Davey Havok of AFI appears in a new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals video with a rat on his shoulder. Billboard reports that it’s part of a campaign “against animal testing and speciesism, the human-supremacy world view.” The focus is the practice of animal testing by pharmaceutical companies, specifically the “Forced Swim Test.”
In the video posted today (Apr. 4,) which also happens to be World Rat Day, Havok is looking rather dapper in a black suit and polka-dotted bow tie. The rat, Wee Man, is perched on his shoulder as Havok explains the test. The “Forced Swim Test,” which does sound bizarre, is supposed to gauge a whether a rat is depressed. This is done by dropping a rat into a pot of water and letting them struggle/swim around. This somehow tests effectiveness of antidepressant drugs based on how much swimming the rat does until it gives up.
Davey and Wee Man
Havok asks in the video, ““Is that depression that you’re measuring? No. It’s fear. It’s trauma. It’s fight or flight…Nothing is gained from that except their suffering. And no animals deserve that. No animals deserve to be treated like that.”
In another video posted in February, Havok and Wee Man discuss speciesism, or “prejudice or discrimination based on species.” In it, Havok says that most people think of rats as “pestilent” creatures but they’re not. “(Rats) are very caring animals, they sleep in packs. They’re playful… It’s unfair to discriminate against animals and harm them. They don’t deserve to suffer… just like your dog and cat (don’t.)”
Wee Man, the Rat
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