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Perching here and gathering my thoughts ...

Rats yet again humankind's whipping boys

08 December 2009 ~ 17:20

Poor rats, they really do get a rough time.

It’s been in the news this week that the winner of ITV’s jungle contest, ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here,’ Gino D’Acampo , killed and ate a rat while appearing on the show. There seems to be some question over whether the rat was a tame one. Police in Australia have taken a dim view and D’Acampo now faces up to 3 years in jail, if convicted of animal cruelty. I really hope (but don’t expect), that he IS convicted, and as he shows no remorse, DOES do time in prison. It won’t be his first brush with the law, having got 2 years in 1998 for stealing guitars from the home of singer Paul Young.

Experiments carried out on rats meanwhile get crueller and more bizarre. 40 of the poor creatures were used in a test to see if stress plays a role in breast cancer. Rats were kept in isolation and subjected to stress such as predator smells. At 15 months, all these rats had tumours compared with a third of the non stressed group. The lonely rats also produced more stress hormone, leading to them becoming scared and anxious adults.

How sick and pointless can you get to treat sentient being this way?, animals that naturally live together in groups. Women living alone can’t really do much about it, and if there was a cure for stress, we would probably all take it, so it begs the question – what does this disgusting cruelty achieve?

In another ‘mad science’ experiment trying to prove that beans, meat and nuts help people get over head injuries, mice suffered a blow to the head and got better quicker if fed on these foodstuffs that contain branched-chain amino acids. Can you imagine it? Getting home and being asked ‘Hi Honey, what did you do at work today?’ ‘Oh I bashed lots of mice in the head.’ Nice.

Edit: This is what I wrote on a forum I'm a member of about the rat killing on 'I'm A Celebrity...'

Well I think it's appalling, I just wrote about this on my blog today. I hope the contestants AND producers are prosecuted, yes the producers are to blame but I don't believe the contestants were that naive that they really believed these were wild rats. I think the treatment of the animals like rats and crocs is different to the insects because most people kill flies etc who would never kill mammals/reptiles, I myself am vegetarian but I kill flies (though I don't kill wasps. I found a cockroach in our flat a couple of times a while ago, the first one I killed and I felt so guilty that the 2nd time I saw one I just caught it and put it outside. But I think insects have to be judged differently because if your cat had fleas you'd have to kill them, if your child had lice it would be cruel not to exterminate them). And this thing about the contestants being starved, this was not a real situation, they were NOT starving, they could have walked off the programme any time they wanted to, they chose not to because they wanted to revive their sad pathetic careers and have no qualms about killing a pet to gain fame (infamy more like). Frankly I find these sorts of programmes an insult to people who really are starving and I never watch them. First I heard was when my mum told me about it.

I'm really sad to hear that it definitely was a pet. It's horrible that some companies who supply animals to the entertainment industry have no proviso for their safety. I know some companies do insist on a no-harm clause. I'm never going to watch anything with any of the 'celebrities' who appear on this programme in it, or stupid Ant & Dec (the presenters). People who want to revive a flagging career can choose to do other things like Strictly Come Dancing (UK version of Dancing With The Stars), which takes real skill to win and is actually something to be proud of.

The poor ratty can't have had much of a life, not like our much loved pets, I'm sure he or she is in a much better place now, Bless you darling.

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