Union Station Travelers Get an Eyeful at PETA’s ‘Without Consent’ Exhibit: A Moral Awakening

For Immediate Release:
June 15, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Washington – PETA’s new large exhibit, titled “Without Consent,” explores the history of experiments on nonconsenting animals and challenges the National Institutes of Health (NIH), universities, and other institutions to replace the primitive use of animals, once acceptable, with state-of-the-art, non-animal methodologies.

When:    Wednesday, June 16–Friday, July 6

Where:    Columbus Circle, in front of Union Station

Two 7-foot-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 is on display in the plaza outside Union Station through July 6. An interactive virtual exhibit is also available here.

“Without Consent” uses historical perspective to point out that beginning in medieval times, experiments were conducted on vulnerable humans—including orphans in tuberculosis experiments, immigrant women in gynecological surgeries, soldiers in LSD and poison-gas tests, and impoverished Black men in syphilis experiments. The exhibit suggests that just as society now understands that this was wrong, the same moral awakening can guide our conduct today, prompting us to extend consideration to other nonconsenting beings. Technology, from high-speed computers that can be programmed with human data to organs-on-a-chip and more, makes this a necessity for human well-being, too.

“PETA’s ‘Without Consent’ tells the true stories of animals needlessly harmed and killed in painful experiments, including some going on today—ones 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 doesn’t give us the right to do so.”

PETA is calling on NIH to adopt the Research Modernization Deal, which offers a strategy for identifying and eliminating funding for animal experiments that don’t apply across species and for refocusing resources on human-relevant research methods.

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.

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