For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2023
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
PETA is set to unveil its eye-opening exhibit “Without Consent,” which explores the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals. Cohosted by local group Utah Animal Rights Coalition, the installation challenges institutions, including the University of Utah, to rethink this exploitative, expensive, cruel, and archaic concept of science. Watch the trailer here.
When: April 3–7, 12 noon–5 p.m.
Where: J. Willard Marriott Library (courtyard at the back entrance), 295 1500 E., Salt Lake City (See the Google Maps link here.)
Modeled after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “Without Consent” will be on display locally for five days as part of a national tour. It features 24 panels with descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 animal experiments conducted at U.S. institutions from the 1920s through today. An interactive virtual exhibit is also available here.
“Without Consent” tells the true stories of animals harmed and killed in experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Humans are only one animal species among many. Having the power to exploit the others does not give us the right to do so.”
The 110 million animals killed every year in U.S. laboratories are individuals who experience pain and fear, yet they’re burned, force-fed chemicals, sickened with disease, and robbed of their babies. Experimenters at the University of Utah forced monkeys into a head apparatus, cut out parts of their skulls and spinal cords, glued PVC chambers to their skulls, paralyzed them, and inserted probes into their brains. Other experimenters subjected lambs to brain trauma before decapitating them and removing their brains.
The University of Utah has a long history of egregious violations of federal animal welfare guidelines. In 2022, PETA filed a complaint with the National Institutes of Health after it was revealed that laboratory staff’s obscene incompetence and neglect had resulted in multiple animal deaths. A dog suffered from heart failure, a rabbit suffocated to death, and a guinea pig died of an overdose. In 2020, two marmoset monkeys died of overheating and distress when they were trapped in their nest box for 18 hours, and three marmosets died after they were used in experimental surgeries but not given adequate veterinary care. In 2009, PETA released video footage from its undercover investigation of the school’s laboratories. As a result of this investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the university for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
“Without Consent” also makes the point that vulnerable humans—including orphans in tuberculosis and psychological experiments, immigrant women in gynecological surgeries, soldiers in LSD and poison gas tests, and impoverished Black men in syphilis experiments—were exploited in experiments. Just as society now understands that these experiments were wrong, “Without Consent” shows we need to let a similar moral awakening guide our conduct today by extending consideration to other nonconsenting sentient beings who suffer and die in experiments from floor-cleaner product tests to mother-infant separation studies.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.