Yesterday (8/10/2011) the free newspaper “metro” printed a story entitled, “Science experiment: Dancing robo-roaches”. I don’t want to scare you off with antagonism right off the bat but I can’t help it I fear. This is not a funny title. This is not funny. This shouldn’t be meant to be funny. I don’t care that titles are supposed to be “catchy”. This is disrespectful. Yes I know they are cockroaches. However I believe that all creatures are equal. And I believe that if there are any natural rights, everything and everyone has the right to respect, much less consideration!!!

So. The article continues with the subtitle: “Cooper Union students control hated pests with pop music. But PETA says it’s just plain critter cruelty.” Can you even say or read those two sentences side by side without realizing the grossness of the situation? “CONTROL”, “HATED PESTS”, with “POP MUSIC”. Sigh. 😦 So disrespectful.

Even more horrifying the article goes on to say, “these roaches don’t do “La Cucaracha,” but they do like Weezer”. No, they don’t like Weezer. They don’t know who or what Weezer is. All they know is, “students performed surgery on the roaches, knocking them out with anesthesia before inserting electric receptors into their antennae, as well as their bodies.” So again, they don’t know Weezer. They are just sent electric signals that startle them and, “the roach perceives the electric currents as some sort of obstacle -say, a wall- and scurries the other way.”

So, “four New York City high school students spent their summer experimenting with roaches at Cooper Union, teaching New York’s most hated insect to “dance” to popular music.” Real scientific goal there. The leader of the experiment, “said he hopes it can one day help develop neuroprosthetics…”. He “hopes”? “One day”? Really? Is there any clear-cut plan that they are moving along to reach that which necessitates these experiments? If there is, it hasn’t been mentioned in any of the articles I have read about this. And even if they had a solid scientific goal, I would protest this animal abuse.

And I will further point out that it is not dancing, it is being manipulated into idiotically jerking about because it is being fed electric currents by children who confuse it’s perceptions into responding to fake stimuli.

I am thankful that PETA is protesting this animal abuse. Justin Goodman, the Associate Director of PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department said, “it’s stunning that teenagers are being taught to torment animals.” And that, “inhumane projects like this one teach students that animals are merely objects to be manipulated.”

Personally, I have not chosen a religion and I am unsure about many things in life. But if I believe in anything, I believe that we are all equal. That we all deserve respect. And that violence towards anyone-be it creature, human, earth- is wrong. I do believe those things. And if there are universal truths I think they would be among them.

Any thoughts?



  1. Wow, thank you for sharing this disturbing story! I was unaware of these experiments, and I agree w/ you it’s disgusting. You KNOW I don’t handle seeing cockroaches very well, but I wonder at the fine line btw killing them at home and experimenting with them for an inane purpose. Where’s the line for what’s acceptable and what isn’t? How can we justify one and shun another? At the same time, it does seem more disturbing to torture the bugs than kill them. What does that say?

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