Singer’s PETA Spot Rejected by TV Networks
For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2022
Robin Goist 202-483-7382
Indianapolis – Ahead of World Rat Day (April 4), PETA tried to place an ad featuring AFI star Davey Havok condemning Eli Lilly for its refusal to ban the cruel forced swim test—but it was rejected by television stations across Indianapolis, where the pharmaceutical company is headquartered.
In the video, the vocalist—with a rat named Wee Man perched on his shoulder—explains how small animals are dropped into inescapable beakers of water where they swim desperately, trying not to drown in this “behavioral despair test,” which the company has used to screen antidepressant drugs.
“Is that depression that you’re measuring?” the musician asks. “No. It’s fear. It’s trauma. It’s fight or flight. … Nothing is gained from that except their suffering. And no animals deserve that. No animals deserve to be treated like that.”
PETA and Havok are urging Eli Lilly to ban the test, which studies have shown to be notoriously inaccurate. Scores of scientists have argued that floating is not a sign of depression or despair—as some claim—but rather a positive indicator of learning, saving energy, and adapting to a new environment. The company has tormented a total of 3,400 mice and rats in this test since 1993, but none of the drugs it has attempted to develop using it are on the market. The test has already been banned by Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and other top pharma companies.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.