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面對動物實驗的神話 (上)

2003年12月19日
作者:傑奇‧艾倫‧朱利安諾博士;吳怡青編譯;蘇崧棱、蔡麗伶審校

於西南神召會大學心理學系研究室的老鼠。

當幾千位獸醫、技術員、以及與動物在醫學研究有關的人,於下週在西雅圖市中心會合時,安全措施將嚴陣以待。美國實驗動物學會的幹部,害怕會有暴力的抗議。因為長期以來,他們對實驗的動物漠不關心,已經讓有些激進份子無法忍受。

美國實驗動物學會主席辛絲亞(Cynthia Pekow)在上週日(10月5日)的西雅圖時報輿論版中,發表大篇幅的評論,指責激進份子就像是恐怖份子。但並不是所有支持合理對待動物的人都是恐怖份子。我們有很多人,也同時在努力地避免人類的生命遭受威脅,這是很多以動物為醫學研究對象、自以為是的科學家所帶來的。

當媒體的注意力集中於少數激進份子的暴力行為、破壞實驗室、以及釋放動物等非建設性抗議的時候,其實大多數是愛好和平、有同情心的人。他們努力地想終結這些在世界各地進行的、受到我們文化所默許的、以及政府大量資助的恐怖實驗。

雖然我無法寬恕少數激進份子的暴力行為,但我能夠完全地理解他們對體系理想的破滅。若你也和我以及其他人一樣,看過受盡折磨及痛苦的動物眼睛,你將也能了解的。

我在1982年、於南加州的美國太空總署(NASA)噴射推進實驗室工作時,便開啟了這項爭議的旅程。當時我負則協助計畫航海家太空船的探勘任務,那時NASA對於太空站上的猴子所進行的實驗計畫,讓我覺得非常殘忍,同時也讓我變得憂慮不安,覺得此計不妥,身為一個科學家,我決定深入此議題,以找出不當的地方。

我於是去動物基金會(Fund for Animals)的洛杉磯分會當義工,這是個全國性的動物權組織,他們正致力於一個不太受矚目、但我認為有可能是動物研究重點的議題。

似乎在全國各地有許多動物收容所,允許醫學研究機構以每隻動物5至10美元的代價,從後門載走一卡車的狗和貓,而且儘其可能地載越多越好。這些動物在走失之前,大部份都曾是人類的伴侶與慰藉直至走失成為研究實驗對象,最後卻被運走當作實驗對象,跌入恐怖的日子。小黃、小花及小寶等等,就將被送往極端嚇人的狀態下過活:在沒有被麻醉的狀況下被開刀,被注射過量的藥物以觀察有何結果、或者是被用來測試新的醫學儀器。

過去,生活對動物最大的挑戰,還只是在讓人類朋友餵食,現在卻得面對人類殘忍的對待。這就是所謂的「收容所佔有(pound seizure)」陋規。(編按:「pound seizure」一定天數後,收容所的動物仍然無人認領的話,就歸收容所,依法醫學中心可以申請這些動物去作實驗〉

動物基金會試圖對市政府和郡政府發揮影響力,希望藉此測試是否有機會能提出一項聯邦法案,在洛杉磯和全國各地禁止這個陋規。由於我有媒體工作的經驗,所以自願來帶領報刊及媒體委員會。開始的幾項工作之一,便是製作五分鐘的錄影節目給全國媒體,內容是關於一些原來受人類寵愛的動物,在醫學實驗中所受到的恐怖待遇。我們拿到了長達數十小時的影片,大部份是由一位在大型醫學研究機構工作的運動人士,利用下班時間所拍攝的。

為了剪輯出一段5分鐘的影片,我們必需從中選出最恰當的片段來代表這類在許多著名研究醫院地下室所進行的實驗行為。畫面不能過於駭人,否則電視媒體將拒絕播放。但這些畫面或許很容易被誤解,因此我們僱用一位醫生,來研究一般人對動物實驗的看法。

我們必須反覆再三地觀看這些影片,我們的生命也永遠被改變了。(待續)

Healing Our World: Weekly Comment;By Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.

Security will be tight next week when thousands of veterinarians, technicians and others responsible for the use of animals in medical research converge on downtown Seattle. The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science organizers are afraid of violent protests from activists who are fed up with the indifference the members of this industry has continually shown towards their test subjects.

The president of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Cynthia Pekow, was given a large amount of space in the “Seattle Times” Opinion section last Sunday, and in her commentary, she characterized animal activists as “terrorists.” Not everyone who stands up for the proper treatment of animals is a terrorist. Many of us are trying to save humans as well from life threatening dangers brought on by the scientific arrogance of so many researchers who use animals as medical subjects.

While media attention has focused on the destructive acts of a few very frustrated activists who have resorted to violence, destroying laboratories and releasing animals, the vast majority of protests come from peaceful, compassionate people who are working hard to end a cycle of terror that takes place in laboratories around the world, sanctioned by our culture and largely funded by our own government.

While I do not condone the violent acts of a few frustrated activists, I can totally understand their disillusionment with the system. If you had ever looked into the eyes of a tortured, suffering animal as I and so many others have, you would understand too.

My own journey of discovery about this troubling issue began in 1982 while I was working for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. I was helping plan the Voyager space exploration mission when I became troubled by NASA’s plans to conduct what I considered very brutal experiments on monkeys on the space station. Something didn’t feel right about it and, being a scientist, I decided the way to find out was to get really deep into the issue.

I choose to volunteer for the Los Angeles chapter of the Fund for Animals, a nationwide animal rights organization. They were working on an issue that wasn’t getting much attention, but that I thought might be at the heart of the animal research debate.

It seems that many animal shelters around the country allow medical research facilities to drive a truck up to the back door, pay from $5 to $10 per animal, and load up as many dogs and cats as they can carry. These animals, most of whom had known only human companionship and comfort until getting lost, were headed toward a terrifying life as research test subjects. Buffy and Spot and Rover were now headed toward a wholly horrifying existence, destined to be cut open without anesthesia, injected with an overdose of a drug to see what the effect would be, or used to test new medical equipment.

Animals whose greatest challenge in life just a few hours before was to get their human companions to feed them more treats were now headed toward a life of human induced pain and suffering. This practice had become to be known as“pound seizure.”

The Fund for Animals was attempting to influence the local city and county governments, as a test for introducing a federal bill to ban the practice nationwide, to end the practice in Los Angeles. Since I had some experience working with the media, I volunteered to lead the Press and Media Committee. One of my first duties was to create a five minute video to be distributed to the local and national media outlets showing some of the horrors that these former pet animals experience during medical experiments. We had obtained tens of hours of video footage, much of it taken by an activist who had gotten a job at a large medical research facility and took the pictures after hours.

To put together five minutes of video meant we had to select the most appropriate scenes of what goes on in the basements of so many famous research hospitals. They couldn’t be too horrifying or the networks would not broadcast the video. But such images could easily be taken out of context, so we hired a doctor to be on our staff and did some research into the assumptions that the public has about animal experimentation.

We had to watch the films over and over again. Our lives were forever changed. (to be continued)

全文與圖片詳見:http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2003/2003-10-10g.asp

版權歸屬Environment News Service (ENS)