WATCH: ‘Rats’ Hold Die-In at New Scientist Live to Show That Animal Testing Is Not a Game
Activists made a surprise appearance at the New Scientist Live exhibition in London to challenge a misleading depiction of animal testing.
The “Lab Rats” installation by Guerilla Science claims to turn research on its head, as human participants become the experimental subjects led through a series of tests by “rat scientists”. Willing participants are led into a cage by actors dressed as giant rats, who hug them and give them intelligence tests to perform.
Of course, this gimmicky exhibit bears absolutely no relation to the experience of the millions of rats and other animals subjected to experiments in laboratories around the world. These animals often spend their entire lives inside sterile laboratory cages. They may be injected with drugs, infected with deadly diseases, exposed to toxic chemicals, given electric shocks, or deprived of food and water. After these traumatic experiments, they’re usually killed.
It’s callous and offensive to suggest that there’s anything light-hearted or fun about experimenting on animals.
New Scientist should be letting people know about all the cutting-edge new research methods being developed that don’t use animals. It shouldn’t be celebrating cruel and archaic experiments on living beings.