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Animal Experimentation Examined

Posted by at 5:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (31)


200-issuesexperimentdepthgivefive3-550x0When the disturbing details of the violence that animal experimenters visit upon animals in laboratories are exposed by PETA and others, an increasingly suspicious and disapproving public is often told by experimenters and their hired spokespeople that animals are used only when alternatives are not available.

Yet, time and again, PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department uncovers situations in which animals—from mice to monkeys—are tormented in laboratories when modern non-animal methods are not only available, but are already in use at these very facilities right alongside the animals.

The use of animals for medical training is a case in point.  Right now, at the University of Michigan (UM), the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH), cats, pigs, and ferrets are still forced to endure invasive, painful, and often deadly medical training procedures even though all the facilities already teach the same exact skills to physicians and nurses in other courses using sophisticated humanlike simulators.

Leading medical professional organizations such as the American College of Surgeons approve the use of simulators to teach the same trauma treatment skills for which pigs still have holes cut into their limbs, chests, and necks and are killed at UM and MUSC.  And as a UM alumnus who is a member of PETA’s Legal team pointed out in a recent letter to the UM student paper, last year, the school’s Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course ended the use of animals to teach these same skills after its own Graduate Medical Education Committee determined that simulators were superior.  Earlier this year, MUSC also made the decision to replace animals in ATLS—but the school still kills pigs to teach identical skills in a course that goes by a different name. The mind reels at the waste and stupidity.

Similarly, faculty at UM and SLCH still insist on repeatedly forcing hard plastic tubes down cats’ and ferrets’ delicate throats for intubation training even though the facilities already possess and use simulators for this exact purpose and even though research shows that people who train on simulators are more proficient than those who learn intubation by maiming animals.  The American Heart Association—which  sponsors the most widely offered pediatric life support course in the country—has stated that it, “does not require or endorse the use of live animals” for intubation training and that it “recommends that any hands-on intubation training for [the AHA's Pediatric Advanced Life Support] course be performed on lifelike human manikins.”

Yet, rather than simply admitting that perhaps they have been too slow to phase out these archaic animal laboratories and simply correcting their mistakes, these facilities have dug in their heels and are refusing to change. Rather than restoring the public’s faith in their institutions, the physicians, scientists, and university leaders—people who are typically well-respected and trusted in our society—are instead abusing their authority to provide political cover to themselves and their colleagues. Many of these professionals will still shamefully resort to fabricating scientifically unfounded, bias-laden, and untruthful justifications in defense of cruel and outdated animal laboratories rather than own up to the fact that their own institutions, experts, and leading scientific authorities have already acknowledged the effectiveness—and the superiority—of modern alternatives to the use of animals.

I recently told Vanderbilt University’s student newspaper that “most animal experimenters are cowards” who fight tooth and nail—and spend a lot of money—to hide and distort how they imprison, poison, mutilate, and kill animals, keeping this information from the citizens who unwittingly bankroll and otherwise support their cruelty.  In my experience, they are not above outright lying to defend the indefensible.

As Bob Dylan says, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”  A growing proportion of the public is opposed to animal experimentation of any sort. And I think it’s safe to say that the general public, physicians, and scientists alike generally do not endorse animal experimentation at all when viable alternatives are available. Inevitably (and with a gentle nudge from PETA), the arms of people who think that they can continue to torment animals in these cases will get tired from swimming against the tide.

This guest post was written by Justin Goodman. Justin is Associate Director of PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department.

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31 Comments

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    carla woodland says...

    October 26th, 2010, 5:51 pm

    GRRR makes me so sick and angry that people could do such things to animals!!! =@

    Annie Patenaude says...

    October 26th, 2010, 6:20 pm

    Please stop that! Be human!!!

    hannah says...

    October 26th, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Beyond immoral, beyond disgusting, beyond pointless and beyond brutal.
    I don’t understand why this hasnt stopped already…
    Perhaps something to do with some people’s belief that humans can do whatever they want?

    ethal roadridge says...

    October 26th, 2010, 6:52 pm

    These people who are hired in the name of science to do these un-necessary and unspeakable acts should have this done to them . Hopefully they do not have children of there own, I would hate to see how their children are treated if they think doing such acts to innocent animals is ethically and morally just . WHAT IN THE HECK ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN that it is ok to harm innocent animals isn’t that how serial killers start. Please put a stop to all this insnity I AM THE VOICE FOR ALL THE ANIMALS THAT DON’T HAVE A VOICE OR A CHOICE IN WHAT IS DONE TO THEM.

    Sarah says...

    October 26th, 2010, 7:00 pm

    I do not support animals testing and only buy animal friendly products, it’s so easy to do, to not support such a barbaric industry. Pharmacies are making it easier to find cruelty free products.

    michelle says...

    October 26th, 2010, 7:20 pm

    This to be stop how cruel and wicked are you?

    Belinda Turvey says...

    October 26th, 2010, 7:22 pm

    Stop it! How could you torture living creatures???

    brandi Ohara says...

    October 26th, 2010, 9:18 pm

    this is why I will not give money to children’s hospt. or any other place that test on animals

    Pat Drako says...

    October 26th, 2010, 11:17 pm

    I don’t. Want to use any product coming from any of those labs and I will tell to everyone to stop supporting this companys

    poulyana srouji says...

    October 26th, 2010, 11:38 pm

    Please put a stop to this! There is no need to do all these testings on any animal!

    Bridget A. says...

    October 27th, 2010, 12:00 am

    This is cruel and inhumane, animals were not put on this earth to test and torture on, this is wrong, there are alternatives.

    Juana Stanbridge says...

    October 27th, 2010, 12:46 am

    This is sad what universitys does..but before i am get into vet school i called the humane society to ask …but they have their own schools so i think that is way better than going to those universitys who treat animals inhumane…NOW I CAN HELP ANIMALS EVEN MORE..

    lucia iraneta says...

    October 27th, 2010, 7:19 am

    this is discusting, why use animals for experimentation when there is no real need for it, why be cruel for the sake of it, stupid minds, twisted brains,

    John Eustor says...

    October 27th, 2010, 4:12 pm

    I worked for a clinical trials company called COVANCE in a 3 month contract and was shocked to find what they did to animals for testing. Incredibly mean. So for 5000 years, we were fine with the use of plants and herbs to treat dis-eases via Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese herbology, yet what we consider “modern medicine” decides its better to cut into human beings and use animals and humans to test their pharmaceuticals on. Hypocrites!!

    So what exactly does a laboratory rat or monkey have to do with a human being? It worked on a mouse, so its safe to use of a human? Really? No wonder they have so many side effects. Plants and herbs have none..

    Why?

    Plants and herbs = GOD
    Pharmaceuticals and the knife = MAN

    The doctors who inflict this pain and disease of these poor animals should be used for testing these drugs instead of animals. Maybe then they”d know what it FEELS LIKE!!

    So how do you expect a humanity that cannot treat other humans ethically, via wars and conflicts based on greed and oil, to treat animals any better. As soon as we evolve to a place where we can start treating each other with respect then maybe we can start treating animals better. Until then, we have as little hope as not getting into another war. Which is slim to none as we continue electing, giving power to and paying politicians to send our children to kill or be killed.

    Have a Blessed Day

    – john

    Pixie says...

    October 28th, 2010, 6:35 pm

    ANIMAL RIGHTS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!

    Carol says...

    October 29th, 2010, 7:23 am

    I find it incredible that in this day and age our so called “scientists” or brainiacs still feel that they have to torture and main these very innocent creatures for OUR so called benefit. Its totally archaeic. Surely these people can follow the same basic method for making the new batch of whatever to how the last batch was made. Surely everything now, as in measurements are computerised and can measure the right amount of incredients down to the last nnth. But then again, I’m not a clever “scientist”, just an everyday average person, so who am I to make such observations. Just because a formula hasn’t harmed one of the lab animals does not mean it isn’t going to harm a human – our genetic make up is vastly different. To test properly, I feel there are many people locked away for life in our prisons worldwide – who really owe a debt to society – as it is our taxes that keeps them – why not do testing on them – but I suppose that would be considered wrong and not allowed because of the cruelty factor – go figure.

    Mare E Florentino says...

    October 30th, 2010, 12:01 am

    St. Louis Animal Rights Team is doing a demo tomorrow at Wash U Med School/Barnes-Jewish Hosp campus in honor of National Primate Liberation Week. We’ll be there from 12:30-2:30 with huge banners & signs, bloody labcoats and scary masks. Time permitting we’ll conduct a vigil in honor of all animals being tortured, mutilated and killed in the name of science. Dr. Dora Angelaki in particular is one biomedical scientist who has been doing research on macaque monkeys’ vestibular systems. What she does to these animals is pure torture yet the medical community applauds her for her wonderful contribution toward understanding how this system relates to balance. We will be protesting to honor these macaques & all other untold numbers of animals whose lives have been stolen.

    pat stallings says...

    October 30th, 2010, 9:16 am

    Please have mercy on these innocent creatures that come from our Creator of this University. They feel pain and suffering also and how in the name of God Almighty you cannot help but hear their screams for MERCY.

    roisin says...

    October 30th, 2010, 10:53 am

    humans feel that they are so above animals yet they feel that testing drus etc will validate them for the use on humans if people feel the need to use such drugs they should have human labs, such drugs to help stop smoking trail them on smokers

    Kathryn says...

    October 30th, 2010, 5:15 pm

    I do not support testing on animals for ANY purpose. And that goes double for you, St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, TN.

    Salome Waters says...

    October 31st, 2010, 3:48 am

    So frustrating, so inFURIATING and so very, very tiring.
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do NOTHING.” (Edmund Burke)
    And these administrator, and professors who stubbornly DO NOTHING may or may not be good men (or women) but it is certain that they are LAZY people, who do what they do because that is what they do. They do not question themselves about their actions.
    They forget the Hippocratic Oath, “First, DO NO HARM”.
    And animals feel, like us, and weep, like us, and feel despair, just like us. Or weep for them, men and women of this University. Weep for them and for yourselves, since you have proven by your inaction that you are worth less than a suffering rabbit, or ferret or pig.

    Goffinet McLaren says...

    October 31st, 2010, 5:35 pm

    I would like to treat the human animal abusers in the same way that they treat these innocent living beings.

    Jeremiah says...

    November 1st, 2010, 7:36 pm

    This is rediculous and disgusting, so unnecesary.

    Morgaine Wakelin says...

    November 30th, 2010, 5:43 pm

    It is so heartening to read people,s comments and realise the depth of feeling there is about this issue. Sometimes the burden of all the useless animal suffering in the world seems too much to bear but knowing that many others feel the same way helps to give one strength to keep fighting.

    Sue says...

    December 15th, 2010, 6:58 am

    I once worked for NAVS and was always told that we are closer to plants than animals – we do not need to experiment on animals. Year after year after year and cures are not found. Why don’t they learn. I would like to do exactly the same to these so called human beings that they do to poor innocent animals who cannot speak for themselves. This must, must be stopped.

    Jeanette says...

    January 19th, 2011, 12:05 am

    Anything God created should not be made to suffer needlessly. Animals feel pain , frustration, fear, emotions just like people. We as decent humans have an obligation to treat any living thing as we would want to be treated. With dignity, respect, have food, shelter, as is in our ability to provide it for them.Even our fellow man in the gutter to the tiny little bug living his life in God’s plan.
    If we take an animal into our ownership it should never be to suffer or feel pain.We are obligating ourselves to the proper care of this living thing. That being said, I do realize there was a time that animal experiments were helpful to saving the lives of humans. But not now, they are not needed now. We have other ways, and even when they were needed, they were not treated/done right, and they were subjected to stupid things that we already knew harmed us. They lived in horrible environments and were treated like pieces of dead meat, not a living being.There were very few things that an animal truly was needed for experimentation. And today, not at all. Not for make up, or pesticides, or foods etc…we know what harms us and what doesn’t.Bless you PETA !!!

    Jeanette says...

    January 19th, 2011, 12:13 am

    I am pleased with these comments and hope more like them get posted. Like the fellow above said, the more that feel this way the more strength we have and the more we can fight these persons who undertake these improper actions against our furry/and not so furry friends.

    Rob Love says...

    November 11th, 2012, 4:06 pm

    I feel horribly about animal research and disapprove of it for any and all reasons. You cannot scientifically justify it as it cannot be extrapolated across species, and even if it could, it is viciously cruel and vile. I do not believe it is justifiable to kill any animal to save humans. All of us have to go sometime, even babies and little children. It is sad, but it is life. God is good and He permits it. It is a problem of sin and evil in the world.

    Ivy says...

    September 18th, 2013, 9:10 pm

    I live in Memphis where this “research” goes on and the stories I’ve heard from idiots that work there are horrific! Wish there was something we could do to stop them. Monkeys are one of the most intelligent animals and to know they suffer so badly is heartbreaking.

    4mula1 says...

    September 23rd, 2013, 1:28 pm

    everybody please visit,facebook.com/garyfair96 do a demonstration AT a walk for a charity like susan g.konen, march of dimes, we need to do more than just fur demonstrations. ect!.. when march of dimes (sgk, ect) does their walk LETS BE THEIR!.. at the same time (see my facebook!).

    Susan Patrie says...

    August 16th, 2014, 12:32 pm

    To 4mula1; DO you have any idea what Susan G. Komen, March of Dimes, and other “chariries” do to animals??? Look it up. Shame on you for suggesting we support them. They are some of the biggest animal torturers around.

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