Written by PETA
It's a good day for mice and rats in the Republic of China (aka Taiwan)! Thanks to a whistleblower, PETA's Laboratory Investigations Department got a tip that led us into high-level talks with National Yang-Ming University's president about her school's cruel pharmacology experiments. And what do you know—the university has decided to end not one but two of these outdated tests in less than nine days and instead use humane non-animal alternatives!
Part of the first experiment called for students to pump the chemical strychnine into the stomachs of approximately 150 mice through surgically-attached stomach tubes. That's right, strychnine—and then the students were required to observe and record the animals' convulsions. The second experiment required the students to inject pentylenetetrazol, a convulsion-causing chemical, into approximately 135 mice. The students then had to inject acetic acid into the animals, which caused their bodies to contort painfully.
Now, both experiments have been canceled—and nearly 300 mice will be spared these terrible procedures every semester. The university will still conduct experiments on animals—including one cruel blood-pressure manipulation experiment in which students slice open animals' windpipes and blood vessels—but the university has also agreed to dramatically reduce the number of rats who are used in that experiment—to just one.
These victories come after PETA successfully convinced National Taiwan University College of Medicine to end similar experiments on animals earlier this year.
This is a great start for National Yang-Ming University and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, where school officials are beginning to realize that animal experimentation is not just unnecessary—it's inaccurate and completely inhumane.
Written by Amanda Schinke
OK, if you're like me, you cancel all your plans, shut off your cell phone, lock your door, and glue yourself to your couch every Thursday at 9 p.m. for none other than the greatest hour of television all week: Grey's Anatomy.
Well, last night was probably my favorite television night of all time, because the best show ever also brought in an important message about animal rights. (TV + AR = my life, so you can see why I was thrilled.)
If you missed it, let me catch you up. Dr. Hunt, the new head of trauma surgery, wanted to train the residents and interns on how to deal with trauma patients, and he said that dealing with live tissue was the best way to learn. So he tied down six sedated pigs and stabbed them with knives, and then he asked the doctors to perform surgery to keep the pigs alive. (Though I'm quite sure that in real life the pigs were fake, as the show had several notices that no animals were harmed in filming.)
Enter Dr. Izzy Stevens, played by Katherine Heigl. Izzy refused to do the assignment and explained how completely unnecessary it is to test on live animals when we have such advanced alternatives that don't require us to do that. She said that animals are sensitive, emotional creatures that feel pain and don't deserve to be tortured. We are so right there with you, Izzy!
When Dr. Hunt continued to berate Izzy about this issue, she stood up for herself and for animals everywhere and never backed down. She even explained that testing on animals is pointless and can sometimes even work against medical progress. Even though a test might be successful when the subjects are animals, people and animals are different species and therefore will show completely different results.
Even no-nonsense, steely Dr. Yang took a liking to the pigs and called them by name. When the surgeries finished, Hunt ordered Yang to euthanize the pigs and she refused.
What an excellent episode! I was so thrilled to step away from Meredith's whiny, self-obsessed life for a while to focus on the other characters—and such a positive message for animals.
Now, if only Ross University had seen this episode ….
Written by Christine Doré
Happy Halloween, animal lovers! I hope you all took our costume advice this year. I'm planning to see tons of Trollsens and Colonels wandering the streets tonight in search of fab vegan candy. Before your teeth begin to ache from too much sugar and your costume gets retired for another year, check out the best holiday e-card that Halloween has to offer. Enjoy!
In honor of Halloween (and our peta2 zombie protesters), let me start this out by saying, "Braaaaaains!"
Good—now that I've got that out of my system, we can talk about the 11 awesome professional athletes who have all agreed to donate their brains to science!
That's right, these athletes—including six retired NFL players, among others—will all be donating their brains (post mortem, of course) to a study headed (tee hee) by the Sports Legacy Institute and Boston University. The study will use these oft-concussed brains to determine if there is a definite link between concussions and traumatic encephalopathy.
You might know traumatic encephalopathy better as "punch-drunk syndrome," or "boxer's dementia." Dementia and parkinsonism have long been linked to repeated concussions—such as those suffered by boxers or football players—and this study will further explore this relationship.
Sadly, studies like this often inflict head trauma on primates—only to kill them shortly afterwards—in order to simulate concussions in human brains! That's why these athletes' donations are so valuable—by donating their brains, these athletes have spared countless animals from suffering the torture of enduring repeated traumatic injuries. Their brains, by the simple nature of being human brains, will also provide science with much more reliable and conclusive results than any an animal test could provide.
That's why PETA is presenting these athletes with our Compassionate Action Award! Each athlete will receive a framed certificate and letter of appreciation—and the unspoken thanks of all the animals who will not have to suffer in the name of "science."
The awards go to retired NFL players Isaiah Kacyvenski, Ted Johnson, Frank Wycheck, Ben Lynch, Bernie Parrish, and Bruce Laird; former U.S. Olympic swimmer Jenny Thompson; Florida Panthers hockey player Noah Welch; former U.S. Women's National Soccer team player Cindy Parlow; former boxer Maurice "Termite" Watkins; and last, but not least, Sports Legacy Institute founder, former Harvard football player, and former professional wrestler Chris Nowinski.
Four monkey-masked PETA members paid Yale a little visit yesterday in honor of National Primate Liberation Week.
As motorists passed underneath the banner-wielding monkeys, they were reminded that "Yale Murders Monkeys." Well, specifically, Yale imprisons monkeys in tiny cages, mutilates them, injects them with poison, forces drug addiction on them, and eventually kills the animals as part of the experiments—but "murders" pretty much covers it, don't you think?
That's right—the more than 160 primates who are locked up in Yale's laboratories are the subjects of many cruel experiments, several of them drug-related. Some of the more heinous abuses include injecting toxins into monkeys’ brains so that they can’t walk, move or eat, addicting the monkeys to PCP to induce schizophrenia (excuse me?) and addicting them to nicotine by giving them the equivalent of smoking 17 packs of cigarettes per day. Because, ya know, exposing a monkey to 17 packs' worth is really reflective of an average human smoker's habits. Right.
The vivisectors at Yale are even killing pregnant monkeys and removing their fetuses in order to cut out their brains. If this were happening anywhere else, it would be condemned as psychopathic, murderous behavior—but because it's done in the name of "science," we're expected to accept this.
Well, forgive me, but this isn't the kind of thing that we at PETA tend to accept—and neither, I think, would most reasonable people. These monkeys are being tortured and murdered at taxpayer expense, but who said the taxpayers approve?
If you don't approve, please write the National Institutes of Health and ask them to end their policy of funding animal experiments like these.
With Halloween this month and scary B movies certain to flood theatres (and the U.S. Postal Service via Netflix), we're going to honor October's worst vivisector with a special honor: the Frankenscience Award. We'll serve up two "scientists" with horrendous records of drugging, isolating, and otherwise torturing animals and allow you, dear readers, the honor of telling us who makes you gag the most.
Michael B. Hennessy, a psychology professor at Wright State University, spends his time tormenting baby guinea pigs. With help from over $350 thousand in funding from taxpayer dollars, Hennessy has learned a lot about sickness and stress in laboratory animals, but he himself isn't confident that the results can be safely extrapolated to humans.
Hennessy takes guinea pigs from their mothers when the newborns are less than 1 month old to observe the resulting "stress-induced sickness behavior." To worsen things, the babies are injected with a behavior-altering substance to see how it affects them. They are forced to endure invasive surgeries, including having their heads cut open, tubes stuck inside, and various chemicals and agents injected into them—including E. Coli bacteria!
To make matters worse, even Hennessy himself sees the obvious problem with his methods—the fact that guinea pigs aren't people. In a recent paper, he concludes that "caution is required in generalizing from studies of sickness in laboratory animals to depression in humans."
Owen B. Floody, a psychology professor at Bucknell University, came to our attention after a concerned alumnus contacted us. We learned that Floody has spent more than 30 years performing deadly sexual and reproductive studies … on hamsters.
Floody starts with healthy female hamsters, carves into their skulls, damages their brains, and then examines how this affects their sexual behavior. To assess this, he drops them in a box with a male hamster or "manually stimulates" them (you don't want to know). At the end of this bizarre ordeal, the animals are killed and their brains are dissected.
Floody even gets his students involved in these experiments, allowing undergraduate students in his physiological psychology course to help with this torture. PETA has already expressed its concerns to Bucknell, and you can chime in to help end these experiments by clicking here.
What'll it be? The Wright State professor who grasps the underlying problem with vivisection but does it anyway? Or the Bucknell professor who "manually stimulates" then kills female hamsters? Leave a comment to let me know!
Written by Sean Conner
In 2007, PETA received a call from a whistleblower who tipped us off to a Cleveland lab, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF), that performed a fatal brain surgery on a dog for a useless medical-device sales demonstration.
Fast forward to 2008. PETA has received yet another tip from a whistleblower because of yet another alleged unnecessary dog death at the CCF—and this time it appears to be a violation of federal law.
The whistleblower alleges that a healthy dog—who had undergone an experimental transplant in which a heart was inserted into her neck—was killed after surgeons discovered that her airway was blocked by hay. Sadly, the whistleblower says that the dog was knowingly allowed to eat the dangerous hay from the pens of other animals while roaming around the laboratory and disturbing other animals who were recuperating from painful surgeries. I'm pretty sure that the surgeons needed that extra heart, not the dog…
PETA has filed a complaint against the facility with the USDA, and we are asking for an immediate investigation into alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The potential violations include failure to ensure proper nutrition for dogs (at least one was apparently allowed to eat hay) and failure to ensure adequate veterinary care for animals used in experiments, just to name a couple.
Many Cleveland residents, especially those who frequent the Dawg Pound, would be horrified to know that a lab in their city might be guilty of repeatedly killing healthy dogs who are used in useless experiments. The CCF needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for its apparent disregard for animal welfare, and we hope that the USDA will do just that.
If you want to help, please politely contact the CCF using the information below and ask that it conduct a full and thorough investigation of this matter and take all appropriate corrective actions.
Please send polite comments to:
Paul E. DiCorleto, Ph.D., ChairLerner Research InstituteCleveland ClinicMailstop NB219500 Euclid Ave.Cleveland, OH email@example.com
Sad news—House Peters Jr., the man we all know and love as Mr. Clean, passed away yesterday at the respectable age of 92.
I pretty much love the character of Mr. Clean. In a world of cleaning-product commercials featuring only women, Mr. Clean's gender-stereotype–defying presence was always refreshing. (Plus, he had an earring, which is cool—and pretty progressive for the 1950s, when the character premiered!)
What I don't love, though, is the company responsible for the product Mr. Clean—Proctor & Gamble (P&G), the infamous maker of animal-tested Iams! PETA's problem with P&G goes back pretty far—far enough, in fact, for us to have parodied Mr. Clean's image on a 1998 protest door hanger.
But that wasn't enough to convince P&G to stop abusing animals in the name of "research." While P&G has developed non-animal testing methods and worked to end much of its outdated testing program, even today, eight years later, P&G–owned Iams continues to keep up to 700 dogs and cats locked inside hidden laboratories.
So as we say goodbye to Mr. Clean, we urge you to honor his memory by, say, wearing white T-shirts and gold earrings—not by purchasing Iams.
For a list of dog and cat food brands that are not tested on animals, click here.
It's time once again for my favorite PETA Files feature: our Vivisector of the Month contest. Each and every month, I read up on two of our nation's most vile vivisectors and let you, our dear readers, decide who is the worst by voting.
Let me begin by recognizing Marina Picciotto, whose primate addiction studies and mouse torture won her the undesirable title of Most Vile Vivisector last month. Her competitor was much-derided Allyson Bennett. Congrats, Marina—I'm certain Yale and all of New Haven are glad to have you!
This month, we have another two truly bizarre candidates … just see for yourself.
David Gozal of the Kosair Children's Hospital Research Institute in Louisville has a bit of a problem. He is fascinated by erections—mouse erections, to be exact. He passes his days in the lab getting up close and very personal with little boy-mice, studying their erections and even severing their spinal cords so that they cannot move while experimenters observe their penises.
In his most recent study, "Erectile Dysfunction in a Murine [Mouse] Model of Sleep Apnea," which was funded in part by the federal government, Gozal measured the number of erections and ejaculations in dozens of mice after placing them in a chamber to deprive them of oxygen. Some mice were also given tadalafil, an erectile dysfunction drug. They were then killed by puncturing their hearts with a needle, and their testicles and penises were cut out of their bodies for examination. Gozal concluded that oxygen deprivation makes it more difficult to get an erection and that tadalafil, which is already prescribed (as “Cialis”) for humans with erectile dysfunction, works in mice.
Daniel Traber of the University of Texas Medical Branch Department of Anesthesiology has made a living for almost three decades by burning animals' skin off. In a recent experiment, he either torched mice with a Bunsen burner until more than 40 percent of their bodies was charred or forced them to inhale smoke. A few select mice got the full treatment—they were both burned and forced to inhale smoke. Some died during the experiment, and survivors were subsequently killed.
In another study, Traber heated an aluminum bar to nearly 400 degrees with a Bunsen burner and roasted the skin of live pigs on it for 30 seconds, creating a series of deep burns that covered 15 percent of their bodies. In order to repair the deliberately injured animals, Traber and colleagues then removed skin from the pigs' legs to graft over the areas that had been burned off. After living through all this torture, the pigs were killed. Again, this is only his most recent work—Traber has been burning, mutilating, and killing sheep for years.
Who should win? The Children's Hospital Vivisector or the Bunsen Burninator? As always, let me help you decide by posing a question: Would you rather be molested, stabbed in the heart, and have your genitals torn out, or would you rather be roasted alive over a Bunsen burner, forced to inhale the smell of your burning flesh, and then killed?
It's a burning question, isn't it?
You know those commercials we all laugh at? The ones for whatever weight-loss pill, claiming something to the effect of "It's SO easy! You don't have to exercise OR change your diet"? The ones that you laugh at with your friends and that make you say, "Yeah, right"?
Get this—the vivisectors at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences have announced a new wonder drug, a magical pill that would, they say, mimic the effects of exercise. Just swallow a little pill, their report says, and experience increased muscle endurance and doubled fat-burning muscle. It's SO easy!
The mice who were subjected to the drug apparently showed a decrease in fat and an increase in oxygen consumption—but not any of the other benefits from exercise. People are asking serious questions about the "just like exercise" claim.
It seems to me that the vivisectors at Salk got vaguely promising results from the mice and decided to cash in on America's fascination with weight loss and reluctance to exercise—not to mention all the Olympics-related fitness hubbub that's going on right now!
But come on, we really shouldn't be surprised that these "scientists" are grossly exaggerating their lab results in order to make headlines—think about all the other "scientific breakthroughs" that have been "proven" by mouse vivisection. As Yale University's Dr. David Katz writes, "Extrapolation from rodent research to outcomes in people is notoriously uncertain and fraught with danger. Basic science studies and animal experiments have resulted over the years in headlines about cures for cancer, a definitive obesity gene and effective AIDS vaccines, to name a few. None of these has yet to materialize, and early hyperbole in each case gave way to disappointment."
Well, I'm sure people will be disappointed—disappointed that animal testing is still going on, despite its cruelty, its inaccuracies, and the better alternatives that exist.
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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.