So, what did you do today?
Last week the American Society of Primatologists met in
Boulder. One question that came to mind was how many 1000s of animals
are these (and other) researchers responsible for keeping alone in small
cages, subjecting to horrible experimental treatments (infecting them
with diseases, tinkering with brains, ripping apart youngsters from
care-givers to study once again the development of parent-infant bonds
and socialization, and get this - studying the effect of different types
of music on chimpanzees housed alone) and, yes, "sacrificing" = killing
them "in the name of science." It was no surprise that the music study
was done at the Coulston Foundation in Alamogordo, New Mexico, a ghastly
research prison that's been repeatedly found in violation of the federal
Animal Welfare Act. To be fair, there were some very interesting studies
on cognition and various aspects of the behavior of free-ranging wild
I also wondered how these researchers tell others about
what they do in the course of a normal day. I imagined the following
scene. A child asks of a parent: "So, what did you do today?" After
getting rid of all the jargon and fluff her parent's response boils down
to such statements as: "Oh, I took a monkey from his mother and sibs to
see what would happen," "I killed chimpanzees to study drug reactions,"
"I blinded cats to learn about vision," or "I trained rats first to
avoid shock and then didn't allow them to do it, and watched them go
berserk, squeal for help, give up, and passively accept the shock."
Well, I sure wouldn't miss those mealtime conversations.
Numerous studies have shown how smart and emotional many
animals are, and how they deeply suffer from anxiety and pain, so how in
the world do some people do what they do - rob animals of their spirits
and souls - and then go home and eat? Ah, they're helping humankind.
Hmm, do unto others...Oh, I just wonder...
Go on to Warning
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