The Color of Medicines

Erasmo Calzadilla

Photo by Caridad

Medicine really doesn’t come in the dazzling colors that appear on its packages.  The pleasant white, pink or blue is a tint they use to mask its true and unpleasant color: blood red.

If you don’t know by now, at the international level, the pharmaceutical industry “sacrifices” rats, mice, rabbits, monkeys and other animals as if they were some kind of raw materials.  Behind every innocent pill hides an abundance of cruelty and suffering.

At my former pharmacy faculty, they trained us in just that.  Starting my first year in that program, we would experiment on mice and rats, which were later “disposed of” with an injection in the spine or some other method that was equally cruel or worse.  The little animals were supposed to die, but since they were only drugged they would sometimes completely recover in a few minutes.

I don’t recall any professor or technician trying to kindle a sense of sensitivity or respect for the animals.  Instead, they did just the opposite.  The lives of those small beings were worth less than nothing to them.

I became sensitive to this issue for the first time while working in the lab.  One day we were mistakenly supplied with a pregnant mouse, which gave birth a few days after it arrived.

I was given the task of sacrificing mother and her offspring, but they never made it to the crematory.  Instead, they went into a box in my backpack and then on to my sister’s house, who at that time lived with a girlfriend.  Once freed, “Whitey” made her own home under the sink and moved in there with her new family.

As they grew up, the mice colonized the apartment.  Every night they would run wild through the place in a frenzy (which was amusing for them, I imagine).  Because of this —and before getting run out of the house by them or my sister— I had to hunt them down one by one and let them loose in the nearby woods; I’ve never seen them since.  I know that it was an irresponsible act…

Time passed and a few years later I was hired for a fantastic job.  But in my detailed job description, I found out that I would have to dissect mice, so I couldn’t continue.  I tried, but I wasn’t able or I didn’t want to…

I won’t continue to bore with more stories, but be alerted: You cannot claim innocence.  When you take or make someone else take any medication, keep in mind that what’s been added is a tint to mask its true color.

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Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

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One thought on “The Color of Medicines

  • This story of your liberation of the mice is becoming widely disseminated, Erasmo, as I just read an allusion to it over at Lonely Planet’s unofficial Thorntree, Cuba Branch website, written by the notorious “Pelodorado” (who has another user name since he’s been banned by the moderator there so many times!).

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