Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hysterical Story

This is one of the funniest stories that I've read in a very long time.

The headline says it all:

Military used pigs in blasts to test armor

You can read the whole thing here.

Here's a short excerpt:

Military researchers have dressed live pigs in body armor and strapped them into Humvee simulators that were then blown up with explosives to study the link between roadside bomb blasts and brain injury.

For an 11-month period that ended in December, researchers subjected pigs and rats to about 200 blasts, according to Pentagon documents and interviews. The explosions have ranged in intensity, wounding some of the pigs and killing others. Roadside bombs are the top killer of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now it seems to me that the body armor would have to be rather small to fit on a rat. I guess I have a few questions: Did the pigs have helmets? Was the body armor special ordered to fit a pig? Who was the lucky person who got to put the armor on the pig?

Here's a little more form the story:

The Pentagon complied with policies that ensure that a minimal number of animals were used in the testing and that they were treated humanely at all times, Walker said.

They were treated humanely up until the time they were blown up. Isn't there some sort of a contradiction there?

Finally, I can see years from now some young child asking his father what he did in the army and his reply will be I dressed pigs in body armor and then blew them up.

1 comment:

Arthur Schenck said...

The military has a long history of using pigs like this because they're supposedly as close to humans in how their bodies react to various injuries. I remember seeing a documentary about nuclear testing where they used pigs to see how humans would be affected by being caught in a blast; the tests were considered a failure because, unlike humans, pigs tended to survive with third degree burns over most of their bodies.

At any rate, this story sure puts a new spin on the "pigs' noses in the trough" stereotype of the military's top brass!