I have to admit, I am very conflicted about animal testing of any kind. I suppose the person(s) who have been given the gift of life as a result of a cure found through the use of animals in medical testing might feel differently, and while we are technically at the top of the food chain, I just don’t think we can claim the moral high ground when it comes to using other species to further our own lives. There's simply something inherently wrong with it. As the "superior" species shouldn't that involve the ability to help ourselves without hurting others? (Full disclosure: I’ve been a pesceterian for many years so I abstain from eating creatures except fish and I admit to issues around even doing that) Given the choice, I’d rather spend time with animals than many people I’ve been acquainted with, so you know where my vote lies. One thing I am decidedly NOT conflicted about is any effort to support kindness and compassion toward animals and even more so when those creatures that have been subject to our experiments are given an opportunity to live out their lives in a sheltered environment with the care they deserve. So when I learned about Chimp Haven where chimpanzees that have been part of biomedical research, part of the entertainment industry or who have been rescued from individual situations, that Certain Kind of Happy struck which comes when bad things are made right.
Chimp Haven is a 200 acre sanctuary in Caddo Parish, Louisiana where a current population of 120 chimpanzees live and thrive. Here's an example of one of the families...
If you are so inclined, you can donate money, time or send gifts – they have an extensive wish list of which the Sensory Enrichment items are particularly fascinating: • Large Paint Brushes (plastic preferred) • Canvas to paint on • New toothbrushes, combs, brushes • DVDs – nature shows, cartoons, PG movies • CDs – nature, world music, classical • Water Misters • New Halloween masks • Used percussion instruments (maracas, tambourines, etc.) • Lava lamps • Plastic Mirrors How can you read that list and not recognize their connection to humans?
Or, you can sponsor a chimp and help pay for their care. Their bio’s demonstrate their diverse personalities. I think Pam’s my girl – she’s described “very loyal to the three other girls in her group and sticks up for her friends when the neighbors occasionally try to start a fight. However, Pam has also been observed grooming the neighboring females gently with a stick. She likes to accessorize and carry purses or even wear articles of clothing around her neck . Pam is also a thinker, and can often be found deep in thought!”
I encourage you to check out this organization and if you’re an animal softie like me, support them.
For their website, click here.