Taken, Not Given: The Truth About Lab Animals’ Lives

The Rise for Animals Team, August 16, 2023

When confronted with ethical concerns about reducing other-than-human animals to test subjects, researchers often try to manipulate us through the language of their responses. 

One of their favorite fallbacks is the claim that other-than-human animals “give” their lives to the human cause. But “give”, both intentionally and unmistakably, engenders a voluntariness that does not and has never existed – its invocation manifests not only an indisputable and shameless industry lie, but also a further insult to the untold numbers of other-than-human victims, who actively, desperately, and continuously resist their own subjugation.

Animals are not giving their lives to researchers. Instead, researchers are taking their lives. 

Other-than-human animals fight their captors and abusers with every bit of their mental and physical strength. So much so, in fact, that researchers have resorted to employing invasive, barbaric “techniques” to stop them from having control over their physical bodies. From trying to get away from their abusers. From refusing to participate in their own exploitation. 

Taking lives is a violent process that relies heavily on physical force.

To stop other-than-humans from surveilling their environment and trying to free themselves, animal researchers do terrible things.

Low-profile halo head fixation in nonhuman primates (Source: Kousha Azimi, Ian A. Prescott, Robert A. Marino, Andrew Winterborn, Ron Levy, Low profile halo head fixation in non-human primates, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Volume 268. 2016. Pages 23-30, ISSN 0165-0270,

They secure metal posts to their skulls with bone screws. (To hold their heads in place, these posts are then attached to metal devices called “halos”.) 

At left, a monkey sits, head, neck, and arm restrained, in a chair at ASU's primate research laboratory. At right, a monkey's wrist is shown tied down with a thick, black strap.
At left, a monkey sits with his head, neck, and arm restrained in a chair at ASU’s primate research laboratory. At right, a monkey’s wrist is tied down with a thick, black strap. (Photos obtained by Rise for Animals)

They affix their necks to metal restraint devices using metal “collars”.  They restrain their limbs.

And, still, they resist, using any part of their bodies they can move – often only a single arm – to say “no”. 

This is the reality of animal experimentation, an industry that relies entirely on the violent and unjustifiable TAKING of lives.

Join us as we work every day to resist in solidarity with the other-than-humans trapped in laboratories. 

We want to GIVE them their lives back. We won’t stop until we do. Share this article to help spread the truth. 

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