‘Monkeys’ Tormented by Flashing Lights to Swarm Harvard Campus Over Cruel Experiments

For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Cambridge, Mass.

In a dizzying display, PETA supporters wearing monkey masks will descend on Harvard University’s campus tomorrow as “experimenters” in lab coats torment them with strobe lights. The bizarre scene is meant to mimic Harvard experimenter Margaret Livingstone’s latest cruel test, in which she permanently separates baby monkeys from their mothers and forces them to wear helmets with shuttered goggles that rapidly open and close, creating a strobe-light effect. The infants are made to wear the devices for a year and a half, effectively forcing them to live in perpetual and disorienting strobe lighting all day long for 18 months.

When:    Wednesday, January 24, 12 noon

Where:    Johnston Gate (at the intersection of Peabody Street and Massachusetts Avenue), Harvard University, Cambridge

Infant monkeys in Livingstone’s laboratory are torn away from their mothers and raised without seeing any faces—human or monkey—for a full year. Credit: Harvard University Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience

“Livingstone’s pointless experiments have never produced anything other than pain and anguish for the monkeys stolen from their mothers and subjected to her twisted tests,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is urging Harvard to shut down Livingstone’s house of horrors.”

Livingstone’s experiments—which have been widely panned as unethical in the scientific community—have also included ripping baby monkeys away from their mothers and sewing their eyes shut for an entire year. In another experiment, infant monkeys are reared by humans wearing welding masks so they never see a monkey or human face. She also surgically implants electrodes in monkeys’ brains to record how their deprived brain cells respond to visual stimuli. After years of torment, Livingstone kills many of them and dissects their brains. She has conducted these types of curiosity-driven experiments for 40 years without producing a single treatment or cure for humans.

In addition to holding tomorrow’s demonstration, PETA is urging former President Barack Obama to condemn these twisted experiments that have received more than $2 million in taxpayer funds from the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative, which was launched during the Obama administration.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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