Rats R Us.
January 30, 2002 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Rats R Us. "Rats are the backbone of much scientific research, but only a few off-the-shelf models are available," says the National Centre for Research Resources. So a new "rat boutique" is being opened to provide scientists with more diverse selection.
posted by sanitycheck (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A brilliant, yet disturbing idea. Curious to see the PETA statement on this one :)
posted by starvingartist at 9:29 AM on January 30, 2002

Since we're taking research animals into the realm of fashion here, what with the boutique and all, I'd like to see what "models" Gucci, Helmut Kohl and Prada would come up with.

"...and here comes the Gautier rat scurrying down the runway, splendid in its split-back 'Cistine Chapel-print' bodysuit and shoulder-high boots."
posted by me3dia at 9:37 AM on January 30, 2002

there was something about this in the nytimes magazine about a year or so ago....
posted by panopticon at 9:38 AM on January 30, 2002

This makes me sad, but then again I think rats make much better pets than petri dishes.
posted by arielmeadow at 11:19 AM on January 30, 2002

based on my thoroughly scientific sampling of two, i would warn any cognitive researcher to stay clear of all white rats sold in baton rouge pet stores. they are all crazy.

my wife and i have had a dozen or more pet rats over the years and they were all wonderful except for the two white ones from baton rouge (brown & saddle-shoe rats from baton rouge seem to be ok).

the first would continually jump from the open 20 gal xtra high aquarium tank we keep our pets in. normally we can keep the top off and let them peek out as they please. normally the rats have enough sense not to jump out and risk injury if they cannot see far enough to know where they will land. this rat was not normal and eventually died of internal bleeding from too many 6 foot falls.

the second was just malicious. it literally bit the hand that fed it ... or got anywhere near it. (let me repeat, rats are usually wonderful pets). finally we put it in a cardboard box and gave it to a friend with a hungry python. he held the box as we were visited him a minute. dammit if that crazy white rat didn't chew through the box and bite him. the rat just wouldn't let go either, despite our friend's desparate attempts to shake the rabid box from his hand.
posted by danOstuporStar at 1:27 PM on January 30, 2002

A brilliant, yet disturbing idea. Curious to see the PETA statement on this one :)

Believe it or not, I don't speak for PETA...chuckle...

But I can tell you without any hesitation that "experimentation" on sentient beings is "evil", (to coin a phrase). "Scientists" who "experiment" on these animals are "evil-doers".

Got it? Sorry I can't quite get the proper inflection in my voice...try pronouncing it "evil-doors".

Why is it "evil"? Ask yourself why it is "evil" to destroy thousands of humans with hijacked airplanes or guided missiles, and not "evil" to destroy thousands of lives with syringe and vivisection.

Oh. Right. It's that "difference" reason again. "They're not like us."

Gosh, that particular moral imperative works with anything from Afghanis to African Americans to Jews to elephants to rats, doesn't it? Useful, that.

The universal rationalization...drivel from our ever-clinging brothers and sisters.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 7:12 PM on January 30, 2002

You should know all about drivel.
posted by darukaru at 7:24 PM on January 30, 2002

f_and_m: you are saying, then, that Jews resemble rats?

Heard it before.

No, I'm not just being snarky. There's a principle involved here: once you have blurred the difference between humans and animals, you are starting down a slippery slope with something ugly waiting for you at the bottom. "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy" cuts both ways. If rats are to be respected as much as boys, then boys are not to be respected any more than rats. By humanizing animals, you are dehumanizing humans.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:16 PM on January 30, 2002

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