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By Maharshi Patel

Maharshi Patel-finalHi, I am Swampy, and I am a rat. I was born in a laboratory. From the moment I was born, I was separated from my parents and kept with other small rats like me, who soon became my friends. Here we were provided with good environment, food, and water, and, though every day when I opened my eyes I found myself in cage, this good treatment made me feel special. Now, however, I have come to know why I was so special for them.

One day, a tall person in a white coat came and transferred the cage in which I and my three friends were playing to the laboratory. It was a strange place for me. One of the old rats in my room used to share with us that we all are used for experimental purposes. There is a committee of humans called the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, which decides our fate. The human who performs the experiment is called a scientist. It seemed that the tall human was a scientist. He kept the cage in the laboratory for around six days, and daily he tried to make us feel comfortable and be friendly with us.

Lab Rat

On the seventh day, the secret of his efforts of making friendship with us was revealed. He started an experiment on us. He picked one of my friends in his hand, as we watched. Then he injected something to him and kept in other cage. Then was my turn, he injected the same thing to me. Oh my gosh, it was so painful. After five minutes we all were kept on the rod, and I wondered what the heck was going on! Soon the rod started rotating. We all tried to keep ourselves on the top side of the rod by constantly putting in effort. After two minutes, I tired and fell down. I don’t know what was going on, but I know one thing for sure: humans are so self-centered.

Now I am six months old and have undergone several such experiments. I have accepted that I was born for the experiments. One thing I have came to know recently is that the use of lab animals like me will diminish soon due to the introduction of the cell culture techniques. I thank from deep in my heart the human who developed the idea of using cell cultures so that the lives of so many lab animals like me will be saved. At the same time, I feel proud to sacrifice myself to the noble cause of humanity. There are many contributions by lab animals like me in the discovery of the new medicines, and this makes me special and gives me strength to live more. Bless humans!

Maharshi Patel is an M.Pharm. student in pharmaceutical technology at the Ramanbhai Patel College of Pharmacy, Charotar University of Science and Technology, Changa, Gujarat, India.