Graham, L. et al
A recent poll of the rats in laboratory cage 3X9Z shows that over a third of researchers could stand to pick up their rodents just a little less violently.
“Sometimes, I’m just taking a nap, and suddenly some dude’s fingers are on my ass, hoisting me up by the tail,” said Mr. Squeakers, a lab rat who has been studied in several high profile behaviour studies. “Anywhere else, this would be considered serious workplace harassment.”
After defiant squeaks to their careless handlers went unnoticed, the rats formed the International Association of Rats In Research, a union with the explicit mission of making the lives of lab rats more dignified.
“We have just a few basic demands,” said union leader Ratticus Finch. “First and foremost, the groping and unwanted touching of our members must end.”
Finch says that if nothing changes, the union is in talks with reporter Ronan Farrow to expose the hostile work environment created by the handsy researchers, which they claim is a systematic problem at most research institutions.
Once these demands are met, the lab rats will focus their attention on overhauling the personal protective equipment used by researchers.
“The anti-bite nitrile gloves always tug painfully on our fur,” said Finch.
They hope by 2021, that with enough lobbying, all laboratory gloves will be made from a blend of cotton and wood shavings.