“So you really are going to be out here all 30 days?”
This was a question posed by a med student, before bidding me the high honor of lending her respect for my campaign. “You know, I question whether I should continue getting a PhD here and giving them money to do that,” she said, gesturing to my poster of a poor little monkey being experimented on. If only those research overseers like Laura Levy could hear such sentiments! Combined with the amazing doctor who walked up and asked to shake my hand, and the help from my visiting friends, I have to say, this really brightened my day!
It is only day three, and already I have noticed a rapid increase in responses from those who work in the facility. Those who previously avoided me like a plague have begun — if only begrudgingly — to open up a bit more. Others, like those mentioned above, have unambiguously extended their solidarity. One benefactor whom I met only yesterday has even given me her lab number and offered to bring me coffee on her shifts! I have dialogued with vivisectors, and others working inside the complex have explained they had had little to no idea of the animal research conducted within the Tulane Health Sciences Center. Without a doubt, people throughout the building have begun talking and thinking about — and hopefully questioning — the validity of animal experiments. As it stands, my own 30-day “experiment” is already yielding significant results!
It’s a little bit funny, when you think about it — in this confounding, morbid way. What I’m discovering is, many in the medical professions acknowledge that their animal researcher constitiuents’ careers are a grant-funded scheme based on the same experiments they (and their colleagues) have been performing and publishing over and over for years — with no new breakthroughs or insights! Who knew?!
Yet no matter what the scientific merits may be, if any at all, it excuses not the “might makes right” ideological basis for inflicting such brutality upon innocent animals. We need to ask ourselves how much of our own humanity and compassion we are willing to sacrifice to purportedly “save” human lives. After all, much of the insights we retain about hypthermia were derived from sadistic experiments done on imprisoned Jews, but the means — I think we can all agree — did not justify the end.
Besides, if those conducting these experiments on animals genuinely care about improving the quality of life for human beings (instead of riding the government- and pharmaceutical-funded grant gravy train), maybe they should consider the amount of money and resources allocated for animal studies being put to better use. After all, what if we focused our efforts on measures like establishing universal health care, improved education, greater access to healthy food, or combatting the toxification of our total environment rather than relying on multibillion dollar-a-year pharmaceutical industries who essentially dominate the “findings” and initiatives of the medical industry? Maybe then we wouldn’t be carrying out such abominable things like infecting cats with feline leukemia! You picking up what I’m putting down?
So, more than anything, I’d like to give a warm “thank you” to all those who have spoken with me and who, even in such a climate of indifference and objectification of animals, have given their support to see the end of this insane inhumanity. You are wonderful, and you are the reason I will keep pushing.
I’d like to also remind every one about the potluck happening on Friday from 12 to 1pm. Please bike, skate, drive, walk, or Segway out to the CBD and share lunch with us out in front of the Tulane Health Sciences Center at 1430 Tulane Ave. Don’t let me down, now.