Local Filmmaker Exposes Ineffective Animal Testing, and Patricia Kendall’s Ongoing Rezoning For The Animals Campaign

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Gary Charbonneau’s New Documentary, “Medical Illusion”

In 2015, the public learned the truth about the cruelty and deception taking place behind the scenes at the Vancouver Aquarium, when the documentary “Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered” was released for free online.

Documentary filmmaker Gary Charbonneau has once again unveiled some disturbing facts about another animal-use industry – medical research.

While many species of animals are legally allowed to suffer in horribly inhumane ways for animal research, this film doesn’t touch on animal welfare issues at all. Rather, the focus of the documentary is on one simple fact: animals lack predictive value for human drug and disease studies and testing. Our body systems are just too different, biologically, to rely on for accurate comparative results.

The film features interviews with medical doctors, researchers, Canadian politicians, and scientific advisors who all oppose this archaic method of research to prevent and cure human diseases.

Why are governments around the world failing to embrace new and innovative technologies? Tax payer money is being squandered as they invest our money in the past, while in every other area of our lives, we seek out advanced technology. Animals and people are suffering and dying from diseases that, had we tried alternate methods, may have been cured by now.

Around 96% of drugs that have shown to be effective in animals failed to be effective in human clinical trials. In some cases, we are testing on animals for diseases that do not even occur naturally in non-human animals, and so these diseases have to be artificially created in the animal, causing an unrealistic disease process, and thus resulting in drug responses entirely different to that which would occur in a human body.

The scientific experts in this film advocate for investments in technologies such as personalized medicine, tissue engineering and bio printing technologies (3D organ printing), and organs on a microchip. In the future, we could safely predict how a patient will respond to a medication by matching their genes to very specific drugs in a lab, prior to giving that medication to the patient. Currently, we don’t know exactly how medications will react within an individuals’ body until they take it. Have you read the potential side effects on drug ads, such as the common “risk of death”?

In this episode, we provide you with valid arguments that you can use when engaging with the public and the scientific community on the topic of seeking alternatives to animal use for drug testing, and also provide actions you can take, such as contacting your elected officials and the charitable organizations taking donor money for these purposes.

Pat Kendall on her Campaign to Prevent Animal Testing Labs at St. Paul’s Hospital

Retired municipal lawyer and vegan activist, Patricia Kendall, is putting her legal expertise to use for the animals in her 6 month campaign, Rezoning For The Animals.

St. Paul’s Hospital, which has served Vancouverites for 125 years, is moving from its location in the West End to an industrial land site just south of Chinatown, and is expected to open in 2026. The new 1.9 billion dollar facility includes plans for a massive research facility to be built, which activists fear will include animal testing labs as their current facility includes them.

St. Paul’s Hospital requires rezoning from Vancouver City Council for its new site, and this is where you can help. The hospital has advised that it has “not yet been decided whether experimentation with animals will occur in the hospital laboratories”, but we must make use of this short timeline to prevent a zoning change that may allow for animal use at the new hospital.

Animal experimentation is not only horrifically cruel, but ineffective for human medical advances. Whether you live in Vancouver or not, please help persuade Vancouver City Council to prohibit animal experimentation at the new hospital, and prevent the City of Vancouver of approving the rezoning application by St. Paul’s Hospital for their new location. Many scientists, doctors, and researchers oppose to animal testing for finding cures for human diseases. To learn more about this, listen to this Animal Voices podcast with Dr. Ray Greek.