When it comes to exploiting animals, Elon Musk is a true leader.
The Time 2021 Person of the Year—who has a long history of harming animals by shooting squid, mice, and tardigrades (aka “water bears”) into space as well as implanting a computer chip into a monkey’s skull and coin-size computer chips into pigs’ brains—has a new proposal: to send a “Noah’s Ark” of animals to Mars.
“[T]he next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there. Sort of like a futuristic Noah’s ark. We’ll bring more than two, though—it’s a little weird if there’s only two,” he said.
Any more than zero would be more than a little weird—it’d be cruel.
Musk should focus on humans, who can choose to participate, and stop exploiting animals in curiosity-driven experiments.
Another exploitative and pointless endeavor of Musk’s involves SpaceX—of which Musk is the founder, CEO, and chief engineer—and 128 baby glow-in-the-dark bobtail squid as well as 5,000 tardigrades.
These animals were sent to the International Space Station, where they were to be experimented on in the name of “research.”
News of the squid’s and tardigrades’ doomed trip followed a similar December 2020 stunt, in which mice—some of whom had first been injected with drugs at The Jackson Laboratory, causing their muscle mass to double unnaturally—were launched aboard a SpaceX rocket.
These experiments and the slew mentioned below are cruel wastes of time, with no relevance to astronauts or other humans.
In a separate experiment, Musk implanted a computer chip in a monkey’s skull, apparently to see if the animal could “play video games using his mind.”
He claimed that the monkey “looks totally happy,” but he’s no primatologist.
If he were, he’d never suggest that an animal strapped to a chair with a metal device implanted in his skull and forced to watch video games all day would be anything but miserable.
This monkey is not the only victim of cruel experiments carried out by Neuralink, another of Musk’s companies.
In August 2020, Musk introduced Gertrude—one of several pigs used—during a webcast demonstration.
The experiment involved implanting coin-sized computer chips in pigs’ brains in order to attempt to demonstrate that brainwaves can be tracked.
One clip showed a pig forced to trot on a treadmill.
Giant notches had been cut in her ears, just as is done to pigs on filthy farms without painkillers.
Aware that there would be backlash against his use of pigs, Musk used a PR reel to claim that he and his staff care about animals.
But no amount of “humane washing” can cover up the cruelty, speciesism, and bad science that underlie all such experiments.
PETA challenges Musk to behave like a true pioneer and have the implants put into his own brain instead.