ZURICH, SWITZERLAND—Nearly 700 scientists representing 27 countries convened at the University of Zurich Monday to formally announce that their experimentation on mice has been motivated not by a desire to advance human knowledge, but out of sheer distaste for the furry little rodents.
"As a man of science, I deal with facts, and the fact is that mice are gross," said Dr. Douglas White, chair of the Oxford biogenetics department and lifelong mouse-hater. "They're squirmy, scurrying little vermin, and they make my skin crawl. I speak for all of my assembled colleagues when I say that the horrible little things deserve the worst we can dish out."
According to a 500-word statement, scientists hate mice for "their beady little eyes," "their repulsive tails," and "the annoying little squeaking sounds they make."
At the press conference, several scientists detailed their involvement in the centuries-long ruse of "conducting experiments" and "curing diseases."
"For years, I've used lab mice to research cell breakdown in living tissue—and I've been lucky enough to make some pretty important medical advancements along the way," said researcher Ellen Gresham of the Harvard Institute for Advanced Studies. "But even if there were no scientific benefit to the work I do, I'd still experiment on mice, just to watch them suffer."
"The truth is, mice are particularly ill-suited for our tissue study," Gresham added. "We could construct a computer model that would yield more accurate results, but we don't care."
According to Gresham, scientists have enjoyed dissolving mice in acid, spinning them in centrifuges, blowing them up in vacuum chambers, and forcing them to navigate exit-free mazes for years—all the while towering above them, laughing.
"Every high-pitched squeak from the holding area is a warm reminder that the mice desperately want to escape," said Dr. Frances Villalobos, a contagious-disease researcher at the University of Mexico. "All they want to do is get out from behind those bars so they can chew on everything, defecate all over, and poke their filthy twitching faces into piles of garbage. Well, I know of at least 80 little test subjects who won't be doing any more of that. They're headed straight for the dissection lab."
Villalobos said he spent six months writing a grant proposal that provided him with funding to inject mice with the smallpox virus.
"It kills me that I can't infect the control group," Villalobos said. "Unfortunately, if I infect them, I'll throw off my results. But once I complete this experiment, I'll rotate the control group into the hot seat. Don't you worry. They'll get what's coming to them."
After applauding the scientists for coming forward, anthropologist Brent Wrigley suggested that the hatred of mice may be the single most important factor in the evolution of modern science.
"Despising mice may have pushed humanity out of the Stone Age," Wrigley said. "After all, the cave habitats of early man must have been infested with the horrific little monsters. The entire history of human advancement via the scientific method may be a byproduct of the higher forebrain's natural revulsion toward the nasty critters."
Mouse-killing isn't solely the province of organic and medical scientists. Many other scientists kill mice, as well.
"As a physicist, I don't really have much cause to use mice in my regular research, which mostly requires the use of theoretical math," said Dr. Thomas Huber, author of the 1996 study Mouse Elasticity And Kinetic Rebound In High-Acceleration Collisions. "But when I have the time, I like to send them flying into walls. Even just seeing them in a cage makes me feel kind of good inside. I like knowing I'm depriving them of their freedom, even if my research doesn't provide me the opportunity to cut them open."
"I hate those little fuckers," he added.