WWAIL 2006 Atlanta Update.
Activists in Atlanta displayed posters of celebrities who have
and are suffering from various diseases that animal researchers
have been working on for decades. Despite 25+ years of AIDS research,
Magic Johnson has not been cured. Parkinson's still afflicts Michael
J. Fox. Montel Williams suffers from MS with no apparent help in
sight. Emory's Larry Bryd addicted monkeys to cocaine for 30 years
but that has not helped Robert Downey, Jr. In the last two years
we have lost Chris and Dana Reeve and a wonderful friend and animal
advocate, Richard Pryor.
Both Richard Pryor and wife Jennifer Lee Pryor have tried to educate
the public about vivisection and that it is not helping sick people.
Unfortunately, Richard lost his battle with MS last year but Jennifer
continues to work on the animals' behalf. Jennifer prepared a statement
to be read for our event this year and we would like to share her
(and Richard's) thoughts with you. We thank her for this contribution
and for all the work she has done on their behalf. Jennifer and
Richard have been good friends to all animals.
are no different than the animals we see and with whom we share
our lives. Animals feel physical pain just as we do. Animals feel
emotional pain just as we do. So, why then, is it morally acceptable
to torture an animal in the name of "science?" If one
really sits back and ponders this question, there can be no rational
belief for the justification of the torture and killing of another
species to benefit of another.
Richard knew that animals don't get MS and creating symptoms to
mimic this disease or any other doesn't get you any closer to the
question of 'what causes the disease."
As Richard stated, a few years after being diagnosed, "MAKING
ANIMALS LOOK LIKE THEY HAVE A DISEASE THEY NEVER GET, IS LIKE MAKING
ME LOOK WHITE...IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. IT'S JUST F******* STUPID!"
We differ from species to species. If the money and focus were on
prevention...maybe we would be further down this road. It is a system
If anything, non-human animals cannot understand what is happening
to them, thus, they feel even more emotionally distraught. They
cannot see an end to the pain; they cannot understand why people
they once trusted are now hurting them. There is no ethical dilemma.
It is both scientifically ineffective and morally reprehensible.
The archaic ideology and logic used to justify animal experimentation
is reminiscent of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, wherein the government
lied to the underprivileged African American community in order
to obtain fraudulent consent to testing which ultimately caused
major harm as well as death. Animals cannot give consent. If they
could vocalize their wishes, they certainly would never consent
to being trapped in a cage to endure painful experiments day after
day, without any physical contact or the ability to carry out their
own instinctual behaviors, only to be killed at the end. The fact
of the matter is, suffering is suffering; whether human, canine,
or bovine, when you get stabbed, it hurts, in the heart or elsewhere,
and that's just simply, profoundly wrong.
In conclusion, to quote Alice Walker:
"The same way, blacks weren't made for whites, women made for
man, nor were animals made for people"
Jennifer Lee Pryor
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