Lily Tomlin is always looking for signs of intelligent life, but she hasn't yet found it in the University of Michigan's (UM) survival flight course. The Detroit native recently wrote to UM to ask its officials to stop allowing cats and pigs to be abused in cruel and deadly flight training exercises and to replace the animals with advanced human patient simulators instead. Human patient simulators are used across the country to train flight nurses, and UM already uses simulators to teach the same skills in other courses.
In a letter to UM President Mary Sue Coleman, Tomlin writes, "Having trainees jam hard tubes down cats' throats, cut holes into pigs' throats and chests, and stab needles into the animals' bones and the tissue surrounding their hearts is simply unjustifiable when modern and superior alternatives are available."
Are you listening, UM? Don't make Lily go all Ernestine on you.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine obtained this video of a similar pig surgery lab at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, one of the schools they are campaigning against to stop these cruel labs.
Coleman also received a surprise visit recently from PETA members wearing cat and pig costumes to protest an awards ceremony at which she was being recognized. The animals don't get a break, so why should UM?
Written by Michelle Sherrow