“My first lesson in animal rights was taught to me by a small white rat that I took home from the college psychology lab. …
‘Ratsky’ lived for some months in a cage in my bedroom. And in her cage, she behaved the way I assumed rats behave. But when I started leaving the cage door open so she could walk around, I began to see things I hadn’t anticipated. After several days of cautious sniffing about at the cage door, she began to investigate the world outside. As she explored my apartment (under my watchful eye), she took an interest in my friends and me.
She gradually became more and more friendly. If I was lying on my back reading, she would come and stand on my chest. She would wait to be petted, and if I didn’t pay her enough attention, she would lightly nip my nose and run away. I knew her sharp teeth could have gone right through my skin, but she was always playfully careful.
Like a cat, Ratsky spent hours grooming herself. Given food, water, and warmth, I found that rats are friendly, fun, and meticulously clean. …”
“When I was a student headed for a medical career, I witnessed and even participated in numerous experiments on animals. But after I took one of the rats home from the lab to nurse her back to health, ‘Ratsky’ became a beloved companion who clearly felt pain and joy, and expressed curiosity and affection. It was this little being who helped me see the inhumanity and futility of cruel experiments on animals. …”
Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
Physicians Committe for Responsible Medicine www.pcrm.org
(The above quotes are excerpts from a letter from PCRM that I received in the mail today.)