Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Gloria Steinem Takes on Covance

Written by PETA | October 9, 2007

boisestate/Creative Commons

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem made a strong statement this week on behalf of the primates who suffer in Covance Inc.’s drug-testing laboratories. When Steinem found out that Covance was listed as a sponsor at a fundraising event that she’s attending in Madison, Wisconsin, she asked that the company be immediately disassociated from the event. Her offices issued the following statement:

“Gloria Steinem expressed her severe discomfort at participating at an event for [a local human services agency] sponsored by Covance after she was alerted to the fact that thousands of animals suffer in the Covance laboratories. She stated, ‘Animal abuse is so connected to domestic abuse — literally in a household, but societally in a more general way, too.’ Using one’s power to harm others is contrary to Ms. Steinem’s life’s work and Covance was dropped as a sponsor for the event.”

What I love about this story is not just the big black eye to Covance’s PR machine in Madison (where the company has a high profile due to its massive animal-experimentation lab outside the city), but the fact that Steinem explicitly puts animal rights in the wider context of social justice. She situates the issue, as it should be, alongside the broader issue of fighting the oppressive mentality that companies like Covance share with domestic abusers or any perpetrators of violence who believe that “might makes right.”

Hopefully, this will be food for thought for all the people who comment on this blog wondering why animal rights people don’t do more to fight other forms of oppression. The point is that people who care about animal rights, like Gloria Steinem, just have a better view of the big picture. Injustice and violence needs to be stamped out wherever it crops up—and no matter who the victims are.

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  • Mr. Chief says:

    first anonymous If you want to stop the MOD then you are of the Covenant

  • Michele says:

    Ariel thank you so much for the kind comments! Should I start signing my comments as “Mrs. Michele” from now on? Or perhaps “Michele MD” Married Dudette? LMAO I have been noticing your general responses and I think they are great. I think that one of the benefits of continuing to make those kinds of statements even more than once within the same thread is that when there are topics with many many comments I am sure that new readers do not always have the chance to scroll through hundreds of comments. Repeating not necessarily verbatim those general comments means that newer readers are more likely to see what you have written.

  • Ariel says:

    Hi Mrs. Michele! I am so happy for you that your honeymoon was so wonderful! with even having to cook in your suite It seems that you are glowing with happiness and my wish is that you and your husband carry that feeling through all of your lives! Yes lots of posts but some things never change the anti’s. It must feel like deja vu to you! I’ve been keeping with doing general responses for all the reasons you mentioned. Anyway I was glad to read all of your comments to me so refreshing and I wish you and your husband a very very happy healthy beautiful and loving life together!

  • SAD says:

    It is unreal how blinded individuals are. Currently my brother is fighting for his life with an immuno disease. Unfortunately they are unsure of which one he has. As the doctor’s that are treating him have said…”if it was 20 years ago he would not be with us. Due to medical advances in drugs and procedures we still have hope of recovery.”

  • Michele says:

    Hi Ariel thanks for the wellwishes! It was wonderful we went to Myrtle Beach lazed around on the sand and played in the waves. The weather was fabulous too sunny all the time and between 8590 degrees Fahrenheit I think that would be around 30 Celsius for the metrically not sure if that’s a real word but who cares inclined And I shopped like mad because the prices are so much cheaper than it is here in Canada and the weak US dollar has made crossborder shopping even better for us Canucks!. It sure was hard dining out though I could not believe how much meat there was on the menus and at the buffets. There was one place with the only vegetarian options being fries a side salad baked potato or cooked veggies but do you think the veggies could have been vegan? NO! They were all “buttersteamed broccoli” “buttered corn” etc with pages and pages of every possible meat combination. Unfortunately the waitress knew very little about what she was serving so I did not trust them to even “veganize” the veggies or baked potato seriously! and just had salad. Fortunately we stayed for the week at a resort with rooms that were like a suite with a full kitchen so we bought loads of groceries upon arrival and mostly cooked our own meals. I guess in my own city and surrounding cities I know which places have the best options so I’m used to more variety but I also have very few problems with the wait staff checking on ingredients for me here. One time at Kelsey’s not sure if that’s just Canadian one waiter even happily lent me a copy of their ingredient list to peruse at my leisure before I ordered. Anyway it was overall just great and now my buddies at work are calling me “Mrs. Michele” When I was going through all of the posts that I missed in a week and wow I really realized just how much material there is in such a short time! I clearly saw a pattern of reading comprehension problems on the part of several anti’s! I also saw just how tedious the responses really were from that core group of PETA haters. I had to keep checking at the top of the page as to which topic I was reading because the responses were often cookiecutter in nature. I was heartened to see many apparently new readers who seemed to be interested in learning more about certain aspects of the animal rights movement. I also agree with the idea of posting general responses about a particular topic when appropriate rather than directing specific comments to the “usual suspects” who are not here for enlightenment and who are rarely if ever open to what we actually have to say. That suggestion still gives us the opportunity to show that we do not back down when people attack us while at the same time providing important information to readers who may not ever feel comfortable making comments but who are still receptive to learning about animal rights.

  • rojo says:

    Ariel to ana “don’t undermine my intelligence perception or underestimate my age. And I am going to leave it at that ” From Ana ” Ariel I don’t understand your comment but so be it. I don’t feel the need to explain this any further and you choose to misconstrue. Why this is brought up here in this entry I don’t really know either. It’s enough that I have to read all of the negative comments written by animal haterskillers on this blog.” The love is so apparent.

  • Ariel says:

    Hi Michele! Welcome back! I hope your honeymoon was exceptionally beautiful and delightfully memorable! Memories to keep with you every day! And as always your response was completely factual. Hi Ana! Yes it was nice that you spoke for me and I sincerely thank you. What you said for me is exactly what I would say and in doing so we speak for the animals. So since I don’t have a problem with any of it then I don’t think anyone else should either. And I believe that I can fairly say that both of us recognized that a certain anti has proven to have a severe reading comprehension disorder throughout our whole personal correspondence with each other. But wasn’t it “nice” that the anti drew juvenile conclusions for us? LOL I hope you are doing well Ana.

  • Michele says:

    Alex a lot of people still believe that animal testing is the only way to ensure that drugs or other treatments are safe for humans. It is a very complex issue that is hard to sum up in a brief comment on this blog but suffice it to say that animal testing has actually harmed more humans than it has helped. Approximately 90 of drugs that are “proven” to be safe in animal tests actually fail when applied to humans. Humans may have many similarities to several nonhuman animals but the differences are just too great for any animal testing to be applicable for humans genetics physiology etc. There are many treatments that were discovered before modern laws existed regarding the requirement for animal testing that would have “failed” if those laws had existed back then penicillin is one of the more common ones. Also the reliance on animal testing has harmed andor killed millions of humans when it was later discovered that “safe” treatments were anything but. Animal testing also wastes billions of dollars and delays effective treatments when there are so many nonanimal methods available. A great book that was recommended to me by a few of the bloggers on this site is “Sacred Cows and Golden Geese”. This really explains things from a scientist’s perspective and it is very well researched. It explains in excellent detail the very brief comments I mentioned here.

  • rojo says:

    ana and ariel so glad to have brought you together again. Sorry about the jibe I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to see if it would be ignored. Juvenile I know but not so much less than “I’m not talking to you” ana nice to see you speaking for ariel. I don’t hate animals or vegans not even animal activists. I’m not a fan of indoctrination to be sure which so much of veganism and activism entails. What part of ” were the drugs tested on animals first before you tried them? i would find it irresponsible to go straight from testtube to pregnant woman” is so nonsensical?

  • Ariel says:

    Hi Ana Believe it or not with a bit of a change I sensed there might have been something else going on something not pleasant. So I tried to be sensitive even though I wasn’t sure of why the change. I apologize if that seems awkward But let the misunderstanding be on my part. And Ana I am very very sorry for your loss. I understand so well. Ironically I received news over the past week about a very dear person to me. She was my coworker an RN who took care of me when I had an operation for a cerebral aneurysm plus she kept in touch while I was recuperating. Well Ana on her way to work at the hospital she was found to have a cerebral aneurysm that bursted. Surgery then life support couldn’t save her. All the more heartbreaking to me. So the peering anti’s may be wondering what does any of this have to do ar’s. Well anti’s it goes to show that ar’s activists have compassion and respect for one another no matter what because our hearts are strongly bound together with one common purpose the animals.

  • Ana says:

    Ariel I have nothing but respect for you so it saddens me that you would think I would go against you for any reason. I would like to think we misunderstood each other and it is my fault for writing that brief comment as I did I was in a rush. I have been grieving the death of a loved one and I have taken it very hard. I really didn’t have time to elaborate my position so it was not my best writing. Ariel we are the good guys! Let’s use our talents for the animals and our strength against the animalhaterskillers and animal advocate haters. Peace!

  • Anonymous says:

    Rojo Nearly every drug in use today went through a period of animal testing before it was approved. Thank goodness. Many PETA disciples are alive today because of these drugs. How strange that they would choose to sacrifice our health for the sake of rats. Our government is on the verge of destroying an entire population of nonnative rats on an island off the coast of Alaska called Rat Island. They destroy native birds nests. They will likely go through lots of glue traps. I sure hope PETA comes to their rescue.

  • Ana says:

    rojo What you do so well is absolutely nothing…Ariel does not support your animalkillinghating philosophy nor your animosity to animal rights advocates and veganism. Again you write nonsense!

  • kelly says:

    Hey Alex maybe you should show a little concern for the many people getting hurt or killed by drugs that supposedly “passed” animal testing Animal testing is bad science and making lots of money doing it is no excuse

  • Ariel says:

    Hi Ana No there is no need for you to feel to explain your point any further. I thoroughly understood your comments the first time around. I just felt that you misconstrued the purpose of my intial comments so I thought the decent thing to do was to explain them. Moving along… Ana to my mind we are not against each other. It just seemed that your normally compatible tone changed towards me even though I took great length to support you during a certain obnoxious time. So if you have been feeling that I am not “worthy” to be a part of our once compatible relationship that is your choice. I too read through the negative comments although lightly because they are nonsensical and redundant so I don’t want to waste my time addressing them individually. But primarily I will not debate undermine or make accusations against another ar’s activist. Making an exception about an anti rojo you don’t have any intelligence to be undermined so don’t worry about Ana and me.

  • rojo says:

    withgoddess were the drugs tested on animals first before you tried them? i would find it irresponsible to go straight from testtube to pregnant woman. ariel hard to give ana credit for what you do so well yourself.

  • Ariel says:

    Richard Absolutely! Yes hypocrisy among so many other valid reasons is why I am suspicious of GS’s involvement in ar’s. don’t even get me started about her because any further comments would be unrelated to ar’s but definitely related to society So I believe her involvement in ar’s to be another area for her to expand on hypocrisy.

  • Ana says:

    Hi Ariel I don’t understand your comment but so be it. I don’t feel the need to explain this any further and you choose to misconstrue. Why this is brought up here in this entry I don’t really know either. It’s enough that I have to read all of the negative comments written by animal haterskillers on this blog. But as you stated before it really is best to not respond to them.

  • Susan says:

    Richard A human embryo or fetus is not a viable human child as much as antiabortionists would like you to believe that. I am ProLife the life of the mother and her decision to manager her own body. I am also a vegan and prolife for living breathing creatures which begins outside of the womb regardless of your species. Males are forever trying to control women and many women are forever letting them. S

  • Carol says:

    Gloria Steinem please come out to Chandler AZ help us push Covance out of this city! The mayor doesn’t understand how wrong it is to use one’s powers to harm and cause suffering to less powerful creatures.

  • withgoddess says:

    I’m a nurse. I am a vegan and have been for 25 years plus. When I gave birth to my second son new drugs were tested during labour. People are forever being used to test medications etc. for future use or to go on the trash heap…whatever is your point? How does your opining make you real and myself and others here unreal???? Do tell! No I don’t have time to wait for your answer. Perhaps another day. Ummm Glory Steinem is a bit more than a celebrity…to my Swiss Chalet despising fellow Ontarian. Ciaou!

  • Tricia says:

    To Alex What makes you think that experimenting on animals is going to find cures for human diseases? Animals and humans are so physiologically and anatomically different. Modern vivisection has been going on in the West since the 1820′s and to date few cures have been found.

  • Richard says:

    Gloria Steinem had an abortion and is proabortion therefore is a murderer. Animal rights is all about the sanctity of life an idea which has eluded Steinem.

  • Ariel says:

    Hi Ana Please don’t undermine my intelligence perception or underestimate my age. And I am going to leave it at that peacefully.

  • Ana says:

    Ariel My point is this too many times the issue of animal abuse is given importance only because it may lead to abuse of humans. Animal abuse in and of itself should be perceived as wrong immoral and cruel NOT only because it may lead to human abuse. Their pain becomes lost in this argument and some groups ASPCA HSUS for example focus on it that way which does a disservice to the other animals. Is my point clearer??? Peace!

  • V. Soto says:

    Totally agree with Ann and FREE BURMA’s 109 posts. Thank you Jack for always delivering such an important message in a way that makes us out here want to keep on reading… and coming back for more!

  • Ariel says:

    Oh well it looks like an appropriate time for a realistic educational “cut and paste” to negate Alex’s UNrealistic comments that have been addressed on here ad naseum. I’ll just mention briefly that human animal and animal physiologies are different as well as each human has his and her own unique DNA so testing on animals for the purpose of medical information is automatically inaccurate as well as it is not always consistently accurate with every human.

  • Susannah S says:

    Good job Gloria! She’s always there when it counts!

  • Alex says:

    I am sure Gloria Steinem would prefer if new drugs were tested on humans rather than apes. And I am sure a cure for Alzheimers or cancer is less important than a wellbeing of a few monkeys. I am in no way associated with Covance just a realist. Most of you are not…

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter says:

    Gloria Steinem is one very classy and caring human being. It is so fantastic to have her on the side of the greater good. Gloria We are thrilled to have you with us. Judith

  • Anonymous says: stop march of dimes

  • Hitchjr says:

    Good for her! This is how celebrities should use their clout! I know It’s not on the same scale at all but I was going to put one of my short films in a film festival here in Ontario however I found out that SWISS CHALET was one of the sponsors so I did not… Swiss Chalet BTW is a chicken and ribs type place there are hundreds of stores here in Canada I’m not sure about the US. Anyway I’m not telling you this to get praise or anything I just hoped a smaller scale story might inspire some others to do things like miss Steinem… Peace.

  • Ariel says:

    HiAna I’m confused. A few days ago I happily addressed and supported a blogger who had clearly expressed disdain for a certain topic concerning an animal abuse situation and who had also offered a wonderful suggestion. It was obvious to me that the blogger had already surpassed the need to know the reason for ar’s activism. In my support for the blogger’s suggestion I only expanded on the mindset of how far animal abusers will go meaning the humananimal relationship in society. You replied to me in summation that too many ar’s activists overlook the real focus of ar’s activism which is the animals’ torturing and suffering by primarily emphasizing society. I sensed that you were “chastising” me for lack of a different word for mentioning the humananimal relatonship to the blogger because by doing so I had undermined the true focus of ar’s. Now I read in your comment to Jack saying that ar’s is truly all about the whole picture as Jack expressed it. Please clarify for me the difference between my comment to the blogger and Jack’s comment of which neither solely express the animals’ suffering and torture. Thanks! please note that I did not quote any of your comments to me

  • Ariel says:

    Sorry but for darn good reasons I am suspicious of GS’s involvement in ar’s.

  • Carla says:

    Covance had to pull out cause Gloria Steinem has more pull for the pushing. Which fundraiser in Madison would put those two together? This is something that could of been expected to happen and glad it did. Maybe Covance should try the method of nonanimal tests in the future! Or would that be too easy?

  • FREE BURMA says:

    Gloria Steinem is so right in telling us that animal abuse and domestic violence are connected! Every kind of violence against animals or people are one and the same and people who don’t understand this are still on a lower conscience level! No upright and honest person can tolerate the bad treatment neither of animals nor of people!

  • Becci says:

    Gloria Steinem is awesome in so many ways.

  • Ana says:

    Jack You expressed very well what animal rights is truly about in your final paragraph. Oppression in any form towards any being is wrong immoral and unacceptable. So glad to see GS take on Covance and win!