Arizona State University Refuses to Allow PETA-Backed Student Group to Run Grotesque Video in Student Union -- and We Can't Really Blame 'Em

The folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are in a huff because officials at Arizona State University refused to allow a student organization associated with the group to run a grotesque 20-second ad on televisions in the school's Memorial Union -- where many students eat.

We can't blame the university on this one -- like most things PETA, the ad is ridiculous.

You can see it after the jump (WARNING: if you're not into blood, guts, and mutilated mice, the video probably isn't for you).

As you can see, the ad isn't exactly meal appropriate, so we can't blame ASU for putting its foot down -- would you really want to watch that as you enjoy a delicious chicken sandwich at the school's Memorial Union?

However, the ad is in protest of the way the university kills live animals to teach basic anatomy and physiology classes to undergraduate students -- something New Times covered last year. Check it out here.

According to PETA -- and its ASU affiliate, Students Taking Action for Animal Rights (STAAR) -- there is no need for animals to die to teach general education science classes.

Usually, we think PETA's as nuts as the next guy, but it may actually have a legitimate argument here.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture last year, PETA asserts that ASU is inhumanely killing animals when there are several non-animal methods that could be used to teach the same information.

PETA claims that in basic anatomy and physiology classes, students inject rabbits with drugs after a hole has been cut in the animals' chests -- so the undergraduates can watch the reaction of the rabbits' hearts and blood pressure. PETA claims the animals are then killed.

In another cuddly experiment at ASU, PETA alleges, students stick pins through the heads of frogs and then dissect them while their hearts are still beating.

The university explained the experiments to New Times -- the explanations are as follows.

*       In the experiment noting the use of rabbits, the animals are under deep anesthesia and are euthanized before they wake up. Small incisions are made in their necks (not holes in their chests) to deliver and monitor drugs, as well as monitor heart rate, respiration and blood
pressure. Students in this course are typically pre-med students who are learning how to better understand how the body responds to medication. They are learning how to administer and monitor anesthesia, how drugs are administered, and how to observe and monitor physiological responses. These are critical educational components.

*       In the experiment noting the use of frogs, the frogs are euthanized by immersing them in an anesthetic solution. Pithing  (a pin stick to the brain) is then performed to ensure that the frog is dead. This method of euthanasia for amphibians (frogs) is an approved method of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and destroys the central nervous system. The animal feels no pain or distress.

*       In the experiments noting the use of mice and rats, the animals are euthanized
by the instructors according to approved AVMA methods and tissues are harvested to teach students how smooth muscles respond to different hormones.

PETA representative Justin Goodman tells New Times there are plenty of ways ASU could teach the same information without killing animals and in a letter from the University of Arizona, that university confirms that it doesn't kill animals in any of its undergraduate courses. 

All that's great but, again, we don't want to look at a pile of mice guts as we chow down on our delicious, formerly living cheeseburger.