Ahhh, October. The month of shopping for the cure, walking for the cure, playing football for the cure, and doing just about everything else that one can conceive of doing “for the cure”—except actually finding a cure. That we haven’t done yet.
Now, before you say that I don’t care about breast cancer, let me add that I lost the person I was closest to, my grandmother, to the disease, and other women in my family have survived it. So even though I’m vegan, I still consider myself to be at high risk. I would love nothing more than for someone to find a cure for breast cancer—which is exactly why you won’t catch me filling up my shopping cart with pink whatnots.
The problem I have is this: Nearly all the companies churning out these products are “pinkwashing,” meaning that they toss a pittance at a breast cancer charity so they can slap a pink ribbon on their products and rake in huge profits from well-intentioned but uninformed people. And that makes me blue in the face.
My other big problem with most breast cancer charities is where the money actually goes. No, I’m not just referring to Susan G. Komen head Nancy Brinker, who quietly gave herself a 64 percent raise, bringing her annual salary to $685,000. I’m just going to let that sink in for a minute. OK, let’s move on. My big beef with most breast cancer “charities” is that they waste money on archaic and cruel animal experiments that still haven’t produced a cure—and won’t because animals’ genetic makeup is vastly different from humans’. Richard Klausner, former head of the National Cancer Institute, stated, “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn’t work in humans.”
Continuing to dump money into these useless and cruel experiments sounds to me like the definition of insanity.
Susan G. Komen, the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research all waste your hard-earned money funding experiments on animals. But PETA has extensively studied breast cancer charities that fund modern, sophisticated non-animal research or help provide women with direct care and education about prevention.
The American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) “provide[s] early detection education and screening services to those in need, no matter what age, race, sex, or financial challenge.” The ABCF’s Breast Cancer Assistance Program facilitates mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies and gives post–breast surgery care kits to hospitals for mastectomy patients to use. The Breast Cancer Fund works to identify and eliminate environmental and other preventable causes of breast cancer. And the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade funds access to care, education, and modern, sophisticated, non-animal research, particularly through its collaboration with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
Click here for a complete list of breast cancer charities that do and do not conduct animal experiments. And this October, instead of buying up pink, let’s put the charities that are actually helping women in the black.
Written by Michelle Kretzer