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Taking Up For Lab Rats; Revealing Their Thoughts in Their Short Lives

Updated on June 11, 2014

The late Dr. Hunter S Thompson


This is one of many


" Not even I would

touch such

a story as this."

- Dr. Hunter S Thompson

(Writer’s note: The photos of laboratory rats used in his piece are the “acceptable” photos. Those I chose not to use were inhuman, insensitive, and cold-hearted abuse of rats. And I am not about abuse of any living thing. Kenneth).

This story is about rats. Not just any rat, but laboratory rats. I suppose we could assume “rats of a higher-level” of ratdom. The chosen ones. The rats who, if were allowed to, would all be Nobel Peace winners. The rats who give their little innocent lives for the humans dishing-out immeasurable-amounts of torture with electrodes, diodes, wires, chemicals, secret drugs, machines, and cheese laced with various bacteria to see if us humans will die from eating said bacteria.

Here’s a clue, lab techs: Yes, we humans will suck our last breath if the rat you fed this bacteria is found laying on its back four little feet up. Get a life, secret lab tech. There are things to do. Girls to date and respectable jobs to be had. It’s just too sad that Nazi scientists are a thing of forgotten antiquity.

No wonder you do not show-up at your high school reunions because who really wants to admit to “torturing innocent rats day after day,” to put food on your table? I’m still waiting.

"Art," studies a lab rat that he has tried to make into a robot


" . . . Someone say dinner time?"


Free information for your perusement


Enter "Art," lab technician, torturer of small animals

I cannot help it. Let’s all imagine lab tech, “Art,” at his high school reunion.

The scene: “Art,” the secret lab tech’s 35th high school reunion held in Waukegan, Illinois from the “Bim Bam Room,” located at the luxurious “Blue Oyster Arms” Motel, Bar and Grill.

“Art,” is “dressed to the nines,” in his $50-dollar sports shirt and slick slacks that his mom gave him on his last birthday. And those simulated leather loafers are to kill for. “Art,” is a “man about town,” at least for the rest of the night while his wife of 22 years, “Beatrice,” keeps a vigil for him back at their motel, “The American Colonial Starlite Inn.” No pets allowed.

At “Art’s” table there has been little talk because hardly anyone in “Art’s” class liked “Art,” for his always-over-zealous desire to inflict torture on horseflies that he would catch in Shop Class. Now it’s time for “Stand and Tell,” where each high school alum stands and tells what they have accomplished in their life.

“Art,” is ready. He has waited on this moment for years. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Time goes slowly. Then the reunion organizer calls on “Art,” who not only jumps, but almost jumps on the plastic table where he and his three friends, “Jim,” “B.C.,” and “Joey,” are sitting with the elite, successful doctors, lawyers, authors, HubPages writers, and NASA astronauts.

And there is is. “My name is, ‘Art,’ and I uhhh, (cough) run horrible, abusive tests on lab rats to discover a remedy for “Rump Rot,” a disease that is spreading like wildfire in most low-rent trailer parks in the south.”

“Ahhhh, I declare,” gasps the crowd as “Art,” has not yet realized that he is not a shining testimony for his high school, “Swanee Lake High,” who has now got their first disgrace: “Art.”

Silence is like a piece of coconut cake. Not sweet, but thick. No one approves of “Art’s” job. Even “Jim,” “B.C.,” and “Joey,” sneer at “Art,” and get up in an angry huff and leave him standing as alone as a lab tech can be. “Art,” for the first time in his six-years of torturing innocent rats, feels like an Medieval executioner complete with black mask.

The main question is: What will “Art’s” enduring wife, “Beatrice,” say upon hearing how her husband got the “cold shoulder,” by most of his classmates?

We may never know. “Beatrice,” was last seen with “The American Colonial Starlite Inn” second-shift maintenance man, “Roman Rodriguez,” in “Roman’s” ’56 Buick Road master sipping Old Crow, yelling like a banshee, kicking her legs out ot the window and heading for the Mexican border. Sadly, for “Art,” “Beatrice,” found in “Roman,” what she never found in “Art,” although she exhausted all efforts of finding any sign of life in him.

The victim: a defenseless lab rat


Sobering stats about rats

During 1998 17.2 million mice and 5.5 million rats were used at 1200 U.S. research institutions compared to a total of 1.2 million animals of other species. Mice and rats together constitute approximately 90% of the total animals used for all research purposes.

More than 100 million mice and rats are killed in U.S. laboratories every year. They are abused in everything from toxicology tests (in which they are slowly poisoned to death) to painful burn experiments to psychological experiments that induce terror, anxiety, depression, and helplessness.

They are deliberately electroshocked in pain studies, are mutilated in experimental surgeries, and have everything from cocaine to methamphetamine pumped into their bodies. They are given cancerous tumors and are injected with human cells in genetic-manipulation experiments.

PETA’s investigations inside the laboratories of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Utah revealed that mice and rats were given enormous tumors and painful, deadly illnesses. Rats had holes drilled into their skulls for invasive brain experiments. The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) deliberately breeds mice to be genetically predisposed to have debilitating ailments—including cancerous tumors, obesity, paralysis, a depressed immune system, and high levels of anxiety and depression. Each year, JAX sells millions of mice to laboratories around the world and experiments on an additional million mice in its own laboratories, force-feeding them large quantities of test chemicals; forcing them to swim in a pool of opaque water, in which they must find a hidden platform to avoid drowning; and placing them on hot plates, heated to 131 degrees F, to see how long it takes for them to respond to the scorching heat of the plate in pain-reflex tests.

To continue

Back to my main story:

I guess that giving a common rat a fancy name like “lab rat,” kinda makes it not as evil and cold-hearted, is this what your multi-billion-dollar corporation fed you? Were you that desperate to use that B.S. Degree you obtained from an ad in a comic book, or just that gullible to lap-up each lie told you by the first big drug testing company who gave you the time of day?

It’s not as if I am trying to be funny. I am dead-serious, pardon the easy pun. I despise the fact that “any” animal, rat or dog is used for any testing for any product, ladies make-up to cold medicine. I am not sorry either. Someone has got to have a say-so for helpless, defenseless lab rats and the such.

There isn’t much that the ASPCA has accomplished in this field. This crusading-group is way too stretched right now monitoring films where animals are used in the films—making absolutely-sure that a mule doesn’t stub its hoof when jumping over a drunken cowboy.

What did the lowly-lab rat do to deserve this Purgatory of torture? Steal too many bites of stale cheese? Leave too many droppings on the woman of the house’s best under garments?

“Ohhh, heavens to Betsy, rat pills all over my new bloomers,” screams matronly-“Katherine Dodge Hanover,” heiress to the men’s urinal deodorant cake fortune.

Who really knows? After all, God “did” make rats as He made all living things. (Read Genesis, chapters one through six).

My last gripe. Who made the life-altering, life-ending decision to use rats as test subjects? Why not cats? Dogs? I got it. Why wasn’t poisonous snakes used to test a chemical that will cause nose hair to stop growing in men’s nostrils?

I take back the part about dogs and cats. I do like and respect all living things, but I could have lived with a dangerous asp, capable of killing an innocent rat who was just trying to feed her few hundred kids, then crawling away to devour more innocent rats.

Now I ask “you,”: “What is the difference in the dangerous asp and the secret lab tech, “Art?” in my humble opinion.

Keep reading.

You have made it

this far

What you are reading is . . .


Two friends, one sad, one doomed


Lab rats "live," if you call it that, in these glass prisons


The little rat doesn't stand a chance


Read this part with your heart, not with your mind

To prove to the unbelievers in lab rats that they are unique, a needed cog in the “Eco-machinery,” and so darn cute, here is my proof that lab rats “do” think, and my piece is entitled,

“Taking Up For Lab Rats; Revealing Their Thoughts in Their Short Lives”

  • Does this test tube make my tail look fat?
  • I think “Art,” likes me.
  • I can’t wait for “Cleaning Test Tubes Day,” so I can make a break for it.
  • I wonder if I played sick would I get a softer cage?
  • What’s with the bland, Styrofoam diet?
  • What’s that you are sticking in my butt? Ohhh, I can hear Grateful Dead music so clear.
  • Hmmm, who’s the new female? Wonder if she’s single?
  • What dance? What secret hole behind the lab table?
  • “Bud,” that is a poor excuse for a Bob Crane impression.
  • Maybe I could run-off and be a model for PlayRat.
  • Oh, no. More male rats put into my cage. Now the female rats will think I am gay.
  • Hey, that’s Johnny Depp on television in “The Rum Diary.”
  • I can curl my tail into looking like Cupid’s arrow.
  • Do you think I have cute teeth?
  • What’s that gross lump growing on my back?
  • I may be a white lab rat, but I am not a racist.
  • I wish I were a White House rat—what a feast those guys have.

(Writer’s note: I can’t help it. Thank you for reading this story. Oh, do not worry, pal. I won’t “rat you out,” for laughing. Kenneth).

Why is this lab tech smiling after he has spent the day inflicting pain on this poor rat?


Dr. Hunter S Thompson


" Now do you see

why I, even in my

wildest Gonzo journalism

days, never would have

touched a story like this."

Dr. Hunter S Thompson

Am I

discounting the many scientific steps that the Medical and Scientific Research Community has made--seeking cures for cancer, MS, and other "monsters," who are living among us?

No. Not at all.

All I was, and am still asking, "Is there not a better way to conduct medical and scientific research other than do the experiments on innocent animals?"

That's all.

Read more:


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      syzygzastro . . .right on, friend.

      I appreciate your comment very much. You are always welcome to visit with me and share your opinion.

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 3 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      We did not come from chimps either. They have 24 sets of chromosomes while we have 23. Type mismatch! We came from as yet unidentified alternative ancestor that is probably now extinct. Experiments with chimps will be for chimps and not necessarily applicable to us. So let's set the chimps free!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      @ Sparklea,

      As much as I do appreciate your humble comment, I feel as if I need to take responsibility for the content in this hub.

      And to tell you that I do apologize for upsetting you and how you feel toward animals.

      Most of everyone on here feels like you do, including myself.

      I just wanted to prove to you that I "do" have a sense of responsibility and ask that you forgive me of any script of transgression.


    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      You are also correct in talking about the Rain Forest, but even that is in danger of being plucked-out by greedy Western companies using cheap labor to gain world power and money.

      The reference to Jesus being the cure is much-appreciated.

      Thanks for your comment and keep in touch.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama



      Thanks for your comment and friendship.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      You are right in your analogy. Where is the line that states how different "we" are from rats? And like I ask in the hub, why use rats? Oh I guess somewhere the government is using chimps--for some scientists say we came from them and I still oppose using chimps or any animal, rats, to prove how bad a drink, a cigarette, etc., can kill us.

      But who stands for the animals?

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      jhamann ,

      Why would I drop you? Never. You have to work to pay bills, keep a roof over your head. I am sure you are a good person. Never worry about me turning my back on you.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I can see that this piece touched a lot of nerves and that is okay. I am glad that something I did had this affect on you and others.

      Me personally? I am so kept in the dark by the social media and other sources that WE do not know ALL that is going on behind our backs in these big research companies.

      Maybe, and although I oppose animal abuse, I should not want to know it all.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, sheilamyers,

      You pose an interesting point here. To test or not to test. I guess the big companies win because they have the power and money to do what they want and know they can get away with it.

      Still, I hate the abusing of any animal. Or person.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Sparklea,

      I understand totally. I agree with you 100%. I am against ALL forms of testing and abuse to animals no matter the cause.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Kenneth as excellent a writer as you are, I cannot read this hub. I am certain it is full of important information. However, I cannot stand reading about any form of animal abuse. I will not support ANY organization that uses animals for experimentation. Not even cancer. To research diseases using animals is barbaric and off the charts cruel and inhumane. I printed out a list of organizations who use animals for experiments and I will not give them one nickel.

      Imagine all these poor creatures living in fear and terror in a cage ...God created all creatures, and they are undeserving of this horrific cruelty.

      I commented on this hub previously, then it disappeared. Hopefully this one will come through. All this being said I will enjoy your other hubs much more than this one. God bless, Sparklea

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 3 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      I wonder what possible benefit to humanity these experiments on rats can produce. For one thing, our genetics are very much different. If you find a cure for cancer in rats, that does not mean it will work for humans because of the genetic differences. Fortunately for the rats, if the cure works for them, then they can avoid suffering from cancer, but humans are still left out. The poor lab rat is subject to these tests that can only be weakly applied to humans because we don't want to do to humans (most of us that is) that we do to rats. If you are someone like Dr, Mengela, then you would not have any qualms. As an interesting sidebar, the medical experiments done on people by Nazis provided the breakthrough stuff needed later for human based medicine.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      That is a fact and mighty disgusting to say the least. There is no shame about the greed in Washington

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Unfortunately, d. william, the FDA ignores all research showing that GMOs are harmful and continues to classify them as 'safe' for human consumption. Of course, the FDA is run by a former Monsanto attorney, so the FDA now seems more like 'Monsanto, the FDA Branch.' And...just as trustworthy!

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Interesting hub, and quite disturbing i must say. There is never any excuse for cruelty to animals. The necessity to test new products that humans don't really need in the first place is not an excuse for this barbaric practice.

      But there is an upside. When the food manufacturers decided to alter the goodness of Mother nature's bounties by modifying our foods with poisons, feeding those GMO products to rats has been quite enlightening when they found that tumors kill the rats in less than 6 months after being fed those foods that our government as deemed safe for humans.

      So, the 'cruelty' of it all lies in the torture of these lab rats when people will be fed those poisoned food products anyway. The poor little rat is just the middle man for this vast experiment on humans.

      And another upside is that lab techs who torture animals for pay might be fulfilled enough with their work that they don't turn into a "Dexter Morgan".

      Did i say that out loud? Sorry psychopaths - did not mean to be politically incorrect by singling anyone out. L.O.L.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Kenneth I am unable to read this hub, but you are an excellent writer, and I am certain you provided needed information. I love animals so much that if I hear or read ANYTHING about animal cruelty, it ruins my day. A couple years ago there was an article in the paper about a found kitten with an arrow through its eye. It ruined my whole weekend, I sobbed and sobbed in a rage at this unknown monster who did this. The shelter named the cat 'arrow' and desperately tried to save it but to no avail. If any headlines in the paper I can't read the piece. I refuse to contribute to ANY organization that uses animals for experiments, including cancer societies. God gave us His creatures. How anyone can work in a lab and uses animals for experiments is beyond my reasoning.

      Animal cruelty brings out my dark side.

      All this being said, you are a wonderful contributor to hub pages.

      Voted up and useful, as I sure this was. Sparklea

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I've never understood it. Are rats really enough like us that testing all that stuff on them makes sense? I used to drink Tab and the warning label said. "Has been known to cause cancer in laboratory rats". My questions for them are "Am I a rat? Do I really care if it causes cancer in rats? Do they drink it in their natural habitat?" Here's the most important question - how much of whatever it is do they give them and will we, as humans, ever consume or use that much in our lifetimes? I know cures can be found for things like cancer, alzheimers, etc, but I don't think they'll be found by testing animals. The opposite is also true - just because something causes a disease it animals doesn't mean it will harm us.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      There have been many rats and mice who have supposedly given their lives to help humans, but I wonder myself about the real benefits of using them for testing. In the first place, most of our needs for illnesses can be found in the rainforests of the world. Much of the medicine is derived from the plants in the rainforests. The trouble is, we're killing off the rainforests almost as fast as we're killing off the rats and mice.

      The only solution is the second coming of Jesus - I honestly believe that. We have almost used up this earth and we just keep harming it and the animals God created.

      Well done and voted up.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      I am a technologist and I work in research. I just have to admit it, it pays my bills and feeds my family. Please don't drop me here. Jamie

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      You're right, Kenneth....The cruelty to animals that takes place in labs all over the world is horrendous, and in many instances (including one at the university research hospital in my city) it's been proven that there are more humane ways to test scientific theories without the use of animals, yet the horror goes on. While there are federal laws that are supposed to protect research animals, they only apply to dogs, cats, hamsters, etc. but do not apply to rats, mice or birds. Why? Don't ask me. Besides, I don't think the laws really protect other lab animals from cruel practices anyway. They are just there as a smokescreen.

      What makes it even more monstrous (to me) is that so much of this research is not even for medical purposes, but is done to test cosmetics and other consumer products. (I don't know what manufacturers are testing for, since they routinely include harmful substances such as lead, phylates, etc. in lipsticks, nail polish, and toiletries. That makes their 'testing' seem useless. Why kill off lab animals if they're going to continue poisoning humans with toxic ingredients?)

      Consumers can help by checking online to discover if products they buy use lab animals for testing. If they do, don't buy their products and write to let them know why you're boycotting them--for torturing innocent lab animals!

      Even if you don't choose to join PETA, you can find out more about animals used for research on the PETA website...if you can stomach the truth.

      Voted Up++