As part of the World Week for Animal In Laboratories (WWAIL), on 25th April 2024, animal rights activists protested in front of the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine in Tusco, Arizona, US. Organised by In Defense of Animals and Tucson-based animal rights group SPEAK (Supporting and Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom) the protesters used a big banner that read, “Imagine having your body left to science…while you’re still in it!” 

The university conducts vivisection research, from brain-mapping experiments on primates to surgical training procedures on live pigs, causing unimaginable suffering and death to many innocent sentient beings. The university already has access to the state-of-the-art Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center and could end the use of live animals for its surgery residency by using animal-free research methods. Other alternatives to animal testing they could use include in vitro studies, computer modelling, epidemiological studies, cell and tissue cultures, clinical studies, CAT, PET, and MRI scans, quantitative-structure activity, relationship analysis, chemical toxicity assays, and supervised operating room experience.

Brittany Michelson, Campaign Specialist for Captive Animals at In Defense of Animals, said in a press release, “We are outraged that the University of Arizona is undertaking extremely cruel, invasive, and archaic experiments on primates and pigs — these tests should be stopped immediately… It is unacceptable that this institution continues to conduct animal research when many effective and modern non-animal methods are available. It is long past time for the University of Arizona to end its abusive and outdated animal tests.”

Tucson-based SPEAK (Supporting and Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom) is Arizona’s first animal rights organization. It addresses animal protection issues on every level: local, statewide, regional, national, and international. Speak’s mission to create a more cruelty-free world for animals involves a twofold approach: educational efforts coupled with active resistance to any form of animal abuse. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.