The gathering stood for a time in front of the hospital with numerous signs indicating their opposition to this lucrative animal experimentation before commencing the funeral procession. At this time they proceeded to march along both sides of the street, morning the needless loss of life and demonstrating OHSU's callous disregard for the sanctity of life.|
The signs being carried by the demonstrators claim that at OHSU "Pigtail Macaques are beaten," "monies are used to kill bunnies," and that "pregnant mothers are forced to smoke." This last refers to the work of Dr. Elliot Spindel, who introduces high levels of nicotine into pregnant monkeys through transdermal mechanisms, and later dissects the infants, amazingly discovering that nicotine is bad for infant Primates.
In an interview with Tim Hitchins, spokesperson for Portland Animal Defense League, he states that these experiments are scientific fraudulent, morally unjustifiable and a waste of the taxpayers money.
These experiments are fraudulent, according to Hitchins, because humans respond completely different to tests and pharmaceutical drugs than animals do.
"The reason these experiments are defended so strongly by OHSU.........is because of the amount of money they bring to the University. We're talking about tens upon tens of millions of dollars that help fund....other facilities on their campus."
Other procedures cited by Hitchins in this interview include deliberately stressing animals and the deliberate inducing of obesity.
Though people typically focus on the primate experimentation because of the Oregon Nation Primate Research Center located at OHSU, housing over 4000 different monkeys, "mice, cats, rats, bunnies, all kinds of mammals are tested here and are equally treated in a horrific and cruel manner."
Hitchins finishes the interview stating that, "OHSU hates that we are standing here right now. Publicity is the last thing that a university campus like OHSU wants......for people to find out what kind of nicotine, maternal deprivation or alcohol testing exists, because when people find out the inherent cruelty that is involved with these tests, as well as the wasteful taxpayer spending that exists because of these tests, they are sickened, just like we are."
And we can all add our voice to this outrage.
When leaving I drove past the funeral and the signs honoring "the memory of the infant primate murdered for science," and all the other "innocent lives stolen by OHSU."
These signs reminded me of a quote from Mohandas Gandhi- "Vivisection is the blackest of all the black crimes that a man is at present committing against God and his fair creation. It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the Compassionate, if we in turn will not practice elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures."