Last night I saw The Amazing Spider Man (2012), starring Andrew Garfield,and Welch actor Rhys Ifans. It’s a fictional testament to the arrogance-bred insensitivity and insanity that (arguably) perpetually plagues the scientific community.
Today I got a real life reminder of that insensitivity and insanity via an email from the Care2 petition site.
They have started a campaign to end ”particularly horrific” animal experiments by scientists at Cardiff University in Wales -- from whence "mad scientist" playing Ifans hails, coincidentally - who have sewed shut the eyes of newborn kittens to "learn how the brain responds to sensory deprivation."
According to Care2, “the same experiment--funded by tax dollars--also placed cameras in the kittens' brains.”
Tragic theatre, truly.
Care2 says this research is both sadistic and frivolous as the differences between humans and cats are so considerable that “research obtained this way will discover nothing that will save or improve human life.”
The petition site also says that a United States veterinarian has confirmed that the procedure was extremely painful for the kittens.
“This is an advantage of research potential gone horrifically wrong. It must not continue,” says Care2.
I think that if the scientists want data on sensory deprivation they can begin with a mirror-motivated study of how they rationalized carrying out what, on the surface, seems like scandalously brutal acts of animal cruelty.
My knowledge in this field is somewhat limited, but I think some research on the subject shows that there is a continuum of sorts between ethical or moral judgements and sensory perceptions.
This continuum, like that of Ifan’s “mad scientist” character, Dr. Curt Connors, seems to be ever in danger of being eroded or disrupted when we set supposedly “scientific” knowledge above all other priorities.
Another coincidence: Ifans' IMDb.com profile says his first major movie break came in “Twin Town” (1997) a Welch film, set in Swansea, in which he and his brother Llyr Ifans play two drug-taking, happy-go-lucky youths who go on a vendetta which culminates in scenes that will delight “dog-haters."
To tell Cardiff University to stop conducting these experiments on animals, sign the petition at this link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/620/075/2