By Justin Goodman
Most people are probably familiar with the infamous experiments conducted by Harry Harlow starting in the 1950s.
Harlow — whom author Laurel Braitman calls “a dark lord of monkey torture” in her new book, Animal Madness — tore newborn monkeys away from their mothers, gave some infants “surrogate mothers” made of wire and wood, and kept other traumatized babies in isolation in tiny metal boxes to cause them irreparable psychological damage.
They rocked incessantly, bit and clutched at themselves and ripped out their own hair. Some even died.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that these archaic experiments had already gone the way of transistor radios, Polaroid cameras, the Edsel and other ’50s-era relics, but similar experiments have continued for 30 years—and you’re still paying for them.
That’s what PETA discovered after obtaining more than 500 hours of videos, hundreds of photographs and many internal documents from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a Freedom of Information Act request for which the agency unsuccessfully tried to charge PETA $100,000.
Terrorizing baby monkeys is archaic, morally reprehensible and completely irrelevant to our understanding and treatment of human mental illness, and it needs to stop.
Every year, dozens of monkeys are intentionally bred to be genetically predisposed to mental illness in the NIH laboratory of psychologist Steven Suomi, a Harlow protégé. Currently, some 200 monkeys of various ages are being used in these cruel and archaic studies.
Half of the monkeys born each year are separated from their mothers within hours of birth and never returned.
As in Harlow’s experiments, some are given only a fabric-covered bottle to cling to in place of their mother. They undergo years of terrifying and often painful experiments that are designed to cause them to suffer from severe anxiety, fear, depression and other physical and mental illnesses. A
As they age, some monkeys are forcibly addicted to alcohol, making their symptoms even worse.
NIH videos obtained by PETA reveal that in recent experiments, newborn infants were restrained inside tiny cages and placed in isolation in “startle chambers.”
The experimenters terrified the babies with loud noises, causing them to cry out and try frantically to hide or escape.
In some trials, the experimenters released a realistic-looking electronic snake into the cage with the baby monkeys, who innately fear the reptiles.
In other experiments, infants were caged with their mothers, but the mothers were chemically sedated. The terrified babies screamed and cried, climbing onto and frantically shaking their unresponsive mothers.
In one case, experimenters can be heard laughing while a mother struggles to remain awake to comfort her distraught infant.
In a pathetic attempt to defend the barbaric project, NIH made the ludicrous statement that the laboratory is “not that different from a human nursery”!
In the past seven years alone, these experiments have received $30 million in taxpayer money, even though they have never led to the development or improvement of treatments for human mental illness.
As far back as 1977, Suomi acknowledged, “Most monkey data that readily generalize to humans have not uncovered new facts about human behavior …” After four more decades of these useless experiments, nothing has changed. In a recent paper, Suomi and his colleagues wrote, “[T]his animal model of maternal separation has never been validated as a measure of drug efficacy in humans. … The only way to know definitively whether [anti-depressant drugs work] in humans would be to study our species.”
Meanwhile, researchers who actually do study our species—conducting sophisticated brain imaging and other human-based research that actually benefits human health—struggle to find funding.
Respected researchers, mental health professionals and primate experts including Dr. Jane Goodall have joined PETA to urge NIH to end its maternal deprivation experiments on baby monkeys and modernize its research program.
Technology has changed since the 1950s, and so has science. Just as doctors would no longer dream of endorsing cigarettes and parents would no longer buy radioactive science kits for their kids, it’s time for NIH to stop conducting and funding equally indefensible and archaic experiments on monkeys.
By Rosalie Tirella
… chubby, a little droopy, a little bored. Mainly, WE’RE FREAKIN’ SICK OF WINTER!!!!!!!!!!! AURGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quick pick-me-up? NEW MAKE UP, OF COURSE! I get all my products at the drugstore (where else would a blue-collar gal like me shop for make-up, Laura Bush, not withstanding?). My wet ‘n’ wild black mascara can be traded in for the more natural-looking brown. My ELF pink lip gloss can be replaced with something a bit … orange-y, spring’s go-to lip color. All cruelty-free, not tested on rabbits.
You can get a bunch of good drug store make up that HAS NOT BEEN TESTED ON cute white rabbits! Lots of times you will see the cruelty-free bunny logo (below) on the cruelty-free make-up package. Click here to read a PETA story on cruelty-free drugstore make up.
AND … To find cruelty-free companies, click here!
Nelson Mandela’s death: the newspaper front pages – in pictures
By Deb Young
The winter season brings many occasions to celebrate and enjoy the snowy
However, it is also a time for heightened pet safety with the introduction
of seasonal plants, foods and cold weather products.
Various forms including baking chocolate Chocolate contains caffeine-like
substances, and in some forms, a high amount of fat as well. Depending on
the amount ingested, chocolate can potentially cause vomiting, increased
thirst and urination, diarrhea, hyperactivity, elevated heart rate and
seizures – and can even be lethal in large enough doses.
Preservative for the tree may contain fertilizers, which, if ingested, can
upset the stomach. Stagnant tree water can be breeding grounds for bacteria,
which can also lead to vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
While decorations aren’t directly toxic, ribbon and tinsel can cause
gastrointestinal blockage that can be life-threatening to pets. Ornaments
can be broken or swallowed whole.
Holly, Mistletoe, Lilies and Poinsettia can be particularly harmful to your
pet. Eating Holly could produce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. If
a dog or cat eats Mistletoe, gastrointestinal upset and possibly even
cardiovascular problems could result.
Pets should not be given holiday leftovers and garbage should be kept in an
area inaccessible to animals. Poultry bones can splinter and cause damage or
blockage in the gastrointestinal tract. Spicy or fatty foods can cause
stomach upset and could possibly lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
Additionally, moldy or spoiled foods could produce food poisoning, tremors
Ingestions of grapes and raisins have been associated with acute kidney
failure in dogs. Some dogs initially develop vomiting and begin drinking
large amounts of water, then subsequently develop diarrhea and
life-threatening kidney failure.
Antifreeze products containing ethylene glycol are highly toxic and can
produce life-threatening kidney damage, even in small amounts. For example,
just one tablespoon of 50-50 diluted antifreeze can be lethal to a 10-pound
cat, and as little as 4 ounces in a 20-pound dog could be fatal. Many
windshield washer products contain methanol, which if ingested can cause
drooling, vomiting, drunkenness and severe central nervous system
depression. Ice melt products may contain ingredients that can be very
irritating to the skin and gastrointestinal tract, and could also
potentially result in more severe effects including depression, weakness,
disorientation, low blood pressure, cardiac problems, seizures, coma and
even death depending on the type of ice melt and circumstances of exposure.
A few more things to remember:
Keep your pets warm and indoors. As always cats should stay inside. Since
cats left outdoors may stay warm in car wheel wells or under hoods, you
should awake any sleeping animals by rapping on your car hood before
starting the engine.
Trips outside should remain short during the winter months. While dogs need
outdoor exercise, lengthy walks can prove harmful especially when wind chill
is a factor.
Dogs should remain leashed and supervised when outdoors throughout the year.
However in the winter do not bring them near bodies of water even if they
Shorthaired dogs and clipped breeds should be dressed in protective
Wipe off your dog’s foot pads and stomach fur after returning from the
Outdoor shelters for pets should be dry, secure from wind and only large
enough for them to stand up, turn around and lie down. The shelter floor
should also be elevated from ground level and have dry bedding. A steady
water supply should be provided in plastic bowls and checked on so that it
does not freeze.
Pets that spend a greater amount of time outdoors also require more food.
Keeping the family pet safe during the holidays is simple if you plan ahead.
By Paula Moore
Here’s a new entry in the annals of bad marketing ideas: Officials in Taiji, Japan, recently announced plans to open a marine park, where visitors can swim and kayak alongside dolphins and whales. Then after drying off, tourists can sample dishes made with dolphin and whale meat. And the proceeds from the park will help fund the slaughter of dolphins. How could that possibly lose?
You probably recognize the name “Taiji.” This is the town that acquired global infamy after its annual dolphin massacre was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. Turning Taiji into a tourist destination, where unsuspecting visitors swim with dolphins while, in a nearby bay, other dolphins thrash in their own blood after being speared or having their throats cut, sounds like something out of a horror film.
Dolphins have rich social lives, brains that are as complex as our own and pod-specific cultural practices that are passed down from generation to generation. In her new book, How Animals Grieve, Barbara J. King recounts heartbreaking stories of dolphin mothers desperately trying to revive their dead calves by repeatedly lifting their small bodies above the surface of the water and pushing them under again, often while other dolphins swim protectively nearby. Some scientists argue that dolphins should be classified as “nonhuman persons” and that their rights should be protected. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Environment and Forests in India issued an order to all Indian states banning dolphinariums.
The Cove exposed the Taiji dolphin slaughter, taking us back to the unenlightened times of Moby-Dick. More recently, Blackfish has rightly turned people away from marine animal parks that snatch infant whales and dolphins from their ocean homes and force them to perform demeaning tricks for our entertainment.
The two industries are inextricably linked. Although most dolphins captured in Taiji end up as meat in Japanese supermarkets—despite the fact that dolphin flesh is so dangerously contaminated with mercury that some Taiji officials have likened it to “toxic waste”—about two dozen live dolphins are sold every year to aquariums, performing-dolphin shows and “swim-with” programs across the globe. It’s these lucrative sales that keep the dolphin slaughter going.
A dead dolphin brings in a few hundred dollars. But a single live dolphin can fetch $150,000 or more.
According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, dolphins captured live during Japan’s annual massacres have ended up in aquariums all over the world. Even countries that no longer allow the importation of dolphins caught during the gruesome slaughter may be displaying animals purchased before the ban or moved through other countries to disguise their origin.
These magnificent animals suffer immeasurably in captivity since it is impossible to meet their psychological and physiological needs. In the wild, dolphins swim together in family pods up to 100 miles a day. They navigate by bouncing sonar waves off objects to determine distance and location. When dolphins are kept captive, even the largest pen or tank is merely a hideous prison. Their vocalizations become a garble of meaningless reverberations. Most aquariums keep antacids on hand to treat the animals’ stress-related ulcers.
If you wouldn’t dream of patronizing the proposed marine park in Taiji, then please don’t patronize any such facility. Buying a ticket to a marine park or swimming with captive dolphins supports condemning these beautiful, intelligent animals to a lifetime of misery and deprivation.
By Paula Moore
This is the time of year when the fashion industry tries to convince us that we need to overhaul our wardrobes. Animal prints give way to plaids give way to moto jackets give way to nipped-waist suits. While fashion is ever-changing, style is constant. It’s a projection of who we are and how we want to be perceived. And whether you’re a polished businessperson or a rocker, if you want others to know that you are also caring and compassionate, the first thing you should do is dump the animal skins.
At the very least, fur has got to go. Even if you know nothing else about animal rights, you surely know that from the day they are born until the day they are killed, animals on fur farms live lives of quiet misery. The small barren cages that they are confined to reek of urine and feces. Disease and injuries are common. Many animals go insane under these conditions and throw themselves repeatedly against the cage bars or pace in endless circles.
Once you’ve given up the furry ghosts in your closet, it’s time to dump exotic skins. The thought of killing pythons, crocodiles and other reptiles for overpriced shoes and handbags should make any kind person’s skin crawl. Snakes are commonly nailed to trees, their bodies are cut open from one end to the other, and they are skinned alive, in the belief that live flaying keeps the skins supple. Alligators are crudely bludgeoned with hammers or aluminum bats. Lizards are often decapitated, and some of the animals writhe in agony as the skin is ripped from their bodies. Animal welfare is simply not a consideration in the exotic-skins industry. It’s time to say, “Enough!”
Now let’s talk leather. PETA’s investigations into the leather trade in India, where much of the world’s leather is produced, have revealed that cows are marched hundreds of miles to slaughter through extreme heat. Handlers smear chili seeds into cows’ eyes and break their tails in order to force the exhausted animals to keep walking. Or they are illegally crammed onto trucks in such high numbers that their bones break. At the slaughterhouse, they are hacked to pieces in front of each other while still conscious.
Things aren’t much better here at home, where animals are often skinned and dismembered while still alive.
Many Australian sheep farmers use instruments resembling gardening shears to cut huge chunks of flesh from lambs’ backsides—a crude attempt to prevent maggot infestation. The lambs often walk sideways like crabs from the pain of their wounds, which can take weeks to heal. This is what you are supporting if you wear merino wool.
Are you getting the picture? If a product came from an animal, the chance that abuse and suffering were involved is roughly 100 percent. But enough depressing stuff. Whether you’re looking for the latest trends or timeless pieces that are always in style, cruelty-free options are easy to find. Even many high-end designers now embrace synthetics, thanks to technological advances that, as Forbes put it, “have made faux fur and animal skin practically indistinguishable from the real thing.” When you’re shopping, just check the labels and stick to faux fur, fake snake, vegan “leather” like polyurethane and other animal-friendly materials.
There are many ways to show that you have style, but wearing skins isn’t one of them. Cruelty is one fashion statement that we can all do without.
By Deb Young
The cruelties at processing plants defy belief!
Animals in slaughterhouses can smell, hear, and often see the slaughter of those before them.
As the animals struggle, they’re often abused by frustrated workers, who are under constant pressure to keep the lines moving at rapid speeds.
Workers are often seen kicking cows, ramming them with the blades of a forklift, jabbing them in the eyes, applying painful electrical shocks and even torturing them with a hose and water in attempts to force sick or injured animals to walk to slaughter.
Federal law requires mammals be stunned prior to slaughter .Typically, electric current is used to induce a heart attack and/or seizure; or a captive bolt gun is used to deliver a blow to the skull or shoot a rod into the animal’s brain.
It’s not uncommon for an animal to suffer one or two failed stuns. In the case of a failed electrical stun, an animal may be paralyzed without losing sensibility.Unconscious animals whose necks are not cut soon enough may regain their senses after being hung on the bleed rail. Hogs, unlike cattle, are dunked in tanks of hot water after they are stunned to soften the hides for skinning. As a result, a botched slaughter condemns some hogs to being scalded and drowned. Hogs will squeal and kick as they are being lowered into the water.
Video evidence obtained by one investigator shows slaughter plant workers displaying complete disregard for the pain and misery they inflicted as they repeatedly attempted to force “downed” animals onto their feet and into the human food chain.
Sounds like a good argument to want to cut back on meat to me, how about doing it for your health also!
Processed meat is high in calories, fat and sodium. The more bologna, ham, and sausage that you stuff inside your sub roll or pita will add up to more calories, more fat and more sodium. Too much salt in your body leads to water retention and bloating. Many of these processed meats are casually referred to as “luncheon meats” for good reason. They are easy to slap in between two pieces of bread for a mid-day meal.
Consider the burden you place on your body when you eat hot dogs or processed-meat subs. High levels of sodium weaken blood vessels. This leads to heart disease.
It’s a good bet that reducing meat consumption—particularly processed meat—is likely to score you an advantage. You’ll lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. You’ll consume less calories and fat.
It can be challenging to serve healthy meals on a budget, but with planning you can eat better for less. Many people save money by adding meatless meals to their weekly menus. Meatless meals are built around vegetables, beans and grains — instead of meat, which tends to be more expensive.
The health factor: A plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, grains, beans and legumes, and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who eat only plant-based foods — aka vegetarians — generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart disease than nonvegetarians do.
Just eating less meat has a protective effect. A National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces (113 grams) of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to have died of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less. Sausage, luncheon meats and other processed meats also increased the risk. Those who ate mostly poultry or fish had a lower risk of death.
How much protein do you need? The fact is that most Americans get enough protein in their diets. Adults generally need 10 to 35 percent of their total daily calories to come from protein. Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this amounts to about 50 to 175 grams a day. Of course, you can get protein from sources other than meat.
In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends choosing a variety of protein foods, including eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. The guidelines also suggest replacing protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories. The fats in meat, poultry and eggs are considered solid fats, while the fats in seafood, nuts and seeds are considered oils.
Just cutting back on meat will help yourself and the animals…Think about it!
By Jennifer O’Connor
Last year authorities at Bangkok’s international airport arrested a passenger whose suitcases were reportedly jam-packed with leopard and panther cubs, a bear and monkeys. The dazed animals had been drugged and were headed for Dubai, apparently part of an international trafficking network.
While this seizure made headlines, smuggling of exotic and endangered animals takes place every day, and those animals who somehow survive often end up in pet stores, classified ads and flea markets right here at home.
Animals who were flying through rainforest canopies or roaming vast savannahs find themselves stuffed into pillowcases, duffle bags and spare tires. Since concealment is paramount, they are denied food, water and any semblance of comfort during transport. Many, like the 18 dead and dying monkeys found jammed into a man’s girdle last year, suffocate or succumb to starvation and dehydration. Others suffer injuries from rough handling or from fights with other crazed victims. Continue reading Exotic pets: a deadly business
From The Guardian. – R. T.
Circuses to be banned from using wild animals
Government publishes plans to ban use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England from 1 December 2015
Circuses will be banned from using wild animals in their shows under new government proposals that have been published after a long campaign.
Politicians and animal welfare groups have repeatedly called for the measure and in June 2011 MPs overwhelmingly supported a blanket ban, but ministers were initially reluctant to meet their demands due to fears over possible legal action from circus operators.
The government’s plan will make it an offence for any operator to use a wild animal in performance or exhibition in a travelling circus in England from 1 December 2015. …