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Vegan Pamela Anderson refuses ALS ice bucket challenge over cruel animal testing

Vegan Pamela Anderson refuses ALS ice bucket challenge, citing ALS animal cruelty and testing
Pamela Anderson Facebook

Vegan animal rights activist Pamela Anderson has refused to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge benefiting the ALS Association because of the animal testing that's done for research.

Anderson issued her own challenge to the ALS, asking them to stop cruel animal laboratory experiments. "Sorry, I can't bring myself to do your Ice bucket challenge," Pam wrote on Facebook Aug. 20. "I'd challenge ALS to stop animal testing.

"Recent experiments funded by the ALS Association, mice had holes drilled into their skulls, were inflicted with crippling illnesses, and were forced to run on an inclined treadmill until they collapsed from exhaustion. Monkeys had chemicals injected into their brains and backs and were later killed and dissected. What is the result of these experiments (other than a lot of suffering)?"

Countless celebrities, from Tom Cruise to Jennifer Aniston to LeBron James, have completed the Ice Bucket Challenge, where participants either dump ice-cold water over their heads or donate $100 to support the ALS Association. The viral social media stunt has raised more than $80 million so far.

Pam: ALS Animal Testing Has Produced No Real Results

Anderson said she doesn't condone further animal testing for ALS research because so little progress has been made during the past 10 years despite countless experiments.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive muscle paralysis and early death. There is no cure.

"In the past decade, only about a dozen experimental ALS treatments have moved on to human trials after being shown to alleviate the disease in animals," Pamela wrote.

All but one of these treatments failed in humans — and the one that 'passed' offers only marginal benefits to humans who suffer from ALS ... Trying to cure human diseases by relying on outdated and ineffective animal experiments isn't only cruel – it's a grave disservice to people who desperately need cures. Please, help scientists make real progress toward treating and curing human diseases by visiting HumaneSeal.org to find and support charities that never harm animals."

While many vegans cite their love of animals for their plant-based diets, Anderson's story is especially poignant. In May 2014, Pamela revealed in a blog post that she was suicidal after experiencing childhood sexual abuse, but her love of animals healed her.

Anderson: My Love of Animals Healed Me After Gang Rape

Anderson said she was sexually abused by neighbors and friends of the family starting at age six and was gang-raped at age 12.

"My affinity with animals saved me, they came to me naturally," wrote Anderson. "I wasn't sure why I was alive – a burning question, a quest. My loyalty remained with the animal kingdom. I vowed to protect them and only them. I prayed to the whales with my feet in the ocean, my only real friends until I had children."

It's because of her love for animals that Pamela has maintained her lifelong vegan diet, which she also credited for her age-defying bikini body at 47. The busty 5-foot-7 blonde weighs a sleek 115 pounds, thanks to her plant-based diet and active lifestyle. Pamela has also credited her vegan diet for helping her manage Hepatitis C, a condition she has had since 2002.

Over the years, Anderson has done a lot of activist work on behalf of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Pamela said she became a vegetarian in her teens after seeing her father kill an animal during a hunt.