Talk about adding insult to injury!
A presentation by an animal researcher at Wake Forest University features photographs showing distressed or frightened monkeys who are dressed up and the photos have mocking captions. Some vivisectors evidently find torturing and killing animals amusing.
The presentation in question is a powerpoint document used by a researcher named Thomas Clarkson at a conference held by the National Institute on Aging. The NIA then hosted the presentation on its website, until questions about the tasteless nature of the photographs were raised.
The monkeys in question were subjected to psychological stress by unnamed methods, put to sleep, and dissected.
All this was done in the process of research on menopause. These monkeys were killed so that we could better understand menopause.
The monkeys depicted in the presentation include one on the first page, who is wearing what appears to be a dress, and is looking terrified at the camera. There is a speech bubble added that says, “I just don’t know what to think”, as though the monkey is confused about the scientific question ahead instead of terrified for her life.
At the end of the presentation there is another monkey shown wearing large glasses in a “silly” attempt to make her appear erudite. In the photograph, however, you can see a chain wrapped around her neck, which detracts from the photographer’s attempt to make her look humorous.
Incidents like this combine facts that we already know about vivisection. Firstly, some of the most horrendous research isn’t being done to treat life-threatening illnesses, it’s done in the interest of for-profit pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer was a sponsor of the conference where this presentation was given).
Secondly, no matter how many times we hear from researchers that they value the dignity and lives of their test subjects, situations like this will always prove them wrong. How callous does a person have to be to not only kill an animal, but to dress them up and humiliate them publicly?
Even if we set aside the pointlessness of the research, even if we set aside the always-improbable likelihood that we can learn about human conditions from animal tests, even if we neglect the trail of money from these experiments that leads back to big pharmaceutical companies, even if we set aside that the potential applications of this research might bring back treatments once linked to cancer, we are still left with the horrifying nature of the experiments themselves.
We are left with the fact that animals were not only killed, but the fact those animals bear such resemblance to our own appearance was used to mock them for the amusement of callous vivisectors.
Boycott companies that test on animals. Do not support industries and companies that profit from torturing animals. And do not believe researchers who claim to have animals’ best interests at heart.
Photo: Shirley Buxton