Among the many wonderful things about growing older is the wisdom of perspective. When we are young or inexperienced, we may have less than realistic expectations of what can be accomplished. But as the seasons guide us, we soon learn that each
accomplishment— like changing the way science does science—will be a long,
hard-fought victory. Along the way, our reward for our work is that we can see our
footprints moving toward our goal.
First, thank you for your commitment to our work and confidence in our leadership. NEAVS is relatively small in comparison to some other national groups, but we are—like my feisty 20 pound adopted Shiba—much stronger and more capable than our size would
suggest. For many of you, our scale is in large part why you trust us. What we do is deeply personal, reflecting the sincere commitment of every one of our staff and Board.
This, plus intelligence and good strategic thinking, is a winning formula.
Each year we plan our course according to what strategy is needed next to ensure
eventual success. This approach has inspired national attention for ending the use of the first nonhuman species in invasive research, provided the scientific evidence others need to do their job, generated grassroots activism to get legislators to support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, published the first papers ever in psychiatric journals on the trauma that chimpanzees endure in laboratories, and myriad other accomplishments.
To be most effective, we extend our reach through partnerships with organizations worldwide, forming national and international coalitions for the most clout. Our coalition work to mandate alternatives and spare millions of rats, mice, and others from the horrors of testing has led to our alternatives petition serving as a model that can collapse industry’s dependence on outdated and cruel animal methods.
And each day we serve students all over the world in their pursuit of cruelty-free science education. We celebrate the fact that tens of thousands of students are playing a role in changing the face of science through their simple and courageous act of refusing to dissect, participate in dog labs, or perform any other animal sacrifice for their science education.
As you read our 2010 Annual Report, I hope you will feel as positive as I do about the strides we are making toward a world in which science no longer equates to animal suffering. I hope also that you share our wisdom of perspective. We are all impatient, since the animals’ waiting causes them, and us, great pain. But we also know that just yesterday, and today and certainly tomorrow, more and more animals benefit from what we do. That is our promise to them, and my personal promise to every one of you who make our work possible.
Theodora Capaldo, EdD