The most troubling aspect of training mental health professionals is the practice of using animals in research. Some of the most horrifying, inhumane, and, quite frankly, depraved research has been carried out at hundreds of well regarded universities by mental health researchers and professionals who are entrusted with the mental health of others, or training those who are entrusted with the mental health of others. By far, the dirtiest little secret of institutions of higher learning is their callous, inhumane use of living, feeling creatures in research. These universities and the students they train using these practices, directly or indirectly, do not deserve the respect they receive for their “achievements” made possible by physical, mental, and emotional torture.
The irony and hypocrisy of this way of researching mental health is mind-boggling. One of the most undeniable signs of severe mental disturbance is inflicting pain and suffering on animals. It’s well known that many serial killers started out hurting or killing animals. Yet scores of people entrust their own mental health care to “highly trained professionals” who have either participated in the indisputable mentally unhealthy practice of torturing other living creatures in the name of “research,” or who have received an education based on the theories developed by those who have participated in such torture. Is anything more frightening than this? In an interview addressing the issue of using animal subjects in psychology research, Dr. Tom Regan, Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University, stated,
The only thing that psychological testing on animals proves is how warped human psychology is. I think it’s never produced I think any meaningful or important result. What we find out finally that helps human beings is what we find helps human beings, not what we find helps nonhuman animals.
Not all mental health professionals are trained by participating in animal experimentation. In fact, probably very few are. However, they are all trained with the knowledge acquired from horrific research using animals that is, incomprehensibly, accepted as valid. The saddest part of all this suffering is that the results of all that torture are completely useless, so the suffering of millions of animals used in researching mental health have been and continues to be in vain. Results acquired from a research subject who is under artificially inflicted stress in an artificial setting, whether human or another animal, are not valid. Even worse, many research studies have been using animals to test one theory or another about behavior that clearly needed no testing because the answer was obvious to any average twelve year old. Yet the researchers chose to use animals in cruel experiments to test the theories anyway.
One such example is the infamously cruel experiments performed by Harry Harlow on infant rhesus monkeys. The sadistic Harlow removed baby monkeys who had bonded with their mothers to a stainless steel isolation chamber for up to a year in order to destroy the bonds they had with their mothers. This resulted in psychosis in many of the babies. Many never recovered and even developed self-mutilating behaviors. According to science author Deborah Blum, these results were common sense, requiring no research involving the torture of innocent animals. Another cruel study was the infamous one carried out by sadistic David H. Warren at the University of California in Riverside. He purportedly was researching the effects of maternal and sensory deprivation. In this “research study,” he sewed the eyes of Britches, a baby macaque monkey, shut after being removed from his mother at birth.
Further hypocrisy can be found in the researchers’ claims that other animals are both like and unlike humans, depending on what suits their motives. When they want to justify the suffering they inflict on the animals, researchers claim other animals are not like human animals and do not experience the emotional, mental, and physical pain that humans do in such awful conditions. Any researcher intellectually and emotionally challenged enough to believe animals do not experience that kind of pain should not have even been admitted to a university. Conversely, when researchers want to justify the use of animal subjects as a valid investigative tool, they claim animals are like us in their experience of emotional, mental, and physical pain. If they believe animals are like us in the way they experience pain, clearly it takes a very mentally unstable person to be able to inflict the pain of research studies on these animals. The animals are like us and animals are not like us views cannot both be used to justify animal research, yet that is exactly what researchers do, insulting the intelligence and emotional integrity of the people to whom they try to sell this twisted logic. In fact, Dr. Michael Grant, Professor of Psychology at the University of Bridgeport, stated in an interview, “If someone asked me as a result of 8-10 years of laboratory research what points I proved, could I explain to anyone any points that I made, I honestly can’t.” This comment was made about his research using animals.
The only intelligent, humane, and sane conclusion that can be made based on evidence is that testing and experimentation on animals has no place in the mental health fields. Cruelty and exploitation of our fellow living, breathing, feeling creatures on this planet is inexcusable in any field of study. However, it is especially troubling and inexcusable in any mental health field of study because mental health researchers and professionals should lead by example and not participate, directly or indirectly, in the perpetuation of practices that are the very epitome of an unhealthy mental state. Clearly, professions that are supposed to be founded on humane and ethical behavior should have no association with such atrocities. It needs to stop now, and any “insight” or “knowledge” gained from such sadistic practices needs to be discarded and regarded as invalid, because it is.