Written by PETA
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.
Live and let die live: So goes Sir Paul McCartney's new hit … against NASA's pricey plan to bankroll the zapping of dozens of squirrel monkeys in cruel radiation experiments.
While his animal rights efforts are legendary, many people may not know that Paul also has a ton of space cred. It's true: He's an enthusiastic supporter of space exploration who has performed for the crew of STS-114 and worked with NASA to beam Beatles music into space.
In his letter to the space agency, Paul writes, "I believe NASA has the ingenuity to investigate the health effects of space travel without confining and experimenting on animals as was done in the old days. It would be terribly disappointing if in our zeal to explore new frontiers and to learn about the fascinating universe where we live we began to regress in our treatment of the animals with whom we share this planet."
Surely the rocker's support of our campaign against NASA's proposed radiation experiments will cause public disapproval of the research to skyrocket. Sir Paul joins other stars and the "ex-s" (as in ex-engineer and experts) who have criticized NASA's misguided plan. Please join them by speaking out too.
Written by Karin Bennett
Employees at Brookhaven National Laboratory might have thought that their ears where playing tricks on them when they showed up at work Wednesday morning to find a message on their phones from none other than Alicia Silverstone. The not-so-Clueless actor is so fired up about NASA's plans to fund an experimenter to bombard up to 30 squirrel monkeys with radiation at the facility that she sent a passionate phone message to each of Brookhaven's more than 1,000 employees urging them to reject the experiments.
Alicia informed Brookhaven staffers that if the experiments go forward, then intelligent, social primates would be locked up in cages for the rest of their lives. The radiation could cause them to suffer brain damage, cancer, or even blindness.
She also told them that NASA's European counterpart—the European Space Agency—has publicly condemned such experiments on monkeys.
Your tax dollars would be paying for these cruel and unnecessary experiments. Please add your two cents' worth to Alicia's by dropping Brookhaven's head honchos a line, letting them know that you oppose NASA's planned experiments on monkeys, and asking them nix the experiments right now. And don't forget to urge everyone you know to pick up the phone too. We can save these monkeys.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that NASA's plan to fund an experimenter who wants zap squirrel monkeys with massive amounts of radiation at Brookhaven National Laboratory is cruel and wrongheaded—but it clearly doesn't disqualify you, either!
Case in point: April Evans, a NASA aerospace engineer working on the International Space Station as a team lead, has quit her job over NASA's decision to irradiate non-human primates after 30 peaceful years without any space-related experiments on monkeys. Evans, a NASA Space Flight Awareness Honoree, wrote to Brookhaven director Samuel Aronson, explaining, "After much deliberation, I resigned from NASA because I could not support the scientific justification for this monkey radiobiology experiment." In the letter, Evans also encouraged the agency to develop better space radiation shielding to protect astronauts—instead of tormenting animals.
Evans' principled stance is in line with that of the European Space Agency, which has rejected the use of cruel and archaic experiments on monkeys—the kind that may violate federal guidelines here in the U.S. If you'd like to thank Evans for her commitment to justice, why not add your voice to the growing number of compassionate people calling for NASA to scrap its plans to torment monkeys?
Written by Jeff Mackey
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.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
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.
Despite our petitions, demonstrations, tweets to astronauts in space, a letter from the U.S. Congress, and even compelling evidence that the project may have violated federal regulations, NASA has not halted its misguided plan to waste $1.75 million to torment monkeys in cruel and ineffective radiation experiments. With the window of opportunity to save the monkeys quickly closing, we're calling on you to take a few minutes of your time to call NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver at 202-358-1020 and very politely (the nicer you are when you call the better it is for monkeys) ask her to scrap the proposal to fund radiation experiments on monkeys and to direct these resources toward modern and humane methods instead.
I just got off the phone with Garver's secretary, who, while polite, seemed a little taken aback as she took down my message. Clearly, she hadn't planned on starting her day by taking notes about how NASA needs to stop its plans to zap monkeys with a massive dose of radiation and then condemn them to years of experiments in order to assess how the radiation devastates their brains and bodies.
After you call, send a quick follow-up message to NASA officials, urge everyone you know to do the same, and tell us about your experience phoning NASA. Come on—it's OK to call and tell!
Written by Logan Scherer
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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.