I’ve lived with a number of animals other than humans during my adult life: fish, a monkey, goats, dogs, a gerbil, horses, cats, chickens, a pig, chimpanzees, and six rats.
Rats continue to get a bad rap. For some reason, their relatively naked tail bothers some people, and of course, they have been associated with disease and squalor. But rats I’ve known have been friendly, inquisitive, and have seemed to like my companionship.
I am mentioning rats because of a book I read a couple weeks ago written by experimental psychologist Kelly Lambert. It’s titled The Lab Rat Chronicles: A Neuroscientist Reveals Life Lesson’s from the Planet’s Most Successful Mammals.
It’s a disturbing read if you care much about what we do to animals. Though she doesn’t stop to do the calculations, her's and the other studies she writes about must have consumed many many thousands of animals. It’s hard to find anything in all the studies she cites that has been very beneficial to humans – other then the ones cashing those taxpayer signed paychecks.
She never stops to wonder whether another stress-inducing manipulation of her subjects' lives is moral or whether using more public funds to publish another obscure bit of trivia is ethical. To her, the results, no matter what they are, are just so very interesting that more research is needed, and she's ready to assign another round of sad manipulations of these small animals' lives to another grad student.
In my opinion, it’s nothing more than a disturbed person’s self-congratulatory indulgence that demonstrates exactly why so-called scientists hurting animals ought to be barred for life from feeding at the public trough.