“Nobody keeps a tally of the numbers used, but often-quoted estimates put the figure in the United States alone at well over 10 million animals a year, the vast majority being mice.” (pg. 74). So I’ve given you a number, but why is it significant. What if I told you that this was the number of animals used in scientific experiments every single year. Shocking, right? Well here’s a little bit more news. “Certain drug-toxicity tests run separately on rats and mice only reach the same conclusion about 60 percent of the time. And if mice do a so-so job of predicting what will work in a rat, then we should be very humble about what they tell us about human beings.” said by Thomas Hartung at John Hopkins University (pg. 72-73)
Many scientists have had their fair share of breakthroughs, specifically in medicine and/or healthcare. Unfortunately, this is through the experimentation on hundreds of poor lab rats. They are kept in sterile and homeostatic conditions, though none nearly as luxurious our friend Remy’s life here.
In fact, most labs tend to live in stacks of smalls cages lining the walls. The rats or mice are placed in the cramped living quarters, and are forced to live out their days hardly moving unless being poked with a needle. In some extreme cases, the scientists will end up starving the subjects because they are simply not feeding them enough.
Science Magazine (link above) performed a test proving that rats with more room to run around, stand up, or even burrow, had very different results than rats who were held in very confined cages. They stated, “Mature rats can reach almost twice that height when standing…In the new experiment, scientists observed rats in much larger, multilevel habitats with a height of 125 centimeters. Compared with their tightly caged counterparts, who were unable to stand upright.” Not only were the ‘free-range’ rats more active, they produced healthier results as well.
Something else that Richard Harris mentioned in his book was the accuracy to real life. What usually ends up happening is that a scientist uses, say 100 female rats, born in 2008 around September maybe October. Then, they are cleaned with harsh chemicals everyday to avoid any outside germs that might affect the results. However, with your average human being, you won’t find that. These drugs must be sold to people of all ages, and all genders. There is also a guarantee that at least 98 percent of these people don’t bathe in bleach everyday or stay inside.
Animal behaviorist Joseph Garner conducted an experiment with half of his mice in very similar conditions to ones listed above. The other half were kept in a normal ‘free-range’ setting with mice of all kinds. Surprisingly, the latter part of the experiment produced more consistent results than the so called “control” of the test.”Garner said cage position is enough of a difference to affect the outcome of the experiment…Scientists have only come to realize that the sex of the person who handles the mice can also make a difference.” (pg. 80)
With shocking results such as these, I ask you, are the 10 million animals’ sacrifices really worth it?