see nerd blog — medicine and veggieness

Medicines present a quandary for many vegetarians, since they are usually tested on animals.

I have less of a problem than some: my vegetarianism is based on personal choice. When I can eat without having animals killed for me, I will do so. If the choice is eat meat or fast, I fast, but if the choice is eat meat or starve, I eat. In other words, I refrain from nastiness for others when the consequence isn’t nastiness for me.

I have the the same approach to medicines. So:

  • If I am ill, and a doctor or specialise prescribes a medicine, I follow their advice. I am no Gove, I do not deride experts who contradict my ignorance.
  • If I have the kind of ailment that can be addressed by picking up a packet from a pharmacy, but I can function perfectly well with the symptoms, then I will not take medicine. This is how I keep my use of medicines tested on animals under control, since most problems come into this category.
  • I’d like to help reduce the need to use animals to test potential medicines, so I support the principle of developing non–animal testing models. However, my understanding is that the science is a very long way from providing a completely nasty free alternative: I don’t think we’ll get rid of animal models in my lifetime. So I contribute when I get the opportunity, but don’t expect much to happen just yet.
  • I try to stick to medicines and treatments that are science–based. There’s no point in adding to animal suffering just to benefit a scammer. Of course, I am presuming that scam medicines are tested, whether on animals or anything else, which is probably dubious.

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