AFI frontman Davey Havok has partnered with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for a new ad, in which he speaks out against animal testing.
“In animal testing that still occurs today, millions and millions of rats and rodents are destroyed for no good reason whatsoever,” Havok says during a video posted on World Rat Day (April 4).
With a rescued rat named Wee Man resting on his shoulder, Havok specifically targets a rodent behavioural experiment called “the forced swim test”. Also known as “the despair test”, it is typically used for the evaluation of antidepressant drugs.
“They take a little guy like Wee Man and they throw him in water to measure depression,” Havok explains during the ad. “Is that depression that you’re measuring? No. It’s fear, it’s trauma; it’s fight or flight.
“They swim to the bottom of the bowl trying to find escape until they’re exhausted. So, they struggle for their lives, until they give up, and ostensibly would die if they didn’t float. These animals don’t deserve that, and nothing is gained from that except their suffering, and no animals deserve that.”
In another ad, Havok discusses speciesism – the notion that any one species’ life is more important than others. “All life has value, and it’s not our place to choose which life is more valuable than another,” Havok says in the video.
“It’s unfair to discriminate against animals and harm them. Rats do not deserve to suffer, just like your dog or your cat. They feel pain and they feel joy, and they give and receive love.”
Watch both videos below:
It’s not the first time longtime vegan Havok has partnered with PETA. In 2016, he took part in an anti-leather campaign spearheaded by the organisation that saw him pose nude, with the messaging: “I’d rather go naked than wear leather”.
Last year, Billie Eilish was named PETA’s Person of the Year for 2021 for “seizing every opportunity to point out that vegan fashion and foods are kinder to the animals and the planet we share with them”.