a woman snuggles with her pet

My Animal Testing Morals and Myasthenia Gravis: Finding Peace

Almost everyone will require medical treatment at some point throughout life. But for those like me, who have strong values in support of a cruelty-free world, it creates a moral dilemma: Treatments may contain animal products or have undergone animal testing.

Cruelty-free is a significant movement. It refers to products and research not involving the use of animal testing in their production or final testing (recognized by the Leaping Bunny logo on packages and containers.) Before the FDA approves a medical product, studies must show its effectiveness and risks. But when testing new drugs, many drugs go through animal studies before considering human testing.1,2

This FDA process also applies to many myasthenia gravis (MG) research studies, which are needed to progress knowledge and advance treatment and understanding of the disease.

Accepting a moral dilemma

My MG diagnosis came after I had already intertwined cruelty-free morals into my identity. Ever since, I have struggled with what feels like an identity predicament.

Are there cruelty-free alternatives that may eventually replace animal testing within medical research and treatment? Of course, but potentially not during our lifetime. So, with that being a reality, I will not be discussing the details of animal testing or the use of animal-derived ingredients involved with various MG treatments. I am not trying to deepen the frustration of this reality. I intend for this article to provide solutions for accepting and processing this moral dilemma.3

Acknowledge that solutions are complex

I approach this moral dilemma by viewing solutions as complex. Although MG treatments involve something I do not support, I cannot expect that I can only go about things one way. There inevitably is going to be some negative and some positive with everything. If I need something, such as treatment to control my MG, I have to be accepting of solutions alternative to those I desire.

If you are against animal testing, especially if you are vegan like me, you may not value and respect the lives of certain species over others. But unfortunately, humans have advanced throughout history by using our brains to place us at the top of the food system.

Find ways to help others

We are in a time where many people are starting to open their eyes to the negative impact and inhumaneness of animal testing. Still, current solutions to apply cruelty-free practices to medicine, treatment, and research are not used consistently. It is infuriating when we alone cannot find these solutions ourselves, especially since many of us do not have the education and experience to do so.3

But if our brains have led us to the advancements we have today, we also can use our brains for great change for the better in this world. Use your despair for the possible lives affected through the involvement of animal testing in your treatments to motivate you to do good with your life. View each day as a chance to spread joy, help others, and better the world with your presence.

Spread awareness and educate others

It has offset the negative impact for me by educating and spreading awareness against animal testing. I recommend trying to share a post, attend a respectful protest, or suggest an animal testing informational documentary or article to a friend. It may feel challenging to do so. I know all too well the uncomfortable feeling that I am a hypocrite when I do this, but am receiving MG treatments.

Remember, we can only do our best. That includes reassuring ourselves that we are not going against our morals - we have only one (undesired) option available when our life is on the line! Doing our best means continuing to raise awareness for the things in life in which we support and desire change.

Volunteer with animals

Additionally, volunteering with animals and spending time with my pets helps me find peace with this ethical predicament. Because of my immunosuppressants, I have not ventured into personal contact with animals besides my pets or volunteered for cage cleanup. Instead, to still be able to volunteer my time to help the greater good of animals, I have done community cleanups wearing gloves.

Other steps you can step

Other ways you can continue working on acceptance and emotional stability with this identity and moral dilemma is to vote for individuals pledging their commitment to take action against animal testing, register for anatomical donation, or contribute to sanctuaries that care for past lab animals!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Myasthenia-Gravis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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