The Pennsylvania Monkeys

by Rob English

Maybe you heard about the crash of the truck that was transporting 100 monkeys through Pennsylvania in late January. Each monkey was captive in its own box on the truck and when the crash occurred the boxes spilled and several monkeys briefly escaped. The escapees were soon caught and euthanized, but not before, out of an abundance of caution, one local woman had to be vaccinated for rabies. Itś not known what diseases, if any, the escaped monkeys brought with them from Mauritius, their home.

Now why, you might ask, are 100 monkeys from an island in the Indian Ocean being transported through the Northeast US? Yes, Pennsylvania (Pennś sylvania) does mean “The forest of Mr. Penn”, but the American state is not the kind of forest habitat that is home to monkeys.

Guardian news reports that the monkeys were being transported to a laboratory where they would be the subjects of toxicology studies – in other words many of them would be poisoned to see what happens. How gruesome! And how unnecessary!

The results of most, if not all, toxicology studies are known in advance because the studies have already been done on countless other animal victims. Its mindless to repeat such confirmatory experiments.

What’s more, animal bodies are so different from human bodies that the only way to learn about human biology is to perform very careful clinical studies on human volunteers.

All results derived from animal studies must be retested in humans because one never knows if the animal results are correct or not. Absent that certainty, the animal experiments are ALWAYS a waste. Consider that scientists have rejected adolescent cats for studies on adult cats because the physiology of the adolescent cats is too different from adult cats – and yet we’re giving experimenters monkeys to find out about human biology? It’s ridiculous.

Experimenting on animals is a waste of money and time. When Dr. Jonas Salk invented the oral polio vaccine, he did it without using animals. The sellers of monkey cages and monkey food made no money from his efforts but society got its vaccine much faster.

God help the Pennsylvania monkeys that will be delivered to the toxicology lab. Some will be used as controls and some would be poisoned. The others will wish they had escaped into the wilds of Mr. Pennś sylvania, or better, that they had lived normal lives in their Indian Oceanic home.

Rob is a member of People for Animal Rights, a grassroots organization in Central New York.

Contact People for Animal Rights
P.O. Box 3333
Syracuse, NY 13220
(315) 708-4520

Monkeys’ photos by Klub Boks and David Hansche from Pexels

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