What is Food Revolution Network's stance on animal testing?

Every year, more than 100 million animals — including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds — are killed in U.S. laboratories. They are killed for a variety of reasons, including medical research, biology lessons, medical training, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing.

Animal studies present two sizable problems: 

Firstly, they are almost always cruel, and sometimes involve inflicting terrible pain. Many of these animals are confined, poisoned, shocked, burned, and otherwise abused before they are killed. 

And secondly, humans aren’t rodents (or frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, fish, or birds, either.). We have many examples of animal studies that lead to misleading human correlations. 

There are many reasons why animal experiments are not reliable predictors of human outcomes, including the vast physiological differences between species. Meanwhile, these experiments siphon economic and intellectual resources from forms of research that do not involve animals and that might actually be more likely to lead to cures and treatments.

Forward-thinking researchers have developed humane, modern, and effective non-animal research methods — including organs-on-chips, organoids, human-based microdosing, in vitro technology, human-patient simulators, and sophisticated computer modeling — that are cheaper, faster, and almost always more reliable than animal tests. It is our hope that over time these will be utilized more and more (and animal experiments will be phased out). 

Food Revolution Network seeks to provide you with the latest insights and the most valuable research that is available, in order to advance human, animal, and environmental well-being. And while we want to see animal experimentation replaced completely, we also recognize that there are some animal experiments that have already been conducted, and that may provide some valuable insight. 

We don’t condone animal experimentation. But we believe that if a study sheds light on the health benefits of plant foods for humans, and if it can help whole foods plant-based eaters to be healthier and more confident in their choices, then it is of greater benefit to animals, and to the building of a healthier and more compassionate world, to share it than to ignore what has already been done. We reach this conclusion with profoundly mixed feelings, and with a deep awareness of the complexities, contradictions, and nuances at play. And we maintain an open mind and an open heart as we consider how best to align our values with our actions.