Demonstrators target the use of pigs to provide 'live tissue' training for Marines and sailors learning how to treat battlefield casualties.
By Tony Perry
6:20 PM PDT, August 12, 2009
Reporting from Camp Pendleton
Two dozen animal rights activists -- accompanied by four dogs -- demonstrated outside Camp Pendleton on Wednesday to protest the use of pigs in "live tissue" training for Marines and sailors learning how to treat battlefield casualties.
Organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the protesters called on the Marine Corps to use dummies, computerized simulations and other training methods rather than the pigs.
"It's been proven that it can be done," said PETA official Jena Hunt. "Camp Pendleton just needs to take that further step into the modern world."
For an hour, activists waved banners and chanted slogans at the main gate to the base. There were no arrests or confrontations.
"For me, animal rights equals human rights," said Nasim Aghdam, 29, a construction company office manager from San Diego. "Just because they can't talk doesn't mean we should take advantage of them."
"We're against war in general, but using animals for this is even worse," said Cori Hume, 17, who was attending the protest with friend Chelsea Nelson, 18. Both are recent graduates of High Tech High School in San Diego.
Part of the training involves working on pigs. The animals are heavily sedated before being sliced with scalpels. Marines and sailors then try to save their lives with tourniquets, airway clearing and other techniques. Read More
I talked about this very issue several months ago. My point then and still today is that if sacrificing a few pigs results in the saving of a soldier’s life, then it’s worth it. The protesters try to say that there are alternatives that are just as good, but army medics disagree. I would tend to believe the people that have been in combat and put into the situation of having to save the life of an 18 year old soldier rather than a PETA protester. Our soldiers are the reason these protesters were able to do what they did. It’s in PETA’s best interest to give them the best possible care.