Monday, January 14, 2019


parabiosis: par·a·bi·o·sis /perəbīˈōsəs/ Biology noun: the anatomical joining of two individuals, especially artificially by vivisectors in physiological research.

I've been virtually immersed in the dark and cruel details of vivisection for almost 25 years now. One of the things I've come to believe is that there are no limits to what some scientists will do to animals.

As the images above and this blog's title suggest, the main focus of my activism has been on the use of monkeys and chimpanzees. These animals are so similar to us that I naively thought it would be easier to generate concern that would lead to laws protecting them than it would be for other animals. See my essay, "How Like Us Need They Be?" I've also been involved in anti-vivisection campaigns for dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, birds, and mice, and animal rights campaigns for elephants, marine mammals, geese, and chickens. I'm probably overlooking some others.

I mention all of this just to reinforce the fact that I've learned about some really hideous things being done to animals. In spite of all that, I was still shocked when I recently learned about an animal experimentation method called parabiosis. Here's a video: [or watch on YouTube.]

Here's another: [or watch here.]

Here's an MD's take on this line of research.

Interestingly, in a sick sort of way, some of the vivisectors doing this to mice have urged their colleagues to jump on the bandwagon.
While there may not be laws or rules that would outlaw the procedure in certain places, it is possible that a visceral reaction towards the idea of surgically connected mice has prevented animal care committees from approving studies involving parabiosis. Based on our years of experience with this model, we have observed the well-being of paired mice far exceeds that of mice exposed to many pathogens, cancer, traumatic injuries or debilitating mutations. See Eggel, Alexander, and Tony Wyss-Coray. "A revival of parabiosis in biomedical research." Swiss medical weekly 144 (2014): w13914-w13914.
These authors were much more successful than I have been. A search on PubMed finds 1,979 papers mentioningparabiosis. NIH Reporter, finds 74 currently funded projects mentioning parabiosis in the Abstracts or the Project Terms.

It feels like we are living in a horror movie or an incredibly bad dream. If the latter, I hope I wake up and don't remember this.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Vivisectors Love Animals - the Last Part

Vivisectors love animals and other lies the shitheads tell.

Coming full circle, in Vivisectors Love Animals - Part One, I reported that the presentation I attended in Mount Horeb was put on by Americans for Medical Progress, an industry front group. The moderator was AMP's Executive Director, Paula Clifford. The two speakers were Letty Medina, a laboratory animal veterinarian and the Director of Animal Welfare & Compliance at AbbVie, a Pharmaceutical Research & Development company, and another woman named Beth (Deb?) Danahoe or Donahue, or something like that. She identified herself as a "research technologist."

During their presentations, whenever a question was asked that might have led to some discussion, an unnamed woman in the audience would stand up and eventually, they just gave her the microphone whenever she wanted to chime in. When someone in the audience asked a question and tried to follow up, they were shushed and often the anonymous other woman came to the rescue.

In the process of reading more about AMP, I discovered that she was Cindy Buckmaster, the Chair of the AMP Board of Directors. She is also the Director of Center for Comparative Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She is a regular on the animals-are-here-for-us-to-use speaker circuit.

If there was a common thread in the presentations other than the assertion that our interests trump other animals', it may have been cancer. You cannot read the pro-viv literature without being told over and over again that you or a loved one are probably going to get cancer, and that the only choice we have other than throwing up our hands is to give them cancer. It seems that they always stroke people's fear with the names of the diseases that they think will frighten them the most.

Cindy Buckmaster, the unnamed go-to person in the audience, is a presence in the pro-viv community. She has written a number of op-eds [20-ish] for the magazine Lab Animal; I read them all, thanks to Google Scholar. [A subscription to Lab Animal is free upon request unless your name is associated with criticism of hurting and killing animals. I've had a number of subscriptions cancelled over the years under various names.]

It appears to me that Buckmaster genuinely likes animals and has even come to "love" some of them in some sick diseased way. This kind of "love" seems to be a fairly common phenomena -- liking, even loving members of a group or class that one simultaneously believes to be so inferior that hurting or killing them is justified, especially when it benefits members of one's own group. The history of slavery in the U.S. is filled with whites saying that they loved their slaves. Dairymen love their cows.

At the Mount Horeb presentation, Buckmaster never acknowledged who she was, even when I asked the presenter why she was given free rein to carry on at length while my comments and questions, and those of others were deflected and cut off. Buckmaster was the speaker's boss.

These people. Jeeze. I understand why they can't and won't engage in public debate. I wouldn't either if I were them.