The unlikely connection between the former Baywatch star and the pop space alien stems from a shared belief that animal testing in the name of curing human diseases is inherently wrong.
After being challenged by DJ Richie Hawtin to take the ALS ice bucket challenge, Grimes followed in the footsteps of Anderson and flatly refused. "I would like to say that I don’t feel great about wasting water in this California drought," Grimes wrote on her Tumblr Saturday. "But I will donate money. However I will not donate money to this foundation because of their record of testing on animals."
Last week we reported that Anderson — a noted animal rights activist — refused to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because of the way ALS researchers conduct their testing. "[In] recent experiments funded by the ALS Association, mice had holes drilled into their skulls, were inflicted with crippling illnesses, and were forced to run on an inclined treadmill until they collapsed from exhaustion," Anderson wrote on Facebook. "Monkeys had chemicals injected into their brains and backs and were later killed and dissected."
Judging by the rigorous debate among commenters after we posted the story, whether or not animal testing in the name of medical research is morally acceptable remains a contentious argument.
The ALSA has since responded to Anderson's (and now Grimes') claims, in a statement to The Daily Banter:
Significant advances have been made in ALS and other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease using model systems such as rodents, flies and worms to better understand disease mechanisms and to develop therapies. With advances in technology made possible through research funding from the ALS Association, different approaches to minimize the use of these model systems are being developed. Similar to organizations globally, the ALS Association supports laboratories and scientists that strictly adhere to the guidelines provided by the National Institutes of Health. The Association is committed to honoring donor intent. If a donor is not comfortable with a specific type of research, he or she can stipulate that their dollars not be invested in that particular area.
Clearly this is a debate that isn't going anywhere any time soon. But, the more educated we become, the better chance we have at forming a constructive opinion. Grimes agrees, writing "Education is the key to ending almost every issue that faces humanity and our world today." She plans on donating money instead to The Malala Fund, an organization that empowers women through education. (Pitchfork)