When an agency like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) throws about $15 billion each year—nearly half its entire research budget—at thousands of experiments on animals, it’s impossible for the public to keep track of all the cruel and useless projects for which its tax dollars are being squandered to cause animals pain and suffering.
And even though public opposition to experiments on animals is greater than ever, there is apparently no project too trivial or too stupid for NIH to throw money at.
Apparently, if you’re an official NIH-funded scientist, you can get paid to do things that sadistic serial killers do in their spare time:
1. Mice and rats electrically stimulated after penises mutilated and injected with chemicals
Location: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Experiments: Experimenters cut all the skin off the penises of live mice and rats, electrically stimulated their penises with electrodes for up to five minutes, and injected their penises with various chemicals to see if they’d sustain an erection. The animals were then killed, and their penises were cut apart.
Cost to taxpayers: $2,792,144
2. Mice’s sex drive tested after brains burned
Location: Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Experiments: Experimenters locked female mice into restraint devices, drilled holes into their skulls, and burned lesions into their brains. The females were then presented with urine samples from castrated and intact males, and the amount of time they spent sniffing each urine sample was recorded. In a subsequent experiment, the females were placed with males and the females’ sexual receptivity as indicated by their back-arching behavior was observed and rated. All of the mice were killed and dissected.
Cost to taxpayers: $1,505,173
3. Rats’ sex drive tested following Prozac injections and removal of ovaries
Location: Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas
Experiments: Experimenters injected female rats with antidepressant drugs and placed them with male hamsters. The females’ sexual receptivity, as indicated by the downward arching of their backs, was observed and measured. The experimenters then manipulated the female rats, surgically removing their ovaries and injecting sex hormones, and again observed the rats’ sexual behavior.
Cost to taxpayers: $2,024,949
4. Hamsters’ sex drive tested following brain damage
Location: University of California–Berkeley, Berkeley, California
Experiments: Experimenters cut into the skulls of female hamsters and implanted tubes into their brains and pumps into their scalps. Saline or hormones related to sexual behavior were pumped into the females’ brains, and the animals were videotaped as they were able to see, smell, and hear—but not touch—a male hamster. The sexual receptivity of the females to male hamsters was measured through their vaginal scent markings. Experimenters used brushes to stimulate the female hamsters, and the extent of sexual receptivity as indicated by their back-arching behavior was observed and rated. The animals were then killed, and their brains were dissected.
Cost to taxpayers: $1,817,502