PETA Brings Eye-Opening ‘Without Consent’ Exhibit on History of Animal Experiments, Current Practices to Philly

For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Philadelphia – In the midst of growing awareness of cultural biases, PETA is erecting a large exhibit, titled “Without Consent,” that explores the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals and challenges institutions—including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University—to rethink this exploitative, expensive, cruel, and archaic idea of science and to replace it with state-of-the-art research methodologies. Two 7-by-7-foot cubes bear concise descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 animal experiments conducted at U.S. institutions from the 1920s through today. The exhibit will be on display at the People’s Plaza at Independence National Historical Park for seven days, beginning tomorrow at 12 noon. An interactive virtual version of the exhibit is also available here.

When:    Thursday, May 20, 12 noon

Where:    Independence National Historic Park (on Market Street between S. Fifth and S. Sixth streets)

“Without Consent” uses historical perspective to point out that beginning in medieval times, experiments were conducted on vulnerable humans—including orphans in tuberculosis and psychological experiments, immigrant women in gynecological surgeries, soldiers in LSD and poison gas tests, and impoverished Black men in syphilis experiments. The exhibit illustrates that just as society now understands that this was wrong, we need to let that moral awakening guide our conduct today and so extend consideration to other nonconsenting beings who suffer and die in experiments, from floor-cleaner product tests to mother-infant separation studies.

“‘Without Consent’ tells the true stories of animals needlessly harmed and killed in painful experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Humans are only one animal species among many, and having the power to exploit the others does not give us the right to do so.”

The installation will draw locals’ attention to the animal experiments taking place right under their noses: University of Pennsylvania experimenters have infected monkeys with viruses via intravenous, penile, rectal, vaginal, and oral routes; subjected them to blood draws and injections; and eventually killed them. They have also induced diabetes in pigs by injecting them with a toxin, causing them to endure painful and debilitating symptoms for months before being killed.

An undercover PETA investigation into the University of Pittsburgh’s laboratories documented suffering, neglect, and incompetence—including problems with veterinary care, incompetent personnel, failure to handle animals humanely, and failure to ensure the psychological well-being of primates.

At Temple University, experimenters have used dogs in invasive surgeries in which balloon-tipped catheters were inserted into their rectums to induce abdominal pressure as well as in experimental surgeries in which heart failure was induced. Cats have been used in painful and invasive spinal cord injury experiments.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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