Written by PETA
The following is a guest post from peta2's Ryan
As those of you who have been keeping up with your NCAA "March Madness" brackets will know, this year's college basketball championship series is down to the final four schools, all vying for the top spot. Unfortunately, they're all losers.
I say this because, in a tragic irony, the universities that have the most talented athletes also seem to hire some of the cruelest animal abusers in the nation.
Villanova University vs. University of North Carolina
Villanova experimenters inject methamphetamine into rats' stomachs to determine whether the drug influences the rats' response time in behavioral tests (gee, I wonder). Unfortunately, as you might have seen in our "Who Cares?" video, this kind of pointless and cruel test on rats and mice is still legal—in fact, no experiment on them, no matter how painful, is against the law.
Maria Boccia, a vivisector at UNC–Chapel Hill, removes rat pups—at 2 to 14 days old—from their mothers for extended periods of time in order to induce a deep depression in the mother rats. She then places the mothers in cylinders of water from which they can not escape in order to see how quickly they are overcome with a sense of helplessness and stop swimming.
University of Connecticut vs. Michigan State University
At University of Connecticut, experimenters implant steel rods into rabbits' spines to keep them immobile. They then shock the rabbits with electrodes and measure the animals' brainwaves while they are still awake.
Not to be outdone, the returning "champion" from last year's contest, MSU vivisector Arthur Weber has continued his "work" removing the eyes of cats while the animals are still alive. Weber attempted to justify his cruel and pointless experiments last year; on Weber's behalf, an MSU official stated, "The animals are completely anesthetized, receive painkillers, and once the animals come out of the anesthesia, 10 minutes later you can't tell the difference." Yeah, you're probably right. I'm sure eyes are overrated anyway. What?! And don't forget the part where you keep them alive for a week after the operation and then kill them—I'd be willing to bet my March Madness pool money that they notice that too!
Of course, it's not the basketball players' fault that their schools hired such colossal creeps—animal experimentation is big business. As shown above, though, no amount of money can keep animal abusers from being morally bankrupt.
Written by Ryan Huling
We’re almost there, folks. If it’s any consolation, this is just as unpleasant for me as it is for you, but we’ve started this thing, so we need to finish it. Last night, Kansas won a stunner in overtime to take the NCAA basketball title, but our parallel tournament to find the college with the most horrific animal experimentation program has just one last round before we can recognize the winner and go home in disgust. They’ve been through a lot to get here, overcoming an unbelievably tough field of cat killers, monkey maimers, and bunny butchers to reach the finals of this notorious event, so hold your noses and steel yourself for one last dance with the March Mad Scientists … ladies and gentlemen, you voted to see them here; now let’s crown our champion:
Arthur Weber, Michigan State
Arthur Weber and the MSU team have been trouncing the competition so far, and last week’s blowout of Alan Schatzberg and the underperforming Stanford brain butchers (with a score of 12 votes to 0!) has effectively silenced the doubters. Weber’s spent 25 years torturing cats by removing their eyes while they’re still alive, and given MSU’s manhandling of the Stanford team last week, anyone going up against Weber and the Michigan state vivisectors should know that, like the cats who go under Weber’s knife, they're in for a world of pain. Leave a comment below to vote for Arthur Weber and MSU to win it all.
Michael Platt, Duke
Like MSU, Michael Platt’s Duke team held their opponents scoreless in last week’s semifinal, and their 4-0 victory was more than enough to earn them a place here on the big stage. Platt brings a one-two punch to the fray that’s going to be tough to defend against—his two-pronged approach to vivisecting involves drilling metal screws into monkeys’ skulls and implanting wire coils under their eyelids. Will Platt’s technical expertise with the brain screws be enough to get him past this final hurdle? Only you can decide. Leave a comment below to vote for Michael Platt and the Duke Devils to bring home the title.
Happy voting, and be sure to tune in next week when we crown the winner and take a nostalgic walk back through some of the tournament’s highlights and disappointments.
The votes are in, and the contest is getting even more intense, as the four remaining universities square off in this week’s Fatal Four! We’ve had some nailbiting upsets and some unseemly blowouts since this competition began a few weeks ago, but I can say without reservations that the four remaining contestants deserve to be here. So let’s bring this thing to its breathtaking conclusion: Leave a comment to vote for the two schools you want to see next week … in PETA’s March Mad Scientist Final Showdown.
Here are your matchups:
Michael Platt drills metal screws into monkeys’ skulls for a living, and he’s not afraid to implant the occasional wire coil under their eyelids when push comes to shove. It’s this “nothing’s impossible” attitude that has helped Michael get the Duke team in contention to win it all this year, despite an extremely strong field consisting of some of the cruelest vivisectors in the world.
Ei Terasawa, UW-Madison
Regardless of which team wins in the end, UW-Madison’s Ei Terasawa will most certainly be in contention for “MVP of the Tournament” honors. Ei’s signature move, the “push-pull perfusion” technique, involves a two-chambered pipe, a few bottles of chemicals, a restraint chair, and a live monkey’s brain. It’s Ei’s unique ability to combine these objects in surprising ways that has brought her team all the way to the Fatal Four. Will it be enough to get them to the finals?
We highlighted Arthur Weber in the Sick Sixteen a couple of weeks ago, but he didn’t need any help to advance his team in the tournament. Arthur’s longtime practice of removing cats’ eyes while they’re still alive is more than enough to make Michigan State a strong contender to take home the big prize this year.
Alan Schatzberg, Stanford
But don’t discount Alan Schatzberg and his colleague David Lyons! These guys have put Stanford in a position to pull off a big upset this week, with their hard work in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences traumatizing the hell out of some monkeys. Schatzberg and Lyons’ signature move of implanting wires into primates’ brains may be just enough to get them into the big show.
Leave a comment to vote for the winner of each matchup, and we’ll see you next week in the finals!
Oprah Winfrey is going to be tackling puppy mills on her show today, so be sure to check it out (or Tivo it) if you get a chance. Puppy mills, which keep large quantities of purebred dogs in overcrowded, often shockingly inhumane conditions, are a well-kept secret of the pet-trade industry, and the animal protection community is extremely grateful to Oprah for exposing this major cause of pet overpopulation to a wide audience.
It’s standard practice for puppy mills—which supply animals to pet stores and purebred enthusiasts, without any concern for the millions who will die in shelters as a result—to keep animals in constant confinement, without proper veterinary care or socialization. It’s common to hear stories of puppy mills that are shut down on cruelty to animals charges (I posted about one a couple of weeks ago), but it’s nowhere near common enough—and these sordid operations will continue to thrive for as long as people support them by purchasing animals from pet stores or seeking out purebred animals from breeders.
You can find out what time the show will be airing where you live on Oprah’s site, and there’s more information about puppy mills, and you can learn more about PETA’s campaign to help companion animals here.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, the quest to find the cruelest Division 1 College in the country has revved up a notch! All 16 of last week’s contenders proved tough teams to beat, but only 8 could advance, and despite some powerful showings from Pittsburgh, KSU, Washington State, OSU, Purdue, Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and the University of Washington, only the nastiest can prevail … so without further ado let’s get down to narrowing the field even further as we prepare to put these vivisectors on the national stage in the Fatal Four next week!
Just like last week, I’ll be highlighting what I consider to be the key matchup in this exciting tournament, and you can consult the cheat sheet to help determine who else to vote into the next round. Use the voting form or leave a comment to cast a vote for this week’s Vilest Vivisectors in the Evil Eight!
Like ‘em or hate ‘em, Duke University always puts forward a strong team, and for the past decade, that’s been largely due to the work of their MVP, Michael Platt, who drills metal screws into monkeys’ skulls, pushes electrodes into their brains, and implants wire coils under their eyelids. A similar winning technique has been made popular by UConn’s David Waitzman—another strong contender in this tournament, so if we’re lucky, we may see a classic Big East/ACC showdown in the finals this year. The published results of Mr. Platt’s cruel experiments include such timeless pieces of knowledge as the fact that one rhesus macaque monkey will often look in the same direction as another rhesus macaque monkey, so there’s no question that Michael’s earning his keep! To vote for Michael Platt, use the form or leave a comment below.
Michelle Hook, Texas A&M
Texas A&M might traditionally be the underdog in this matchup, but don’t make the mistake of underestimating Michelle Hook of Texas A&M University’s Department of Psychology. Her medium of choice is rats, and from the sounds of it, there’s not much she hasn’t done when it comes to slicing and dicing these animals. Michelle’s preferred technique involves cutting up the animals’ spinal cords, injecting them with chili pepper solution, pushing them into restraint tubes, and electroshocking their hind legs. Hook’s world-beating conclusion speaks for itself: “These data suggest that peripheral inflammation, accompanying spinal cord injuries, might have an adverse effect on recovery.” You heard it here first, folks: Giving electric shocks to torture victims might slow down their recovery time! To vote for Michelle Hook, use the form or leave a comment below.
Seriously, these just keep getting better and better.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
It's been 16 long weeks since we last had a Vivisector of the Week to vote on, but we're going to make up it for all in one go right here: You asked for it (OK, whatever, you didn't ask for it), so here it is … just in time for March Madness, 16 of the nation's most reprehensible, university-funded animal torturers going head-to-head in PETA's first-ever Vivisector of the Week tournament—ladies and gentlemen, meet the March Mad Scientists!!!
For the next four weeks, I'm going to be highlighting one of the biggest showdowns in the tournament, then opening up voting for the remaining contenders. If you want to do this scientifically, you can check out this handy cheat sheet to get an idea of which institutes of learning have the most sick, pointless, and barbaric animal-experimentation programs hidden away in their basements. Or you could just vote for your hometown school and pick a bunch of other ones at random (that's pretty much how I'm doing my NCAA brackets). So let's get this thing underway—here's the top bracket in this week's … Sick Sixteen!
Patrick Kochanek, Pittsburgh.
Down in Pittsburgh's secretive laboratories, a team of experimenters led by Dr. Patrick "Frankenstein" Kochanek are working deep into the night to reanimate the corpses of dogs, pigs, and mice. Seriously, I couldn't make this crap up if I wanted to: Under Kochanek's cold-hearted guidance, a group of "scientists" drain the blood from animals for up to three hours, pump an ice-cold salt solution into their veins until they're scientifically dead, then shock them back alive. The animals usually suffer massive physical and psychological trauma in the process, but that's a small price to pay for a zombie army, right? Right??
Arthur Weber, Michigan State.
Michigan State University’s Arthur Weber ain't afraid of no zombies. This guy has a signature move that would frighten even the undead. This cat torturer's got his technique down pat: First he injures their optic nerve, then he dissects the overlying tissues, inserts a surgical hook, and places a clamp on the nerve. Next on the agenda: Wait for seven days until it's time to remove the cats' eyes while they're still alive! Then it's killing time, and onto another batch of kitties—Weber's been at this game for more than 25 years. That's a whole lot of cats!
Only one of these contenders can advance to the next round, so choose carefully! Cast your vote for the vilest vivisector using the form below, and feel free to leave a comment explaining your selection.
The cheat sheet will help you decide which other universities deserve to advance, and we'll be back next week with the Evil Eight! Stay tuned!!!
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.