Billboards have been going up in the Chicago suburbs
by a group favoring research on animals.
Billboards that promote using animals for medical research have popped up in five Chicago suburbs, asking passersby who they would rather let live -– a little girl or a laboratory rat.
The national advertising campaign is aimed at liberal-leaning women whose support for such research has declined, said Liz Hodge, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Foundation for Biomedical Research.
In 2008, only 54 percent of people supported use of animals in medical research, compared with 70 percent in 1985, said Hodge. The non-profit group found in its national polls that women were more likely to oppose the research than men.
“As an advertiser it’s difficult –- you have about five seconds to capture attention unless they are stuck in traffic,” Hodge said. “You have to get people to think even for a moment where the medicines and life-saving treatments and therapies are coming from.”
The billboards recently went up in Des Plaines, Palatine, Elk Grove Village, Northbrook and Wood Dale.
They are also being displayed in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Madison, Wis.
Opponents call it an easy ploy “aimed at getting you angry.”
“It’s always been an argument between, is it going to be your dog or your mother? It’s a more difficult issue than that,” said Clare Haggarty,
director of programs for the National Anti-Vivisection Society, based in Chicago.
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