Sorry guys I won’t be doing/accepting the ice bucket challenge. Nor am I donating. People are getting frustrated about all this ice bucket thing going around. That’s fine. That means the awareness is working. It wouldn’t be successful if it weren’t irritating a few people right? Why do the #ALSIceBucketChallenge instead of just donating? Because it’s supposed to replicate the numbness that those with ALS have, at least for a short bit in a small way. It’s obviously no way near what they actually go through but it’s a step of realizing what they experience. Kiss my ALS. This ALS campaign may be a great way to raise money but it’s horrible to donate to it.
Firstly, ALS research is not an especially great need in public health. It is classified as a rare disease and, thankfully, only about 600 people die from it every year in Canada. That sounds like a lot, but that is not even close to the top 20 most fatal diseases according to StatsCan (the top three being cancer, at 72,000 deaths per year; heart disease, at 47,000; and cerebrovascular disease, 13,000).
Second, it is already extremely well funded. As this chart from CDC data shows, last year ALS killed 6,849 people in the U.S., and attracted $23 million for research (a ratio of $3,382 per death). Heart disease, by contrast, killed 596,577 but only raised $54 million (a paltry sum of $90 per death). If you want your donation to make the biggest difference, fund the diseases that need the most money.
Finally, ALS research is not an urgent need. If you want to help where time is of the essence, then look to Syria (greatest international refugee crisis in a generation), Ebola (now a full blown global health emergency), or the Central Africa Republic (quietly bleeding to death unnoticed by the world).
Instead of supporting what is most needed, we support what is most amusing.
On another note, I’d like to challenge ALS to stop Animal testing because digging a bit deeper…recent experiments funded by the ALS Association, mice had holes drilled into their skulls, were inflicted with crippling illnesses, and were forced to run on an inclined treadmill until they collapsed from exhaustion. Monkeys had chemicals injected into their brains and backs and were later killed and dissected. What is the result of these experiments (other than a lot of suffering)? In the past decade, only about a dozen experimental ALS treatments have moved on to human trials after being shown to alleviate the disease in animals. All but one of these treatments failed in humans—and the one that “passed” offers only marginal benefits to humans who suffer from ALS. This massive failure rate is typical for animal experiments, because even though animals feel pain and suffer like we do, their bodies often react completely differently to drugs and diseases. According to the FDA, 92 out of every 100 drugs that pass animal trials fail during the human clinical trial phase.
Sophisticated non-animal testing methods—including in vitro methods, advanced computer-modeling techniques, and studies with human volunteers, among others—have given us everything from the best life-saving HIV drugs to cloned human skin for burn victims. Trying to cure human diseases by relying on outdated and ineffective animal experiments isn’t only cruel—it’s a grave disservice to people who desperately need cures. Please, help scientists make real progress toward treating and curing human diseases by visiting HumaneSeal.org to find and support charities that never harm animals and which pour their time and resources into advanced, promising, human-relevant cures.
Honestly I’d pick animals over humans. I see humans but no humanity. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi.