Strang wants to see you in his office,” said Miss Stremp.

“Me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I imagine you’ll find out when you get there.”

Isabel thought she’d be glad of an excuse to avoid running around a cold, wet field but she wasn’t.  When she got to his office, Mr Strang wasn’t alone.

“Miss Jessop,” he said, “I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“No sir,” said Isabel apprehensively.

“I presume you know Mrs Oakley.”

“Yes.  Hello.”

Mrs Oakley’s stone cold face remained silent.

“Mrs Oakley wanted me to speak to you regarding the email you sent this morning.  Were you aware that students are not permitted to send messages to All Users?”

“er, no, I didn’t …”

“That facility is for senior staff only.  For the purpose of informing staff and pupils of rule changes, procedure changes, or snow days.  Things like that.”

“Oh, sorry, well …”

“And I have to say, aside from that infringement, you have upset a lot of people with your email.”

“How dare you be so insulting about people who dedicate their lives to helping others?” Mrs Oakley found her voice and there was a painful edge to it. “They’re good people!  Working hard to cure this horrible horrible disease!”

“Well, they …”

“Mrs King has only just died and there was nothing I could do to help her.  I had to watch … and she never complained.”  Mrs Oakley was overcome with emotion.

Mr Strang handed her a tissue and took over.

“What Mrs Oakley means is that this is not the time for political debate.  Emotions are running high at the moment, a lot of people are hurting, and you have just rubbed salt in the wound.”

“I’m sorry, I …”

“Up until now I have heard nothing but good things about you Miss Jessop.  At the end of last term all your teachers wrote glowing reports about the quality of your work, and more than a few of them noted that you were a pleasure to have in the classroom.  So I’m very surprised that you would do something so thoughtless, so inconsiderate and so offensive.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I’m sorry I upset people,” said Isabel, “that was the last thing I wanted to do.  I’m sorry Mrs King died, I really liked her.  And I’m sorry for anyone who has cancer.  That’s why I had to tell everybody now.  So that you’d give the money to a charity that does human-relevant research.”

“How dare you?” said Mrs Oakley angrily, “this charity has been working for decades to help end cancer!  Are you an expert?  Are you a scientist?  Are you a doctor?”

Isabel shook her head.

“So how come you think you know better than people who are?”

“I’ve read …”

“Let’s not get into this now,” interrupted Mr Strang, “this issue is highly contentious and there are a lot of points of view.  My point of view is simply this: the school intranet is not your own personal soapbox.  You are not permitted to send messages to all users.  Is that understood?”

“Yes sir.”

“You may return to class.”

Isabel was in no hurry to get back to P.E. so she dawdled miserably through the empty corridors.  She walked to the top floor and looked out the window at the hockey players chasing the tiny hard ball across the muddy pitch.  It was difficult to see who was who.  They were too far away.  She swallowed hard to stop herself crying.  She knew she’d done the right thing.  So why did she feel so guilty?

She didn’t head back to the changing rooms until she saw her class leave the field.  By the time she got there, Tania was dressed and ready.

“Where have you been?” she asked with concern.  “What happened?”

“Mr Strang and Mrs Oakley had a go at me for sending the email,” Isabel told her.

“Oh no, what did they say?”

“Only teachers are allowed to send messages to all users.”

“Oh.  Is that all?”

“No, but it doesn’t matter, it’s done now,” said Isabel, putting on a smile.  The bell went. “Come on, let’s go to music!”

Tania chatted cheerfully as they moved through the crowded corridor to the music room.  She made Isabel laugh.

“… and she said, ‘not if I can help it’ and she picked up the ball and threw it as far as …”

“I thought you were a nice person,” Madame DuBois stepped in front of them and interrupted.  “How could you do this thing?  You care more about a little mouse than a living person?  Je suis très déçu de toi.”

Tania watched in stunned silence as the French teacher walked away.  Then she turned back to Isabel.  “What’s her prob… hey, Izzy, what’s the matter?”

Isabel rubbed her watery eyes and forced a grin.  “I’m okay.”

“What did you put in that email?”

“Only the truth.”

******

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Story continues tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Telling the truth

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

Isabel, meanwhile, had arrived at school a few minutes early and was making her way to the I.T. lab while it was still empty.  Entering the corridor at one end she saw a cleaner leaving the computer room at the other and disappearing into the stairwell.  There was no one else in sight.  She had timed it perfectly.  Within moments she was sitting at one of the desktop computers.  It took a worryingly long time to start up but once it was running she inserted her memory stick and opened the document she needed to copy.  She clicked Select All, and Copy, before signing in to the school intranet network.

Then she clicked Compose;
selected To All Users;
selected High Priority from the drop down menu,
and typed in the subject bar:  BOYCOTT CANCER RESEARCH UK

Just as she was about to paste in her message the screen froze.  The school bell declared the time to be half past eight and Isabel frantically moved the mouse in circles on its mat, trying to get the cursor to reappear.  But nothing happened.  She tapped Ctrl, Alt, Delete and opened a Task Manager.  She selected the only task running and clicked End Task.  She could hear footsteps out in the corridor and tried desperately to make her shaking hands behave.  She told herself to focus and began again.

Compose
To All Users
High Priority
Subject: BOYCOTT CANCER RESEARCH UK

She right clicked in the message box but there was nothing to paste.  Her text was no longer on the clipboard. Desperately she pulled out the memory stick and re-inserted it.  She double clicked on the icon, opened the document, selected all and copied.  Again she right clicked in the message box and this time was able to select Paste. With great relief she clicked Save and was rewarded with the notification Sending … at the top of the screen just as the door opened and the IT teacher walked in.  Before turning to face him, Isabel swiftly clicked Start, Shut Down and then switched off the monitor.

“Hey!  What are you doing in here?” asked Mr Frakes suspiciously.

“I left my memory stick here yesterday,” Isabel told him with a smile, “just came to collect it,” and she held it up to show him.

Mr Frakes, noticeably relieved to see that it was only Isabel, congratulated her on remembering where she’d left it and encouraged her to get to registration.  It was done.  She could breathe again.

Isabel slipped into her form room where Tania waited expectantly.  Her eyes asked the question and Isabel nodded.  So far so good.

“I answered to your name on the register,” Tania told her, “so you won’t be marked late.”

“Thanks,” said Isabel.

“So, how did it go?”

“Good I think.”

“Did you send it to all the teachers?”

“All users.”

“All users?  That’s everybody!  Staff, students, everybody!”

Isabel grinned. “Yes indeed!”

“Well done,” Tania grinned back, “very very well done.  So now what?”

“We’ll see.”

****

Mr Flanagan closed the register and told his form to head out to afternoon classes.  Luke and Joe walked against the tide and approached the teacher’s desk.

“Problem boys?” Mr Flanagan asked.

“We can’t sell these,” said Luke, putting his ten concert tickets down on the desk.  Joe did the same.

Mr Flanagan looked disappointed in them.  “Well you haven’t tried very hard, you’ve only had them a couple of days. Give it a couple of weeks before you give up.”

“No,” Luke explained, “we mean we won’t sell them, not if they’re gonna give money to CRUK.”

“Cruck?”

“Cancer Research UK.”

Mr Flanagan looked from Luke to Joe and back again.  “Why? What have they done to deserve your disapproval?”

“We think the school should give the money to a good charity that won’t waste it on animal testin’,” Luke explained.

Mr Flanagan looked at the ceiling, took a deep breath and then looked at his watch.  “I’ve got a class waiting boys and you’re supposed to be in your next lesson.  We’ll talk about this later.”

“When?” asked Luke.

“I don’t know.  Tomorrow,” he suggested brusquely.

“Tomorrow’s too late.  We need you to tell ’em before Mufti Day to give the money to a different charity.”

“I’m not going to do that,” said Mr Flanagan firmly.  “Cancer Research UK is a very worthwhile cause.  They do a lot of good work.  They help a lot of people.”

“Maybe they do,” Luke conceded, “but they also do a lot of bad, cruel work and you never know what your money’s gonna go on.”

Mr Flanagan shook his head despairingly, as if he’d heard it all before.  “They’re not cruel Luke, they’re doing vital research.  It’s not a happy fact but they have to use animal models to see how the disease grows and spreads in a living body.”

“But it’s not the same in animals as humans,” argued Luke, “so it’s pointless.  They’re killin’ ’em for nothing.”

“You’re talking about highly qualified scientists.  Why would they do it if it didn’t work?”

Joe read aloud from one of the leaflets.  “’There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientists who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money out of it.’  Dr Werner Hartinger wrote that, in 1989.  He was a German surgeon.”

“What have you got there?” asked Mr Flanagan, taking the leaflet out of Joe’s hand.  “An animal rights leaflet. Surprise surprise.  Don’t you think this might be a little bit biased?” he asked condescendingly.  Immediately regretting his irritated response, he took a breath and tried to be patient.  “Look, boys, I really don’t have time for this now.  Let me lend you one of my biology textbooks.”  He picked through the pile on his desk.  “Here you go,” he offered them a copy of Animal Models For The Study Of Human Disease.  “Take this home with you and read the first chapter.  I think it’ll help you understand the issue better and if it doesn’t we can set aside some time to talk more.”

Joe shook his head.  “No thank you,” he said.

“We don’t need to read that,” said Luke.  “We already understand the issue.  We already know for a fact it’s wrong to poison animals, and give ’em diseases, and cut ’em up and kill ’em.  Even if it did help humans that wun’t make it right.  But it don’t help humans coz animals are different to humans and different animals give different results in the experiments so why would they think humans would give the same results?  And how would they know which animal results would be the same as humans?”

“Ibuprofen causes kidney failure in dogs,” said Joe, “and Aspirin causes birth defects in mice and rats.”

Mr Flanagan put the textbook back down on his desk.  “Time to go boys,” he said flatly.

“Adverse drug reactions to medicines that were proved safe in animal tests, kill a hundred thousand people every year in America,” recited Luke.

“Leave!”

Luke tentatively stretched out his hand to retrieve the leaflet from his tutor’s grasp, before both boys did as they were told.

****

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Story continues tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

“That’s not fair!”

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

“Mum, can I use the computer?”  Luke asked when he got home.

“Jared’s using it at the moment,” she told him, “his laptop’s playing up.”

“That’s not fair,” Luke complained, “Jared’s got his own computer, he should ‘ave looked after it prop’ly.”

“He said you broke it.”

Luke was momentarily stumped.  He didn’t remember breaking it.  He was fairly sure he hadn’t.

“I didn’t,” he said eventually.

Mum recoiled from the blast of heat when she opened the oven door and reminded herself not to lean in when she did that.  “What do you need it for?  Homework?”  Before Luke could answer she turned away from him and transferred twelve chocolate chip cookies to the cooling tray.  “Is it for something important?” she added.

Thankful he could answer truthfully he told her that yes it was absolutely very important.

“Okay,” she said, “ask Jared not to be too long.”

Luke tutted and went into the living room to do that.  “How long are you gonna be?”

“As long as it takes,” said Jared unhelpfully.

“How long d’you think that’ll be?”

“Well the more you bother me, the longer it’ll take.”

“Mum said you’ve got to hurry up because I’ve got some important work to do.”

“I don’t think so,” said Jared, “you don’t do anything important in Year Seven.”

“Well what’re you doin’ that’s so important?” said Luke as he leaned in to look at the screen.  “You’re playin’ cards!” He pulled at Jared’s shoulder.  “You can play cards with actual cards!  Let me use the computer!”

“Get off!”  Jared elbowed Luke without taking his eyes off the screen, “I was here first!”

Luke took hold of the office chair and tried to wheel it away from the computer but Jared held tight to the desk with his hands and feet.  Jared grinned when his brother gave up and let go, but when the chair jolted back against the desk, his can of lemonade toppled and splashed its contents all over the keyboard.  Both boys instantly forgot their squabble and were silent.  The playing card images stretched and distorted on the screen before being replaced by a mass of fuzzy lines.

“You’re not supposed to have drinks by the computer!” Luke pointed out.

“It’s your fault it fell over,” said Jared angrily, “if you hadn’t pulled the chair …”

****

Confined to his room Luke had no idea how he was going to get the research done by tomorrow.  It really wasn’t fair.  It was Jared’s fault for having a drink on the desk which he knows he’s not supposed to do.  It was Jared’s fault for playing games on the computer and refusing to let him do his important work.  It was all Jared’s fault so it wasn’t fair that they both got punished.  He laid back on his bed and stared at the ceiling.  It wouldn’t be so bad if he could at least phone Isabel and tell her he didn’t have access to a computer.  Then at least she’d know it was all down to her.  He hoped she was getting somewhere with it.  He wished he’d picked up some leaflets from Kris’s stall when he had the chance.  There might have been some useful information there that could have helped with this research.  He continued to stare at the ceiling with these pointless regrets going round and round in his head until, finally, a useful thought emerged.  A month earlier Dad had given him his old mobile phone.  It had £5 credit on it but he was only permitted to use it for emergencies.

“Well if this isn’t an emergency I don’t know what is!” thought Luke aloud.

He took out his phone and sent a carefully worded text to Kris.

****

Early Thursday morning Dad put the car in reverse and looked over his shoulder before backing out of the drive. Before he’d changed into first gear, an old brown Talbot Sunbeam pulled up in front of him.  A woman with short green hair and rather too many piercings for his liking, got out and began to walk up the path to his house.  Dad rolled down the passenger side window and leaned across the seat.

“Can I help you?” he called.

The woman turned back.  “Is this Luke Walker’s house?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I’m a friend of his,” she said, smiling, “he asked me to bring him something.”

Luke’s dad turned off the engine and got out of the car.  “Really?” he asked, walking towards her “and what might that be?”

Kris didn’t want to put Luke in a difficult position with his parents by saying too much.  “Is Luke here?” she asked.

“My son is eleven years old,” said Mr Walker, who was turned a little frosty by her evasiveness, “so I like to know who his friends are and what they get up to.”

“Yes, of course,” said Kris apologetically, “he needed some information for school.”  She handed him the envelope she was carrying.

Luke drew back his bedroom curtains in time to witness the scene.  He pulled on his trousers in record time, rushed downstairs and flung open the front door just as Kris’s car rattled out of view.  His dad handed him the envelope.

“This is from a friend of yours,” he said, “where do you know her from?”

“Thanks,” said Luke, “oh, she’s jus’ one o’ the leaders at youth club.”

Dad raised his eyebrows, “is that right?” he said, “because she seems to think you met at the health food shop where she works.”

Luke froze almost imperceptibly before saying, “oh, yeah, health food shop, I forgot,” and he hurried back inside.

****

“Read these,” said Luke to Joe on the bus, “Kris got ’em for us an’ we need to learn ’em so we can tell Mr Flanagan.”

Joe flicked through several pages of information, “I can’t learn all this by registration,” he said anxiously.

“After lunch then,” said Luke, “we’ll learn it at lunch time and tell him at afternoon registration.”

“Okay,” said Joe, and began to read.

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Story continues tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Finding out why

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from Friday:

“Ooh, a hot date!” said Simon Butler who had unfortunately been standing within earshot.  His friends laughed.  Luke and Joe, who had learned from experience that Butler was best ignored, got onto the bus.  They ascended to the top deck and managed to get the seat in front of the stairs where no one could sit behind them.  Luke took the concert tickets out of his bag.

“They got these printed pretty quick considerin’ she on’y died this mornin’,” he observed.

“They’d already organised the concert,” said Joe, “Janet’s in the Swing Band and they’ve been practising for weeks.”

“But the tickets say ‘in aid of Cancer Research UK’.”

“Yeah, I know, they’d already planned to do it for them, before she died.”

“Oh,” said Luke, and he put the tickets back in his bag.  “It’s a shame about Mrs King.  I wonder why Isabel and Tania don’t want us to sell the tickets.”

“I guess we’ll find out tomorrow,” said Joe.

“Yeah,” agreed Luke.  “D’you wanna come with me to check on Curly an’ Squirt?”

****

Tania and Isabel were in the top set for just about everything.  Luke and Joe were not.  For that reason, though they went to the same school, they rarely bumped into each other unless they made a point of doing so.  On Wednesday lunchtime they met, as agreed, on the old tennis courts.  No one played tennis on the old tennis courts.  There were no nets; the tarmac was cracked and most of the court lines had worn away.  A rusty ride-on lawn mower, awaiting repair, was parked at one end, and two wooden benches, damaged by vandals, laid on their backs at the other.  There were rumours that the courts were going to be renovated but, until they were, they made an ideal meeting place.

“We can’t sell the tickets and we can’t do the mufti day,” said Isabel.

“Why not?” Luke asked again.

“Look at this,” she said, passing him a small piece of paper, concertina folded to the size of a library card.

“What is it?” he asked as he opened it.

“Look at it,” she told him.

One side had a red border and was titled

PLEASE BOYCOTT THESE CHARITIES UNTIL THEY STOP FUNDING ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS:

The other side was bordered in green and titled

THESE CHARITIES DON’T CONDUCT OR FUND ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS:

Under both headings were long lists of medical charities in tiny writing.  Cancer Research UK was on the red list.

“Where did you get this?” asked Luke.

“From your friend Kris, with the stall, who we met in Belton.”

“She gave you this?”

“They had loads of them on the stall, I just took one.”

“Did you get us all one?”

“No, sorry, I …”

Anyway,” Tania interrupted, “what are we going to do about it?”

Luke frowned.  “What are they doin’ to the animals?  Testin’ drugs on ’em?”

“Sometimes,” said Isabel, “but first they give them a disease so that they can try to cure them of it.”

“And sometimes,” added Tania, “they make them eat or inhale things that cause cancer and then cut them up to see what it did to their bodies.”

The boys were sickened.

“Cancer Research UK does that?” asked Joe.

“Well these are the kind of things that happen all the time with cancer research.  We’re not sure exactly what CRUK itself does,” Tania admitted.

“But it does do these kind of things,” said Isabel, “because they’re on the list of charities that do.”

Luke’s jaw tensed and his eyes narrowed.  “If we’re gonna stop the school givin’ ’em money we need to know exactly what CRUK does, so we can tell everybody.”

“Agreed,” said Isabel.  “You should all come to my house after school so we can do some research.”

“Oh, I can’t tonight,” said Tania regretfully, “it’s my grandma’s birthday and we’re doing a party for her.  What about tomorrow night?”

“No, it’s got to be tonight.  We’ve got to get this info out tomorrow ’cause Mufti Day’s the day after.”

“Aren’t we already too late?” asked Joe, “they’ve put ‘in aid of CRUK’ on the concert tickets.”

“Well, there can’t be that many sold yet, and the concert’s not for another month so they’ll have time to re-print them.  Or if they won’t do that they could send a note home telling everyone the money’s going to help cancer research in the UK, not Cancer Research UK.  They should be able to sort something out if we tell them about it early enough,” Isabel explained.

“Well I can’t come tonight either, I’m busy,” said Joe without elaborating.

“Just you and me then Luke?” said Isabel hopefully.

“I can’t come to yours after school,” said Luke, “coz I’ve got to check on Curly an’ Squirt.  But I can do some research at my own house.”

“Okay,” said Isabel, “we’ll find out as much as we can about CRUK tonight and then I’ll email the teachers first thing in the morning.  I’ll use my Society email address to keep it anonymous.”

“Who are you going to email?” asked Tania.

“I’ll write to the school email address,” said Isabel, “and put FAO THE TEACHERS in the subject bar.”

“That’ll just go to the school secretary,” said Joe, “and if she doesn’t forward it to the teachers they won’t see it.”

“D’you know any of the teachers’ email addresses?” asked Tania.

Isabel detected a flaw in her plan.  “Blast. No I don’t.”

“Oh well,” said Tania, “you’ll just have to use the intranet.”

****

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Story continues tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Clever naughty boy

When reading an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Advances in neuroscience imply that harmful experiments in dogs are unethical, by Jarrod Bailey and Shiranee Pereira, I was reminded of our George.  The Open Access article explains that

“Functional MRI (fMRI) of fully awake and unrestrained dog ‘volunteers’ has been proven an effective tool to understand the neural circuitry and functioning of the canine brain. Although every dog owner would vouch that dogs are perceptive, cognitive, intuitive and capable of positive emotions/empathy, as indeed substantiated by ethological studies for some time, neurological investigations now corroborate this. These studies show that there exists a striking similarity between dogs and humans in the functioning of the caudate nucleus (associated with pleasure and emotion), and dogs experience positive emotions, empathic-like responses and demonstrate human bonding which, some scientists claim, may be at least comparable with human children. There exists an area analogous to the ‘voice area’ in the canine brain, enabling dogs to comprehend and respond to emotional cues/valence in human voices, and evidence of a region in the temporal cortex of dogs involved in the processing of faces, as also observed in humans and monkeys. We therefore contend that using dogs in invasive and/or harmful research, and toxicity testing, cannot be ethically justifiable.”

As soon as we got to know George we knew he was an especially thoughtful person.  It was proved beyond doubt when I had a diabetic hypo (hypoglycemia: low blood sugar, causing brain to go to sleep) one afternoon a couple of years ago.  I had been unconscious on the settee for a couple of hours and no one else was home except the two dogs.  When I came round my brain woke up before my body did so when I tried to get up off the settee I just collapsed onto the floor.  I was aware that both dogs, George and Jo Jo, were watching me closely.  I was flat on my face and couldn’t even sit up so I needed my husband’s help.  I knew he was somewhere in the garden (he’s the resident gardener of a six acre garden) so I tried to shout his name in the hope that he was nearby but I was unable to form words.  I made a strange drunken sound which was beyond slurred but it wasn’t very loud and certainly not comprehensible.  My arms were starting to work now so I managed to drag myself on my belly to the door and was just able to reach the waist-level handle to open it.  Both boys followed me and when I’d got the door open wide enough I slurred “Git Sm’n” as best I could (I still couldn’t say Simon) before flopping back face-first on the doormat.  Sweet Jo Jo stayed with me while George ran outside.  Bear in mind he now had the freedom to roam six acres, but he didn’t.  He stood at the end of the path to the gardener’s cottage and barked.  He barked and barked until Simon came and then he ran back to the cottage ahead of him.  Simon lifted me onto the bed, got me some orange juice and I made a fast recovery.

But if you think that was clever, wait ’til you hear what happened last week!  I got my coat and wellies on, ready to take the boys for a walk.  Jo Jo came running to have his coat and lead put on but George was at the other end of the living room guarding his food dish.  He still had a bit of breakfast left and was worried someone might pinch it if it was left unattended.  Well, I didn’t want to have to take off my muddy boots to traipse across the living room to fetch him so I kept calling him until he eventually reluctantly came.  I attached his lead and the three of us left.  When we were about thirty feet from the house I noticed George was limping quite heavily on his front left paw.  I said, “Oh, darling, are you limping?  What’s wrong?” and he stood still and gave me his paw when I reached for it.  I couldn’t find anything wrong with it – he didn’t complain when I touched it and there was no thorn or stone or anything caught in it – so I attempted to resume our walk.  George made an immediate U-turn and pulled back towards the house so I gave in and let him lead me back.  When we got to the front door I opened it, took off his lead and he ran to his food dish – no sign of a limp whatsoever!  He has not limped at all since.  He is a liar!  He pretended he’d hurt his foot so that he didn’t have to go!

He is a clever clever naughty boy 😀

Experimenting on animals is a Wild Goose Chase

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New from Honestly Books is Wild Goose Chase by Lavender Laine which is perfect for the teens to adults section of our Vegan Children’s Books page.

Lavender Laine, author of What’s good for the goose is not good for the panda, a rhyming story for little children, is a collage artist with a passionate opposition to vivisection.  Her latest title, the non-fiction Wild Goose Chase, is not only a feast for the eyes but also choc full of information that every anti-vivisectionist should know.  She has mined the brilliant Sacred Cows and Golden Geese by Ray and Jean Greek for all the text, which she has torn from its pages and pasted onto a backdrop of colourful images from many and various books and magazines.  The result is a stunning visual treat designed to make the historical scientific facts easier to remember.

On the first page is the classic quote from Dr Werner Hartinger: “There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientist who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money from it.”

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The acknowledgement pages follow:

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And then it begins with a statement that it will go on to prove: Trying to cure human ills by experimenting on animals is a wild goose chase.

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From thereon each page is full of information which was meticulously researched by the Greeks for Sacred Cows.  Laine has chosen excerpts from the Greeks’ book which she feels are the most important to commit to memory.  I’ve read Sacred Cows and Golden Geese several times from cover to cover and it teems with information explained in a way that is easy to make sense of for a non-scientific mind such as mine.  However, there is just so much information in there that, even after reading and re-reading, I find it hard to bring the facts to mind in conversation with others and therefore am unconvincing in my arguments.  That’s why Wild Goose Chase is so important.  Laine has included only a fraction of the text from Sacred Cows – giving us less to memorize – but those well chosen excerpts explain clearly and concisely why vivisection is scientifically flawed and why it continues in spite of that.

It’s a kind of CliffsNotes for Sacred Cows, but much more eye-catching.

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It begins with the history, showing that “True advances in medical knowledge has not come from animals.”  It reveals that Nobel Prizes were awarded to the wrong people – those who ‘validated’ things in animals decades after they had been discovered by other scientists in human observations.

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It explains how animal experiments have mislead scientists into thinking dangerous drugs were safe, and safe drugs were dangerous.

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It explains that animal tests continue in spite of this because they provide a legal ‘safe harbor’ for the government and drug companies who can claim due diligence when things go horribly wrong.

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It explains that, in the education system, original thinking is neither required nor welcomed; that editors and reviewers perpetuate the mass delusion; that money drives education and money drives research.

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It explains that what is needed is a ‘voluble public outcry’ to stop this scientific fraud which is killing so many humans and animals.  What is needed is for everyone to be aware of these facts so that they can no longer be deceived by the vivisectors’ PR machines.

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And then it goes on to explain what we should be doing instead of animal experiments: the scandalously underfunded human-based research methods which really could make a difference. Look – there’s Elvis! ↑

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Eg epidemiology, human autopsies, in vitro research, clinical observation, genetic research, computer modeling, diagnostic imaging, post-marketing drug surveillance.  It’s amazing what they can do now (and Sacred Cows was written sixteen years ago so think of the even more amazing advances that must have occurred since then).

“To insist that animal experiments are necessary is ludicrous.”

“Why wait in the dark ages when the Star Trek sick bay is at hand?”

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The book concludes with a call to action, inviting everyone to educate themselves and speak out against the mass delusion which is costing so many lives.

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There is nothing in this book but scientific and historical facts which are easily verified by referring to the indicated pages in Sacred Cows.  There are no disturbing images or descriptions of animal experiments – what would be the point?  If vivisection could be stopped on grounds of cruelty to animals it would have been banned a century ago.  Exposing the scientific fraud is the only way to end it.  Educating ourselves is where we start.  Buy this book and give it rave reviews!  Enable every teenager to understand that animal experiments are not necessary and never have been; that they are actually harmful to medical progress and will not save human lives.