Justin Goodman came to Connecticut three years ago to finish his
undergraduate degree and pursue graduate work in sociology at the
University of Connecticut, but there's little doubt he's most known
here for his work protecting laboratory animals.
Recently, Goodman, who is 27 and lives in Vernon, received PETA's
Nanci Alexander Award - a national award given to the activist of the
year - for his success in exposing experiments on monkeys' brains at
the University of Connecticut Health Center. Last year, the research -
which PETA called "cruel and deadly" - was shut down.
Now Goodman, who has been hired by PETA (People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals) as a research associate, has set his sights on a
program at Hartford Hospital that involves stabbing live pigs in the
abdomen and chest, so that surgery trainees can practice repairing
them. Goodman is holding regular pickets outside the hospital to
protest the monthly training practice. Goodman insists there are many
other ways to practice this surgery without using animals.
Asked to comment, spokesmen for both hospitals e-mailed statements
saying each hospital has been accredited by the Association for
Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International
and complies with other standards for animal research. Asked about the
research on monkeys, Maureen McGuire, spokeswoman for the University
of Connecticut Health Center, said in an e-mail that there would be no
Q: So when you came to Connecticut in the fall of 2004 were you
thinking that animals rights would be a big part of your life?
A: I knew I wanted my graduate work to focus on the animal rights
movement, examining the animal rights movements as a social movement
academically like the civil rights movement and the environmental
movement. I had no idea that I would become so entrenched as an
They stab the pigs, giving them wounds meant to mimic stab wounds and
gunshot wounds in the organs. First of all there's a fundamental
problem with this research altogether. These people are looking to
better understand human disorders. An analogy would be if you wanted
to understand a pig you wouldn't take a human being and cut them open.
Learning these procedures on human beings actually afflicted with
these injuries is the best way to study these things.