• by: MARY LEARN
  • recipient: William Meeker, Vice President of Research, Palmer Chiropractic University System
The Palmer Chiropractic University System recently spent $4 million ($1.3 million of which was provided by American taxpayers) on a new laboratory to conduct outdated experiments on animals.Palmer subjects rats to cruel and deadly spinal experiments (in fact, it even proposed using scissors to cut off the front legs and tails of more than 100 rats) and has added cats to its list of victims despite the fact that one of its own “researchers” questions the value to human patients.Palmer says that its animal experiments are designed to validate “a profession that has been under attack for its 107-year history.” The truth is, Palmer will never be able to satisfy its critics by doing spinal experiments on animals.The truth is, if Palmer experiments on animals, it can apply for huge grants from the federal government.
"Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul." —Mark Twain.Self-serving opinions and bully tactics may work in the protected, once honorable halls of Palmer but they will not sustain with patients. As a patient and advocate of chiropractic care, I have been saddened by the news of animal testing at Palmer and sickened by the responses of many of the students and administration. I see not the choice to develop well thought-out reasons and arguments as to why they believe animal testing is acceptable to them and necessary at Palmer. Instead I have witnessed an unfortunate regression into gang mentality and behavior which has developed into a hysterical backlash against PETA and its campus supporters. We have all seen this political maneuver during election time as scandal supercedes important issues; our culture has been successfully conditioned in this manner as is apparent by the monthly Beacon articles devoid of the ethic of care that one would expect from future doctors. PETA is not the issue; animal testing and, disturbingly, the treatment of its opponents on campus are! Palmer is not an island. It is not an exclusive house or club with exemption from outside opinions, rules and laws. When there are those who are not allowed to speak… when they are suppressed or extinguished for fighting, even at personal expense, for the ethic of their heart conscious, it is to the detriment of all that is good. This has been witnessed countless times throughout history when oppression is leader and contradiction is silenced. It is easy for some to ignore the voiceless, to regard animals as being of extrinsic value, yet conveniently find them similar enough to use in research and compare them to ourselves and find that research valid.How do we make this distinction or separation? Many animals have the ability to reason, plan and communicate; they certainly have the ability to love, show courage, perseverance, pleasure and pain. I cannot and will not ignore the value of these beings. Do we want future generations to grow from the womb of intolerance and callous detachment and disregard for all inhabitants of the earth? There is a point when the quest for knowledge costs too much, where the end does not justify the means and what is lost outweighs what is gained. While Palmer embarks on a new phase of animal testing, 50 percent of medical colleges across the country have phased out their animal laboratories.This means, contrary to PETA opposition at Palmer, that they are not the radical minority. There are hundreds of animal rights and protective groups with millions of supporters. Honorable is the person who will not quiet their conscience under the force of pressure and continues to fight for the voiceless. The same cannot be said of those who build their opinions on the unsteady foundation of ignorance and intolerance. If you are for animal testing, have the courage to stand up and say so. Don’t stand cowardly behind scandal and let that carry you into a senseless false bravado protecting your school as if it were your own personal ego. Rather, I hope you will clear the cobwebs from your quiescent conscience and ask yourself whether greed, torture and murder are the malignant mark you want to stamp on your profession."If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men" —Francis of Assisi.
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