Written by PETA
Four costumed monkeys who were being used as photo props by a couple at a Mardi Gras celebration were confiscated by Louisiana wildlife officials.
Despite taking money for allowing people to take photos with the monkeys, the woman claimed that the animals "help" her with her autism. PETA will be contacting the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to request that these four primates—who are suffering from diarrhea and rashes—aren't put back in harm's way.
Primates are extremely smart, and their complex social, physical, and psychological needs cannot be met in captivity. Baby monkeys are routinely ripped from their mothers, which is traumatic for both the babies and the mothers, in order to be "hand-raised" and sold as pets. You can dress them up, diaper them, and call them your "babies," but primates are meant to be in the jungles and rainforests, not on Bourbon Street or Main Street.
Contact our Action Team to request materials to help you get a ban on exotic "pets" passed in your community.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Victory Update: Following a year of vigorous campaigning, PETA has learned that government officials have grounded plans for a cruel and ineffective radiation experiment on monkeys. Learn more about this victory for monkeys.
The price is wrong. That's the message that PETA pal Bob Barker sent to NASA chief Charles Bolden in a letter today urging him to call off the ridiculous plan to blast dozens of squirrel monkeys with a massive dose of radiation before locking in steel cages for life.
Writes the lovely Mr. Barker, "These scientifically invalid experiments squander $1.75 million of taxpayers' money and cost animals their health and freedom, so the price isn't right on any count."
Barker joins Sir Paul McCartney, Alicia Silverstone, the European Space Agency, former NASA astronauts, and former NASA employees, in speaking out against NASA's cruel, pointless animal experiment. Let's join them!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Brian Gratwicke/CC by 2.0
PETA has obtained government documents showing that in August 2010, the Brookhaven National Laboratory—where NASA has been planning to fund a study to blast monkeys with radiation—made a decision about whether or not to move forward with the cruel project.
Unfortunately, before the government sent us these documents, it blacked out Brookhaven's decision, so we don't know if plans to hurt these animals are moving forward or not. However, a NASA representative recently told a reporter that this misguided project might not happen, so underneath all that black might be an announcement that the monkeys will be spared.
In an additional boost to the campaign this week, former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao spoke out against the monkey radiation experiments in a column for Discovery News.
You can help us find out the status of these cruel experiments by taking a moment to call the Department of Energy (DOE) at 202-586-5000 and politely asking if plans are still in place to bombard squirrel monkeys with radiation at Brookhaven.
Horrifying photos that were apparently shot inside primate importer and torture-device manufacturer Primate Products, Inc., have recently surfaced. These photos show the consequences of animal experimentation—monkeys whose scalps and skulls have been butchered and crudely stitched up and who suffered from other injuries that appear to be from fighting or self-mutilation. Monkeys often bite at their own limbs and tear out clumps of their own hair because of the trauma of being confined, deprived, and tormented while being used as living test tubes.
PETA's friends at the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking an investigation into whether the photos show violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. We'll keep you posted, but in the meantime, please help cut off the supply of primates to laboratories.
But here on Earth, people aren't only listening, they're following you—on Twitter. Check out the following tweet from Astro_Sandy, aka NASA astronaut Dr. Sandra H. Magnus:
Hopefully, Dr. Magnus will avoid zoos (and, given the fishbowl reference, aquariums) entirely in the future. We also thought that she should know about some other caged animals who desperately need her help—the squirrel monkeys who are slated to be zapped with massive doses of radiation in a cruel NASA-funded experiment.
We are also sending her info on how massive amounts of radiation administered all at once cannot simulate the real conditions astronauts face in space and letting her know about the harm that will be inflicted on the monkeys (including brain damage, blindness, and cancer). In addition, we are telling her about her peers in the space exploration community who have openly criticized these misguided experiments.
Maybe Dr. Magnus will join former NASA aerospace engineer April Evans, members of Congress, and every member and supporter of PETA in objecting to this cruel and stupid experiment.
Written by Jeff Mackey
It's so hot in the city, you'd think I'd be making another batch of lemonade—but I've got a hankering for some Internet Soup. It's been a while since the last batch, so dig in!
Oof! I don't know about you, but I'm full after all that soup—and guac. This Special K needs a siesta. Until next time …
Written by Karin Bennett
TiVo alert: April Evans, my nominee for Gutsiest Animal Defender of the Year, is scheduled to appear on Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight. Evans, who is also featured in today's Houston Chronicle, is the NASA engineer who walked away from her dream job working on development of the International Space Station to take a stand against NASA's cruel and pointless radiation experiments on monkeys.
"I began to feel guilty that I was part of an organization doing this," she told the Chronicle. "I've dedicated myself to trying to stop these experiments."
And she means it: Evans now spends her days working to halt NASA's misguided monkey radiation project and campaigning for an international treaty to end space experiments on primates.
You can support PETA's and April's efforts to stop these experiments by sending an e-mail to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where a portion of these experiments are set to take place. (And don't forget to join PETA's NASA Facebook group.)
Written by Alisa Mullins
Animals across Japan are making a bid for freedom (hopefully, captive animals everywhere are taking notes). First, a dolphin who was being forced to perform stupid tricks for loud, obnoxious audiences day in and day out at Japan's Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium decided that he'd had enough. During a performance, he leaped over the side of his tiny tank. Unfortunately, he landed on the concrete instead of being transported back to his ocean home.
Then, earlier this week, 15 monkeys at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute (PRI) escaped from an enclosure (dubbed a "forest home" in news reports—yeah, right) by using tree branches to fling themselves over a 17-foot-high electric fence.
Sadly, freedom was short-lived for the monkeys as well. All the runaways were eventually recaptured. The head of PRI said that the monkeys didn't stray too far, probably because they wanted to be near the monkeys who were left behind.
Someone should listen to the SOS signals that animals in captivity are sending. Instead of keeping dolphins in chemically treated tanks and forcing them to "dance" for fish or locking monkeys in enclosures so that vivisectors can drill holes into their skulls, attach electrodes to their brains, and fasten small wire coils directly to their eyes to study eye movement (which is what some experimenters at PRI do), we should be leaving animals in the wild.
Please take action today to help us free captive marine mammals and put an end to senseless and cruel experiments on monkeys and other animals.
Written by Shawna Flavell
The European Space Agency (ESA) is light years ahead of NASA in the compassion, technology, and common-sense departments. In a recent letter to Animal Defenders International, Jean-Jacques Dordain, the ESA's director general, stated that the ESA "declines any interest in monkey research and does not consider any need or use for such result."
So in other words, the European equivalent of NASA is saying that experimenting on monkeys is useless! That's pretty much exactly what PETA has been saying all along about NASA's cruel plan to fund an experiment in which as many as 30 squirrel monkeys would be blasted with radiation and confined for the rest of their lives so that researchers could observe the devastating results. The ESA recently launched its sophisticated Mars500 project, which includes a 520-day-long experiment on six human volunteers and simulates the conditions of a trip to Mars.
We're applauding the ESA's staunch stance against these archaic and inhumane experiments and are keeping the pressure on NASA. Just today, PETA members dressed as Trekkies protested at the debut of NASA's Star Trek Live stage show at the Kennedy Space Center to urge the space agency to let monkeys live long and prosper:
You can join the protest by contacting the Brookhaven National Laboratory and urging it to halt plans to irradiate monkeys for this NASA-funded experiment.
Let's hope that this pressure from Trekkies, taxpayers, and NASA's overseas counterpart convinces the agency to finally move out of the Dark Ages and into the Space Age by dropping cruel and crude animal experiments in favor of humane and effective modern technologies that are actually relevant to human astronauts.
Some people just can't take a little bit of constructive criticism. Over the weekend, a PETA supporter took to the stage at the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference to interrupt a speech by NASA administrator Charles Bolden. Today, we received a phone call from Gary Barnhard, executive director of the National Space Society, threatening to sue us if we released details of the microphone takeover to the media. Ground control to Major Tom?
Wondering what happened that the National Space Society doesn't want you to see?
Alarms everywhere are sounding over NASA's plan to spend squander $1.75 million in tax dollars so that a vivisector can subject as many as 30 squirrel monkeys to cruel radiation experiments and a lifetime of confinement in order to observe the devastating effects of radiation on the animals' brains and bodies. NASA apparently insists on strong-arming its way forward with these experiments, even though they may also violate NASA grant guidelines and federal regulations.
The results of NASA's planned experiments cannot be reliably applied to humans because of biological differences between species and the fact that astronauts are exposed to low levels of radiation over extended periods of time, as opposed to the single large dose that the monkeys will be given in a matter of minutes. In a recent column criticizing these experiments, a neurologist who is affiliated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated, "[T]he experiments are poorly planned and a far cry from the real life conditions humans would be confronted with in space. . . . At best we will come away $2 million poorer with information that we won't know how to safely apply, and at worst, we will be misled by the results of this experiment in ways that can seriously jeopardize the safety of future astronauts."
NASA officials seem bent on proceeding with this cruel, wasteful experiment. So let's show them that our collective determination to stop it is stronger by tweeting, dialing, and e-mailing in defense of monkeys and decency today.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.