Born (and grew up) on one of the North Kent islands in the early 60's, joined the army as an apprentice fitter, in the late 70's, then went on to become a globe-trotting sapper of the corps and eventually left in the late 80's. Since then I have worked as a fitter in various companies and more latterly as a multi-skilled operator in a wastepaper-to-pulp recycling facility.
I have always thought of animal research and the use of animals as educational tools as a flawed and cruel practice. Ever since the 'smoking beagles' hit the headlines in the mid 70's I have been firmly against the idea that by inflicting our [human] problems and illnesses on other species we can somehow find a cure to our diseases.
In the mid 90's my wife took up the study of Nutrition & Herbal Medicine in a bid to reduce her dependency on conventional medicine in the treatment of her asthma (from using her inhalers 3-6 times a day its now about 8 months since she last needed an inhaler). Part of the course work led her to research some of the methods of iatrogenic medicine. This in turn led to how false assumptions are made from the results of animal testing. We have both been campaigning for an end to the use of animals in research by supporting groups such as Uncaged in their efforts to secure a better future, for both the animals used in research and the humans who will end up suffering from the results of relying on medicines developed and 'safety' tested on non-humans.
Don't forget that if it's been tested on animals in the long term you are the real guinea pig!
I started my studies with the OU in 2000 and I am studying towards a degree in information technology and computing, hoping to graduate in 2006.