Vivisector of the Week — Attack from Mars!

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3 min read

After a landslide victory (14 to 6!) that I can’t help thinking got a boost from the genuinely pathetic photo of him trying to look tough with a big gun and tinted glasses, Taser International’s Rick Smith takes his spot next to Thomas Langfitt and David Waitzman as our very latest Vivisector of the Week! Rick’s commanding victory is quite a testament to the extent of his sleazy practices, as he had a very tough opponent in the form of Vassar’s Jeffrey Cynx, who tortures songbirds for a living and writes whimsical poetry about it.

To spice things up a bit, I’ve decided to give this week’s contest a theme: Both of our contestants like to torment rodents; both are professionally cruel to animals under the auspices of UC Davis; and both have recently sold their services, and their souls, to Mars Inc., which has evidently decided that they need to kill animals to make candy bars. So here we go again—feel free to be horrified, but don’t forget to vote, ‘cuz it’s time to crown the next Vivisector of the Week!

Robert Rucker, UC Davis.
UC Davis/Creative Commons

When the folks at Mars needed someone to cram baby mice into tiny Plexiglas chambers and submerge them in chilled water for hours, they knew that Rob Rucker was their man. But as Rob will no doubt be the first to point out, if you’re going to go to all the trouble of torturing mice, there’s more than just one way to ensure maximum misery! When Mr. Rucker’s finished with the first stage of his experiment, he likes to force food down the animals’ throats for 10 days, then starve them, and then kill them. If you find his zeal for this job disturbing, you’re going to want to cast your vote for Rob Rucker now!

Carl Keen, UC Davis.
UC Davis/Creative Commons

Carl Keen, who holds the Mars, Inc., Endowed Chair in Developmental Nutrition, shares his colleague’s passion for hurting rodents. Keen’s work for the chocolate company involves feeding cocoa to rats, anaesthetizing them with carbon dioxide (a procedure which is known to be extremely distressful for the animals), and collecting their blood with a “cardiac heart puncture,” which is exactly as unpleasant as it sounds. Only after he’s finally killed these animals does our Carl pat himself on the back and get ready for his next round of experiments. Leave a comment below to vote for Carl “Cardiac Puncture” Keen.

Don’t forget to vote, and check back with us next week* to see which of the “UC Davis Rodent Rippers” will be the latest Vivisector of the Week!

*The PETA Files cannot guarantee that they will remember to do this next week.


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