So, following up on the campaign’s daily drama, the craziest thing happened yesterday. As you read in the last installment, my phone was swiped on the sidewalk a few days ago. Well, today a guy approached me outside the building out of nowhere and pulled my stolen phone out of his coat pocket! He gave it back to me and then expected me to pay him $40! I didn’t. No way, jose. No bueno. After refusing (with support from my brawnier, more assertive companero), we simply shook hands and he skulked away. So I have my phone back, which is excellent, but the whole scenario was just kind of…bizarre.
I’ve been eroding the initial resistance to my campaign one flyer and amiable conversation at a time. Like telling that kid today with the haircut, sunglasses and overcoat that he looked like John Bender a la the final shot of The Breakfast Club. A real pleaser, I’d say! He took a flyer.
Anyway, onto relevent subjects…A surgeon also approached me and told me how unnecessary it is to perform surgery on live pigs in the school’s trauma training course. He said Tulane owns the simulator, that it provides a superior teaching tool, and that he’d refused to touch the pig at all during his own training! We’re talking about a surgeon here! Man, if only Dean Sachs could hear this! I mean, it makes sense. After all, no med student operates on a living pig, then is given a scalpel and told, “All right, time to do your first human surgery! Good luck!” There is plenty of shadowing and additional training involved. Lots of institutes of higher learning have phased out the use of pigs; maybe Tulane should follow suit.
So often the response from those I’ve talked to who experiment on animals has been a defensive, “animal research saves” standby, citing the inferiority of non-animal models and animals’ invaluable (albeit non-consenting) contribution to the field of medicine. I feel this is merely a mechanism to deflect attention and not confront the very obvious ethical dilemma of their job — but fair enough. As someone who didn’t go to med school, I’ll entertain for a minute that maybe I am slightly unequipped to argue the scientific merits of vivisection — only that purposefully inflicting pain (yes, even “anesthetized” animals experience profound mental and emotional suffering — not to mention that 100% mortality rate) on a being with a will, feelings, and personality all her own is unjustifiable. “Might makes right” — in addition to arbitrary speciesism –forms the basis of these scentists’ ideology, unfortunately (for the animals).
But I’d like to help explore vivisection’s scientific irrelevency, as well. Thus, with the help of a brainstorming partner, I’ve devised a proposal to Tulane’s animal research community: Let’s hold a public debate on the scientific merits of animal research in the School of Medicine’s first floor auditorium. There are plenty medical professionals who are a part of PCRM — former vivisectors, in fact — whom I’m sure would love to discuss how much of this research is vital and how much is sham. If researchers believe their work is so “invaluable,” why not be accountable for it in the face of such a growing number of people calling it into question? I say we challenge them to prove, openly, how much experimentation is actually necessary and how much is dictated by profit. I’d love to make this happen, and I think many studying and working at Tulane would be interested to attend as well. These researchers either don’t know or don’t want to acknowledge the amount of opposition to animal exploitation within their institution, and if they fail to step up to this challenge, they prove that their methods are neither scientifically sound nor dignified. If you’d like to help, get in touch at email@example.com.
Thanks to all my visitors, providers of hot tea, and supporters. Amazing conversations, y’all. That’s all for now.