Guinea pigs are many, many things.
Intelligent. Sensitive. Gentle. Highly social. Adorable.
For centuries, humans have used them as experimental subjects in the name of human science – their use becoming so pervasive that, today, the term “guinea pig” is synonymous with “test subject”.
In 2021 alone, American research facilities reported incarcerating and exploiting 197,302 guinea pigs.
Not only do these herd animals suffer in small, barren, isolating cages—denied the ability to express their natural behaviors—but they suffer a disordinate amount of physical pain: in 2021, 1 out of 3 animals used for experiments that involved unabated pain were guinea pigs.
Their gentle natures make them easy targets for researchers, who themselves report that, even in terror and agony, these docile creatures “rarely scratch or bite” (though they do shriek and scream) and often suffer from “tonic immobility behavior” (i.e., feigned death), a dangerous condition that researchers must be advised not to induce in them as a means of restraint.
So, just like rabbits, guinea pigs are choice research subjects because they remain gentle even in the face of unimaginable and repeated brutality.
This is the face of today’s scientific establishment, and we are committed to changing it.
Join us in recognizing guinea pigs for the sentient individuals they are—beings who purr when content, love to play and explore, and bond closely with others. And join us in fighting against their commodification, abuse, and killing for “science” that helps no one.
If you would like to provide a loving home for a guinea pig with a traumatic past, please contact your local animal shelter.
See the top five ways we know animal researchers aren’t focused on improving human health: