Musk’s response to cruel monkey abuse, when is animal experimentation a head?

In April 2021, a monkey named Pager flexibly stepped in front of the computer and played the classic ping pong game with just his thoughts. The ping pong balls on the screen were under the control of his brain. battle.

I don't know if Pager is still alive.

This monkey comes from Musk's brain-computer interface company Neuralink. The mind-controlled chip implanted in its brain will enable humans to "digital immortality" in the future. The future has not yet come, and Neuralink has already fallen into a monkey abuse storm because of these living "experiments".

Things started on February 10th.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), an American animal protection organization, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stating that there is evidence that animal experiments by Neuralink and the University of California, Davis, have caused extremely cruel killing of monkeys.

The content is mainly about the following points:

  1. While Neuralink researchers were testing brain-computer interfaces, macaque monkeys were subjected to illegal and excruciating abuse with highly invasive equipment and inadequate care.
  2. A total of 9 experiments violated the Animal Welfare Law, including actively reducing animal suffering, using anesthetics, observing animals every day, and staffing veterinarians for researchers.
  3. Ultimately, 15 of the 23 rhesus monkeys in the lab died.

▲ Brain-computer interface chip implantation method

The information about monkey cruelty in the draft complaint is creepy:

  • A monkey whose skull was drilled and electrodes implanted in the brain had to be euthanized after allegedly developing a hemorrhagic skin infection.
  • A female macaque who vomited, retched, gasped after being chipped, and appeared to collapse from exhaustion a few days later was also euthanized after an autopsy revealed that it had suffered a brain hemorrhage;
  • A monkey was recorded missing fingers and toes, possibly as a result of self-harm due to the extreme pain caused by the implant in the brain;
  • There are also monkeys who have undergone multiple surgical procedures, some are restrained in chairs for up to five hours a day, and some have been taking antidepressants before surgery leading to chronic diarrhea, loss of appetite…

PCRM said it obtained more than 700 pages of documents, including veterinary records and autopsy reports, through a public records request to the University of California, Davis. , ID number and other information are disclosed to the public.

The healthy and happy monkeys shared by Neuralink in public videos form an ironic contrast to these exposed messages.

The final truth cannot change the sacrifice of monkeys

Soon, UC Davis responded that the project had been "thoroughly reviewed and approved":

We strive to provide the best possible care for the animals we are responsible for. Animal research is strictly regulated and UC Davis complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

▲ Picture from: monkeys in the Neuralink laboratory

Yesterday, Neuralink also formally responded, denying the allegations.

They said that the company has a large and professional team to care and supervise these monkeys. The main reason for their physical injury is the conflict between their peers, because of implants and equipment failures, medical device risks, and complications from BioGlue biological glue. The infected monkeys were all euthanized.

For PCRM's descriptions, Neuralink believes that their information lacks context and that one-sided communication from medical records and research data can be misleading.

Neuralink also declared their commitment to animal welfare in a long article, including:

  • Each animal selected for the experiment has been extensively planned and considered to balance scientific discovery with the ethical use of animals;
  • They advocated that the experiment be carried out in a humane way. After the monkeys were transferred from UC Davis to their company, their living standards in terms of nursing, diet, daily leisure and other aspects improved beyond the minimum standards set by the federal government;
  • The company established an animal care program and opened a 6,000-square-foot zoo to improve the animals' quality of life;
  • All new medical devices must be tested on animals before humans, a rule they cannot escape, but all experiments comply with applicable federal law.

▲ Picture from: monkeys in the Neuralink laboratory

"We also look forward to the day when medical research no longer needs animals," Neuralink said.

The PCRM then went on to respond that Neuralink's tweet failed to acknowledge the tremendous pain the monkeys experienced in the experiment, "These monkeys did have parts of their skulls removed, and they screwed devices on the skulls… Before euthanasia, they may have suffered months of pain.

▲ Picture from: EAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images

The turmoil is still going on, and it probably won't end.

The inescapable reality is that 8 monkeys are still euthanized and sacrificed in the laboratory.

The animals that have entered more laboratories are not only monkeys, but also mice, Dutch rabbits, beagle dogs, zebrafish, guinea pigs, fruit flies, and pigs, dogs, cats in our lives…

Science and morality, both realities and difficulties

(Note: The following pictures may make people uncomfortable, please watch with caution)

Regarding animal experiments, there have always been two voices.

One is from a scientific point of view and supports animal experiments.

In the 2nd to 4th centuries BC, animal experiments began in ancient Greece. Aristotle and Erasistratus both conducted experiments on live animals, and then this became the mainstream toxicology research, bringing human beings. Numerous medical advances have come.

It can be said that the history of the development of human medicine is first of all the history of the development of animal experiments.

▲ If we stop animal experiments, who will stop the real killers? such as smallpox, rubella

For example, insulin was first isolated from dogs in 1922, revolutionizing the treatment of diabetes; in the 1970s, armadillos were used by medical researchers to develop antibiotic therapy and leprosy vaccines; Dolly the sheep was successfully born in 1996, was the first mammal to be cloned from adult donor cells…

The guinea pig has almost become synonymous with contemporary experiments.

Because the tissues and organs of mice are very similar to humans, and it is precisely because more animals are similar to humans in different aspects, they can take risks for humans and become our "substitutes".

But not of their own free will.

So on the other hand, from a moral point of view, people are against animal experiments.

Because behind the experiment, the animals suffered pain, torture, and continuous injury. The main injuries in animal experiments are:

Injecting or feeding potentially dangerous substances, exposing animals to radiation, forcing animals to breathe poisonous gases, deliberately removing an organ or tissue from an animal, or putting an animal in a state of fright can cause anxiety and depression.

It may not have the impact of saying that, but when you know—

They drop cosmetics that touch human eyes into rabbit eyes to see if the rabbit's eyes are red, swollen and tearful. Their blindness is paying for the beauty of human beings:

Beagles, who are caged from birth, go to the lab when they are out of the cage, and are forced to inhale black smoke to measure tobacco or car exhaust. There are also many animals squeezed into the gas chamber without leaving a gap, and it takes twenty minutes to die in the suffocation:

In Europe's largest primate research center, the monkeys touched the collars of the experimenters with their hands and seemed to beg the staff to stop. They may be electrocuted, burned, and beaten, but no anesthetics were administered during the process:

As many as 25 million guinea pigs are used in laboratories in the United States each year, and they may be injected with one shot after another:

Only in reality, this is the choice of human interests and animal interests-

If you could save a mouse from an experiment, and a person with Parkinson's disease around you would be able to live a normal life, which would you choose?

People all have empathy, but it is difficult to feel empathy. Sometimes it seems to avoid it, so you can ignore its existence, and there is no burden on conscience, just like most people can eat pork, but they are not allowed to kill pigs.

To put this in perspective, around 3 million animals die in laboratories every year in the UK, while more than 600 million are eaten as food. As Emerson said:

We enjoyed our meals gracefully, the bloody slaughterhouse carefully hidden.

▲ Picture from: "Domination"

These multiple standards also make animal ethics more complicated and difficult.

A few days ago, Switzerland held a referendum for the fourth time in recent history on whether to ban all animal experiments. Preliminary results show that nearly 80% of voters disapprove of banning animal experiments.

At present, there seems to be no best answer to whether animal experiments should exist.

At least we can avoid going to absolute extremes, though.

Looking at animal experiments with a developmental eye

Animal protection organizations have sprung up all over the world, from developed countries in Europe and the United States to backward countries, all of which have formulated laws and regulations on the welfare of experimental animals.

At present, the 3R principle is the most recognized in animal experiments from all walks of life:

1. Replace: Use non-animal in vitro methods as much as possible, or replace live animals with unconscious experimental materials, or replace higher animals with lower animals.

For example, after the advent of transgenic technology, mice replaced monkeys for poliovirus research.

"You can use worms without mice, mice without rabbits, and other animals without primates," said Lord Mark Walport, head of the Wellcome Foundation, the UK's largest medical research fund. .

2. Reduce: reduce the number of live animals as much as possible without replacement, improve the utilization rate of experimental animals, and reduce unnecessary repeated experiments.

PETA, one of the world's largest animal protection organizations, once found that two large tobacco companies forced monkeys, cows, cats, dogs and other animals to inhale smoke through their noses for several hours. To prove that smoke has nothing to do with cancer.

But in fact it doesn't make sense at all. The human body is very different from other animals when it comes to the effects of smoke chemicals.

There are still many places where such experiments are carried out, and we should immediately stop animal experiments that are not clearly aimed and that are not urgently needed.

▲ A goat had its legs cut off to train emergency troops. According to PETA, 10,000 American animals are shot, cut, dissected, and murdered each year for military training.

3. Refine: Create a good experimental environment for animals as much as possible or reduce pain and anxiety for animals.

There are almost all classes of vivisection in zoology classes. These classes are usually arranged at the beginning of the school year (autumn and winter), because several experimental animals are hibernating, so their brain activity is very weak, and then anesthetized to death, they can Greatly reduces pain.

On the other hand, in terms of animal welfare, the five most basic needs also need to be guaranteed:

  • Physiological benefits – eating well;
  • Environmental welfare – sleep soundly;
  • Hygiene benefits – no sickness;
  • Psychological welfare – no restraint;
  • Behavioural benefits – no worries.

Violations of these principles are increasingly outlawed and prohibited. As mentioned above, since 2003, the European Union has spent 10 years to completely prohibit animal experiments on cosmetic raw materials and finished products.

The development of science and technology has actually brought a great improvement to the alternative methods of animal experiments.

For example, using AI to predict how compounds affect the human body, replacing living animals with artificial cells, and using 3D printed organs to replicate human organ functions are all efforts to reduce animal experiments.

What is rarely paid attention to is that animals are actually the beneficiaries of animal experiments, such as human research on vaccines against rabies, canine distemper, and feline leukemia to reduce animal disease, and by studying animal life behaviors to protect endangered species and so on.

However, there are many complex physiological and toxicological studies that still cannot rely on alternative methods.

It will take a long time to truly get rid of animal experiments.

But in any kind of life suffering, we have a moral duty to think about that suffering.

Before animal experiments disappear, we must at least abide by the rules, treat them rationally and give them the best welfare.

The most basic thing is to let them go through a life without pain, and to hold high respect for these animals who gave their lives for us.

▲ The experimental animal monument in Siberia, Russia, commemorates the sacrificed mice in medical research. Image from: Wikipedia

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