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Hi all,

I'm epileptic, and have been for 10 years. I'm on two types of medication, both of which were originally tested on animals (mice, rats, rabbits). I need my medication to keep me from having seizures, but recently I've been feeling quite guilty because of this ethical dilemma. I am completely against animal testing, but this medication is important for me to take. I plan to ween off the medication within the next few years, at least lower the dose (as it can have harmful effects on a fetus, and I plan to start a family in the future!). How should I handle this ethical dilemma? Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

-L
 

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Take your medicine, don't feel guilty. Hopefully someday medicines won't be tested on animals, but until that day comes, take your life-saving medicines. My daughter is on Topomax and Lamictal, so I know how important they can be. Best of luck!
 

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Keep taking your meds, this is a legal issue in which all meds must be tested on animals. There are alternative testing methods being developed but legally, medications must still be tested on animals in order to be deemed safe for humans so we personally have no other alternatives if these medications are needed. Taking medications you need to stay healthy doesn't make you any less vegan (assuming you're vegan).

As for pregnancy, it would be wise to speak with your doctor about the pros and cons of continuing/ceasing your medication when you decide it's time to start a family. If necessary and possible, they should help wean you off the medication safely or help keep the risks at a minimum. It isn't something I'd recommend doing yourself.
 

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Veganism isn't about being perfect. It's about doing the best you can. Please take your medication. Not taking these medicines don't do you or the cause any good.

As others say, hopefully one day medication won't be tested on animals. If you're feeling guilty maybe there is a way you can get involved in pushing for more research into alternative testing procedures??
 

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I don't like to harm any animals unnecessarily. And I've generally found that in order to eat, I don't need to. But in order to do certain other things, I've found that some dependence on animal matter is unavoidable. If I had to choose between one rabbit losing its life, and 100 vegans who require medication to control their epilepsy, being unable to function well, and promote veganism, than I would rather have the rabbit lose its life, so that the vegans can be comfortable, and productive. Of course, if the choice was between one rabbit losing its life, and 100 flesh-eating epileptics having seizures all day, maybe, I don't know, maybe I'd rather let those flesh-eating epileptics have their seizures, so that the rabbit can live.

Then again, it may depend on how bad your seizures are. If you have a 1-minute absence seizure twice a week, maybe you don't really need any medication for it. But if you are having a grand mal 3 times a day - I'd say take the meds. Of course, quite often the medicines have unwanted effects on the patient. So you have to find the right balance between seizure control and control of unwanted effects.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post

Take your medicine, don't feel guilty. Hopefully someday medicines won't be tested on animals, but until that day comes, take your life-saving medicines. My daughter is on Topomax and Lamictal, so I know how important they can be. Best of luck!
Anti-seizure medications aren't necessarily life-saving. People can often survive repeated seizures, without injury. Especially if they have caretakers - educated responses on the part of caretakers can prevent harm from occuring during a seizure. And the drugs are not without their own ways of harming people, including having a propensity to cause liver damage or kidney damage. There is always a balancing act that needs to be done. And different people may have different opinions as to where the best balance-point is, with some willing to risk liver damage so that they don't need a constant caretaker, and other's prefering to have a constant caretaker, so that they don't have to take any medicine, or so that they don't need to take as much medicine. Again, there are always different opinions on what tradeoffs ought to be made.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilman View Post

Anti-seizure medications aren't necessarily life-saving. People can often survive repeated seizures, without injury. Especially if they have caretakers - educated responses on the part of caretakers can prevent harm from occuring during a seizure. And the drugs are not without their own ways of harming people, including having a propensity to cause liver damage or kidney damage. There is always a balancing act that needs to be done. And different people may have different opinions as to where the best balance-point is, with some willing to risk liver damage so that they don't need a constant caretaker, and other's prefering to have a constant caretaker, so that they don't have to take any medicine, or so that they don't need to take as much medicine. Again, there are always different opinions on what tradeoffs ought to be made.
I don't want to trample on the board rules, but I absolutely must take exception to this statement. I am a board certified neurologist and disagree with your statement that people can survive repeated seizures of they have educated caregivers. Each and every seizure carries the risk of status epilepticus which can cause irreversible brain damage and even death. We are much better at preventing and managing these potential complications, but they certainly have not been eliminated altogether.

I agree that medications are a tricky subject due to animal testing and potential side effects. I hope the OP has a veg*n friendly team of physicians that take beliefs into consideration and minimize those side effects so that s/he can continue educating others about veg*ism.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Kris View Post

I don't want to trample on the board rules, but I absolutely must take exception to this statement. I am a board certified neurologist and disagree with your statement that people can survive repeated seizures of they have educated caregivers. Each and every seizure carries the risk of status epilepticus which can cause irreversible brain damage and even death. We are much better at preventing and managing these potential complications, but they certainly have not been eliminated altogether.

I agree that medications are a tricky subject due to animal testing and potential side effects. I hope the OP has a veg*n friendly team of physicians that take beliefs into consideration and minimize those side effects so that s/he can continue educating others about veg*ism.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.
I didn't say that people can always survive repeated seizures, or even that they can usually survive repeated seizures. I said they can often survive repeated seizures. Which, as you said, means sometimes they don't don't survive repeated seizures - someone could even die from a single seizure that lasts only a short time. Especially if they have a grand mal seizure while horseback riding, scuba diving, skydiving, or base jumping. Especially base jumping. And sometimes people survive repeated seizures, but suffer permanent injury in the process. Someone could even suffer a permanent injury from a single seizure that lasts only a short time.

Some people have more extensive, longer-lasting, or more frequent, seizures than others. But, very often, people survive repeated seizures, without injury or death. I would go so far as to say that usually they do.
 

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Look to God's green herb! I've had seizures since I was about 2 years old. Took liquid Phenobarbital till I could take the pill form. Still had a seizure here and there though.
When I turned 18, turned to Mary Jane & have had 2 seizures in 16 years. I know, I know...."but it's illegal". I wonder why!!!
Here's a site I love to visit quite frequently. http://www.healingfoodreference.com/epilepsy.html We don't need anything from big pharma! God knew what he was doing, so I think I'll trust in him & not big pharma. JMHO
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post

Take your medicine, don't feel guilty. Hopefully someday medicines won't be tested on animals, but until that day comes, take your life-saving medicines.
I agree 100% with this, and would also add that even if they're not "life saving" I personally consider it fine to take all prescription medication you need - even if they're not vegan and even though they're tested on animals.

Prescription medication isn't subject to demand in the same way clothes or other products are - people don't choose what drugs they take, they're prescribed them (maybe you have more choice in the US I don't know), and so you cannot vote with your feet in the same way you can with food or whatever.

I believe animal testing is (always) wrong, and hopefully one day it will cease, but if it does I don't believe that will be done by people refusing to take medication they need but rather the development of better methods and the refining of them to be reliable coupled with protests, demonstrations or other signs that the public are unhappy with animal testing methods.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilman View Post

Of course, if the choice was between one rabbit losing its life, and 100 flesh-eating epileptics having seizures all day, maybe, I don't know, maybe I'd rather let those flesh-eating epileptics have their seizures, so that the rabbit can live.
I would not want ANY human to have seizures, whether they ate meat or not.

anyway, I agree with the general jist of the thread to just take the medication. Yeah, its tested on animals, but its essential. Not like its your favourite lipstick or something, so stop feeling guilty! Maybe itd make you feel better if you donated to a charity related to anti vivisection?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Kris View Post

I don't want to trample on the board rules, but I absolutely must take exception to this statement. I am a board certified neurologist and disagree with your statement that people can survive repeated seizures of they have educated caregivers. Each and every seizure carries the risk of status epilepticus which can cause irreversible brain damage and even death. We are much better at preventing and managing these potential complications, but they certainly have not been eliminated altogether.

I agree that medications are a tricky subject due to animal testing and potential side effects. I hope the OP has a veg*n friendly team of physicians that take beliefs into consideration and minimize those side effects so that s/he can continue educating others about veg*ism.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.
Thank you for the post! My daughter has tuberous sclerosis. Her partial complex seizures now tend to generalize quickly and when that happens, she's goes into status, and we're several days in the hospital. She hasn't had a seizure in a few years, thank goodness, but we wouldn't consider taking her off meds for any reason whatsoever.
 

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Originally Posted by Pirate Ferret View Post

I would not want ANY human to have seizures, whether they ate meat or not.

anyway, I agree with the general jist of the thread to just take the medication. Yeah, its tested on animals, but its essential. Not like its your favourite lipstick or something, so stop feeling guilty! Maybe itd make you feel better if you donated to a charity related to anti vivisection?
Neither would I, really. But sometimes you have to do one harm, in order to avoid doing another harm. Or in this case, merely be choosie about who to help avoid harm, in order to avoid doing a harm. It's like if someone were to attack my companion animal with a lethal weapon. I wouldn't want to have to hurt them, in order to save the life of my companion animal. But it may be what I have to do, in order to save my companion animal. Many people would say, hey, its only an animal, and human life takes precedence, no matter how bad the human is. They would say that it is ok to hurt a someone, in order to provide self-defense, but that it is not ok to hurt a human, in order to defend the welfare of a "mere" animal. Thus if person A takes out a gun, and threatens to kill a human, you are justfied in shooting person A, but if person A takes out a gun, and threatens to shoot an animal, you are not justified in shooting person A. Is that the world we want? That is the way many, if not most people think. Certainly it is the way the legal system works in most every part of the world. But many people who care about animals, are thinking in a different direction. In most every part of the world, people don't want people who harm animals, in accepted ways, such as by slaughtering them for food, shelter, or clothing, to have any disadvantage over people who do not harm animals in these ways. But I think that if we are serious about avoiding harm to animals, we may have to start thinking differently.
 
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