PETA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE ANIMAL SENTIENCE AND END EXPERIMENTS
NIH must review the ethics of using animals given their own research findings that animals think and feel
DR. INGRID TAYLOR, veterinarian and research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
A wealth of scientific evidence supports the fact that animals are aware of the world around them and experience a full array of emotions, including fear, love, joy, curiosity, loneliness and pleasure. More than 2,500 studies have shown what many people already knew: that dogs, rats, cows, sheep, pigs and others experience emotions, ranging from joy and happiness to sadness, grief and post-traumatic stress disorder. They even experience jealousy, resentment and empathy.
Specific examples of animals and feelings include:
- Rats: demonstrate remorse for bad decisions; will forgo treats to help another rat in need; giggle when tickled.
- Mice: woo their mates with high-pitched love songs.
- Sheep: recognize pictures of familiar faces; show anger, boredom, disgust and happiness.
- Chickens: become upset when their chicks are stressed and try to soothe them.
- Cuttlefish: experience REM sleep and may dream like humans.
- Hermit crabs: aware of pain.
- Octopuses: have planned daring escapes from aquariums, making their moves when they know they aren’t being closely watched.
- Pigs: engage in complex play, devising games with toys and other animals.
Despite all the evidence—from scientific studies funded by NIH—that animals are sentient, and despite a wealth of modern-day alternatives, the agency continues to fund deadly experiments on them. In response to this practice, PETA is calling on the government to acknowledge that animals are living feeling beings and end of animal experiments. PETA is asking the NIH to begin by immediately reviewing the ethics of using sentient animals in biomedical, behavioral and psychological experiments.
For more information, please visit www.PETA.org
More About Dr. Taylor: Dr. Ingrid Taylor is a research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. As a veterinarian, she researches biomedical experiments that use animals and provides expert opinions on pain management, experiment protocols and other welfare issues. She liaises with government regulatory agencies, universities and corporations to end their use of animals in experimentation. She has met with pharmaceutical companies in Europe to discuss their animal welfare programs and consulted on numerous cruelty cases for PETA Before joining PETA, she spent several years in clinical veterinary practice and served in the U.S. Air Force.