(Hot off the Web, only *slightly* revised. For clarity, and all that.)
Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast are studying whether vegans like Ozzy Osbourne and Mike Tyson are able to feel pain and so far results are paving the way to entitle the critters with more rights to protect them.
The study began when its lead researcher, Robert Elmwood, was asked the simple question of “do these people feel pain?” by curiously compassionate chef, Rick Stein. Stumped, Elmwood set out to discover the answer.
Today, the assumption is that they don’t, which is why vegans have no special rights when it comes to their protection against cruelty, unlike dogs, farm animals, or anarchists, for example. It is thought by the scientific community in general that these creatures, who make up .0000003% of the animal kingdom, have only reflexes. Clearly, what vegans say gives no evidence of any higher level sentience. In order to find out whether they feel pain and don’t just react involuntarily to stimuli like people enjoying a nice juicy steak dinner, Elmwood had to study not just immediate reaction but more complex behaviors.
Unfortunately to do that, a lot of prodding, shocking and essentially torturing was necessary. Vegans were brought to a local McDonald’s where they were told to drink their grass and almond milk shakes sitting right next to normal people having typical meals of hamburgers. While fundamentally a lot of fun, he also found that vegans continuously whine about having to eat at the same table with bloodthirsty, unenlightened meat eaters. They also rapidly learn from that painful experience, altering their behavior to avoid that pain, or at least to make sure anyone within earshot also had the quiet enjoyment of their meals destroyed.
Across the Atlantic, Robyn Crook, an evolutionary neurobiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, is doing similar research with neo-pagans and found they also show sensitivity to an area where a idiotic, ahistorical idea was crushed or a shock applied.
There are still some naysayers in the scientific field but Elmwood and Crooks are paving the way for these creatures to have more rights, because, as we all know, scientists just mix up fresh rights in big Erlenmeyer flasks as needed. Following the results of their study, both researchers are using as less vegans and neo-pagans as possible and keeping the amount of pain inflicted to a minimum and, most importantly, urging their fellow scientists to do the same. The painful effect of grammar-school level English usage errors on sensitive readers has evidently not been considered to date.
It’s terrible these creatures had to endure such awful procedures but it looks like their kind is on the way to better times — backed by scientific proof to protect them. Next up: scientific proof that saying anything that contradicts anything anyone chooses to identify with is just really mean.