Newsletters - The Defender
Summer 2010 Issue
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"
From the Desk of Michael Budkie, SAEN’s Executive Director
Animal exploitation, whether it is for food, experimentation, or entertainment, rests on one basic premise – that animals are objects having no individual interests, desires, or needs. This notion flies in the face of everything that we know about animals, whether they are hamsters, monkeys, or leopards. All animals behave as though their lives have meaning and value to them. They avoid pain, defend themselves and their offspring, and have even shown concern for the welfare of others as well as the ability to communicate with humans.
The concern for others is the entire reason for the existence of SAEN. We believe that the rights and welfare of others are important. Therefore, we work to end the suffering of those that we feel are among our world’s most exploited victims – animals. The animals who are victimized for experimentation and for entertainment endure some of the worst cruelty that the human race has ever perpetrated.
The suffering that we see in the daily lives of exploited animals is enough to bring tears to the eyes of even the most unfeeling of human beings. Whether we read about monkeys that literally shake and screech during the throes of morphine addiction withdrawal, or we read about animals in zoos that are dying of toxemia from maggot infestations, we are constantly overwhelmed with the astounding level of suffering that the human species inflicts on other animals.
But we are also privileged to know many people who exhibit the very best qualities of humanity, such as self-sacrifice. The cover story of this issue of The Defender is about exactly this kind of self-sacrifice which is illustrated by the activists of Portland Animal Defense League who risked arrest during a recent major protest against Oregon Primate Research Center’s criminal cruelty and murder of hundreds of primates.
It would have been easier to take lesser actions, or to do nothing at all. It would have been easier to look the other way. But these selfless activists chose not to look the other way. They chose to act, and their actions resulted in their arrest for disorderly conduct. Some people would find fault with this event because it resulted in arrests. In reality, this protest exhibited what is best about humans – sometimes we can do what is best for others even when we personally experience negative consequences – self-sacrifice.
It is always easier not to do what is best for others. And speaking as someone who reads about the daily suffering of thousands of primates -- how they live and how they die -- it would be much much easier to simply not know. Life is easier if we simply ignore the suffering of others.
But none of us can go back. We cannot unlearn what we know. We cannot, MUST not forget the millions of animals that suffer and die every day in laboratories, zoos, dealer facilities, etc. These animals literally depend on us for their lives. We are their voice, and in many cases, their only voice, their only advocate. If we do not stand up for them, they will die alone and unmourned.
This is the fight that we have dedicated our lives to, and that we ask you to join. As we work to oppose the continuing abuse of animals in laboratories and for entertainment, we ask you to get involved in whatever way you can. Arrange protests, investigate laboratories, write letters, sign petitions, donate to organizations like SAEN to enable us to do the vital work which is the very reason that we exist. Whatever you do, know that you are standing in solidarity with SAEN, other activists across the United States, and even around the world that dedicate every day of their lives to fighting for the rights of animals. You are an essential part of everything that we do – every protest, every news conference, every investigation – YOU stand there with us, making all of our work a reality.
As you read this issue of The Defender, please know that you are the very backbone of SAEN, and together we make an important difference for animals every day!
Your donation of $25, $50, or $100 will help us to fight for millions of imprisoned and suffering animals. Larger gifts of $250, $500, or $1000 will help us to take on the 1100 laboratories that blanket the U.S. with animal exploitation. Your continuing financial support will make it possible for us to keep fighting the cruelty and abuse that is intrinsic to every animal experiment.
Thank you in advance for your gift.