Top Ten Reasons to Protest Harvard Saturday!

Posted by:  helenandsteve2003

Thu Apr 23, 2009

There are approximately 1800 reasons (the number of monkeys and other primates held captive and submitted to brutal invasive research by Harvard) to protest Harvard's New England Regional Primate Research Center this Saturday, but here's our top ten.

1. In 2007, The European Union Parliament voted to support a ban on all primate research with a 5-6 year phase out. Although the vote is non-binding, it acts as a strong recommendation to the EU Commission that governs research. It also shows that a majority of EU legislators don't see that the medical merits of primate research outweigh the cruelty to the animals.

2. By contrast, Harvard has increased its number of primates by at least 10-15% in the last 10 years (it is hard to give exact figures because Harvard recordkeeping is so varied that one year recently they had a "discrepancy" of 1200 primates).

3. Harvard is one of the few medical institutions in the country to still use electric shock on primates. One of the most common uses of electric shock is as a threat to force monkeys to take addictive drugs. Denial of food is another "methodology" used to force monkeys to take drugs.

4. Harvard seems to thrive on addicting animals to recreational drugs, having published over 75 papers on cocaine addiction alone. One does not have to be a graduate of Harvard to realize that studying recreational drug use in species who do not naturally take those drugs and who are forced to take them is both just plain sick and useless.

5. In 2004, a monkey choked to death at Harvard because he/she (sorry for the lack of gender specificity but the USDA report calls the poor animal "it") suffocated on a piece of plastic tubing while locked alone in a restraint chair while the vivisector literally went to lunch. Weak as the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) is, even it forbids leaving a primate alone in a restraint chair. Somehow we doubt that that vivisector was going out for a veggie burger.

6. NERPRC's Director Ronald Derosiers was on the "scientific advisory" board that claimed that the BU bio-terror lab was both essential and safe. In conversations that we have had with a Boston Globe reporter, we've learned that NERPRC has claimed that they "did not, do not, and will never" have any financial connection to the Bio-terror lab. This is more than a little bit odd because Desrosiers has admitted publicly that BU had promised NERPRC 3.1 million dollars to build a lab to "produce" primates for BU's bio-terror lab. If they can't tell the truth about money, they won't  tell the truth about anything else either.

7. Primates in labs suffer health problems and stress-related problems unknown in wild primates. Basic science says that experiments can only have one independent variable: if an animal is already sick or extremely stressed out (stress impairs the immune system), then experiments with this animal have multiple independent variables. In simple terms, the science sucks. It is so severe of a problem in lab animal populations that in 2003, 20% of the primates at NERPRC were involved in studies not of human health problems but of lab animal health problems!

8. That same study revealed that 89% of those primates suffered "psychological abnormalities", 1 in 4 injured themselves, and 1 in 9 injured themselves badly enough to need stitches. Bizarrely, monkeys that pulled their own hair weren't even counted as injuring themselves (Lutz, Well, and Novak 2003.

9. No laws regulate what actually happens in experiments. This is left up to in-house supposedly independent IACU committees that are supposed to review studies for animal cruelty (not that they'd ever use that word.) The industry argues that these committees prevent abuses and assure that animals are not harmed. In the 2004-2006 period, Harvard Medical School accumulated 11 violations of the AWA directly related to these IACU committees. This means that either the committees failed to do their job properly or that the vivisectors blatantly ignored the committees. This just proves what many animal law experts have repeatedly stated: no laws or regulations whatsoever really control what happens to animals in labs.

10. If you to ok PSYCH 101, you may remember the notorious Milgram experiments in which humans were manipulated into "shocking" subjects in supposed "negative reinforcement" experiments. The "shocking" was faked by professional actors out of sight of the subjects so no one was actually harmed in an experiment designed to see how far people would go in obeying authority even when it had destructive consequences. In multiple versions of the experiment done for decades around the world, between 60-65% of the subjects would have actually knowingly killed the other person if the shocks were real. In one version, 93% would have killed the other person. The only pressure on the human subjects was peer pressure. By contrast, some sick soul designed a test (at we're sure taxpayer expense) to see if monkeys would shock other monkeys in order to get food. If they shocked the other monkey, they got food; if they didn't shock the monkey they didn't eat. Multiple monkeys refused to harm the other monkey even though it meant that they would go hungry. One monkey went 4 days straight without food (by comparison this would be like us going 20 days without food) rather than harm another monkey and several went 2 days. Observations of chimps (Note-Harvard has no chimps that we know of) in the wild have shown that they take special care of group members with disabilities such as cerebral palsy with even the alpha males taking time to groom and nurture a monkey with cerebral palsy.

Our whole human justification for subjecting these animals to the brutal nightmare of their squandered existence is that we are morally superior to them and can do what we want to them. Don't these 3 studies show the lie behind all vivisection?

Please join us this Saturday at Harvard to protest these atrocities.

Ten More Reasons to Protest Harvard

Posted by:  helenandsteve2003

Fri Apr 24, 2009

If our first 10 reasons didn't convince you that you ought to join us in protesting Harvard this Saturday, here are ten more reasons. This list gives you some specific examples of Harvard New England Regional Primate Research Center (NERPRC) research. All of these "studies" are taxpayer funded. If you missed the first 10 reasons, just scroll through the recent messages.

1. In the US, over 60% of human deaths are linked to cancer, heart disease, and stroke, all health problems highly linked to consuming animal flesh and fluids. However, nationwide, over 93% of primate experiments do not address these disorders. There are literally more taxpayer funded studies of monkey reproduction and monkey sex than of heart disease and cancer.

2. Former NERPRC acting director Bertha Madras has spent over 40 years addicting animals to recreational drugs, including cocaine, speed, heroine, speedballs, and alcohol. She has apparently become so desensitized to her abuse of animals that one of her actual research  protocols referred to monkeys as "taking the cocaine challenge".

3. Roger Spealman also addicts monkeys to drugs. One of his studies addicts monkeys to cocaine, breaks them of the addiction, then "induces social stress" to see if they will re-addict. Frankly, anybody with an IQ higher than his/her shoe size could tell you that social stress can cause re-addiction. We don't need to spend over 1 million tax dollars to torture monkeys to find this out.

4. Spealman also electroshocks shocks monkeys "in order to study the effects of electroshocks on monkeys". Electroshock has a notorious history of abuse in human mental institution patients but has reportedly been refined for use in treating extremely depressed and highly suicidal patients. As we understand it, even the strongest of anti-depressants take a couple of weeks to work, too long for extremely suicidal people, so this treatment may have benefits for humans if carefully used (we leave that up to you medical and psych professionals to determine). However, lab monkeys are not humans, and if lab monkeys are depressed, it's because their lives are living nightmares caused by humans like Roger Spealman.

5. NERPRC researcher David Adams has spent a career failing to transplant pig kidneys and hearts into baboons. Because of the risk of introducing new diseases into the human population, xeno-transplantation (the term for trans-species transplants) is extremely controversial even among people who don't care a bit about animal suffering. Adams, though, has been blithely proceeding along, killing dozens of two of the most intelligent species on earth with no success whatsoever. And, just to prove his status as a sociopath (in our humble opinion), Adams has taken to filming the animals' dying and broadcasting it on the internet.

6. John Assad has been permanently attaching head restraint bolts to monkeys' heads so that he can keep them still during his "research" studies. In 2003, NERPRC actually claimed in federal documents that zero primates felt pain. It's hard to imagine that having a permanent head restraint bolt installed is not painful. Assad also has installed "coils" in monkeys' eyes. We're sure that that's not painful either.

7. Alberto Palleroni and associates scammed 50,000 taxpayer dollars to go to a Latin American island to play tape recordings of raptor (hawk, eagle, etc.) calls to young monkeys to "study their fear reactions". Concerned about high medical bills and high health insurance? Why should you be when you know how monkeys react to frightful stimuli?

8. Another study of lab animal research done by Harvard found that the "effectiveness" of all but one "enrichment" methods "declined over time". Enrichment is the feel good BS term for giving balls and toys to animals subjected to brutal research. The researchers literally seemed puzzled by the idea that the balls and toys didn't work as well over time. DUHHHH! The longer an animal is denied all of his/her basic instincts, the more depressed and neurotic and/or psychotic that animal will become. If that animal is also subjected to the abuses of people like John Assad, David Adams, Bertha Madras, and Roger Spealman, his/her problems multiply exponentially. Even if that animal is not currently under assault, he/she may hear the cries of other battered and butchered animals. The one "enrichment" method that supposedly works is "group housing". Primates are just as social as humans and are happier and better adjusted when given contact with other primates. Nationwide, over 35% of lab animal primates are denied group housing.

9.NERPRC staff has justified all of its BS, horrors, and nonsense by claiming that they are doing cutting edge AIDS research. In fact, the director, Ronald Derosiers, has gained his position on the basis of so-called AIDS research. NERPRC press releases have claimed 6 times in the last 20 years that NERPRC has "developed vaccines against AIDS". All 6 have failed. 82 of 82 AIDS vaccines that "worked" in primates have failed in humans. Science, the most prestigious general science journal in the country, declared AIDS primate research a failure and dead end as long ago as 1990. Yet Harvard continues to suck up millions of dollars and torture thousands of animals for this failed and horrific approach to AIDS research. Multiple breakthroughs have occurred that help alleviate the suffering and prolong the lives of AIDS sufferers; none of them have come from abusing primates.

10. Animals are not objects for us to do what we want with; they are not "things" or "its"; they are not "tools" for research; they are beings with emotions, desires, needs, and the capacity for suffering. Even if a primate in a lab is, for some highly unlikely reason, never subjected to the nightmares of vivisection, that animal is denied all of his/her basic instincts and is suffering. This suffering is hidden from public view, denied, and justified as necessary by those who earn their paychecks by causing this suffering. Please come out this Saturday to say that this suffering matters.

We hope to see you tomorrow.

For the animals,

Helen and Steve