Written by PETA
Lily Tomlin is always looking for signs of intelligent life, but she hasn't yet found it in the University of Michigan's (UM) survival flight course. The Detroit native recently wrote to UM to ask its officials to stop allowing cats and pigs to be abused in cruel and deadly flight training exercises and to replace the animals with advanced human patient simulators instead. Human patient simulators are used across the country to train flight nurses, and UM already uses simulators to teach the same skills in other courses.
In a letter to UM President Mary Sue Coleman, Tomlin writes, "Having trainees jam hard tubes down cats' throats, cut holes into pigs' throats and chests, and stab needles into the animals' bones and the tissue surrounding their hearts is simply unjustifiable when modern and superior alternatives are available."
Are you listening, UM? Don't make Lily go all Ernestine on you.
Wonder why Lily is so upset? The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recently obtained this video of a deadly pig lab at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, one of the schools they are urging to modernize its curriculum and replace animal use.
Coleman also received a surprise visit recently from PETA members wearing cat and pig costumes to protest an awards ceremony at which she was being recognized. The animals don't get a break, so why should UM?
Join PETA, Lily Tomlin, Iggy Pop, UM's student government, and others in urging UM to stop killing cats and pigs in crude and cruel training laboratories.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
We are very happy to report that as a result of pressure from PETA and more than 25,000 of our supporters, Utah's Primary Children's Medical Center (PCMC) has announced that it is canceling plans to torment cats in a cruel and archaic training exercise!
As it had in previous years, PCMC planned to offer this animal lab as part of an annual conference that is co-sponsored by the University of Utah. The cats—who would have been purchased from a local animal shelter—were slated to have hard plastic tubes forced down their windpipes and likely would have suffered bleeding, swelling, scarring, and even collapsed lungs. But thanks to the efforts of PETA supporters who took part in a short but vigorous campaign, the cats will now be spared this trauma, and the conference will only use modern simulators for the training.
Since last week, tens of thousands of compassionate people responded to PETA's e-mail action alert targeting PCMC, and hundreds posted comments on PCMC's wall on Facebook (prompting the hospital to shut down the page entirely). The owner of Salt Lake City's all-vegan Cakewalk Baking Company even made and hand-delivered a cake to PCMC's CEO in protest of the inhumane exercise.
This morning, we asked supporters to call PCMC and urge officials to do the right thing by calling off this exercise. Hundreds did just that, and some of you may have heard the news directly that PCMC was scrapping plans for this cruel laboratory.
While we are thrilled to celebrate this important victory for animals, we ask that you please take a moment to speak out against the cruel actions of North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—the last shelter in Utah that continues to sell animals for experiments and the facility that would have provided cats to PCMC. PETA's successes depend on your willingness to take action. Let's keep the momentum going!
Written by Jeremy Beckham
Animals—from horses to birds as well as those killed for their fur, skin, and flesh—have a friend in Dan Piraro, creator of the wonderfully offbeat internationally syndicated cartoon Bizarro.
Now Dan has stepped up for cats used in excruciating (and scientifically inferior) pediatric intubation training at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Trainees who are enrolled in the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course at the facility repeatedly force plastic tubes down cats' windpipes. This painful procedure often causes bleeding and swelling in the tissues of the cats' throats and can also lead to scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death! Manikins and advanced simulators have proved superior to the use of animals for intubation training, and the sponsor of the PALS course, the American Heart Association (AHA), exclusively recommends the use of these humane methods—not animals—for this training. The AHA has also distanced itself from the few facilities such as St. Louis Children's Hospital that continue to use animals in PALS.
Dan, a former student at Washington University in St. Louis (which offers the PALS course in conjunction with St. Louis Children's Hospital), has fired off a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writing, "It doesn't take a medical degree to recognize that practicing intubation on a limp cat is nothing like doing the same procedure on a larger, crying, squirming and/or coughing human child." And to make that point even clearer, he included this cartoon:
Definitely worth a thousand words! But you don't have to be an artist to tell St. Louis Children's Hospital that "first, do no harm" should include our feline friends—all you have to do is click here.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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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.