Animal-free test a move in the right direction

I congratulate the scientists from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) for developing a procedure to predict the toxic effects of chemicals on the human kidney - without the need to first test the method on animals ("Scientists win prize for animal-free test"; Nov 13).

This move away from animal testing runs parallel to other humane changes in science. For example, medical schools in the United States have ended the use of animals in the teaching of surgical skills ("Use of live animals in medical schools ends in US"; July 4).

We also see pro-animal changes in the lives of everyday people. For instance, some people who want dogs as pets are now choosing to adopt rescued animals instead of buying from a puppy mill.

Additionally, in our daily diets, we can choose tasty, healthy plant-based foods rather than eating meat, eggs and dairy - food associated with the suffering of animals.

Just as the animal-free test developed by the A*Star scientists offers an excellent alternative to testing on animals, plant-based foods offer an excellent, perhaps even superior, alternative to eating animal-based foods.

George Jacobs (Dr)

President

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'Animal-free test a move in the right direction'. Print Edition | Subscribe