S2 E8: Shannon Keith: Hope for Thousands of Beagles Used in Laboratory Experiments
In the United States we still use millions of animals in laboratory experiments. It’s a secretive industry and I think, many people are under the impression that it ended years ago. Not only is it still huge, but we test on just about every type of animal one can imagine, including dogs.
70,000 dogs a year are used in laboratory experiments and a great majority of them are beagles. The heartbreaking reason that beagles are so often the dog of choice is because they’re docile, sweet, trusting, and they don’t fight back. Like all laboratory animals, their lives are miserable from the time they are born until they’re euthanized. They are taken from their mothers and are subjected to horrific cruelty, painful tests, torture, and then finally, when the experiment is over, they are killed.
Shannon Keith is a superhuman. She’s the founder of Beagle Freedom Project, an organization that rescues and advocates for beagles as well as for many other animals who are tested on in laboratory experiments. She’s is also an animal rights lawyer, activist, and documentary director/producer. She has changed laws, rescued thousands of animals, brought enormous amounts of attention and awareness to issues that have been kept secret for decades, and in her spare time, she’s made three documentaries that have exposed the hidden worlds of lab testing, the fur industry, and the lives of captive primates.
I’m certain that future generations will look back on what we’re currently doing to animals with shock and horror, but they’ll also be able to see that there were indeed heroes amongst us: those who gave all to battle against the incredible injustices and atrocities that so many animals face every single day. Shannon is one of the heroes. Thousands of animals are alive, safe, and free because she refuses to give up the fight.