Casey Affleck and His Mom Join PETA Protest at UMass, Demand End to Monkey Experiments

For Immediate Release:
September 13, 2021

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Amherst, Mass. – Oscar winner Casey Affleck and his mother, Chris Anne Boldt, joined PETA on Monday to demand an end to the University of Massachusetts–Amherst’s (UMass) deadly and useless experiments on marmosets. The longtime vegan actor called on the school to shut down the laboratory. Photos are available here.

Affleck said, “What we know is that the animals used in these absurd and cruel experiments, they suffer, and that should be our starting point. Do they suffer? Yes? Then we simply cannot do it. My family, including my mother, Chris, who’s here with me today, and I are from Massachusetts, and as you also likely know, we tend to take pride in things uniquely New England or Boston: our sports teams, our accents, our universities. But on that last point—not today. UMass can and should do better—end these hideous experiments on marmosets today. UMass, be the leader I know you to be.”

UMass imprisons dozens of tiny marmoset monkeys, who are susceptible to disease in laboratories, to study menopause, a condition that these primates don’t even experience naturally. Experimenters zip-tie frightened marmosets into restraining devices, drill into their skulls and implant electrodes, cut open their necks to expose muscle, and thread electrode leads from the scalp and neck to the abdomen. To mimic “hot flashes” in them, experimenters cut out their ovaries and heat the animals with hand warmers, like those placed in mittens during wintertime. In another experiment, castrated male marmosets were injected with testosterone and then tested for cognitive functioning. The animals are then killed.

The university—which rakes in nearly $4 million from taxpayers annually for such experiments—has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for severely burning a marmoset on a heating pad as he was recovering from surgery, failing to alert an attending veterinarian to sick animals, and permitting a monkey to escape and injuring the animal’s tail during recapture.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on.” For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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