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Saturday, September 03, 2005

the greater good

Yesterday I "interviewed" a research associate at a nearby university. The man was so incredibly fascinating I ended up talking to him for a good hour and a half and all my coworkers thought that I'd gotten sick and went up to the bathroom expecting to find me puking in a stall.

But I was not there. I was in one of the interview rooms learning all about the future of alzheimer's research and how stupid hippy liberal animal protest-y people are.

Not that I wasn't aware of this before, but now I am even more so.

You see, the guy is working on a cure for Parkinsons and his research requires the use of rodents. He makes rodent brain cultures and also uses the rats by inserting things into their brains to see if it starts to counteract the Parkinsons damage they've replicated in the rats. He told me how there are always these animal rights protestors causing a ruckus outside of their lab and that there are always (his emphasis, not mine) people trying to break into the lab to set the animals free.

Keep in mind these are animals who often have radioactive crap in their brains, my interviewee pointed out that if you set a bunch of radioactive rats free, you will soon have lots and lots of radioactive mice breeding and running amok in Los Angeles AND GOD KNOWS WHAT KIND OF CREEPY MUTANT RODENT THINGS COULD BE RUNNING AROUND IN A FEW YEARS.

Another thing he pointed out is that the animals are totally domesticated. Sure, setting them free might seem like the warm and fuzzy thing to do but in reality they are just killing those rats.

Now I know all the PETA fanatics are going to start screaming about how that's not the point, the point is that it's wrong to use animals like that, blah blah blah.

So I guess let's just screw AIDS research then...and all those cancer patients? Well they'll just have to die slowly, knowing no one is trying to find a cure for them or future cancer victims. After all, the animals!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE animal lover. No, I do not love rats but I certainly wouldn't condone the torture of ANY defenseless animal (except insects, they don't count as animals because they are REALLY disgusting with all their creepy little legs). My interviewee told me about how people who do research with animals have to be animal lovers and have to be good with the animals. Why? Well, let's consider for a moment that these people are doing research on the brain, if the animals are feeling stressed out and agitated then the research would be skewed right? They have every incentive to keep the animals calm and happy and he talked to me about how they actually spend a lot of time petting the rats. PETTING THE RATS! Like they're bunny rabbits or something.

Anywho, it just made me want to launch into a tirade about how stupid hippies are but I guess I'm not supposed to talk about things like that while I've got my "work" hat on so I just kept saying "I can't believe people are so stupid."

Seriously? If you had to choose between your grandmother and a rat, which one would it be?

wingless was still breathing at 8:11 PM -

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