Article from Boulder Camera, June 28, 2000
So, what did you do today?
Last week [mid June 2000] the American Society of
Primatologists met in Boulder. One question that came to mind was how
many thousands of animals are these (and other) researchers responsible
for keeping alone in small cages, subjecting to horrible experimental
treatments (infecting them with diseases, tinkering with brains, ripping
apart youngsters from care-givers to study once again the development of
parent-infant bonds and socialization, and get this - studying the
effect of different types of music on chimpanzees housed alone) and,
yes, "sacrificing" = killing them, "in the name of science."
It was no surprise that the music study was done at the
Coulston Foundation in Alamogordo, New Mexico, a ghastly research prison
that's been repeatedly found in violation of the federal Animal Welfare
Act. To be fair, there were some very interesting studies on cognition
and various aspects of the behavior of free-ranging wild primates.
I also wondered how these researchers tell others about
what they do in the course of a normal day. I imagined the following
scene. A child asks of a parent: "So, what did you do today?" After
getting rid of all the jargon and fluff, her parent's response boils
down to: "Oh, I took a monkey from his mother and sibs to see what would
happen," "I killed chimpanzees to study drug reactions," "I blinded cats
to learn about vision," or "I trained rats first to avoid shock and then
didn't allow them to do it, and watched them go berserk, squeal for
help, give up, and passively accept the shock." Well, I sure wouldn't
miss those mealtime conversations.
Numerous studies have shown how smart and emotional many
animals are, and how they deeply suffer from anxiety and pain, so how in
the world do some people do what they do -- rob animals of their spirits
and souls -- and then go home and eat? Ah, they're helping humankind.
Hmm, do unto others...Oh, I just wonder...
Go on to A Wish
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