PETA’s ‘Without Consent’ Exhibit Shows Sordid History of Animal Experiments

Time to Look Beyond Our Own Species, Challenge National Institutes of Health to Modernize

For Immediate Release:
October 14, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington – In the midst of a growing awareness of cultural biases and in the age of human organs on chips, PETA is erecting an enormous exhibit, titled “Without Consent,” that explores the long history of suffering inflicted on unconsenting animals in laboratories and challenges funding agencies to rethink this exploitive, expensive, painful, and archaic practice. The two 7-by-7-foot cubes are covered with brief descriptions and photos of nearly 200 real-life animal experiments conducted between the 1920s and today. They will be on display in the busy Eastern Market area for three days, beginning tomorrow.

When:    Thursday, October 15, 6:30 p.m.

Where:    At the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. and D Street S.E., Washington

“Without Consent” uses historical perspective to point out that vulnerable humans have been experimented on since medieval times—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 understands that this was wrong, we now need to let our knowledge of the past rule our conduct today and end all experiments on unconsenting beings.

Tomorrow evening, PETA supporters bearing flowers will gather at the exhibit for a candlelight vigil honoring the animals featured in the installation, including infant monkeys taken from their mothers and raised alone in a “pit of despair” to cause devastating mental illness, cats who were deafened and whose spines were cut, dogs who were electroshocked so many times that they gave up trying to escape;, and mice who were burned, drowned, and cut open without anesthetics.

Visitors to “Without Consent” are urged to text WRONG to 73822 in order to urge the world’s largest funder of research, the National Institutes of Health, to stop all funding of animal experiments.

“Without Consent tells the real-life stories of animals tormented in painful experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.”Humans are just one animal species among many, and having the power to exploit the others does not give us the right to do so.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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