Primates that had been tortured in experiments were dressed in women’s clothing by a scientist, then photographed and captioned with funny-ha-ha lines that demean women. Then, he used the photos as light-hearted-ha-ha images in a presentation to a National Institute on Aging (NIA) workshop. These ha-ha-funny images were included on the NIA’s website.(1)
Thomas Clarkson, DVM, created the presentation, “Cardiovascular Health and Cognition: Perspectives on Using the Primate as a Model” for the 2004 NIA workshop, and it was placed on their website. It wasn’t until a reporter questioned the attitude implied by such grotesque imagery that it was removed this year. In a double attempt at distancing the NIA from the travesty, their Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Barbara Cie, stated:
As to the imagery on the slides, NIH posted the presentation as delivered. Questions about the images should be directed to the speaker.
In other words, “It’s not out fault! Blame the NIH or the author. You don’t really expect us to be responsible for documents on our website. Do you?”
The depravity of animal research has never been so clearly documented than in these photos.
The first image is of a young orangutan in utter terror; she has been garbed in a dress. The caption reads, “I just don’t know what to think.” As if women are stupid and utterly dependent. Are you laughing yet?
This poor cynomolgus monkey was psychologically stressed to duplicate the presumed stresses of menopause. They also removed her ovaries. Then she was killed, but first immobilized with an injection of ketamine. You know—the rape drug. Then she was “anesthetized” but not outright killed. Then her brain was infused with extreme cold and sliced up to see what effect hormone treatment has on coronary arteriosclerosis. Oh yes, this was all done “in compliance with state and federal laws, standards of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine”.(2)
Apparently, a female monkey in utter terror is supposed to be cute and funny.
Next, we’re treated to a painting of a chimpanzee in front of a typewriter. It’s supposed to illustrate the lost look of someone whose mental faculties are declining. The image goes along with a portion of the presentation that seems to imply that women suffer from mental decline with menopause. It also claims that hormone replacement therapy has nothing to do with it.
Are you laughing yet? If not, then the next one is sure to get you going.
What could be funnier than this photo of a capuchin monkey with big horn-rimmed glasses? Ignore that chain around her neck, or that she’s being restrained for the photo. Golly gee, she looks like a toothless old woman!
What could possibly be funnier than that to illustrate the presentation’s conclusion—that hormone replacement therapy is good when given early and bad when give late?
Lest you think this is an anomaly, let’s take a look at Thomas Clarkson. Is he an oddity in animal research? Y’know—the exception to the rule? Well…it doesn’t look that way.
The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), originally called the Professional Standards Committee of the Animal Care Panel (ACP), recognized that there was a problem in the public’s “perception” of the treatment of laboratory animals. Their first meeting was held in 1950.
The Animal Facilities Certification Board (AFCB) was created to determine the professional standards for animal care and develop the certification program. Clarkson was a member of this board.
The NIH issued a contract to ACP to “determine and establish professional standards for laboratory animal care and facilities.” Clarkson was one of the six investigators.
Clarkson was a key player in the development of laboratory animal welfare standards. He is the same man whose name is on the presentation that treated laboratory animals and women as nothing more than humorous images to attach to a report of studies on menopause that used animals in horrific ways for research.
The question might be raised as to whether the use of animals for experimentation results in dehumanizing the scientists who do it, or whether the scientists who do it are predisposed for such cruelty. Personally, I don’t care which one it is.
The practice is cruel. The claim that these studies are necessary in the pursuit of science are impossible to believe in the face of evidence like this. Animals are mentally and physically tortured, and killed, in the pursuit of evidence that hormone replacement therapy is a good thing. There is no justification for it.
Is it any wonder that drugs that kill are produced through such methods? Is it any wonder that women are demeaned by the bestial scientists who routinely cause anguish to these animals? Is it any wonder that the dangers of drugs are hidden by the researchers who produce the studies for Big Pharma?
These animals are brutalized for the benefit of Big Pharma. They are tortured at the altar of Profits.