Nearly 22,000 cats are abused in U.S. laboratories every year—in addition to the tens of thousands who are killed and sold to schools for cruel and crude classroom dissections. These cats are just as deserving of fulfilling lives and loving homes as the feline companions who purr on our laps. Indeed, thousands of the cats who end up in laboratories or in classrooms are homeless animals who were betrayed by animal shelters.
In invasive brain experiments, cats have holes drilled into their skulls and electrodes implanted into their brains in order to measure brainwave activity. In vision experiments, cats are raised in darkness, have one or both eyes sewn shut, or have their eyes removed. At Michigan State University, experimenters cut into cats' faces, crushed their optic nerves, removed their eyes, and then killed them. In auditory studies, cats have their ears cut off and are locked in restraint chairs so that their brain activity can be measured in response to different sounds. In stroke experiments, blood flow to the cats' brains or eyes is blocked, causing a stroke. And in orthopedic experiments, cats' spinal cords are cut or crushed in order to induce lower back disorders and partial paralysis.
A dwindling number of universities and hospitals continue to maim cats and kittens for cruel and crude intubation training exercises, in which the animals have hard plastic tubes repeatedly forced down their small, sensitive windpipes. This archaic practice—which can cause bleeding, swelling, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death—continues even though more effective and humane training methods exist.
You can help stop this. Take a stand against animal testing. Sign PETA's pledge to be cruelty-free and only support companies and charities that do not fund or conduct cruel experiments on animals.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.