I especially like these suggestions.....
The better informed you are, the greater the impact you can make, so read everything you can. When you read stories in major newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Newsweek, be wary of simplification, bias, and a tendency to support traditional views indifferent to animals’ interests. A well-referenced book is probably your best source of reliable information. There are many excellent books on issues related to animal research.
10..Know Your Adversary
Part of being an effective activist on animal research issues is knowing the arguments in support of animal research. Do not limit your knowledge and your effectiveness by reading only those materials with which you agree; read articles and books reflecting a range of opinions. You will make yourself a much more effective advocate if you learn the arguments used by those who support the continuing use of animals in the laboratory— and how they might be countered.
The world is a web and you are its spider. The World Wide Web is growing at a rate of thousands of new users per day. With it comes more information to access (see Action 12), more places to express your opinions, and more people to brainstorm with via e-mail or chat lines.
Always be aware that the Web is a free and easy cyberspace where any opinion or “fact” can be found. It is not only a good place to locate people and information; it is also a major source of misinformation. Be cautious in repeating claims you find on the Web, especially those made by members of chat groups.
12..Find the Databases
Databases are loaded wit information relating to animal use in laboratories! CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects), for instance, is a federally funded database available free of charge; it can be accessed on the Internet at www-commons.cit.nih.gov/crisp. Using CRISP, you can access basic information about any scientific study receiving federal money. This information includes research topics, funding amounts, types of animals used, and the number of years the project has been funded.
A valuable new resource has recently entered the information superhighway. Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, in collaboration with a number of government agencies, has established AltWeb, the Alternatives to Animal Testing Web site. This rapidly growing site is to be a global resource on alternative methods, the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement), animal ethics, and animal care, with hyperlinks to related Web sites and databases. Check it out at www.jhsph.edu/~altweb.
13..Search the Libraries
A good library is one of your best sources of information on the whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys of animal research. For sleuthing on animal experimentation, you will want to visit a library with good science holdings. A university library will usually serve you well.
14..Collect the Numbers
As an advocate for animals, you never know when you’re going to find yourself engaged in a discussion with someone about animal research issues. It never hurts to have a few facts and figures up your sleeve.
15..Get FOIAed Up!
It is not a free country for animals in laboratories, but it is a comparatively free one for you. One such freedom is provided by the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), passed in 1966. The FOIA entitles you to information on how the government is spending your tax dollars. FOIA allows you access to information on federally funded animal research projects and to documents of various departments of the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration, and Public Health Service (PHS). FOIA can provide you with such information as the amount of money spent yearly on a specific project, the research methods used, and internal correspondence related to the project.