Invasive, Deadly Tests at Wake Forest U. Prompt PETA Exhibit on Dark History of Animal Experiments

For Immediate Release:
January 16, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Starting Monday during the final run of its tour, PETA will bring its eye-opening exhibit “Without Consent,” which explores the troubled history of experiments on animals, to Wake Forest University, where animals have suffered acutely in painful, pointless tests. These animals include pigs who were killed after deep, square-shaped flaps were cut into their skin; monkeys who were dosed with high levels of drugs and alcohol so experimenters could tally the number of times the animals’ yawned; and ferrets who were repeatedly infected with bacteria that caused significant inflammation and structural damage to their lungs.

When:    Monday, January 22, 12 noon

Where:    Baily Park 450 N. Patterson Ave.

Visitors view PETA’s “Without Consent” exhibit. Photo: PETA

Modeled after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “Without Consent” will be on display locally for five days. It features 28 panels with descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 animal experiments conducted at U.S. institutions from the 1920s to the present. Watch the trailer here. An interactive virtual exhibit is also available here.

“‘Without Consent’ tells the true stories of animals harmed and killed in experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on Wake Forest and all other institutions to embrace modern, animal-free research, because having the power to exploit other species does not give us the right to do so.”

Wake Forest University has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including for forcing monkeys to inhale excessive carbon dioxide, which could lead to neurological problems, and for denying a monkey adequate pain relief after an invasive surgery. One experimenter at the university worked with colleagues in China, who blasted monkeys with water cannons, bombarded them with jackhammer-like sounds, blinded them with strobe lights, and sent electric shocks through their feet—all purportedly to study mental illness in humans.

Without Consent” also points out that vulnerable humans—including orphans in tuberculosis and psychological experiments, immigrant women in gynecological surgeries, soldiers in LSD and poison gas tests, and impoverished Black men in syphilis experiments—were exploited in experiments. Just as society now understands that these experiments were wrong, “Without Consent” shows that we need to let a similar moral awakening guide our conduct today by extending consideration to the 110 million animals killed every year in U.S. laboratories. These animals are individuals who feel pain and fear, yet they’re robbed of their babies, force-fed chemicals, and sickened with diseases, among other atrocities.

Following its debut in 2021, “Without Consent” has traveled to 29 cities and has shared information about the horrors of experimentation with nearly 15,000 visitors. As neuroscientist and Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik describes it, “‘Without Consent,’ PETA’s new traveling exhibit, is a must-see. … Check it out in a city near you and do your part to help create a better future for all!”

After viewing “Without Consent,” more than 2,500 visitors were moved to contact their legislators, urging them to oppose animal testing and endorse the Research Modernization Deal, which offers a strategy for replacing scientifically useless tests on animals with effective human-relevant research methods.

“Without Consent” will be open to the public at Baily Park, 450 N. Patterson Ave., from 12 noon to 4 p.m., January 22 to 26.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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