Gag? No Gag? Do Scientists Torture for the Heck of It?

Published by PETA.
Rama / CC by 2.0 France

The Onion—in a 2004 article that was recently re-posted on the front page of the gag mag’s website—says scientists torture mice just for laughs. This “report” is so cleverly written that when I sent it to Kathy Guillermo, PETA’s vice president of laboratory investigations, she had “palpitations,” as she put it.

Sorry, Kathy, didn’t mean to trick you into thinking that vivisectors had finally come clean and admitted that mice aren’t good stand-ins for humans. But wouldn’t it be great if they really were as refreshingly honest as this “researcher”?

“For years, I’ve used lab mice to research cell breakdown in living tissue—and I’ve been lucky enough to make some pretty important medical advancements along the way,” said researcher Ellen Gresham of the Harvard Institute for Advanced Studies. “But even if there were no scientific benefit to the work I do, I’d still experiment on mice, just to watch them suffer.”

“The truth is, mice are particularly ill-suited for our tissue study,” Gresham added. “We could construct a computer model that would yield more accurate results, but we don’t care.”

While Ellen Gresham is a figment of The Onion‘s imagination, the fact that modern, high-tech alternatives to experiments on animals are faster, cheaper, and more accurate is very real. In fact, one more such test, EpiDerm, was just approved last week by the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. While we’re on the subject, why not drop a line to your congressional representative reminding him or her of that?

Written by Alisa Mullins

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind