A new undercover investigation shows in graphic detail how more than 6,000 goats and pigs are intentionally maimed -- while they're still alive and many without adequate anesthesia -- in military medical training exercises every year.
The Department of Defense says trainers slice open live animals and saw off their limbs in order to train medics in how to treat human injuries. But medical professionals, veterans and advocates counter that this kind of cruelty to animals is no longer necessary -- and is, in fact, counterproductive --- when more effective human-patient simulators can be used instead.
Dr. James Santos is a retired Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and a physician. And after working with real patients in the field and at the Naval Medical Center, he knows that operating on live animals did not train him in how to treat real, complex human injuries.
James started a petition on Change.org calling on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to eliminate this outdated and unnecessarily cruel practice. Click here to sign James' petition calling on the Department of Defense to stop using live animals in medical trainings.
Video footage from the investigation is chilling: goats' legs are cut off with garden shears and the goats moan in pain, showing that they have not been adequately anesthetized.
But worst of all is knowing that not only is this kind of animal cruelty unnecessary -- it could actually make medics less prepared to treat real human injuries. "Compared with humans, goats and pigs are much smaller," Santos says. "Their skin is thicker, and the anatomy of their organs, blood vessels, skeletons are drastically different."
These differences can mean that medics actually have to spend time unlearning what they know about effectively treating animals, or waste time translating from animal to human anatomy in the middle of life and death situations. Whereas human-patient simulators breathe, bleed and even have bones to break -- and allow trainees to practice treatments again and again until they get it right and are as prepared as they can be to save real lives.
Click here to sign James' petition to end the use of live animals in military medical trainings, and replace them with realistic human simulators instead.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Pulin and the Change.org team
P.S. Tens of thousands of petitions are started on Change.org every month. Here are a few that need your support now:
- Justin Wassel wants Best Buy, Disney and other companies to pull their ads from Backpage.com, unless the classifieds website ends child sex trafficking on its site. Sign Justin's petition to shut down sex ads -- the only way to stop children from being sold for sex -- on Backpage.com.
- Temple University senior Lindsey Adams started a petition calling on Sodexo, the company that runs the dining halls on her campus, to stop buying eggs and meat from suppliers who confine pigs in gestation crates and chickens in battery cages.
- Alecha Robinson started a petition asking Wells Fargo to forgive the student loans his sister's family is paying for their son Christipher's education -- even though Christipher died last year.
- After her dog, Sampson, died in January, Terry Safranek started a petition asking Nestle Purina to recall chicken jerky dog treats made in China that could be poisoning thousands of dogs -- the same treats Sampson ate before he died.