Consider the Rat

No mouse traps here: Animals rights activists are going crazy for rats. A group of scientists and activists are rallying behind ethical treatment of the unpopular, and often unwelcome, animals. "Rats and mice tend to get a bad rap," one activist says. "We just have these biases built in that are not really representative of who they are." Rats have been omitted from all animal laws, and are frequently used for testing. But public sympathy for the much maligned creatures is growing. A new group of rat-loving researchers has come to the forefront of the fight for the ethical treatment of rodents. "I used to see rats and think 'Ew,'" one pharmacologist who used to test on rats, says. "Now I see rats and think, 'Those rats have probably got a family somewhere."