PETA Exhibit Exposes Violent History of Animal Experiments, Including at UC-Davis

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Davis, Calif.

PETA is set to unveil its eye-opening exhibit “Without Consent,” which explores the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals. The installation challenges institutions, including the University of California–Davis, to rethink this exploitative, expensive, cruel, and archaic concept of science. Watch the trailer here.

When:    May 30–June 2, 12 noon–4 p.m.

Where:    UC-Davis’ Memorial Union Quad, Davis

Modeled after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “Without Consent” will be on display locally for four days as part of a national tour. It features 24 panels with descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 animal experiments conducted at U.S. institutions from the 1920s through today. An interactive virtual exhibit is also available here.

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

The 110 million animals killed every year in U.S. laboratories are individuals who experience pain and fear, yet they’re burned, force-fed chemicals, sickened with disease, and robbed of their babies. At the notorious California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) at UC-Davis, experimenters have deliberately inflicted spinal cord injuries on rhesus macaques, permanently separated baby monkeys from their mothers to study the impact of early-life stress on the infants, and forced monkeys to inhale tobacco smoke. The university has a long history of chronic animal welfare issues and neglectful staff. An infant rhesus macaque died after suffering from heat stress when one of her fingers became trapped in a perch bar. CNPRC staff operated on a severely underweight monkey, who was subsequently killed. Seven infant rhesus macaques died after they tried to nurse and ingested dye that was used to mark their mothers. After receiving a canine distemper/measles vaccine, three titi monkeys developed such severe complications that they had to be euthanized and dozens of others developed lameness, skin and eye inflammation or infections, and other symptoms.

Without Consent” also makes the point that 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—were exploited in experiments. Just as society now understands that these experiments were wrong, “Without Consent” shows we need to let a similar moral awakening guide our conduct today by extending consideration to other nonconsenting sentient beings who suffer and die in experiments from floor-cleaner product tests to mother-infant separation studies.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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