Simulated Carnage

Our friends at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are claiming victory. The group infamous for its blood-tossing antics is crowing about the probable cessation of using animals to realistically portray battlefield injuries.

PETA has been spearheading efforts to stop DoD from using barnyard animals (normally pigs and goats) to simulate the carnage of war. The animals receive very real wounds to replicate battlefield injuries suffered by uniformed personnel. The Army has maintained the training is invaluable and realistic for medics and others working to save Wilbur (pig) and Bill (goat). Despite the medical effort devoted to saving these wounded, in the end, these four-leggers are euthanized.

The Pentagon maintains it has been reviewing its use of live animals in medical training and education for some time, and its decision is independent of the efforts of PETA or other organizations. The Air Force and Navy already use medical simulation technology, instead of breathing livestock, to train their personnel, but is it as realistic? The Army has been slower to transition.

A recent episode of the ABC’s night-time soap/medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” showed an Iraq Army veteran doctor stabbing six very large pigs so interns could save their lives — only to euthanize them after doing so. (Do not try this at home.)

The 16-month campaign by the Norfolk-based PETA seems tame compared to the group’s past efforts. Protests and letters pale when compared to blood-hurling at the fur-clad. Few are immune to the group’s wrath. PETA has taken a stance against (get this) the unsighted having guide dogs, questioning this group’s ability to adequately care for the animals. Note, they maintain guide dogs get little play time. (Writers in D.C. get even less.)

It looks like PETA will get its wish to stop the slaughter of livestock on the training battlefield. Some at DoD probably will lose very good training opportunities. As grotesque as DoD’s practice might seem, in reality, these animals probably would be on their way to the slaughterhouse be it the battlefield or Smithfield.

Recent Posts