King of Pop’s First Hit Could Help Rats.

Posted on by PETA

Since Michael Jackson’s recent passing, there have been hundreds of news stories ranging from how he influenced just about every musician performing today to how he’s responsible for the Academy’s recent decision to allow 10 nominations for “Best Picture” (no, really! ). It got us thinking: What if Michael’s music could be used to help animals?

PETA US has written to Michael Jackson’s estate asking for the rights to the singer’s first solo hit, “Ben,” which was written for the 1972 film of the same name. This beautiful song is about the friendship between a lonely boy and a rat named Ben, and we’re hoping to use it to raise awareness about the plight of rats and other animals tormented in laboratory experiments.

Mice and rats make up the vast majority of animals used in experiments, but because they are small rodents, they are being used without any restriction and proper handling and housing facilities. Part of the message of “Ben” is that rats are frequently misunderstood. (For example—did you know that rats and mice are fastidiously clean, intelligent, and highly sociable animals—they even giggle!) In the song, Jackson sings:

Ben, most people would turn you awayI don’t listen to a word they say They don’t see you as I do I wish they would try to.

We hope our affiliates at PETA US will be able to use this song to inspire people to understand rats a little better. Join us in our endeavor to make this world a better place for rats by taking a pledge to never use products tested on animals and pass our testing 123 video to your friends to share this information with them