Animal Rights Activists Want You to Know About No-Good, Very Bad Things Wash. U. Does to Kittens

Categories: Animals

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Should med students practice tracheal intubation by sticking a plastic tube down a kitten's windpipe? Washington University's School of Medicine is one of the last pediatrics programs in the country that says "yes."

This morning animal rights activists -- in town for a national convention -- stood outside Wash. U's main campus to draw attention to the school's somewhat-antiquated program that trains pediatric students to force open an infant's airways. That program is called "Pediatrics Advanced Life Support" or PALS.

Nowadays most of the top 50 pediatrics programs in the country use simulator dolls to teach students the procedure.

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Leah Greenbaum

A spokesperson for Wash. U's Medical School says that while using live cats to practice intubation may not sound pretty, it does enhance a student's confidence and skills.

"Students report a cat gives them a better opportunity to visualize vocal cords that are moving and to learn to coordinate intubation with the animal's breathing. They also report greater confidence to deal more adequately with infant and pediatric emergencies," read the statement from spokeswoman Joni Westerhouse. [Full statement below]

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Leah Greenbaum
Protesters at Skinker Boulevard and Forest Park Parkway this afternoon.
But activists on the corner of Skinker and Forest Park Parkway say there are no real learning advantages to using cats, instead of simulators (which are available to Wash. U. students at the Children's Hospital) and they are upset that the university has been unwilling to speak with them.

Peter Young, who served two years on domestic terrorism charges for freeing animals from various Midwest fur farms, says Wash. U. has been "inviting escalation" from activists, who will break laws to protect animals.

"They're practically begging for it," says Young, "just from the way they've been so flagrant about ignoring us."

Young, a 35-year-old from the Pacific Northwest, describes himself as an "unapologetic supporter of those who work outside the law to achieve human, earth, and animal liberation"... so watch out, Wash. U. (even though you were apparently never worried).

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Leah Greenbaum
Peter Young, far, outside Wash. U.
Tino Verducci, an Italian activist against speciesism, made his first trip to the United States this week to attend the conference that focused primarily on animal testing. Verducci is responsible for drawing attention to animal abuse at Green Hill Lab, a beagle-breeding farm that was finally shut down by police in April after nearly a decade of fire from animal rights groups.

Verducci says that in his native Italy, you can get 3,000 maybe even 10,000 people to come out to a demonstration for animal rights, so he was surprised to see just 20 or 30 people show up outside of Wash. U. this morning.

"The number is not important," Verducci says. "One person with a banner can make a difference."

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Leah Greenbaum
STL Vegans, with Laura Shields at left.
One of the demonstration's organizers, Laura Shields (co-founder of St. Louis Vegan) said the group chose to protest in front of the university's Danforth Campus for greater exposure, even though the cat intubation occurs at the medical school in the Central West End.

"This is such an easy campaign to win," Shields says, of the effort to end cat intubation at Wash. U. "People have cats at home. To imagine someone restraining your cat, opening their mouth and cramming a tube down it, must really upset a lot of people."

Indeed, Young says that from an animal rights perspective, ending cat intubation is "like low-hanging fruit for us."

Full statement on PALS from Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, on the next page:

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Dr. Hail is lying when he writes we need nutrients only found in meat. Man can live healthy lives on a vegan diet as has been demonstrated. Just ask the American Dietetic Association. Doctors get about 2 hours of nutrition training in their med studies. They have no education about vegan diets but perpetuate the lie because because sick people on meat diets keep them in business...vegans do not. Nice diversion tactic though to deflect from his inability to defend the cat intubation program. Wash U is among only 3% of med institutions that use cruel cat intubation. Get with the times backwards Wash U.


The concept of saving lives by being vegan, or preventing animals from being born because they might suffer, negates the biological role of humans and animals in this world. Predators are designed to eat what they can catch mostly protein based and are not designed to eat grass or grain. Something a lion never does. The problem with vegan philosophy is that it is being promoted as a moral imperative rather than a choice. But if being born makes you subject to suffering then we might as well start with the human species and in fact the leader of the animal rights movement recently advocated that all human beings have themselves spayed or neutered and then we could all just party down guilt free until the last human being dies. The title of P. Singer's article is "Should this be the last generation?".  This philosophy is a danger to the world and to all human beings and animals. It is but another cult in the guise of being kind when in fact you are depriving your brain and body of needed nutrients found only in meat. VB12 from plants is inactive whereas VB12 from meat is active in the human body. Without VB12 your brain becomes irrational and overly emotional. So frankly, depending upon how long you have been a vegan others cannot trust your thinking as it has been medically compromised. Real life experience is different from robotics or frankly immovable dolls. It is clear this is superior method to using dummies. So superior in fact that many newborn infants have suffered life threatening damage from those who trained on dolls. As for these kittens they are anesthetize and feel nothing. It is not torture if there is no pain. This animal rights movement is so unnatural that now we have another cult advocating for plant rights because they too are sentient in a different way. Of course Francoine used the very same arguments against giving plants rights based upon biology. The very same arguments for eating meat. As for the moral imperative that somehow eating vegan does not harm animals is also a lie. There is a blood trail from every carrot to the table. Harvesting plants actually causes more animal deaths than raising meat. You have to rake the land clear both in the planting and harvesting stages. The kill rate on such farming is hundred times higher than raising meat animals. Just being a strict vegan makes your brain irrational in thinking and overly emotional in response.



Torturing animals is ethically wrong. No rats, cats and many other species ever signed a consent form.Just as we do not experiment on humans who are incapable of consenting to experimentation, we should not experiment on non-human animals. Non-human animals cannot give informed consent, and the vast majority of experiments using animals are so invasive and injurious, we would never even consider allowing humans to consent to being subjects in such experiments.Ending vivisection would not end medical progress, because non-animal research would continue. There are so many medical issues that go unexplored because of lack of resources, if we took all the resources that go into animal research and redirected them towards non-animal research, we would continue to make medical progress. Some examples of the types of research that would still continue include human cell and tissue cultures, epidemiological studies, and ethical human experimentation with fully informed consent.


Back in the dark ages when I trained in St. Louis, I was very, very appreciative of the lab experience.  We were reassured that the animals were thoroughly anesthetized, and I saw no reason to doubt what I was told.  It's pretty important to get as much practical experience as you can, before you try some of these things on a live (human) patient.  Later, I realized just how similar the cat airway was to the premature newborn's in terms of size...the main difference was the "snout" and the teeth.  I probably intubated 100's of newborns and little kids.


There's a certain portion of the populace that will never accept use of the anesthetized animal model.  I never wanted to treat the animals cruelly, but I sure never wanted to be unprepared with a baby/child in desperate need. 

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