Porter Witsell is a 15 year-old high
school student who wears a Freedom Tag for primate #3710. #3710
is a squirrel monkey who suffers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel
Hill. Below is an e-mail describing her visit to UNC animal offices.
Please note the reference to the 8 monkey skulls displayed.
I'm pretty excited...guess what I just got back from doing....visiting
the bioinformatics building of UNC. See, today, August 22, is my
primate freedom monkeys' 3rd birthday. I bought him a red kong as
well as some pistachios (thanks so much for the tips by the way).
I slaved for a good 2 hours this morning trying to figure out where
this place is, and I was still a bit skeptical when it came down
to actually finding it, but to my pure delight, the bus driver took
us exactly to the Cardinal Parking Deck, which happens to be right
across the street from the bioinformatics building. So I went in,
and the first floor happens to be the Animal Research Floor (I dont
suppose the actual lab was there, just offices). John Bradfeild's
office number is 1109, part of the first office complex to the left.
So I went in, and his office just happened to be the first one on
the right, labeled in big bold letters JOHN BRADFEILD, ANIMAL RESEARCHER.
Oh man, talk about chills down my back. Anyway I found a peice of
paper, explained my visit, requested that he acknowledge the monkey's
individuality by giving him a proper name besides "3710,"
and left my email address under my name in hopes that he might email
me back. I left it right next to his computer in his office (his
door was wide open) ... when I went in to put the gift down I saw
about 8 monkey skulls sitting on a file cabinet, some of which looked
fairly new with a yellow pinkish tinge to them. hopefully, by getting
a gift especailly for the monkey he will realize that not only do
people care about them, but it might give him some incentive to
look at them differently, as unique individuals.
Dear Dr. Bradfield,
I am writing you today in hopes that you could tell me how the little
squirrel monkey called "3710" is doing. Is he alone in
a cage? How is he being used and what are your plans for him?
Dr. Bradfield, I have been an avid been a monkey advocate for most
of my 15 year old life. I'm pretty disappointed that I live in a
town in which animal testing is still in practice, but I also realize
that you have to make a living somehow. It's just, how are you happy
using primates, so like humans, to conduct experiments that may
cause them immense pain and suffering? You know, they are beings
just as people are, they have unique personalities which I'm sure
you have witnessed first hand. I hope that even though you test
on them, you at least care about how they feel.
I don't know how you view human rights, but I think I can safely
assume that they are important to you. Without them, where would
humanity be now? Humans don't involuntarily test experiments on
other humans. That would cause an uproar in society and many people
would dub it completely immoral and irresponsible. Well, my argument
would be, how different are primates from people? They form complex
social structures, they feel emotions such as grief, frustration,
happiness, sorrow and maybe even emotions we humans don't have the
capability to feel, we are not the standards of the definition of
life, but my philosophy about things isn't relevant in this argument.
I'm sure you are aware that primates have the ability to use American
sign language. They are highly intelligent beings. Why is testing
on them not immoral and irresponsible as well, especially if there
is more reliable technology available. Why must we linger in the
dark ages of animal testing, it's time to modernize with new technology.
You probably know plenty more about it that I, but aren't there
so many alternatives to the now out-of-date practice of animal testing
such as stem-cell research, using human cells, as well as incredible
computer models, all more effective than animal testing.
Dr. Bradfield, I would be so appreciative if you could respond back
to me. I do genuinely want to know how "3710" is doing.
Maybe I could stop by with his favorite food on August 22, his 3rd
Thanks so much for your time, Dr.Bradfield,
Chapel Hill, NC
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