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PETA. Vivisector of the Month. Marina Picciotto. Yale University. August 2008.

Well, it looks like that awards night came and went without me knowing about it. Good thing records are kept and publicity, or notoriety, last a long time. PETA's website is a virtual goldmine of information on those who think and feel that humans are the only sentient beings on Earth.

PETA has awarded Vivisector of the Month for August 2008 to Dr. Marina Picciotto of Yale University. For outstanding achievement in the field of pain and suffering, Dr. Marina Picciotto clinched the title ahead of her closest competitor, from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, resident and Wake Forest assistant professor Allyson Bennett . Professor Allyson Bennet's work also involves uncommon cruelty to monkeys, rats and mice. PETA reported that approximately 1,500 monkeys are housed at Wake Forest, and federal funding is abundant. So, pain and suffering will continue even if many experts emphasized that results from animal experimentation are at best unreliable. As for the award, the field is crowded but there are only two finalists and Picciotto reigned supreme.

PETA referred to the two finalists as an " all girl lineup. " Actually, this reminded me of Hillary and Sarah but their work and records are very public, not secretive and intentionally lacking openness. Let's be fair to Bennett and Piscciotto. Animal experimentation is gruesome and merciless. Wouldn't you, yourself, ply your trade covertly if it resulted to animals hideously deformed, paralyzed, made sick, and then cut up like bread? Well, most of us wouldn't be in that business to begin with.

If the experimentation was open to the public, vivisectors would be out of business. Public outcry will be greater because the true extent of animal suffering will be very evident. Ambiguities and double speak will not cut the mustard. The sight of helpless, captive, and miserable animals rattling around cages, or strapped down for drilling, injection, cutting, or burning will be too much to bear for any decent human being. Covert operations, the name of the game. But how can they do that when they are using our tax dollars? We should be able to go in there, film the horrific practices, and expose the cruelty. Again, it's our tax dollars. Why does PETA have to resort to undercover video?

I predict that Bennett will win the award in the future, but the month of August belongs to Marina whose piece de resistance " involved giving monkeys Kool-Aid mixed with liquid nicotine as a sole source of fluid, with the amount of nicotine ingested by one monkey nearly reaching the equivalent of smoking 17 packs of cigarettes per day. " (PETA)


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