Progress for Science Charlottesville Statement

Progress for Science Charlottesville Statement

In the wake of the events at Charlottesville where hundreds of self-styled First Amendment advocates – Nazis, white supremacists and racists – marched, and where one person was killed, many injured and townspeople and counter-protesters showed up to defend bodies as well as promote messages of peace and tolerance, calls went out for groups of every nature to take a stand and denounce such far-right shows of bigotry, hatred and intolerance. Included in these calls was one by Dr. Breeze Harper of Sistah Vegan who asked “USA based animals rights and / pro-vegan organizations to release an official statement and action plan on how they do not support white supremacy/racism”. We responded with the following message on Facebook and reproduce it here. Progress for Science, both as a small grassroots group and as individual organizers, denounces the hate and intolerance, bigotry and ignorance fostered by 45 and the white supremacists that form his core base of support. We denounce the actions of the thugs with tiki torches who virtually goosestepped thru Charlottesville and their like across the country and the world. We salute those who resist them every step of the way. There are today (and have long been) many struggles plaguing our capitalist patriarchal society and the beings who live in it. We are actively committed to fighting these: to fighting racism and to learning how we ourselves unfortunately contribute to the racial hierarchies in our society and how some of us have benefitted from them. We are far far from being “post racist” in the US and everyone does and should “see color”. Refusing to face up...
NARS: The Artistry of Cruelty

NARS: The Artistry of Cruelty

HOW KIND IS YOUR BLUSH? The ethical stance of makeup and personal hygiene companies is a major selling point for people who look for the Leaping Bunny and other seals that certify “animal friendly” and “cruelty free” before they buy. NARS Cosmetics has long been known to be a company that rejects animal testing – they have used this as an effective marketing tool – and the founder, make-up artist and photographer François Nars, is rumored to be vegan. Though NARS’ parent company Shiseido is itself complicit in animal testing, NARS remained proudly unblemished. So we were all unpleasantly shocked and appalled when we caught the news spreading like wildfire through the interwebs: NARS Cosmetics has made the decision to ditch its ethics and go to the dark side. That doesn’t mean that they, in some boardroom meeting in Hell, suddenly decided they were gonna hire a bunch of evil scientists, get some bunnies from a breeder specializing in animals destined to die in laboratories, and start pouring undiluted chemicals in their eyes. No, it means they decided to start selling their products in China WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH CHINA ANYWAY? One of the biggest stumbling blocks to being an extra super profitable cruelty-free company these days, perhaps the only one given that the European Union and New Zealand have banned the practice of testing products on animals and the United States and Japan do not require it, is that when you enter the Chinese market, you are essentially agreeing to have your products go through testing on animals. Although China is making progress in recognizing and using alternative testing...
Britches and the Great Imagining

Britches and the Great Imagining

by Roxanne Galvan          As we approach World Week for Animals in Laboratories, I want us to take a few moments to remember the tragic story of Britches. In 1985, a baby macaque monkey was born in a laboratory at the University of Riverside. Shortly after, he was stripped from his mother’s care and subjected to unimaginable cruelty under the guise of ‘scientific research’. Some would prefer to call it for what it truly is: torture. Britches was forced to be the subject of a study surrounding human blindness. His fresh, tiny eyes were sewn shut with oversized sutures, such that he suffered permanent corneal damage once they were removed by his liberators. A sonar device that emitted piercing sounds was strapped to his head. The baby macaque was left alone in a small metal cage where he spent the fir st 5 weeks of his life terrified and devoid of any compassion or solace. The story of Britches has a happy ending where anonymous ALF activists, with the help of sympathetic workers within the laboratory, rescue him along with somewhere between 400-700 other animals. Dressed in white lab coats and black balaclavas, they conducted a live liberation, filming and exposing the horror lab. For Britches, we get a sigh of relief knowing he was saved from solitary confinement and spent the rest of his years in a sanctuary with an elder macaque foster mom. For the countless other animals who have died and are awaiting premature death in labs, we cannot feel that relief. Vivisection is a topic that makes almost anyone uncomfortable as they...
P4S Top Hits of 2015

P4S Top Hits of 2015

THE LONG GOODBYE The monkeys are still where they shouldn’t be: still far from the jungles, from the trees, the vines, the flowers, the birds, the butterflies; far from the evening breezes, the sun on their uplifted faces, the moonlight silvering their fur; still far far away from the mothers that gave them birth, from the aunties and uncles who took care of them, from the squawking sisters and brothers tumbling through the leaves, still far from homes they will never see again or, for those born in labs, homes they will never see at all. They are still in their cold neon-lit cages at the University of California but, at least, their head tormenter has flown the coop. The leaving town of drug-study vivisector David Jentsch, one of UCLA’s top money draws, was one of the big events that marked our year here at Progress for Science. It was a year of wins, of losses and of broadening horizons. Working in both Minnesota and Los Angeles we took on new campaigns and new focuses. We created new events and kept on keeping on as well. ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN On February 15 of last year, P4S staged one of our biggest protests ever as we orchestrated an answer to the demonstration of frothing hate that the vivisectors had backfire and bring shame upon themselves weeks before. On the one-year anniversary we returned to Edythe London’s neighborhood with our very own villain! Or rather a towering papier-mâché Edythe specially made for us by one of our talented supporters.  We have it on good authority that Ms. London was not...
Life after Labs and Jails: New Life Animal Sanctuary’s Gina Lynn

Life after Labs and Jails: New Life Animal Sanctuary’s Gina Lynn

Jake: Ask her about getting arrested with her mom. Me: So tell me about the time you got arrested with your mom. Gina: Which time? The sun is finally starting to set after a blistering near 100-degree day out in the semi-arid scrub country of the Elsinore Valley in the Inland Empire. In the lengthening shadow of the newly built barn, Gina beckons in the residents from wherever they have been poking about on the sprawling fenced-in property. They know what’s up and they’re pretty good at hustling to her call: It’s treat time! After they have all gathered around─and by “they” we mean 27 Göttingen mini pigs rescued from a Bay Area laboratory─Gina lifts up the first watermelon and smashes it to the ground. The rest of us humans all grab one as well and, before long, all the pink-skinned sweeties are blissfully─and you haven’t seen bliss until you’ve seen the watermelon+pig equation in action─munching away, eyes half closed. (Now that it is fall we see the same enthusiasm given over to pumpkin decimation.) These folks have suffered horrors we can’t ever really imagine and they have the scars to prove it, but now all that is over. They have finally found their forever home complete with mud pits, wading pools, fresh hay, shelter, toys, and the love that they probably never dreamed would happen. SO JUST WHAT IS THIS FOREVER HOME? It’s New Life Animal Sanctuary and as their website (a work in progress) explains, they are a haven exclusively devoted to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals saved from laboratories. This ground-breaking effort offers a permanent...
And We’re Back!

And We’re Back!

One thing you should know about Progress for Science by now is that we are always trying to be more strategic and we are open to trying new things if we think they might be successful. Recently, you may have noticed we have been doing a few less protests in California. It is not because we are getting lazy, it is because we were trying some new things out. But now it is time to get back to being active for animals. Below we will discuss what we have been up to for the past couple of months and why it is more important than ever for you to join us in the streets again. A few months ago, vivisector Edythe London’s husband, Abe Wagner, reached out to a P4S cofounder, Vida. Vida decided to talk with Wagner and reported that he seemed like he wanted to reconsider the use of animals in experiments. Of course we were dubious. First, Wagner is not the vivisector, London is. Second, Wagner and London are currently legally harassing another P4S cofounder. But if anyone has met Vida they know she would be the one person who could talk sense into someone. We withdrew protests for a short time to let Vida try to work her magic. We had hoped that London might do the right thing. Her career is a perfect example of how animal experiments are not useful or necessary for a career in science or to further scientific progress. London used to do experiments on monkeys for anything addiction related. Her research has regularly been funded by tax dollars. However,...