Victims of a Truck Crash: Three People Killed by Authorities; Survivors Shipped to Lab

Published by Ingrid Newkirk.

Who are monkeys like the ones in the news after a truck crash in Pennsylvania? The 100 of them we learned about from a passing motorist were the offspring of monkeys captured in their homes on Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. Never having been away from their families or off land, they were shipped on a no doubt terrifying journey by air and then loaded onto a truck and sent bumping down a highway. Next, they found themselves thrown onto the road in the freezing cold. Some were injured, three were shot by authorities, and those who survived were thrown back onto another truck, apparently to continue their journey, doomed to life in a laboratory cage.

Monkey who escaped crash is spotted among crates

A bystander took this photo of one of the escaped monkeys, who was later presumed to be shot.

Who are monkeys like those in the truck crash? They are fellow primates. They are individuals and were once members of families and communities.

Group of macaques in front of trees

We have ignorantly and arrogantly belittled these people—for that’s who they are—by dressing them in clothes in circuses, chaining them to organ grinders’ instruments, and caging them in zoos. And now experimenters will pour chemicals down their throats, take their babies away, put electrodes in their heads, and treat them as though they were ours for the taking—using them as human surrogates while ignoring the traits, emotions, feelings, and thoughts they share with us.

A family of long tailed macaques

Once, P.T. Barnum put pygmies and “Eskimos” on display, having removed them from everything they knew and cared about. Once, human orphans and mental patients were used in experiments before being declared off-limits. We have surely come to a time when our fellow primates must be seen for who, not what, they are. They are not a lesser version of our own species—they are other primate tribes.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind