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.