I think this illustrates that everyone who ever felt their advocacy efforts were worthless over the last 30-odd years should take heart; that what you were doing was actually moving animal liberation along. I think this is airing...not due to one particular AR group or person, but due to all letters to PBS over the years - indeed due to every single demo, letter, phone call to every business, medical facility, and every other animal exploiter.
All movements unfortunately take so long...but you can know that your work has results. It is a remarkable achievement for PBS to be airing this film. We are not there yet; but I believe far more people in future generations will not tolerate such abuse.
Contact for NET, which is listed as a producer of 'NATURE':
450 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001
Videos: Videos of many Nature episodes are available by calling WNET at (800) 336-1917.
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Chimpanzees : An Unnatural History - PBS Sunday Nov 5 at 8PM
(check local listings to confirm time)
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'Nature' Eyes Sad Life Of Captive Chimps
Oct 31, 2006 12:37 am US/Eastern
(AP) PASADENA, Calif. "Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History" is a
program that will probably make many viewers cry.
But Allison Argo felt she had to stay as dry-eyed and clear-sighted as
possible while making this documentary, which she also narrates.
It can't have been easy.
The documentary, which on Sunday night launches the 25th season
of PBS' "Nature" (see local listings), explores the sad story of
generations of captive chimps -- our very genetically close relatives,
with almost 99 percent of the same DNA as humans.
"I try not to tell people what they should feel or think in the film," the
"As I was writing the narration I kept saying, 'Just the facts.
No comment. Don't get emotional,' and again when I was reading it,
the same, because you don't need to. Let people decide what they
want to decide. Just present the story, present the characters, which
are the chimps," Argo said.
Gloria Grow doesn't have any intention of being objective. Her eyes
often rimmed with tears earlier this year as she accompanied Argo to
a series of press conferences and interviews to discuss the documentary.
Grow and her husband, veterinarian Dr. Richard Allan, run the
Fauna Foundation, which has become a haven for abused animals,
including chimps used in biological research. Even chimps that were
once people's pets, or performed to audience laughter in circuses and
commercials, can end up in research facilities. Once they get to about
five or six years old and can no longer be handled safely they are often
dumped in medical laboratories or imprisoned in isolation.
Grow's nonprofit foundation, based near Montreal, Canada, is featured in
So, too, is Dr. Carole Noon's Save the Chimps group, of which she is
founder and director. The nonprofit central Florida organization works
to create a safe and suitable habitat for chimpanzees, such as those
used in numerous experiments by the United States Air Force, which in
1959 captured dozens of baby chimps in Africa. These naturally social
animals, whose life span in the wild mirrors humans, have long been
locked in separate cages, taken out only to be used in grueling,
dangerous, and painful research, which may or may not ultimately
One of the chimps featured in the program is Lou, a 42 year old veteran
of the Air Force programs.
The documentary is about "the chimps having a voice finally," said
Grow. "Allison Argo was able to speak on their behalf ... about the
tragedy of their lives."
The sight of an aged chimp, a victim of years of confinement, trying to
summon up the courage to walk free beneath the sky, is just one of the
many devastatingly emotional moments in Argo's movie.
"I'm not a raving animal-rights person, but I do think there needs for
accountability," said Argo.
She understands, she said, there are other points of view than the
animal-lovers' about the use of chimps in research. But the medical
community she tried to have a dialogue with, she said, chose not
"I couldn't even get the NIH (National Institutes of Health) to grant us
an interview," she said, adding that laboratories can't or won't supply
any detailed records.
Argo, who made the Emmy-winning 2000 documentary "The Urban
Elephant" for "Nature," said the film took nearly three years to make,
because, "It's such a complex topic and there are so many hot buttons
that it really needed to be researched thoroughly."
Despite all the sadness in the film, Argo feels it can be viewed in a
"I think that the main thing that gives me hope it that I don't think people
realize what happens. I think people who laugh at the chimps in the
commercials just don't know. The purpose of this film is to just open
the window so that people can look into (the chimps') lives, see what's
on the other side, the dark side, and what the consequences are."
Source CBS New York: