More exciting developments in the saga that is New York! But first, a little tidbit from unnamed university’s IMPOSSIBLE financial aid department. Only Berkeley could have prepared me for the surly brick wall of a woman known here only as B. With arms folded across her ample and aggressively orange chest, B. informs me that no, it is not possible to speak to ANYONE in her department, at any time or for any reason. This is why they have their own office, conveniently located on the first floor of the famous building at anonymous NYC university. No-fucking-duh.
The folks at the University’s main financial aid office are friendlier, but equally unhelpful. I may have to go UC style and stage a hunger strike…or something more sinister. Finally proving that UC Santa Cruz students are really as dumb as we always thought they were.
Here’s what gets me: Sure, most of us with synapses firing realize that the animal-based research taking place in the University of California is pretty humane as animal research goes, and pretty important on the same scale. So it strikes me as odd that even as the controversy rages, and several researchers at campuses from Santa Cruz to LA are targeted in violent attacks every year, NO ONE actually connected with research will come forward to defend their work.
And I mean literally not one person. In fact, if you start digging, you’ll get a cease and desist faster than you can say “pig-shit”.
With even a little investigative legwork, you can find out, for example, exactly how much it costs to have a live rabbit from the highly top-secret underground North West Animal Facility at UC Berkeley (yes, they do animal research at UC Berkeley) bled to death for your research purposes. (FYI, it’s $21 American). But you cannot get one fucking soul to go on the record of how the animals are cared for, even though they win countless intra-industry awards for humane treatment every year (who knew?).
If you promise anonymity, almost any post-doc, undergrad research fellow or work-study lab grunt will tell you almost anything about the handling of mice, chicks, rabbits and hyenas. Wouldn’t you love to know what they have to say? I would, but I can’t tell you, because an article full of anonymous sources is about as birdshit worthless as what my sources clean out of the cages every day. Look, you walk through the basement of the Life Sciences building at UCLA, you can smell the lab rats, or at least the antiseptic used to clean up after them. And you’d have to be blind not to see the cages. So in an era when nuclear research is so boring it’s passe, can we finaly come clean about the rats in the basement?