PETA Exhibit Exposing History of Animal Tests Coming to Northwestern University

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Evanston, Ill.

Beginning on March 20 at one of the final stops during a national tour, PETA will show its eye-opening exhibit “Without Consent” outside Fountain Square—a stone’s throw from Northwestern University. The traveling exhibit explores the troubled history of experiments on animals and features almost 200 stories about animals used in these tests—including a cruel test conducted by notorious Northwestern experimenter Jules Masserman in which monkeys were forced to deliver electrical shocks to other monkeys in order to obtain food.

When:    Wednesday, March 20, to Sunday, March 24, 12 noon–4 p.m.

Where:     Outside Fountain Square (at the intersection of Davis Street and Orrington Avenue), Evanston

shows an outdoor exhibit consisting of a row of printed banners with text describing almost 200 stories about animals used in medical experiments
Credit: PETA

Modeled after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “Without Consent” will be on display locally for five days. It features 24 panels with descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 experiments on animals conducted at U.S. institutions from the 1920s through the present. Watch the trailer here. 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 PETA 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.”

Northwestern has a long, disturbing history of cruel, archaic animal experimentation—racking up 14 violations of federal animal welfare guidelines between 2020 and 2021—including an incident in which an inadequately trained experimenter unsuccessfully tried to kill mice by pulling their heads and hind regions in opposite directions.

More recently, experimenters at the university cut open dogs and implanted pacemakers in their hearts before rapidly elevating their heart rates up to four times their average rate for weeks on end, leading to heart failure. Once their exhausted hearts were pumping less than 25% of the normal amount of blood, experimenters cut them open to extract cells. Experimenters also caused traumatic brain injuries and hemorrhagic shock in pigs, intentionally bleeding them until they had lost 40% of their blood volume, keeping them lingering on the brink of death for more than two hours before subjecting them to experimental treatments.

“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 that we need to let a similar moral awakening guide our conduct today by extending consideration to other nonconsenting sentient beings.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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