When you think about it…should we inflict human health problems on monkeys?

We are bombarded daily with commercials about healthy eating, quick weight loss programs and products, and the dire consequences of being obese. We’re told we are the fattest society ever. Television shows chronicle the weight loss of the morbidly obese on their quest for healthier bodies. So, why would scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and other research facilities fatten up monkeys to study obesity and diabetes in humans when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) clearly states that eating too much and not exercising enough is a cause of obesity? Do we need to torment living, breathing, sentient beings to learn that the reverse, eating less and exercising more, will cause humans to lose weight and correct many of the health problems related to obesity, including diabetes?

The monkeys at the research center are forced to gain weight unlike most of us who do so willingly. They are caged for months, thereby limiting their exercise. They are fed high calorie chunks of peanut butter, fruit-flavored punch drinks with high fructose corn syrup, the equivalent of one can of soda a day (By the way, according to the National Soft Drink Association consumption of soft drinks is now over 600 12-ounce servings per person per year.), along with as much dried chow pellets (one third fat) to mimic the typical American diet. In other words, they eat too much. Monkeys in some studies are eventually killed to study their brains and pancreases.

When you think about it, do we really need to fatten monkeys to study obesity in humans when we have an epidemic of obese people in our nation, many of whom have diabetes? Do we need to kill living beings when the CDC has already defined obesity and how it occurs? Why do we have to destroy the lives of monkeys when we already know what is destroying ours?

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