Written by PETA
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Update: We’ve just received word that the ominous-sounding “NIH Office of Research Integrity” is investigating this situation right now. I’ll let you know as soon as we hear the results of that inquiry. And the story was run in USA Today yesterday. You can read that article here.
OK, so there’s a horrifying part to this story, and there’s a part that’s just so mind-bogglingly stupid that it’ll make you cry. We’ll start with the horrifying part: A branch of the NIH is using chimpanzees as incubators to produce antibodies for anthrax, smallpox, and other pathogens in the event of a bioterror attack. For the animals used in these experiments, this means (among other things) excruciatingly painful bone marrow extractions and, apparently, complete isolation for as long as 20 years.
Now, here’s the dumb part: We already have treatments for those pathogens. Like, there are already antibody-based drugs for those pathogens pending approval by the FDA. Two companies have been contracted to provide antibody-based anthrax and smallpox drugs to the Strategic National Stockpile, and at least three other companies have antibody-based anthrax drugs in clinical trials. None of these drugs uses antibodies derived from chimpanzees (which means, incidentally, that the NIH could be violating the Animal Welfare Act, since non-animal therapies already exist).
What this all adds up to is that the NIH’s experiments are a) cruel, b) redundant, c) an unbelievable waste of resources that ought to be devoted to preparing for bioterror attacks. Which is not something you should be screwing around with, IMHO.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this morning to point that out. You can read her letter here.
So, for several years now, we’ve been running ads, making stickers, and selling T-shirts parodying the well-known “Got Milk?” campaign, with some slightly less flattering slogans that draw attention to the fact that every glass of milk has a little bit of pus in it. We even had a full-fledged campaign for a while called “Got Beer?” which pointed out that beer is actually better for you than milk is, and encouraged people 21 and up to reach for a tasty pint of ale with a hint of hops instead of a glass of cow juice with extra pus. (This campaign was a big hit with college students—not quite so popular with the temperance groups though.)
Anyway, a few days ago we got this nasty letter from a law firm representing the California Milk Processors Board, accusing us of infringing on their trademark with our campaign. Apparently some functionary over at the California Milk Processors Board got his panties all in a bunch about our “Got Pus? Milk Does!” slogan and called in the suits. I’m guessing he was either still bitter over that time when we sued the California dairy industry over the blatant lies inherent in their “Good Milk Comes From Happy Cows” ads, or else feeling a bit ill after reading our site about what goes into milk.
Anyway, it’s pretty clear that they don’t have a leg to stand on, and I’m looking forward to their response once they get the smackdown from PETA’s lawyers. The good news is that this provides us with one more opportunity to talk about just how desperate the dairy industry is to hide the truth about the hideous cruelty, the unhealthy junk, and the vile substances that go into every glass of milk. Better luck next time, guys.
You can read the milk board’s letter to us here.
And you can read the response from our lawyers here.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.