For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2022
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
San Antonio – As part of a national tour, PETA is erecting a large exhibit titled “Without Consent” that explores the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals and challenges institutions—including Texas Biomedical Research Institute and the affiliated Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC)—to rethink this exploitative, expensive, cruel, and archaic idea of science. On display at Alamo Plaza for five days, 24 panels will bear concise 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.
When: Wednesday, April 13, 12 noon
Where: 242 Alamo Plaza (at the intersection with E. Crockett Street), San Antonio
At Wednesday’s launch, three PETA supporters in monkey masks will cage themselves in protest of monkey suffering at the country’s seven national primate research centers, including the SNPRC, in which monkeys inside cages barely larger than their bodies spin in circles, pull out their fur, and bite themselves in frustration.
“‘Without Consent’ tells the true stories of animals harmed and killed in experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “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.”
Each of the 110 million animals killed every year in U.S. laboratories is an individual who experiences pain and fear—yet they’re burned, force-fed chemicals, sickened with disease, and robbed of their babies. In a study published last year, Texas Biomed experimenters infected monkeys with the highly fatal Ebola hemorrhagic virus, causing them to endure bloody stools and bloody vomiting, blood in their uterus and brain, and multiple organ damage. Several of the monkeys died from the disease, and the remaining ones continued to suffer until they were eventually killed. In an earlier Texas Biomed experiment, monkeys who were infected with Ebola developed liver damage, respiratory distress, and internal bleeding in their GI tract, lungs, and other organs. These monkeys were also killed. In a study reported earlier this year, Texas Biomed experimenters repeatedly infected monkeys with a viral disease, causing them to develop pneumonia, inflammation of their brains and blood vessels, and breathing problems, before killing them and removing their brains, lungs, and other organs. In 2020, Texas Biomed experimenters infected monkeys with a viral disease through their eyes, throats, and noses, resulting in inflammation of their lungs and pneumonia. The experimenters inserted feeding tubes into the monkeys’ throats, forcing them to ingest liquid and preventing normal breathing, before killing them.
Because 95% of all new drugs that test safe and effective in animal tests go on to fail or cause harm in human clinical trials, PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health—which gave Texas Biomed more than $22 million in taxpayer funds in 2021—to phase out the use of animals in experiments and adopt the group’s Research Modernization Deal.
“Without Consent” uses a 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 these experiments were wrong, we need to let that moral awakening guide our conduct today and to extend consideration to other nonconsenting 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, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.