Mice, as a species, are hardy and intelligent, territorial, they play with toys, they socialize, they form hierarchical family groups sort of like wolves, they groom and soothe each other to reduce conflict, observe courtship rituals, the dominant males mark territory with urine scent, defend the females, babies and territory with alliances and cunning, the females teach their offspring how to search for food and how to behave around other mice, how to recognize danger, to avoid human traps and natural predators.
In the wild, they are omnivorous, eating everything from seeds, earthworms, and fruit to decomposing flesh. They can manufacture essential fatty acids that humans must get from food. They can detoxify formaldehyde. Stress can make them apathetic, and they can learn to be helpless. They respond to phases of the moon. For such a tiny mammal, they lead complex lives.
Cancer researchers take these creatures and develop weakened subspecies through inbreeding and in vitro embryo manipulation to produce various patented research strains. Most have lost natural pigment production. Some have lost all hair follicles.
When you consider that the skin is the largest organ in the body, these major changes ought to be taken into consideration when making conclusions, but they aren't. Some lack certain parts of the immune system, i.e. the nude athymic strain, so that when injected with human tumor cells, all of them will grow that tumor, when normal mice wouldn't.
The mice are usually kept in separate compartments, not allowed to form groups, not exposed to natural air, food, light. Sometimes their whole lives are lived in clear plastic boxes under fluorescent lights. Not allowed to make their own environment or social connections. Can not escape constant light, noise or background electromagnetic frequencies as they would if free.
Their immune responses are crippled by the research process itself, yet the researchers don't mention this.
The research mice develop cancers and degenerative diseases in a completely abnormal state. Their cancers are treated experimentally in a completely abnormal state. The mice are never given the chance to recover through normal means.
There is no connection drawn between wild mice exposed to environmental toxins (e.g. agricultural chemicals, industrial waste and spills) and the cancers and reproductive abnormalities they develop -- although these may be documented by field biologists from the same universities where the cancer research is conducted.
There is no comparative research done on the mammary and reproductive cancers the wild mice develop, and the strains of human cancers being injected into the nude athymic research mice, though there could possibly be the same P53 or cytochrome P450 genetic abnormalities in both human and mouse tumors.
All of these factors affect our health, yet are not even considered when evaluating the mice. We are told that the impact of environmental factors leading to cancer are "unknown", so we shouldn't turn off the fluorescents and stop using pesticides, detergents, chlorine, dryer sheets and plastics just yet, but there they are, creating those conditions tenfold for their mice and growing cancer almost as easily as sprouting beans simply by injecting mice with environmental toxins in preset doses.
If we react to this with alarm, we are told that the mice are bred specifically to get cancer.
We are supposed to trust the results of drugs tried on these mice, and sign up for Phase I trials. We are told there is no need to drastically change our diet or lifestyle, except to quit smoking and eat more vegetables, and consume processed foods "in moderation". We are told that agricultural chemicals are safe. We are told that early detection through yearly radiation of the breasts is "doing something to fight cancer".
Oh, if only I had Bill Gates' money, here's what I would do: I would be comparing man-made tumors in research mice with environmentally-caused tumors in wild mice. In one arm of the research I would be testing treatments on normal mice under natural conditions, i.e. in outside enclosures, and other arms using abnormal mice under natural conditions.
I would compare morning treatment with evening treatment (mice are nocturnal). I would compare the outcomes of mice getting real food with mice getting the research pellet food. I would have some cross-over arms. I would fastidiously document their behavior, not just their body chemistry and time to progression.
And I would never extrapolate my results to female humans. Because we aren't lab mice. I wish.
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