All it takes is a simple screenshot of a dollar bill, and the emerging realities behind animal testing in the United States are brought to light with a new powerful tool developed by people like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The organization aptly conveys its stance on cruel and inhumane testing procedures applied to owls, dogs, cats and more with a corporate “The buck stops here.”
With the help of augmented reality technology, PETA is blowing the seal on these animal testing procedures for which US taxpayer dollars are being used without the public’s knowledge. PETA shares a QR code that users can scan with any form of US bill, from $1 to $50. Each bill will highlight in loud concession the realities of where taxpayers’ money really goes when it comes to America’s still-ongoing and cruel animal testing.
“A lot of people don’t know that their hard-earned tax dollars enable twisted animal experimenters who have pseudo-scientific agendas and hearts of coal,” says Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of PETA. The organization has long conveyed the need to keep all animals safe. Its push into AR technology is only part of its stride toward changing cruel and unnecessary testing done without the knowledge of the ordinary taxpayer.
Via these five different levels, namely $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50, PETA presents through the AR program five corresponding experiments still in progress to this day. To be clear, the user is not spending any money at all. The app and tool are all free for everyone to use on PETA.org/AR. As mentioned earlier, all one has to do is show the bill on screen and allow PETA to paint the picture the government doesn’t want to tell you.
At $1, PETA displays the $1.9 million taxpayer-paid program set up by Shreesh Mysore at Johns Hopkins University. Mysore’s inhuman work focuses on cutting up the skulls of owls and having them spend hours staring at a screen, alongside flashing lights and loud sounds, all with nods attached to their brains. It is incredibly difficult to imagine such a cruel form of experimentation, but it is unfortunately a reality that taxpayers fund indirectly.
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Taking a photo with the $5 bill will highlight Texas A&M University’s $5 million donated by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to test for muscular dystrophy through the inhumane breeding of golden retrievers. The dogs were kept in sterile cages and bred in ways that caused their muscles to deteriorate. No health study should depend on the well-being of our pets.
PETA’s AR program will show the seven National Primate Research Centers for $10, where monkeys are subjected to incredibly cruel living conditions that spur emotional and frustrating animal behavior. PETA reports that these captive primates tend to bite each other and pull on their own fur as they are sequestered in cages barely larger than their own bodies. More than tens of millions of taxpayer dollars run these hateful research centers that span the country.
With 20 dollars, the aforementioned NIH uses a total of 20 billion dollars a year for animal testing, although these tests represent very little when 95% of effective drugs used with animals are ineffective in human trials. . This is further proof that taxpayers foot the bill for animal cruelty when the experimentation itself is more than unnecessary.
Using the AR program with a $50 bill, users see how Elisabeth Murray, an NIH experimenter working on the $50 million NIH-funded “fear of the monkey” tests, uses fake spiders and snakes to terrify monkeys in small cages. The monkeys are subjected to horrific mental degradation, with parts of their brains being completely destroyed before undergoing the inhuman experiments.
“As America’s global dominance in science wanes, PETA is pushing for passage of its Research Modernization Agreement, which outlines a plan to stop wasting tax dollars on corporations. cruel animal experiments and instead pump funds into superior, human-relevant research methods,” Guillermo says.
While disheartening, grotesque, and just plain despicable to watch, these aforementioned experiments presented through PETA’s groundbreaking AR tool may at least be a message of change for the future in how science can operate more humanely when it comes to animal care and decency.
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