Recently, a number of pro-animal-research RAT-HER billboards were seen in Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore and Madison, Wisconsin. Funded by the nonprofit Foundation for Biomedical Research, the $150,000 advertising campaign shows a rat juxtaposed with a little girl, and the copy, “Who would you RATHER see live?” The graphics around the word "rather" divide it so that "rat" and "her" are associated with the images near them, further prompting viewers to make a choice about which they’d rather see live.
This has stirred up a lot of controversy. The group Puget Sound Anarchists in Seattle reported that one display had been defaced to answer the question with, “Both actually,” and the URL “UWKillsanimals.com” was also added. The Portland RAT-HER billboard was changed to read “Who would RATHER live?” and the website at the bottom was changed from researchsaves.org to researchkills.org.
The debate between biomedical researchers and animal rights activists isn’t likely to be resolved soon, but the RAT-HER billboard campaign has certainly sparked conversation.
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