In this study, we found that almost all institutions conducting animal experiments, such as universities, corporations, and research laboratories, also conducted memorial services for the animals sacrificed during animal experimentation. A questionnaire survey was conducted among 120 institutions. A total of 83 (69.1%) valid responses were obtained from the participating institutions. Memorial services were held at 79 institutions (95.1%). Memorial services for laboratory animals have been mainly conducted to show appreciation, comfort the spirit, and console the souls
Auch in Japan werden also Tierversuche durchgeführt, aber es gibt kaum eine Einrichtung die der geopferten Tiere nicht in irgendeiner Form gedenkt indem sie religiöse Rituale druchführen lässt. Das macht es natürlich nicht gut, und auch die Idee, dass man sich dadurch "freikauft" ist ja sehr zweifelhaft, aber was da wenigstens zum Tragen kommt ist ein Bewusstsein für das eigene Tun. Auch wenn man es aus guten Gründen heraus tut, verletzt und tötet man andere und das Mindeste was man tun kann, ist Respekt und Dankbarkeit zu bezeugen. Tiere als Sache zu sehen, die man benutzten und wegwerfen kann, bedeutet ihnen ja nicht nur das Leben sondern ihre ganze kleine Madenwürde zu nehmen
Die Rituale für getötete Tiere in Japan sind oftmals buddhitisch, die zugrunde liegende Denkweise kommt aber mehr aus dem Shintoismus. Der Shintoismus ist ja eine Naturreligion, in der es sehr oft darum geht die Natur und die Toten zu besänftigen. Aber jetzt scheint es solche Rituale sogar nach Amerika geschafft zu haben:
Services, including one sponsored by the Cleveland Buddhist Temple (Cleveland, Ohio), have memorialized companion animals and animals that supply people with food and clothing as well as research animals ( Plain Dealer 1996 ). These services at the Cleveland Buddhist Temple have been held for approximately 20 yr. The tradition was established when Japanese physicians wished to pay respects to laboratory animals (Munyoz-Ramirez 2001; Plain Dealer 1996 ). Services at the Cleveland Buddhist Temple have been conducted in both English and Japanese to address the language needs of the mix of attendees, many of whom have been associated with The Cleveland Clinic, a health center and research institute located in Cleveland, Ohio. Past services have included meditation sessions, readings, and a discourse, which a priest or visiting speaker has delivered. Attendees could approach the candle-bearing altar to make an offering of incense.
Memorial services and activities for animals ranging from insects to birds to monkeys have been held in many Asian countries as well as Canada and the United States ( Table 1 ). These services are often held annually at research institutes and universities and can encompass both religious and secular formats.
The roots of memorial services in Japan are likely based on Shinto, an ethnic mixture of tribal religions. Shinto is a nonexclusive religion, thus many Japanese practice Buddhism as well as Shinto. Shintoists believe that most things of nature (e.g., mountains and plants) have presiding spirits, or kami. With the introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century, the killing of animals began to be viewed as sinful. As with Hinduism, Zen Buddhists believe that all life is sacred and that animals have souls. More moderate Buddhists may accept the taking of animal life under certain circumstances, acknowledging the first Precept, which states, “I undertake the rule of training not to do any harm to any living (breathing) thing” ( Miranda 2001 ; SIMR 2001 ).