#IStoppedYouCanToo: Scientists Who Quit Experimenting on Animals Explain Why

VIDEO: Gripping Stories From Scientists Will Empower Others Who Question Harming Animals in Laboratories

For Immediate Release:
January 14, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.#IStoppedYouCanToo, a groundbreaking new short-video series from PETA, captures for the first time the stories of real-world scientists who decided to stop experimenting on animals—even though it sometimes meant rejecting a lifetime’s worth of research.

Told by former experimenters themselves, each #IStoppedYouCanToo story reveals an intensely personal struggle of the sometimes painful and confusing journey of scientists who switched careers for ethical and scientific reasons.

Taught early in their training that science only advances as the animal body count increases, these researchers detail the pressure within the scientific community to avoid rocking the boat if they valued their reputation and career.

“[T]he person who questioned the value or the usefulness of this work would likely not stay around very long, so I had to find a way to get over my reluctance,” says John Gluck, Ph.D., a former student of monkey experimenter Harry Harlow. “There came a time when I couldn’t chase the questions away anymore. What’s the point of doing this stuff?”

Gluck’s job was to promote experiments on monkeys—something that always caused him moral discomfort. He suppressed it, telling himself that the work was  imperative. Eventually, disillusion took over as his bonds with the monkeys grew.

For Tom Poulton, M.D., who passed away recently, it was the mounting scientific evidence of the ineffectiveness of animal experimentation—along with the moral quicksand it’s built upon—that led him to quit the practice.

“I felt ethically compromised and morally soiled by the process,” says Poulton, who once performed experiments on unwanted dogs obtained from dog pounds. “Less than 5% of studies result in any altered trials, even for humans, much less clinical breakthroughs.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.

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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

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