As we welcome in the New Year it is a time to reflect on what has happened over the last 12 months in the fight for animal liberation, as well as looking at what we would like to achieve in the next year.
Unfortunately it seems that more animals than ever are being tortured and killed in British laboratories as home office statistics released earlier in the year showed that the numbers of animals experimented on in 2009 was as high as ever, with 3.6 million procedures being carried out on non consenting individuals – a testament that this is not a nation of animal lovers but a nation of people who are blind to animal suffering and inequality.
However, increasing numbers of scientists have started speaking out about the futility of animal experiments which, we can hope, is the start of the scientific backlash against this most barbaric and backward form of research. Every journey starts with just a single step, and let us hope that it is time for the journey for real, cruelty free science to really set off and crush vivisection under its feet.
At the SPEAK campaign we are fighting one of the most influential institutions in this country, whose far reaching power goes right to the heart of the Government itself, and who has made it clear that if its researchers want to cause huge amounts of suffering to living creatures, then that’s what they will do. Their arrogance is beaten only by their cruelty.
However, the resolve of SPEAK is as strong as ever, as our supporters continue to educate the public, gain petition signatures and shame Oxford University with our regular presence outside their premises, at their high profile events and at different locations throughout the city. Despite this institutions best efforts, activists receive huge amounts of support from locals, tourists and even Oxford University lecturers. The University and its friends in high places seem to think that they can silence us by using bully boy tactics, wrongly imprisoning activists who are not afraid to speak the truth, but SPEAK supporters are made of sterner stuff, and continue to maintain their presence and their voice in Oxford.
However, as the statistics for animals used in research show, this is just not enough. It’s all very well for people to say they support the fight against vivisection, but actions don’t just speak louder than words, they are essential if animal liberation is to be achieved. If we are truly to end this barbaric research on innocent living beings in this country then we need all hands on deck, not just vocal support that is basically meaningless for the animals who suffer inside the labs right now.
So how do we get more people involved in the fight against animal experimentation? How do we become effective so that next year when the Home Office statistics come out there is a large drop in the numbers of experiments on animals, which continues year on year until this crime that is vivisection is no more?
There is no simple answer, but what we can all do is … something. If we all do something, then together we can make a difference. If we wallow in despair and think that it’s no good, that whatever we do will not be enough, then the animals really have no hope. Their only hope is for us to act, to campaign, to demonstrate, to educate, to try to change things in any way we can. As was said earlier, every journey starts with one small step, and who knows what it will lead to. Their fate is in our hands.