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First, Last, and Always

Good news for chimps this week! I just wrote a long post about that over on the VINE Sanctuary blog, but instead of feeling upbeat, I feel a combination of reeling heartsickness and sober determination.

The problem—and it’s not really a problem—is these two websites:

If you visit and spend some time with them (which I hope you will do), I won’t have to explain.

But let me explain: Each of these websites lists, by name, chimpanzees who were or are now locked down in vivisection labs undergoing behavioral or biomedical experimentation. Compiled by Wesleyan University professor (and Ethics and Animals author) Lori Gruen, both sites bear witness to animal experimentation. The first profiles—in almost unendurable detail—the first one hundred chimpanzees utilized in institutionalized research in the United States. We see their names, their dates and places of birth and death, and the names and fates of their offspring. We see their photos and learn what was done to them.

The second site looks forward to the event we seem to be moving toward—the release of chimpanzees from research labs to sanctuaries. That site lists the names, where known, of what we hope will be the last one thousand chimpanzees exploited in this way. That site also lists where each of those still captive is held, with the bright spots being the stripes of green for those who already have been retired to sanctuary. For those still captive… we know where they are, we sometimes know who they are, but we do not know what anguish they may be enduring right now.

I feel… No, I don’t want to try to tell you what these websites lead me to feel. I want you to visit them and have your own feelings. Go.

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