I’m a junior set to graduate from Ohio State in August 2016, and I have recently learned that more than 95,000 animals are being held on campus in conditions that could only be considered cruel.
In laboratories, mice and rats are of particular concern because they aren’t protected under federal law and are often treated cruelly. For example, according to data from PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department, a mouse in a campus laboratory was left unmonitored in high temperatures and ultimately died, 12 newborn mice were found alive in a refrigerator meant for dead animals after staff failed to confirm that they were euthanized and inspectors found mice and rats in a filthy laboratory where animals were kept inside cupboards without food or water. And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg.
All animals experience pain and fear, just as humans do, so they shouldn’t be subjected to experiments that cause them this kind of suffering, especially on a campus where most students are not aware that this is allowed to go on. I am horrified that this cruelty happens on the campus I call home and that it’s kept a secret from the students, many of whom would be just as shocked and horrified as I am to learn of this issue.
In addition, it is also wrong to dissect animals for science classes. Animals deserve to live out their lives as naturally as possible, rather than being bred just to be killed just so a student can cut them open for class. There are so many other high-tech options readily available for student use, such as virtual dissections that teach students anatomy in a more efficient and humane manner than dissecting a dead animal, and these alternatives are just as effective at teaching students about biology. It is also much less expensive for students to use technology since it’s reusable and only needs to be purchased once. Students should at least have the option to choose not to participate in animal dissections and to work with an appropriate alternative. Providing these options would give students who have ethical objections to cruelty peace of mind when signing up for science classes — and help save thousands of animals’ lives.
Vice President, OSU’s Reaching Out for Animal Rights