For Immediate Release:
November 13, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – Earlier today, PETA supporters, led by an 8-foot-tall “crying monkey” representing Beamish, one of the monkeys tormented by National Institutes of Health (NIH) experimenter Elisabeth Murray, demanded an end to the agency’s funding of her cruel and failed experiments during the Neuroscience 2023 conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which Murray attended. PETA’s protesters were met with aggression from conference attendees, who yelled explicit language and raised middle fingers. One attendee yelled, “I want to experiment on you,” and another said that the PETA members “should all die instead.” Photos and video footage from the scene are available here.
The protesters also called for funding cuts to Harvard University’s Margaret Livingstone, who tears baby monkeys away from their mothers to torment them in sensory deprivation experiments; to Johns Hopkins University’s Shreesh Mysore, who drills into owls’ skull and bombards them with bright lights and loud noises; and to the University of Massachusetts–Amherst’s Agnès Lacreuse, who attempts to study menopause in tiny marmoset monkeys—a species that doesn’t experience menopause.
Beamish—the monkey whose plight PETA brought out of the shadows to the ire of experimenters—has been imprisoned at NIH in a cramped steel cage since 2007. He was moved to Murray’s laboratory in 2010. Murray cut open his skull, suctioned out a portion of his brain, and destroyed another part of it with toxic chemicals. She then terrified him with realistic-looking rubber spiders and snakes. Held in solitary confinement, Beamish has experienced extensive hair loss (an indicator of extreme psychological stress) and has been documented spinning frantically in circles in his cage and sitting slumped over, completely defeated.
Beamish. Credit: PETA
“Many members of the Society for Neuroscience are raking in NIH funds to conduct almost unimaginably cruel, archaic, and pointless experiments on animals,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on NIH to pull the funding now.”
Murray has made her living conducting these tests on countless monkeys like Beamish, collecting more than $50 million in taxpayer funding since 1998. She hasn’t produced a single treatment or cure for humans.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.