A recent training exercise held for medics in the 1st Armored Division in Afghanistan involved suturing pigs’ feet. A typical response was that the training was really beneficial as the medic had little prior experience in suturing. Since the better trained our medics are, the better chance our wounded troops have for a full recovery, this training is a great idea.
Now I’m waiting for a law suit from PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. These folks believe that all living creatures have the same rights—a flea, a pig, an eagle, a human—so, it’s all about violating the rights of the animals. In this case, since they firmly believe that the pig has the same rights as the human, it was unethical for the medics to do this training. Indeed, our combat surgeons used to be trained on handling gunshot wounds by using goats. It seems that goats’ bodies respond to bullet trama very close to the way that humans do—so goats were put to sleep, then shot. Of course, we don’t do that anymore—because it violates the goats’ rights.
I’m all in favor of Animal Welfare; I’m in favor of punishing people who abuse animals. But animals are not our equals. (Don’t tell my cat I said that. You know, dogs have owners—cats have staff. I could get in big trouble.)