For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Boston – The new film The Beanie Bubble has the hottest collectible of the 1990s back in the news, and today, in honor of the beloved tiny toys, PETA sent a letter to inventor and Ty Inc. CEO Ty Warner urging him to condemn Harvard University’s bizarre sensory-deprivation tests, in which experimenter Margaret Livingstone steals newborn monkeys from their mothers and replaces them with Beanie Babies.
After prying the babies from their mothers, Livingstone isolates them in cages with only a cloth “surrogate” to cling to for comfort. She has sewn some infants’ eyes shut for their entire first year of life and prevented others from ever seeing a human or monkey face, requiring workers to wear welding masks during their limited interactions with the monkeys. Later, she kills them and dissects them.
“For decades, Beanie Babies have been a source of happiness and joy for millions of children and adults alike, so it’s perverse that they’re now being used to aid in Margaret Livingstone’s barbaric experiments,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA demands that Harvard shut down this so-called ‘research’ now and asks for Mr. Warner’s help in getting the university’s administration to hear reason.”
In the more than 40 years that Livingstone has engaged in cruel tests on monkeys and other animals, she has collected more than $32 million in taxpayer money to bankroll them—but hasn’t produced a single treatment or cure for humans. Earlier this year, more than 380 experts—including primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, conservationist Dr. Ian Redmond, and Harvard anthropologist Dr. Richard Wrangham—joined Harvard’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic in urging the National Institutes of Health to end its funding of her experiments. And in October, 261 scientists from around the world sent a letter to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences asking it to retract Livingstone’s publication “Triggers for Mother Love,” emphasizing that her work is unethical and fails to advance scientific knowledge.
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 Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.