Our protests on 10/18, 11/8 & 11/15/08 seemed more like parties, with such great folks who came out to show people what the University of Washington is doing to baby monkeys in the name of curiosity.
We realized that with the Husky football homegames there’d be tons of people walking and driving right by UW’s Infant Primate Research Facility at the Magnuson Health Sciences Center.
With some of us coming all the way from Canada, Olympia, Lake Stevens, Renton and across the Montlake bridge, we gathered at the corner of NE Pacific St & Montlake Blvd. Holding signs depicting UW’s abuse of primates, we were the voices for sentient beings imprisoned in experimenters’ cages. As Jessica put it, “Our protest rocked!”
Afterward we all went out for delicious vegan food at Hillside Quickies, talking while we ate and laughing about Saturday Night Live, ’67 Mustangs, being a vegetarian in the Army in Iraq, and various nonsense and serious subjects alike. Who knew protesting animal cruelty could be this much fun? As one of us said of the day, “It was awesome meeting all of you guys and I had a blast for my first animal rights protest!”
UW is the most federally-funded animal research facility in the country, receiving over $270 million last year from NIH. The university holds captive over 16,000 animals, including 3,000 primates.
At the Primate Center, UW researchers cut holes into macaque monkeys’ skulls. Recording cylinders are attached so that electrodes may be fed directly into the brain. The monkeys are then confined to restraint chairs and forced to perform behavioral experiments. Juice or water is often used as a reward in these experiments. To make the experiments more effective the primates are deprived of fluids except when they are performing the experiments.
These experiments have been going on for decades with no conclusive results. In addition, these projects are very similar to one another, potentially duplicating experimental procedures.