PETA Demands Proof of Human ‘Benefits’ Claimed by Harvard’s Margaret Livingstone

For Immediate Release:
October 28, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Cambridge, Mass.

Please see the following statement from PETA neuroscientist Dr. Katherine Roe refuting a recent statement by Margaret Livingstone at Harvard Medical School regarding her shocking monkey experiments that have caused outrage among scientists and animal welfare advocates alike. (At PETA, we have both.)

It seems Harvard experimenter Margaret Livingstone is trying the keep the public as she keeps the monkeys in her laboratory—in the dark. In a recent statement, Livingstone attempted to justify her horrific experiments by claiming that she had only sutured two monkeys’ eyes shut for only one year in 2016 and further asserting that her research has loosely benefited humans, but she offered no proof.

We call B.S.—and we have the receipts. PETA is publicizing Livingstone’s own papers, which not only expose that Livingstone has lied about how many times she has sewn baby monkeys’ eyes shut but also pull back the curtain on the torment and misery she has inflicted on animals—including forcing cats to stay awake in a rotating drum and drilling holes into monkeys, surgically implanting electrodes into their brains, and sewing coils onto the surface of their eyes.

In her statement, Livingstone acknowledges that she permanently removes baby monkeys from their mothers and effectively blinds the infants using methods of varying invasiveness—including, in some instances, suturing their eyelids closed. She further admits that she implants posts into monkeys’ skulls to immobilize them, attaches steel coils to their eyes, and inserts electrodes into their brains. These procedures obviously inflict pain, distress, and discomfort on the vulnerable animals. Livingstone states: “Animals [who] experience distress, pain, or discomfort cannot be studied and our results would not be valid”—and in doing so, she effectively admits that her 40 years of tormenting and killing animals have only contributed invalid data. In other words, these experiments have been a shameful waste of monkeys’ lives and countless opportunities to help humans with relevant, non-animal methods.

If any of her depraved animal experiments have led to treatments for Alzheimer’s, glioblastoma, or tremor—as she claims in her statement—she hasn’t published any of that work, so we’re not taking Livingstone’s word for it. We need proof.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.